When it comes to the months of the year, it’s easy to see why November doesn’t get as much limelight. It’s at the heels of December when carols flood the speakers in grocery stores and houses.
But there are some pretty great songs about November, and we’re not talking about Thanksgiving songs, either.
So let’s get started on our list and see what songwriters have come up with about this particular month. Keep reading to know more about 10 of the best songs about November.
1. “November Rain” By Guns N’ Roses
Let us begin this list with a song with “November” in the title. Guns N’ Roses unquestionably sit at the top of any chart regarding songs about November. The band’s 1991 mega-hit “November Rain,” from Use Your Illusion, was its last top-ten hit, reaching #3.
It’s a huge power ballad, and critics were sharply divided on whether it was awesome or cringe. Regardless of their opinion, the song tackles the issues surrounding a new relationship. Both parties are in an adjustment period where they have to go through trial and error.
For a song from the ’90s, a billion YouTube views of the video are pretty impressive, too.
2. “November” By Tom Waits
American singer-songwriter Tom Waits has singular styles of singing and writing. These are on display in 1993’s “November,” from his album The Black Rider.
The first thing that would come to mind when you hear the song is “cold.” Each line of the song drips with sadness and desperation. It will make you feel like there is no hope.
With references to death, we can say that this song is about endings. Waits uses the surreal and haunting imagery he’s known for. This, along with the borderline-terrifying sound of a theremin, paints a bleak, sad, somewhat frightening song.
3. “Mr. November” By The National
The post-punk indie rock of The National is near and dear to the band’s fans. The emotional stakes the band often cranks up high sit at the forefront of “Mr. November.” This is a song at least partly about John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.
The lyrics of the song mention “November” to refer to a person. It describes the person as “the new blue blood” and “the great white hope.” The song doesn’t mention Kerry by name, but we know what happens in November every four years.
The song is also about any high-stakes situation we find ourselves in. After all, you don’t have to be running for president to understand the pressure and to feel like a lot is on the line.
4. “November Has Come” By Gorillaz Ft. MF Doom
Up next, we have another song with “November” in the lyrics. “November Has Come” is one of fifteen songs from Gorillaz‘s Demon Days album. It features the late MF Doom rapping over the band’s driving rhythms.
The song talks about the status of hip-hop, with the singer saying that it is changing over the years. It’s not bound to die, but hip-hop has experienced its ups and downs.
The title may refer to the idea that a new season of hip-hop is dawning. Or it may point to the possibility of an end. The end is near, hence the phrase “November has come.”
5. “Sweet November” By SZA
In “Sweet November,” SZA seems to be looking back longingly to simpler times. The song, from her 2014 EP Z, features a Marvin Gaye sample and some simmering ’70s-style funk.
According to SZA, it was a particularly trying time in her life when she wrote the song. She was physically ill and almost died. At that moment, she remembered the movie Sweet November.
At its heart, the song follows a woman messing around with a man who’s using her. That it’s delivered by SZA’s beautiful singing voice makes it land even better.
6. “November” By Tyler, The Creator
November can serve as a metaphor for better times, as Tyler, the Creator‘s “November,” shows us. The single came from the 2017 album Flower Boy.
In the lyrics, the singer implores to be taken back to November. He mentions wearing Hawaiian shirts in the winter. This alludes to the happy memories from this particularly cold month. “November” also contains some voiceover samples recounting happy times in their past.
Longing for simpler times is a recurring theme in many songs about November. But Tyler, the Creator’s song is almost unsettling in how paranoid and insecure it makes the rapper sound.
7. “November Spawned A Monster” By Morrissey
No stranger to sad subjects or controversy, Morrissey courted both on “November Spawned a Monster.” Many felt that this track from 1990’s Bona Drag made fun of the physically disabled.
However, dropping a knee-jerk reaction in favor of examining the lyrics reveal sympathy from the singer for people who have more difficult lives than he does. November, in this song, is the month the subject of the song, a disabled woman, is born.
He recounts the taunts and pity the woman has experienced throughout her life. Just because she is disabled and does pass society’s idea of what’s beautiful or socially acceptable.
8. “8th Of November” By Big & Rich
The country music duo Big & Rich wrote and recorded “8th of November.” It appears on their 2006 album Comin’ to Your City and is about a soldier’s story.
As you listen to the song, you might imagine it playing like a movie. It follows a young man sent to war at 19 and “just doing what he had to do.” With his comrades, he is “dropped in the jungle” and is soon under fire.
The day is November 8th, when the attack kills many of his friends and spares some, including him. Years later, that scene still plays out in his head. Once a year, he commemorates them.
9. “November Air” By Zach Bryan
Singer-songwriter Zach Bryan left the Navy to pursue a career in music. In 2022, he released All My Homies Hate Ticketmaster. It contains the single “November Air.”
Though “November” appears in the lyrics, the song is less about this month. Rather, it’s about recounting the loss of the singer’s mother. He talks about the things she’ll never get to see and the conversations he’ll no longer have with her.
The November reference comes as he mourns the idea that she’ll never get to experience the cold of the month, which she presumably loved.
10. “last november” By Machine Gun Kelly
Native Houstonian Machine Gun Kelly has made a career out of combining hip-hop with alt-rock. On his album Mainstream Sellout, he dialed back the rockin’ bad boy image for at least one track, “last november.”
The song paints a painful picture of sorrow as the singer considers the loss of a child. His girlfriend, Megan Fox, apparently miscarried in November of 2021. The lyrics express the hurt and regret they experienced with such a profound loss.
It’s a heartbreakingly poignant song from a guy known for pink hair, general mayhem, and a $30,000 manicure.
Summing Up Our List Of November Songs
November may not be a popular month for celebrations. It doesn’t get the attention as much as December or January does. However, it carries a lot of meanings for different people.
Some people associate it with inner battles, but many songwriters associate it with better times that have gone by.
Whatever it means to you, the list above covers a lot of ground when it comes to the subject matter. So we hope you found a song to remind you of what November means to you.