15 Of The Best Songs About Snow And Snowfall

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

There’s something magical about snow falling slowly to the ground. We are left in awe at such a display of white beauty blanketing every surface.

Lyricists and songwriters are not immune to that beauty as well. They come up with songs in various genres devoted entirely to snow. You have from classic ballads to modern poppy takes waxing poetic on the falling flakes and celebrating all things cold.

With that said, we are presenting you with 15 of the best songs about snow. Get ready to fill your playlists and start singing (and maybe dancing) along! Have fun reading!

1. “A Hazy Shade Of Winter” By Simon & Garfunkel

The timeless classic “A Hazy Shade of Winter” captures the exquisite beauty of a snow-covered winter landscape. This Simon & Garfunkel song eloquently depicts the brittleness of life in all its icy glory.

The song has become an iconic representation of winter. Its lyrics speak of the changing season, with the leaves turning brown. The singer points out that “there’s a patch of snow on the ground.”

And with the changes in season is a reminder that we must eventually part with the things we cherish most. This song proves that sometimes it only takes a few musical notes to evoke an entire season’s worth of memories and emotion.

Related: Check out our list of winter songs here.

2. “White Winter Hymnal” By Fleet Foxes

Our next song with “snow” in the lyrics is “White Winter Hymnal.” The indie folk band Fleet Foxes released this single in 2008 from their debut album. As with most songs, the band intended this to be open to interpretation.

The band’s lyricist, Robin Pecknold, claims that there is no deep meaning to the song. He just wanted to create something to serve as an opening for their album. Literally, it’s about someone beheading several people and using scarves to keep the head to the body. It’s violent and bone-chilling.

Later on, fans speculated that it was about Pecknold and his childhood friends drifting apart. Many of them ended up joining gangs. So “White Winter Hymnal” is a metaphor for their ruined friendship.

Related: Next, read our songs about the weather article here.

3. “50 Words For Snow” By Kate Bush And Stephen Fry

There may not be much lyrics-wise in Kate Bush and Stephen Fry‘s “50 Words for Snow.” Nothing to analyze here but be entertained by all the words Bush came up with to refer to snow.

In an interview, Bush claimed that she was inspired by the myth that the Inuit Eskimos have 50 words for snow. And so she came up with her own 50 words, which include odd words such as “Wenceslasaire,” “deamondi-pavlova,” and “spangladasha.”

Some common words can be found as well, such as avalanche and whiteout. Some words are funny, such as “phlegm de neige,” “anklebreaker,” and “bad for trains.” The list ends with “snow.”

4. “Amid The Falling Snow” By Enya

Watching the snow falling to the ground evokes feelings of wonder. Sometimes it takes us back to memories that are forever a part of us. Enya‘s “Amid the Falling Snow” perfectly captures this sentiment.

In the song, the singer recalls childhood memories at home while outside, there’s “a new world made of snow.” Those were sleepless nights better spent watching the fall snowing through the windowpane.

The song describes how “a million feathers” and “a million stars” fall down and touch the ground. For a moment, the singer idly imagines herself like a snowflake.

5. “Fifteen Feet Of Pure White Snow” By Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds

Snow can also be a metaphor for a lot of bad things. Case in point, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds‘ song, “Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow.”

Here, the lyrics are able to capture how cold it feels when you’re sad. It feels as if you’re buried under all that snow. It’s like there is no escape because there’s snow all around you. In this case, the snow is a metaphor for depression or hopelessness.

To make matters worse, the singer can’t find his friends anywhere. He has no one who can sympathize with the sadness he feels about being isolated.

6. “Coldest Winter” By Kanye West

The “Coldest Winter” perfectly captures how it feels when you’re experiencing grief. With its deeply personal lyrical content, Kanye West paints a picture of sorrow following the death of his mother in 2007.

The swirling strings that accompany the hook perfectly capture the despair of his loss. It’s like a winter day where it’s impossible to take steps through unbearably thick snow. He can only recall her love and the “memories made in the coldest winter.”

Through his epic storytelling, West puts us all in his shoes as he grapples with grief. It’s a feeling we can all certainly relate to, given our challenges amidst these long, cold winter months.

7. “While I Shovel The Snow” By The Walkmen

Our next song with “snow” in the title is one from the American indie rock band The Walkmen. “While I Shovel the Snow” is undeniably a winter classic.

Lyrically, the song tells us about the arrival of winter. The song paints a beautiful and mournful portrait of life during this coldest season.

If you dig deeper, you will find that the subtle hints of loneliness and heartache make this song truly powerful. Indeed, the lyrics offer insight into how snow can represent someone’s inner struggles in ways you had never thought possible.

8. “Valley Winter Song” By Fountains Of Wayne

Our next song is a mismatch of uplifting, sing-along melody and sad lyrics. Fountains of Wayne‘s “Valley Winter Song” perfectly encapsulates the challenges associated with winter.

Notably, the lyrics combine images of falling snow, bright street lights, and warm evenings. However, they also talk about the sadness that comes with winter. Cars are often stuck on slippery roads and “the sun is hiding from the moon.”

Here, the singer consoles Annie that soon it’s going to be summer. He tells her to wait the winter out and just savor the good times and the bad during the winter months.

9. “Cold Rain And Snow” By Grateful Dead

Next, we have “Cold Rain and Snow” by the rock band Grateful Dead. It’s an upbeat take on a traditional American folk song, but its lyrics hint at something deeper than just the weather.

This 1967 song mentions “snow” as a metaphor for life’s troubles and obstacles. In the lyrics, we discover that the singer married a woman who’s “been trouble all my life.” He complains about how she makes him work even in rain and snow.

Take note, though, that “rain” and “snow” also refer to the status of their relationship. It’s cold and uncomfortable.

10. “20 Years Of Snow” By Regina Spektor

From the title alone, one can conclude that Regina Spektor‘s “20 Years of Snow” is a sad take on snow and winter. These symbolize emotions that one can genuinely relate to after countless winter days of being stuck indoors.

From the lyrics, we can tell that the father has had a difficult life. The line “He’s a wounded animal” alludes to this. His daughter, on the other hand, is trying to build a life for herself, hence “20 years of snow.”

Some parts of the song may be ambiguous, and perhaps Spektor meant it that way. But however listeners interpret the song, they still connect with this beautiful and poetic ballad.

11. “Winter Song” By Sara Bareilles And Ingrid Michaelson

In “Winter Song,” Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson paint a lyrical, sonic landscape of what a wintry scene might look and sound like.

Lyrically, the song is an ode to a winter romantic relationship. Something must have come between the singer and her lover for them to drift apart. The singer laments, “They say that things just cannot grow, Beneath the winter snow.” It could be an allusion to a love that grew cold over time.

The line “December never felt so wrong, ‘Cause you’re not where you belong; Inside my arms” sums up what the song really means. Now she wants him back in her life, as told in the line, “So we can start again.” But she doubts if their love is still alive or can continue.

12. “Goodbye England” By Laura Marling

Up next, we have “Goodbye England,” a 2010 single from Laura Marling‘s I Speak Because I can album. The song reflects one’s homesickness when being away from her childhood home for too long.

In the lyrics, the singer says that winter has come to her hometown. She loves England more “when covered in snow.” But now she must clear her room and move out to make a life for herself. Which is so difficult for her that she feels like running.

The third verse of the song reflects her desire to come back to England before she dies. Never mind the cold. The place will always have a special spot in her life. And she will always look forward to going back home when it snows.

13. “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” by Frank Sinatra

One of the most recognizable Christmas carols is “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” Written in 1945 by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne and later popularized by Frank Sinatra, the song has become an iconic part of the winter season.

In the lyrics, the singer says that as long as he’s with his beloved, he doesn’t care if it snows. They have nowhere else they need to be at the moment and so he plans to spend getting stuck indoors with her by the fire.

He hates to leave for the night, though, and trudge in the storm on his way home. But he implores her to hug him tight, her warmth accompanying him on his way out.

14. “Let It Go” By Idina Menzel

Kids and adults would recognize Idina Menzel‘s “Let It Go” from the 2013 movie, Frozen. “Snow” is mentioned only once in the lyrics, but the winter imagery is pervasive throughout this beloved winter anthem.

The lyrics speak of feelings of liberation and the importance of embracing one’s self-worth. The singer is letting go of the past and being the person she is meant to be.

There is no more need to impress society because no one can keep up with the pretense of being a perfect person. The song accurately captures the idea of you being you without needing others’ approval.

15. “January Hymn” By The Decemberists

If you’re stuck at home on a snowy winter day, listen to The Decemberists‘ “January Hymn.” According to lead vocalist Colin Meloy, the song is simply about shoveling snow. But the song may be more than just that.

The “snow” and “winter” can actually be metaphors for loneliness. The song talks about the singer parting ways with someone, perhaps a lover or a wife. He wants to be with her, but it’s too late.

At the end of the song, the singer wonders whether he “should just let it be.” He must accept change with courage in order to move forward.

Summing Up Our List Of Snow Songs

There are always two sides to things. Snow may remind a lot of people of wonderful memories during the winter season. At the same time, it may bring with it a negative side depending on one’s experience.

But it’s always a good idea to look at snow as a symbol of happiness, purity, and hope. And don’t be shy about feeling in awe of these “feathers” and “stars” like how a young child would see snow.

In the meantime, we hope you liked our compilation of songs. May they bring some extra warmth (and extra chill) to a snowy time of year.

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.