31 Of The Best Songs About Rain: Raindrop Playlist

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

Is there anything better than being inside, perhaps in bed, when it’s raining outside? Probably not—unless you can add to it a playlist of songs about that rain, creating the perfect soothing ambiance, then you’re really on to something.

Since rain has been falling longer than mankind has been writing songs, it’s no surprise that there are some strong entries when it comes to songs about rain. To help you get started on a playlist, we have here 31 of the best songs about rain. Let’s get started.

1. “Purple Rain” By Prince

A list like this would be incomplete without Prince’s “Purple Rain.” Hands down, it is the greatest song about rain, which was released in 1984 in the album of the same name.

Prince sings about the pain and sorrows of a relationship that’s falling apart, and he longs for a world in which the rain can wash away his sadness over the impending end. So why is the rain purple? Perhaps it’s to describe the sad mood the narrator is in.

The song landed at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and it is one of the songs listed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of “500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.” It was also covered by several artists over the years, including Adam Levine, Bruce Springsteen, and Dwight Yoakam.

2. “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” By B.J. Thomas

Burt Bacharach wrote “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” for the soundtrack of the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and the song won an Oscar. B.J. Thomas delivered a memorable rendition, and the song’s use in the bicycle sequence in the film is a high point in cinema.

The lyrics of this soft rock classic use rain as a metaphor for the feeling of being out of luck and having everything going wrong. Yet the narrator doesn’t complain or let this keep him down.

Released in 1969, “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” was a Billboard Hot 100 smash hit at the turn of the decade. Not only did it top this and other US charts, it also became #1 in charts worldwide, including Mexico, Canada, and Singapore.

3. “November Rain” By Guns N’ Roses

Originally lasting almost 20 minutes long, the now nearly nine-minute-long “November Rain” is a distinctly un-Guns N’ Roses sound with its sweeping ballad aesthetic and string section, but it was a hit for the band in 1992.

The lyrics are a bit melancholy, depicting the narrator’s feelings after having lost someone. His heart is broken, and he hopes the November rain can wash it all away. In the end, he still hopes they can find a way to be together again.

“November Rain” landed at #3 on Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on Cash Box Top 100. It also received many accolades as one of the best rock power ballads in history.

4. “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” By Bob Dylan

“A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” drew inspiration from the folk ballad “Lord Randall.” In the song, however, Bob Dylan applied apocalyptic imagery to create a seminal song about the changing times of the 1960s.

From the 1963 album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, the song describes surreal scenes that all portend a looming disaster, a feeling lots of people had during that tempestuous decade. All these are described as hard rain.

Although the song was never released as a single, it still became one of Dylan’s best-known songs. It’s so well-known it has been covered by numerous artists, including Pete Seeger, Ann Wilson, and Jimmy Cliff, among many others.

5. “Here Comes The Rain Again” By Eurythmics

The rain in Eurythmics‘ 1984 song “Here Comes the Rain Again” is metaphorical, representing the narrator’s roiling emotions. Haunted by her past, she feels the rain falling on her soul as her emotions well up within her.

The song has a haunting quality to the verses, but there seems to be some hope in the chorus, with its shift to a major key and those backup singers and their “Shoo-wop, shoo-wops.”

Annie Lennox’s sultry voice drove the song to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #8 on the UK Singles Chart, making it prime Eurythmics material.

6. “Rainy Days And Mondays” By The Carpenters

Karen Carpenter’s smooth voice might have been what you got if you made the laidback feel of the 1970s into a sound. In “Rainy Days and Mondays,” her voice complements the feelings of ennui most of us associate with Monday mornings and dreary rainy days.

As the narrator, Carpenter sings about having general troubles and malaise. She’s not specifically heartbroken, but she does wish that someone could come along and take her mind off her boredom and sadness.

“Rainy Days and Mondays” reached the #2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1971. It also landed the top spot on the Easy Listening chart and RPM‘s Adult Contemporary.

7. “It’s Raining Men” By The Weather Girls

When we say songs about rain, we don’t necessarily mean just drops of water from the sky, thus, “It’s Raining Men” fits the theme just perfectly. Initially written for singer Donna Summer, who turned it down, The Weather Girls got a hold of it and recorded it.

At the time, the duo was called Two Tons o’ Fun, but they adopted a new name to go along with the song. It worked, and now the song gets played at lots of celebrations and has become an LGBTQ anthem.

The gist of “It’s Raining Men” is that since men are falling from the sky (that is, there are plenty of men out there), we all have a chance to find the perfect one for us.

8. “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” By Creedence Clearwater Revival

We have next a song with “rain” in the title. Written by John Fogerty, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” was released by the rock band Credence Clearwater Revival in 1971.

The line “Have you seen the rain comin’ down on a sunny day” refers to sunshowers where it rains even when the sun is out shining. The image evokes a happy feeling; however, the lyrics really mean contradictions.

Fogerty was taking inspiration from what was going on within the band. During that time, they had risen to fame—popular, rich—but somehow, there was tension among members. This was the rain to their sun.

The year it was released, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” landed at #8 on Billboard Hot 100. Recently, in 2021, it has had a revival in digital song sales, topping both charts in the US and Canada.

Related: For more songs about the sun, click here.

9. “Blame It On The Rain” By Milli Vanilli

Released in 1989, the German-French group Milli Vanilli released their own song about rain called “Blame It on the Rain.” It was included in their 1989 album Girl You Know It’s True.

We all need to blame someone when a breakup happens, even if we are the ones who are obviously at fault. That’s the idea behind the song, and blaming problems on the rain brings up the sense of sadness that rain can connote.

The song was originally written for the Jets, which was great for Milli Vanilli. Though it debuted at #65, after seven weeks, it had climbed up to the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

10. “Only Happy When It Rains” By Garbage

Scottish singer Shirley Manson’s sad riot-grrrl persona was summed up perfectly in “Only Happy When It Rains.” Her band, Garbage, rode heavy MTV airplay to popularity and a solid eponymous debut album in 1995 that contained this song.

The narrator, who is consistently sad and thrives on it, even requests misery to visit her throughout the song. The rain she hopes for is both literal and metaphorical because, evidently, she loves the rain as well as the mood often associated with it.

“Only Happy When It Rains” is one of the band’s greatest hits. It Has been covered by Metallica and The Pretenders and has also been featured in films like Captain Marvel and Fear Street Part One: 1994.

11. “The Rain” By Oran “Juice” Jones

R&B singer Oran “Juice” Jones released “The Rain” in 1986. In it, rain in the lyrics is not used metaphorically like the other songs in this list. The narrator literally means the weather phenomenon.

In the lyrics, the narrator describes following his girl during a rainy day to catch her cheating. He finds her and her new beau walking around holding hands.

The revenge song bolstered cuckolded lovers worldwide as they reveled in the spoken-word middle section in which Jones delivers an angry diatribe—the kind we all wish we’d been able to think of and say in the moment of a breakup but didn’t think of until hours later.

12. “Set Fire To The Rain” By Adele

A huge hit from a huge album, Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” terrifically sums up the anger that can come with a breakup, especially after having been deceived by lies.

The dueling forces of fire and rain combine to create imagery that evokes destruction, ruin, and pain, as well as unpredictability and rising hope.

“Set Fire to the Rain” came from Adele’s 2011 album 21 and was a #1 hit driven by the emotional power of the lyric as much as Adele’s glorious voice. It won the English singer three awards, including a Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance.

13. “No Rain” By Blind Melon

Alternative rock band Blind Melon had a breakout hit in 1992 after the track “No Rain” from their eponymous debut album rose to fame on MTV. Though the song didn’t match the band’s usual style, it was catchy, and it was chill.

Still, the narrator’s feelings of loneliness and boredom are on display. Being so bored and alone, he would enjoy watching the rain splash in puddles; however, he can’t even do that because it’s not raining.

“No Rain” is one of Blind Melon’s most popular songs. It’s their first to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 (at #20) and climbed to #1 on Mainstream Rock and Alternative Airplay. It also topped the Top Singles chart in Canada.

14. “I Can’t Stand The Rain” By Ann Peebles

When it debuted in 1973, “I Can’t Stand the Rain” made it to the top 40 but was never a huge hit. However, Ann Peebles’s song about loneliness has had staying power; many other singers, like Tina Turner, have covered it.

“I Can’t Stand the Rain” is sung from the narrator’s point of view. She is wracked with pain over a breakup and can’t stand the sound of the rain falling against her window as it always brings memories of her lover. She tells the rain to go away because he’s not with her anymore.

The song is one of Ann Peebles’s best, landing at #10 on Billboard Hot 100. It was also an international hit, topping both the Belgian and Australian charts while ranking in the top 10 of other countries.

15. “Rainy Night In Georgia” By Brook Benton

Benjamin Franklin Peay, known best as Brook Benton, turned in a textbook example of Southern soul music with “Rainy Night in Georgia,” a song about being alone.

The narrator wanders around in the rain one night in a fit of sadness and despair over a lost love. It’s one of those sad songs that’s filled with emotion and longing, and Benton’s outstanding performance takes it to a new level.

“Rainy Night in Georgia” has been covered by the likes of Ray Charles and Randy Crawford, and it’s become a standard in the American songbook. It took the top spot in the Billboard Best Selling Soul Singles and #4 in the Hot 100.

16. “Rain” By The Beatles

Famed English pop rock band the Beatles released “Rain” in 1966 as the B-Side to their smash hit “Paperback Writer.” Written by John Lennon, it’s for people who always complain about the weather.

The lyrics find the narrator telling listeners he’s fine with rain and he’s fine with sunshine. For him, whether it rains or shines, “everything’s the same,” and he wants to show us this.

Though the A-side song was their #1 hit that year, “Rain” also fared well on the charts, peaking at #23 on the Hot 100. Pearl Jam, Kula Shaker, the Grateful Dead, and many others performed covers of the song throughout the years.

17. “I Wish It Would Rain” By The Temptations

Motown Soul had few acts more visible than The Temptations, and the group’s catalog has stood the test of time, including the 1967’s “I Wish It Would Rain,” as evidenced by the large number of artists who have covered the song.

“I Wish It Would Rain” talks about what a lot of songs on this list are about heartbreak over a lost love. The visceral nature of the lyrics traces directly back to lyricist Roger Penzabene, a staff writer for Motown.

He wrote the lyrics for “I Wish It Would Rain” after discovering his wife was having an affair. Unfortunately, Penzabene committed suicide mere days after the song’s release.

18. “Red Rain” By Peter Gabriel

From Peter Gabriel’s album So in 1986, we have “Red Rain,” which features Stewart Copeland from The Police on percussion. In the song, Gabriel repeats that the “red rain is coming” and “it’s pouring down all over” him.

He never states what red rain is or what caused it, but a listener can, using contextual clues, deduce that it’s a bad thing. The minor-key song carries with it a feeling of foreboding and the idea that bad times are ahead.

As long as the red rain is coming down on the narrator, we know he’s in a dark place, whether it’s from a broken heart or some other calamity. We hope never to experience red rain, whether figuratively or literally.

19. “The Rain Song” By Led Zeppelin

Heavy metal band Led Zeppelin was experimenting with sounds and recording techniques on “The Rain Song,” a piece of music with complex instrumentation and many layers.

It’s somehow a ballad and a bluesy piece of quasi-rock at the same time. Inspired by George Harrison’s remark that Led Zeppelin didn’t play enough ballads, the lyrics describe a love affair through the seasons.

It isn’t until the end of the song that frontman Plant sings about how rain falls on everyone occasionally. Until that point, it’s been a song of blissful images. Thus, even the best romances encounter some bumps.

20. “Umbrella” By Rihanna Ft. Jay-Z

Not that Mary J. Blige or Britney Spears are hurting for hits, but both of them turned down chances to record “Umbrella,” which may have been a mistake because Rihanna brought the song to great heights. 

The metaphorical rain in the lyrics represents hard times and all the things life throws at us, but the narrator promises to be the umbrella that will protect her love from all of that. It’s catchy and supportive, and let’s face it—if Rihanna offered to be your umbrella, you wouldn’t turn that down.

Released in the album Good Girl Gone Bad, “Umbrella” topped the charts for seven weeks in 2007 and earned the Barbadian singer several awards, including a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

21. “It Will Rain” By Bruno Mars

The five-time Platinum hit by Bruno Mars, “It Will Rain,” is one of his best, though the singer has no shortage of great songs. For the soundtrack of part 1 of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, the song is about loving and the fear of losing that love.

From the perspective of the narrator, he is speaking to his significant other, letting her know he’ll do anything for her. He hopes never to lose her because if he does, “every day it will rain” for him.

Despite mixed reception, “It Will Rain” landed the Hot 100 and Adult Top 40 charts at #3. It also topped Billboard‘s Mainstream Top 40.

22. “Kentucky Rain” By Elvis Presley

The King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, was good at a lot of things, and one of them was putting his emotions into his vocal performance. That’s on full display in “Kentucky Rain,” a song that was one of the many hits he had.

Taking place in Kentucky, the narrator has lost his girl, and he’s looking for her in the rain. She’s not lost, by the way. She’s just gone, and he wants her back. He is desperate for her return, and the palpable sense of nostalgia for happier times with her is evident.

Written by Dick Heard and Eddie Rabbitt, “Kentucky Rain” was released in 1970. It easily reached #3 on the Easy Listening chart and #16 on the Hot 100. It was also a hit in Canada, topping their RPM Country Tracks.

23. “Rain On Me” By Lady Gaga Ft. Ariana Grande

Put two huge stars together, and cool things happen sometimes. Case in point: “Rain On Me.” It was part of Lady Gaga’s 2020 album Chromatica. She brought Ariana Grande along for the ride as the pair sing about hard times, personal struggles, and the necessity to overcome them all.

The song suggests that metaphorical rain falls on us from time to time, regardless of circumstances. So the only real option is to embrace it, let it happen, and then move on from it.

The empowering song was a #1 hit on several charts worldwide, including the US and UK, and won 10 awards. Then again, with both of these women involved, these seem like something of a foregone conclusion.

24. “Rain” By Madonna

So far, the songs we’ve discussed mostly use rain to indicate sadness or a gloomy mood. However, the metaphor used in Madonna’s 1993 “Rain” is unique.

The Material Girl calls on rain to evoke its cleansing and purifying nature. The narrator is eager for the love of her significant other to pour upon her like rain, bathing her in it. It washes away her sorrow and takes away her pain.

The top-20 hit came from Madonna’s 1993 album Erotica. Considered a friendly song compared to her other sexualized composition, Rain” is a rare mid-tempo song with a driving feel to its beat.

25. “Let It Rain” By Eric Clapton

The 1972 song “Let It Rain,” released by Eric Clapton, is similar to Madonna’s “Rain” in that it’s not a song giving off melancholy vibes and messages. It is a call to action.

The narrator wants the rain to fall on him, but it’s not actual rain. Instead, it’s the love of the woman to whom he’s singing. He desires her love, and the repetitive chorus emphasizes that point.

There’s a guitar solo from Stephen Stills, and in the backing vocals, you hear Jerry Allison, Sonny Curtis (both members of The Crickets that played with Buddy Holly), song co-writer Bonnie Bramlett, and Rita Coolidge.

26. “Feels Like Rain” By Buddy Guy

The mention of a hurricane in “Feels Like Rain” by Buddy Guy isn’t an accident. The song is about the intensity of emotions that come into play when two people are falling in love. Anyone who has experienced that feeling can attest to the effectiveness of pairing these two occurrences to make a point.

“Feels Like Rain” was the title track to Guy’s 1993 studio album of the same name, and though it was a cover of a John Hiatt song, Guy made it his own with his soulful and soul-baring delivery.

27. “It Can’t Rain All The Time” By Jane Siberry

If rain represents hard times and sadness, it follows that it can’t always be raining. That’s the idea behind Jane Siberry’s “It Can’t Rain All the Time” from the 1994 soundtrack to the film The Crow.

Siberry’s transcendent voice tells us that rain doesn’t last forever, and so for sure, there will be an end to the tears that we shed. The song reassures the listener that everything will eventually be okay.

“It Can’t Rain All the Time” reminds us that “this too shall pass” might be a cliché, but clichés are what they are because there’s something to them. Even the worst times have to give way to something better.

28. “Can You Stand The Rain” By New Edition

R&B boy band New Edition weren’t kids anymore in 1988 when they recorded “Can You Stand the Rain,” written by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. That pair wrote for some huge R&B names in the 1980s, and it worked out well, as the song went to #1 on Billboard’s R&B chart that year. 

In “Can You Stand the Rain,” rain here again symbolizes hard times, and the lyrics find the narrator asking his girl if she can weather the hard times that any relationship is bound to encounter. For him, a girl who can, can make the relationship last.

29. “Rain” By Breaking Benjamin

A rock band from Pennsylvania, Breaking Benjamin cites Nirvana and Alice in Chains as influences for his musical style; however, if you’ve only ever heard his 2004 song “Rain,” you’d never know it, as it is a mellow ballad featuring acoustic guitars and occasional violin.

Like with the majority of the songs here, the rain in the lyrics stands in for the narrator’s despair, asking it in the words of a children’s rhyme to please leave and “come again another day.”

The song was a moderate success for Breaking Benjamin. It charted on both Billboard‘s Alternative Airplay and Mainstream Rock charts at #39 and #23, respectively.

30. “Crying In The Rain” By The Everly Brothers

Carole King and Howard Greenfield co-wrote “Crying in the Rain,” and it was recorded by the Everly Brothers in 1962. The song was a hit, landing at #6 on both the UK Singles Chart and the Billboard Hot 100. 

The Everly Brothers sing, in their trademark harmony, about being alone with a broken heart, but he won’t show it because of pride. Instead, he’ll wait for a rain storm to do his crying, “To hide these tears I hope you’ll never see.”

Though “Crying in the Rain” was very successful, it is the only song King and Greenfield collaborated on. It was, however, covered by other artists, most notably is by Tammy Wynette.

31. “Rhythm Of The Rain” By The Cascades

“Rhythm of the Rain” by the Cascades is a very quintessential rain song. At the beginning, you’ll hear the crash of thunder before the vocals start, and throughout the song, the tinkling of a celesta can be heard to depict falling rain as the storm continues.

Why a storm? Because it represents the turmoil, the narrator is feeling as he sings of his lost love. The rain reminds him of what a fool he was to have let her go. He asks it for answers, but having received no reply, he begs for it to go away so he can wallow in his misery alone.

“Rhythm of the Rain” was an international hit. It took the top spot on charts in Canada, Ireland, and the US Middle-Road Singles. Some covers fared well, too, like Dan Fogelberg’s, which ranked at #3 in the charts. However, the Cascades’ version is the most well-known.

Summing Up Our List Of Rain Songs

As you have read, the rain is a powerful and versatile symbol in music that can evoke a wide range of emotions and experiences.

From heartbreak and despair to hope and renewal, these best songs about rain effectively capture the essence of life’s ups and downs. While sadness is a common theme, the diversity of the artists and their unique interpretations of rain demonstrate its enduring appeal as a subject in songwriting.

As you listen to these songs, you may find solace in knowing that, like rain, even the most challenging moments will eventually pass, giving way to clearer skies and brighter days ahead.

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.