As we head into the middle of winter, it's not uncommon to see beautiful white flakes of snow flit down to the ground. We love snow days! They're great times for playing outside or just staying in and curling up on your cozy couch. There's something so serene about a winter wonderland covering your neighborhood's trees, lawns, and houses.
Over the years, a number of artists have captured the similar peace, playfulness, or sheer chill you may feel when gazing out your window on a snowy day. Whether you're looking for songs to shovel the snow to or need a track to keep you warm while you're drinking hot cocoa indoors, here are 10 songs perfect for a snow day!
1. "White Winter Hymnal" - Fleet Foxes
Our #1 go-to pick for a visit from Jack Frost. "White Winter Hymnal" from Fleet Foxes' 2008 self-titled album is just as echoey, pristine, and jolly than an actual snow day. While the lyrics are very vague (why did Michael turn the snow strawberry red? We're hoping nothing terrible happened), the repetitive words do evoke imagery of children playing in winter weather.
As for critical acclaim, Time critic Josh Tyrangiel named "White Winter Hymnal" #5 song of 2008. Pitchfork ranked it the #2 song of 2008. It's still one of the most popular songs from Fleet Foxes' catalogue today.
2. "Berlin" - RY X
Not only does this slow song mention wintertime and snow within its lyrics, there's even little white flakes in this song's music video, thus proving its development may have had snow days in mind!
"Berlin" by RY X emphasizes the dark and lonely aspects of winter. It's about a man who longs for his lover to be with him in Berlin, but instead she ignores him. This prompts him to seek out a warmer climate - as in both relationships and weather - elsewhere.
“Berlin” was the first successful single of RY X. Released in 2013, it reached #15 on SNEP, the official French Singles Chart and also appeared on UK Singles Chart peaking at #38 and in German Singles Chart and on Ultratip Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart.
3. "Can't You See" - Steffaloo
After fuzzy radio static, you hear the gentle-yet-deep strumming of an acoustic guitar in Steffaloo's "Can't You See." Like the previous song, this track is about heartbreak and evokes feelings of isolation. Steffaloo's vocals will give you chills - as if a harsh arctic wind is blowing over your shoulders.
"Can't You See" was released in 2012 and remains one of Steffaloo's most popular songs. The underrated indie artist has released an unconventional mix of synth-heavy electropop and intimate acoustic jams over the years.
4. "Colder Weather" - Zac Brown Band
As you can guess from the title, this Zac Brown Band song is all about the chilly days. Even more, it's written from the perspective of a truck driver who is seperated from his loved ones due to a blizzard. The song was also inspired by a woman Wyatt Durette was seeing. Unfortunately, they couldn't make things work out due to geographical distance.
Although it was a song originally penned by Wyatt Durette, “Colder Weather” turned into a collaboration with Zac Brown, Coy Bowles, and Levi Lowrey. The song was Zac Brown Band's seventh studio single, and the second single from their hit 2010 album You Get What You Give.
Despite its sad perspective and backstory, “Colder Weather” has a happy ending. It peaked at #1 on Billboard’s U.S. Hot Country Songs, #29 on Billboard’s Hot 100, and #47 on the Canadian Hot 100. The song also reached Double Platinum certification in the U.S. selling 2,017,000 copies, and Gold certification in Canada selling 40,000 copies.
5. "Purple Snowflakes" - Marvin Gaye
This song feels most appropriate during the holiday season, but really it can be played on any snowy day. Marvin Gaye released "Purple Snowflakes" in 1965. It's inspired several spin-offs and covers: from Leon Bridge's and John Legend's versions of the song to its sampling in Mick Jenkins' hip-hop tune of the same name. Still, we prefer the original.
You can find "Purple Snowflakes" on several Motown Christmas compilation tapes. We believe it's endured throughout the years due to its pretty sleigh bell and piano riffs, Gaye's gentle vocals, and heartwarming message about being with your lover during the colder seasons.
6. "As Luck Would Have It" - Tom Rosenthal
It's as if you can hear the sound of every tiny snowflake falling to the ground within the guitar riffs of Tom Rosenthal's "As Luck Would Have It." We dare you to play this track as soon as the ice crystals start dropping: Rosenthal's vocals and whistling will instantly set you in the mood. Nobody knows why this song is 100% perfect for snow days - it just is.
Like with "White Winter Hymnal," the lyrics to this reverb-heavy track are also very vague. Given the last line, "As luck would have it I'm on the planet, and so it seems are you," one can assume it has something to do with existensialism. If only this song were longer! The beautiful strumming and echoes leave us wanting more.
7. "Cold As Ice" - Foreigner
This one's for the rockers out there who prefer wintertime music that isn't so fluffy. "Cold As Ice" by Foreigner depicts a lover who is materialistic and selfish. With Lou Gramm's piercing belts, Mick Jones' guitar jamming and those iconic opening piano notes, this song is sure to leave you chilly.
On the song's genesis, Mick Jones said, "Subconsciously you draw from stuff, things that happened in your past, things that came out of relationships, the pain and the heartache of love that is intense and then so deep, and then suddenly you lose it. The whole gamut of emotional feeling that you go through in a relationship...I go for that quite a bit. You’re kind of digging down deep into your well of significant things that you recall from sometimes near tragedy that you go through at the time."
8. "exile" - Taylor Swift (feat. Bon Iver)
Almost every song on Taylor Swift's folklore is perfect for cozy days indoors, but when it comes to the song that best evokes the images and feelings of a snow day, "exile" featuring Bon Iver has to be it.
We recently put a Bon Iver song on our 10 Songs to Listen to On a Rainy Day list, and we feel it's pretty safe to say most of the band's music is the sonic representation of grey clouds in the sky. "exile" is a hauntingly beautiful duet that focuses on the end of a relationship, the miscommunication that happened between the two exes, and the feeling of exile that happens after a break-up.
Like other songs on this list, this slow jam fits in with the gloomier parts of the winter season. It's as if we can see white flakes of snow falling down during the stunning piano bits. Grab a warm blanket while listening to this one!
9. "Violet Hill" - Coldplay
One of Live365's favorite songs from Coldplay, Violet Hill is an underrated gem within the band's discography. This bop is perfect for cold weather with the opening lyrics, "It was a long and dark December / From the rooftops I remember /There was snow, white snow." The music video even takes place on the snowy Mount Etna in Italy.
"Violet Hill" is a protest song from Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends. It talks about the pitfalls of war, the flaws of capitalism and ultra conservative media, and the struggles of having your life run by people you don't like. In some parts, the mechanical track will sound furiously blizzard-like, while in other parts it has a frosty tenderness to it.
10. "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" - Frank Sinatra
The best snow day song for last! Who can't help but sing this as soon as they see little white flakes falling down? "Let It Snow" has been covered by a number of artists over the years, but our favorite is the one by Frank Sinatra. Dean Martin's is best during the holidays, but Sinatra's version has a jazziness that can be played all year round.
Sinatra's interpretation of this Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne song was released in 1948 as part of his Christmas Songs By Sinatra record. It'll warm you right up with it's finger-snapping-good rhythm and Sinatra's suave vocal charm. There's one phrase within this song that perfectly describes it: "Mmm, delightful!"
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Article Image: Swings from a park swingset covered in snow. (Aaron Burden via Unsplash.)