The 1960s has gone down as one of the most pivotal and revolutionizing decades as far as pop and rock music are concerned. From The Rolling Stones and The Beatles to Bob Dylan and The Supremes, the music landscape was impacted by a diverse array of talent and styles during the period.
It was also a time when music was heavily influenced by the weather, according to a recent study conducted by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. In that research, the findings show that aspects of the weather was a big influence on many song titles put out by The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, and many others.
With approximately 16 percent of songs released by The Beatles having some reference to the weather, the connection between weather and music during the 1960s was highly relevant. Take the song “Here Comes the Sun” for instance; it was written on the first day of sunshine recorded in Britain in 1969 by George Harrison and continues to be one of their standout hits.
Researchers believe that weather played such a big part in this and other songs during the 1960s because of the weather conditions that prevailed during that time and the way people (fans) connected them to how they feel. There were storms, periods of gloominess (only 189 hours of sunshine were recorded in April 1969 for the UK), and other weather disturbances that made the 1960s atmospherically more active than other decades.
But while 1960s music was heavily influenced by weather, the association has continued up to present day. In the same research mentioned earlier, 900 songwriters and singers were associated with 759 songs containing weather references over the decades. In fact, 7% of the top 500 songs had direct weather references, including hits from The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and The Association. Weather was (is) closely associated with people’s feelings, with rain and storms being compared to sadness, while sunshine and windy conditions represent happiness and lighthearted feelings.
Other artists who have popular weather-related songs include Ray Charles (“Rainy Night in Georgia”), The Eurythmics (“Here Comes the Rain Again”), Katrina & the Waves (“Walking On Sunshine”), New Edition (“Can’t Stand the Rain”), and Tina Turner (“I Can’t Stand The Rain).
The trend continues to pop up in modern songs such as “After the Hurricane” by Jazmine Sullivan and “Sunny Day” by Akon, among many others, cementing the fact that the weather has a significant influence on how people feel.