55 Best Songs About Winter

Best Songs About Winter

Songs about winter invoke many feelings like darkness, loneliness, and coldness. But winter songs are not necessarily cold or dark, and some of the best compositions invoke feelings of warmth and comfort that offer up a stark contrast to the cold season.

So let’s check out some of the winter favorites!


“Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood

Song year: 2013

Not every winter song needs to involve snowy weather—sometimes a cold rain has a chill that bites more. And this indie rock song is all about keeping a loved one warm during the cold and wet months.

The upbeat nature of the harmony and rhythm of this song also gives youthful energy. They help invoke the emotions of a young man in love, trying to keep his lover warm.

“Forever Winter” by Taylor Swift

Song year: 2021

Taylor Swift likely needs no introduction, but one of her newer songs “Forever Winter” might not be something you’ve heard before.

It has a melancholy tempo and sound, especially thanks to the acoustic guitar. And the lyrics use the imagery of a cold winter to symbolize the pain of losing a loving relationship.

“Winter Song” by Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson

Song year: 2017

Winter has cold and challenging months for all of nature, not just humans. “Winter Song” by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson captures the sad nature of the cold and dead feeling of winter. What’s more, it uses the flowers that grow beneath the snow to represent the transformational power of love.

In both lyrics and music, this song is hauntingly beautiful!

“Winter Things” by Ariana Grande

Song year: 2015

Ariana Grande’s song “Winter Things” is all about the positive elements of nature. Some people don’t realize how much they appreciate winter until they live in a climate that has a summer-like season the entire year.

This upbeat song is all about valuing it and the events that many love to do during that season. Even if you don’t get to experience a traditional winter, you can listen to this while doing some of those winter activities!

“Flower in December” by Mazzy Star

Song year: 1996

December is not usually the month that one would associate with color and flowers, but this is all about a lover asking their partner for the warmth of flowers to fight off the cold.

The tempo is slow and the acoustical musical texture is simple. They combine with some interluding cello lines to help invoke a sad emotion for most of this song.

“Wintertime Love” by The Doors

Song year: 1968

One of the best parts about winter is the way you can appreciate warmth—both physical and emotional—as a contrast to the cold windy weather outside.

“Wintertime Love” by The Doors is all about embracing the emotional warmth of love while enduring winter’s gloom. The song maintains a triple meter feel to mimic the dancing request made in the lyrics.

“Snow Angel” by Tori Amos

Song year: 2009

Tori Amos’s “Snow Angel” almost invokes a cold feeling in your body just by hearing the texture of the music during the verses.

Still, the music warms up more during the choruses while she sings the words “snow angel.” The song does a fantastic job of invoking a cold winter night with moonlight illuminating the snowy ground.

“Winter Song” by Bruce Springsteen

Song year: 1973

“Winter Song” by Bruce Springsteen is on the slow side, especially compared with many other of his other hits. But the song is effective as a meditation on the emotions of winter and how the changing of the seasons maps onto other human experiences.

With a slow piano and a sad tone of voice, the musical texture allows the lyrics to be the main element in this song.

“Wintertime” by Norah Jones

Song year: 2019

“Wintertime” by Norah Jones beautifully expresses some of the ways that certain seasons affect our emotions, particularly highlighting how everything feels more difficult during the winter.

Many people experience more depressing emotions during the colder and darker months of winter. However, Jones uses the symbolism of candlelight to represent how love can help people make it through the difficult winter season.

“A Hazy Shade of Winter” by Simon & Garfunkel

Song year: 1968

The title of this Simon & Garfunkel song aptly describes the feelings that winter weather brings. Leaves turn brown and fall, and the sky has a hazy shade because of the lower sun angle.

While the lyrics present a gloomy take on winter, the upbeat nature of the music and guitar lines give the song much more hopeful energy.

“A Winter’s Tale” by Queen

Song year: 1995

It’s easy to focus only on the negative aspects of winter—the cold temperature, the dark lighting, and the general cold mood. But there are also some magical elements to the winter season.

“A Winter’s Tale” by Queen captures the magic, quiet, and peace inextricable to winter weather with great lyrics typical of the legendary band. And as usual, the music behind the lyrics is deep and thoughtful.

“Baby It’s Cold Outside” by Idina Menzel & Michael Bublé

Song year: 2014

The Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” comes from 2014, but the original recordings go back much farther than that. If this is a version you haven’t heard before, you might want to check it out.

This version particularly reflects the energy of staying inside with warm energy while the weather outside is bitter and cold.

“My December” by Linkin Park

Song year: 2000

“My December” by Linkin Park highlights in both music and text the energy of December and winter more generally. From their Hybrid Theory album, the song focuses on regret and depressive emotions.

Those gloom-infused feelings all too easily emerge in the winter months, especially in December and at the beginning of the season. The music is equally cold and distant-sounding to help compliment the mood.

“Mistraldespair” by Kate Bush

Song year: 2011

“Mistraldespair” comes from Kate Bush’s album all about winter, aptly titled 50 Words for Snow. This particular song is a darker interpretation of winter and its implications for death.

Much of the lyrics center around the dead leaves of winter and how they eventually dissolve. And the music itself has a psychedelic sound that embodies the darker elements of winter.

“Angel In the Snow” by Elliott Smith

Song year: 2000

Elliott Smith’s “Angel In the Snow” has a classic sound, with acoustic guitar and a subtle singing voice keeping relaxed energy and smooth texture to the music the entire time.

The lyrics use the concept of a snow angel as a metaphor for relationships and how they can get frozen in time.

“Agaetis Byrjun” by Sigur Ros

Song year: 1999

Sigur Ros is an Icelandic post-rock band. Their song “Agaetis Burjun” comes from an album of the same name that came out in 1999. As you might imagine, people from Iceland have a unique understanding and appreciation of winter, and this song vividly attests to that.

The soft acoustics of the music combined with the gentle tone of the singing voice come together to capture a beautiful representation of winter.

“The Hounds of Winter” by Sting

Song year: 1996

Sting’s “The Hounds of Winter” is a unique song on his album Mercury Falling. The emotion of the music does not immediately signal the intensity of the lyrics. Nevertheless, like a lot of art, the beauty is in the tension and ambiguity.

Music aside, the lyrics use clear imagery of winter to capture the difficult emotions that he sings about during this winter song.

“February Stars” by Foo Fighters

Song year: 1997

“February Stars” by the Foo Flighters is a fantastic song from their album The Color and the Shape. Besides the obvious reference to winter in the title, the lyrics also touch on the colder months.

They talk about the darkness of the winter skies and the accompanying dark emotions that humans feel. Musically, the texture has a calm energy and slow build that resembles the sound of older Pink Floyd albums.

“20 Years of Snow” by Regina Spektor

Song year: 2006

Regina Spektor wrote the song “20 Years of Snow” as part of her album Begin to Hope, which came out in 2006. The lyrics are a bit vague and unclear, as they do not—aside from the title—directly associate with winter.

Still, the sound of music underneath the lyrics, along with a few specific lines, invoke winter to explore the ways people can get stuck and frozen in their life.

“Let It Go” by Idina Menzel

Song year: 2013

If you do not immediately recognize this song by the title or artist, you will almost definitely recognize the sound of the music. In particular, the memorable soaring chorus has been widely repeated by kids and adults alike.

“Let It Go”, by Idina Menzel, is the hit song from the movie Frozen, a film all about winter and snow.

The inspiring music and lyrics all point to letting your inner spirit out and not letting it stay frozen inside.

“Back to December” by Taylor Swift

Song year: 2010

“Back to December” is a song released in 2010 on Taylor Swift’s album Speak Now. The lyrics seem to be highlighting the pain of a breakup.

December and its sadder associations are used as a way to convey that darker emotion. The tone of the music invokes the feeling of gray skies and cold weather.

“White Winter Hymnal” by Fleet Foxes

Song year: 2008

Even if you do not familiar with this Fleet Foxes song by the title, there’s a good chance you will know it once you listen to it.

Like many Fleet Foxes songs, it has a mixed emotion that can best be described as melancholy. That melancholy emotion is supported by the solemn lyrics.

“Colder Weather” by Zac Brown Band

Song year: 2010

This song comes from the Zac Brown Band album Pass the Jar. As with many entries on this list, the artist uses winter weather to explore the difficulties in a relationship.

Winter weather is preventing the lovers from meeting, but the lyrics suggest it is not the weather at fault. The rich harmonies of the song also give it a serious tone.

“Colder Than Winter” by Sarah Brightman

Song year: 2008

“Colder Than Winter”, which was on Sarah Brightman’s album A Winter Symphony, is all about the comparison of winter and lost love.

Like the outdoors freeze in winter, this lover's heart is frozen after losing their loved one. Musically, Sarah’s tender voice captures the delicate nature of the lyrics.

“Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!” by Frank Sinatra

Song year: 1950

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who did not know “Let it Snow.” It’s a classic that people associate with the holidays and winter more generally.

While the song predates Sinatra, his 1950 recording is among the most famous.

“Snowbird” by Anne Murray

Song year: 1969

Anne Murray’s “Snowbird” is all about the depths of winter and how there is always the knowledge that spring will come. That is something that brings hope.

Specifically, a snowbird is singing the song, with the knowledge that flowers, grass, and warm weather will return soon.

“Winter Winds” by Mumford & Sons

Song year: 2009

Depending on where you live, winter can already be cold enough. Yet winter winds often make that season’s weather even more unbearable. And in this song, the cold winter winds symbolize the frozen and lonely hearts throughout London.

Yet just like warm fires balance the cold of winter, love balances the loneliness of “Winter Winds”.

“Looks Like a Cold Cold Winter” by Ingrid Michaelson

Song year: 2018

Due to the holidays falling during the beginning of winter, winter-themed songs naturally overlap with holiday music. And “Looks Like a Cold Cold Winter” by Ingrid Michaelson is a perfect example of one of these songs.

Michaelson balances her lyrics pointing to cold weather and snow with references to a warm fire and warm love.

“Winter Sound” by Of Monsters and Men

Song year: 2015

Released in 2015 as part of their album Beneath the Skin, “Winter Sound” speaks of the struggles of a relationship with imagery and references to the cold weather of winter.

The lyrics repeatedly insist that despite challenges, the relationship will not end because of these troubles.

“A Long December” by Counting Crows

Song year: 1996

From their album Recovering the Satellites, this Counting Crows song balances the challenges of winter with the hope of something better.

Despite the challenges of the present time, wonderful memories of the past give the singer hope that this December will not be as bad as previous years.

“If We Make It Through December” by Merle Haggard

Song year: 1973

Merle Haggard recorded this solemn country song in 1973, and it is all about imagining the warmer months during the coldest time of the year.

December is not always the coldest month of winter. However, it is the darkest time of the year in terms of sunlight, and also in terms of emotional struggle. The overwhelming emotion of the song is that if you make it through this challenging month, everything will be okay.

“Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow” by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds

“Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow” by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds

Song year: 2001

This song, part of Nick Cave’s album No More Shall We Part, is one you might want to listen to during a snowstorm.

The lyrics are moving and have a religious implication to them. But the overwhelming emotion is positive and peaceful.

“My Love is Winter” by Smashing Pumpkins

Song year: 2012

This alternative rock song by the Smashing Pumpkins, released on their album Oceana, is another comparing winter to the depressing feeling of lost love.

Despite the lyrics referencing cold weather and fog, the musical beat is exciting and repetitive, making it easy and fun to dance to.

“I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” by Frank Sinatra

Song year: 1961

This is a well-known song that many famous musicians have recorded. But Frank Sinatra’s voice has a natural warmth and comfort to it that makes his singing perfect for balancing the cold winter weather.

And the lyrics mirror the warmth of his voice, consistently stressing that love has enough burning energy to balance out the challenges of winter.

“Roses in the Snow” by Emmylou Harris

Song year: 1980

You’ve seen many varieties of emotional interpretations of winter on this list of the best songs about winter, including sad and cheerful. But one of the most unique interpretations of winter is the bittersweet mix of both of these emotions.

This Emmylou Harris song is quintessential country music. It’s all about the mix of sadness from losing a loved one mixed with the warmth of remembering the great times of the past.

“January Hymn” by The Decemberists

Song Year: 2011

“January Hymn”, released in 2011 on The King is Dead album, is an alternative folk song that captures the sadness of heartbreak and its connection to the dark and cold months of winter.

January is an especially difficult winter month because the holidays are over and the weather continues to get colder. During one such January, the singer contemplates what he could have said to stop his lover from leaving.

“Early Winter” by Gwen Stefani

Song year: 2006

From her album The Sweet Escape, “Early Winter” is all about the cold winter coming early because of a breakup.

In the song, Gwen Stefani is upset at her former lover for how he broke the relationship, and her emotions are now dark, sad, and cold. She struggles to remember the sunlight of the warmer months.

“Winter” by U2

Song year: 2009

U2’s song “Winter”, released as part of their 2009 collaboration with the movie Brother, is all about contrasting the emotions of summer and winter.

With references to the contrast between the dark sky and the bright yellow sun, the narrator struggles to find the singing and positive energy of summer during these winter months. The slow acoustic music captures the same emotion in sound.

“Winter Song” by Chris Rea

Song year: 1991

This Chris Rea release is a love song about keeping someone warm through the cold winter months.

It seems to take place during autumn but reflects on the winter months to come. But this lover sings out that he has enough warmth to comfort two people during the cold winter.

“December 1963” by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

Song year: 1975

This classic rock song by Frankie Valli is surely music that you will recognize. The upbeat energy is a great contrast to some of the sadder songs on this list.

“December 1963” centers on the positive memory of a love affair from a past December and how the beginning of winter brings back those wonderful memories every year.

“Winter Song” by Def Leppard

Song year: 1970

Released on their 1970 album Yeah!, this Def Leppard song is all about motivation. It can be hard to get out of bed during any season.

However, the cold weather and minimal sunlight of winter often makes it extra difficult. Consider this song your motivation to get up and start your day with energy!

“Cold Weather Blues” by Muddy Waters

Song year: 1964

Not every location has equally cold winters, and you have probably heard that Chicago is famous for its unbearably cold winters.

So it makes sense that the American blues singer Muddy Waters would compose a sad blues song longing for warmer weather. And the blues harmony fits in well with the challenges of winter.

“While I Shovel the Snow” by The Walkmen

Song year: 2010

The Walkmen are an indie band that has a unique sound that is well-suited for winter themes. This song, from their 2010 album Lisbon, is all about cold and snowy walks in New York.

Despite the cold, there is also something peaceful and quiet about a snowstorm in a big city like New York.

“When It’s Cold I’d Like to Die” by Moby

Song year: 1995

The electronic dance band Moby wrote this intensely sad winter-themed song about death and surrender. Released on their 1995 album Everything Is Wrong, the singer is cold and longs for someone who is not there.

The saddest element of the song is that the singer is so forlorn and cold that death seems preferable to swimming more.

“Valley Winter Song” by Fountains of Wayne

Song year: 2003

This song by Fountains of Wayne, released on their 2003 album Welcome Interstate Managers, was a hit at the time of its release.

The lyrics suggest a girl who is struggling to find hope during the cold winter months while her lover tries to comfort her that the summer will come and her emotions will change.

“Winter’s Ballade” by Cuco

Song year: 2017

“Winter’s Ballade” is an alternative/indie song released as part of Cuco’s 2017 album Songs4u. It delves into the emotions of sadness and loneliness of losing a loved one.

Just like winter brings lonely and cold days, losing a loved one, especially when you blame yourself, makes you want to sleep forever.

“Winterlong” by Neil Young

Song year: 1977

Neil Young’s uniquely soft and high-pitched singing works great for the genre of folk music, and it fits even better with a bittersweet subject like winter emotions.

The song seems to center on accepting certain sad emotions of winter and reflecting on the illusion of other emotions.

“Snow (Hey Oh)” by Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Song year: 2006

This Red Hot Chilli Peppers song captures an inescapable element of many winters. Specifically, how snow covers up everything and makes it seem like you have nowhere to go.

Footsteps are concealed by the snow, and the equal color of everything can leave some feeling aimless.

“Winter” by The Rolling Stones

Song year: 1973

Released on their 1973 album Goats Head Soup, this Rolling Stones song is explicitly about the challenging times of winter.

Even though December can be warmer because of the holidays, the rest of winter has an even sadder emotional feel to them. The singer struggles to keep moving forward through winter and wishes they were in a warmer place.

“Winter Time Blues” by Big Maceo Merriweather

Song year: 1945

“Winter Time Blues” is another old blues song about the impossibly cold weather of Chicago winters.

The singer laments about the frozen nature of winter and wonders whether spring will even come this year. As they do, they notice how the cold weather cracks their skin and leaves one’s emotions blue.

“A Winter’s Tale” by The Moody Blues

Song year: 2003

This Moody Blues song is another great expression of how cold weather beautifully symbolizes the struggles of lost love.

The singer wants to follow their lost lover, but cannot find them because the snow has covered up their footsteps. Winter makes it extra difficult to be alone, and can bring about heartache and suffering.

“Coffee” by Sylvan Esso

Song year: 2014

As many of the songs on this list expressed, winter can be a comforting season when it is properly balanced by warmth, be that a fire or a cup of something hot.

In this Sylvan Esso song, the singer remembers the warmth of coffee and how that helps them cope with winter. The singer's warm vocals help encapsulate this emotion as well.

“Footprints in the Snow” by Bill Monroe

Song year: 1945

This Bill Monroe recording is another old song that can bring a relatable warmth during the cold months.

While the cold may be a challenge, it can also trigger memories of warm things like love and connection. The footprints in the snow represent a bittersweet reflection on memories with a lover who has passed.

“It May Be Winter Outside (But in my Heart It’s Spring)” by Love Unlimited

Song year: 1989

Love Unlimited was the famous trio of female backup singers to Barry White, and they had many successful recordings of their own.

“It May Be Winter Outside”, released on the 1989 album Satin & Soul, is another example of how a loving heart is warm enough to survive the winter. No matter how cold the weather is outside, being with a loved one will keep you warm.

“Four Seasons – Winter” by Vivaldi

Song year: 1718

Human emotions are not just connected to musical sounds, they are also connected to nature. And the striking string lines of the winter movement in Vivaldi’s piece “The Four Seasons” seem to almost mimic the chill you get up your spine when out in the cold.

Considering these movements were composed over 300 years ago, the fact that this music is still resonantly popular speaks to how well it conveys the emotions of winter.

Top Songs About Winter, Final Thoughts

As you can see, there is no shortage of songs that draw on winter as their theme. With the mixing of cold feelings with the warmth of love, winter is a great season to capture the complex emotions of being a human. It also makes for great lyrics. Hopefully, you now have many more songs about winter to enjoy!

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