10 Best Winter Songs
“Winter is coming.” These words were made famous on the hit TV show ‘Game of Thrones’ and although winter seems to be taking forever to arrive on the show, we can be a little more certain here in reality. For some regions of Earth, winter is not a big deal and the climate doesn’t change all too much. For other regions, winter brings some of the most challenging weather to inhabitable places. It’s such an event that many bands have dedicated songs to describing what it’s like to face the frigid elements.
Fire and Hell make up a great deal of heavy metal content, but on the polar opposite side, we’ve got a plethora of odes to the freezing weather that brings storms of legend, forcing people to endure the extremities of Mother Nature. Black metal gets the most credit when it comes to writing about winter since Scandinavia is home to brutally cold winters. Other bands see the beauty of the season with snow glistening on trees and the world around them marvelously covered in ice, with the sun reflecting off nature’s new artwork. Winter is coming, so let’s welcome it with the 10 Best Winter Songs!
Unleashed were one word away from covering ‘Winter Wonderland,’ but there’s nothing light-hearted or playful about ‘Winterland.’ The lyrics are short and to the point. Winter is here and it isn’t going to be pleasant. Ice, wind and snow will dominate the coming months, bringing death in its frostbitten grip. Winter is unforgiving and Unleashed gave us a reminder with this cut off their ‘Sworn Allegiance’ disc.
One ever-present element of the late David Gold’s face-value lyrics was dealing with the elements, namely winter. ‘Northern Cold’ opens up ‘The Deepest Roots and Darkest Blues’ album, combining two staples of Woods of Ypres‘ songs: woes of solitude and the frigid north. Winter is tough to deal with, but braving the elements wandering alone outside is even tougher. Sadly Gold passed away in 2011 after being struck by a truck while walking alone outside in the winter. Rest in peace, David.
‘Balls of Ice’
Do we really need to delve into the meaning of this song? The bottom line is, it’s gonna be getting cold and you will be too. Let’s put a G-rated spin on things and give some advice using the title ‘Balls of Ice’ from 3 Inches of Blood. Snowball fights are awesome. What isn’t awesome is taking pieces of ice and packing snow around it and concussing your friends. Be nice, play fair and don’t throw balls of ice!
‘Winter / Deep Freeze / Winter Retreat’
Judas Priest take us through all three phases of winter in this combined set of three winter songs off their debut album, ‘Rocka Rolla.’ First is ‘Winter,’ which deals with the dread of the season setting in. ‘Deep Freeze’ is a short instrumental, fitting to the title that all is silent in the heart of winter. As winter comes to an end, ‘Winter Retreat’ has imagery of the snow and ice melting away and spring coming soon.
‘Lady of Winter’
Crimson Glory’s ‘Lady of Winter’ might be a bit more about winter coming to an end with lines like “Lady of winter, turning to rain / White world of wonder, fading away,” but we need the occasional reminder that the frigid weather will eventually be going away. At first, the cold is a welcome feeling because we are filled with all the fun aspects of winter as we await the season. After one huge storm, we’re ready for it to be over, which is where Crimson Glory provide us the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
‘Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow’
Perhaps the greatest of all childhood winter advice is to not eat the yellow snow! It seems so obvious, but we still need to warn kids that fire is hot too. Frank Zappa offers playful advice, singing “Watch out where the huskies go / and don’t you eat that yellow snow.” As if there was any confusion about why snow would be yellow, Zappa clears this all up in one simple line. Sometimes tainted snow isn’t just yellow, so avoid eating it altogether.
‘My Skin Is Cold’
Satyricon waste no time in getting straight to the point: Norway is bleepin’ cold! If you’re not bundled up correctly, you might find yourself as the subject of the song ‘My Skin is Cold.’ This track is not only one of the best winter songs, it’s also a helpful guide. Heed Satyricon’s warnings of what it’s like to be outside in the frigid winter. Let’s go through a checklist of things to stay warm in the winter: jacket, scarf, thick socks, gloves, snow hat, and waterproof boots. Don’t say we didn’t try to help!
‘Trapped Under Ice’
‘Trapped Under Ice’ could very well be the best kept secret in the metal world. It is doubtful that Metallica penned an ode to ice fishing, but when winter sets in and you just can’t get enough of the thrill of the hunt, ice fishing becomes the go-to. Thinking about this song from the perspective of a fish in the north is surely outlandish, but it’s definitely more favorable than imagining yourself being under that ice instead.
Why are Black Sabbath writing about putting snow in your nose? The advice was always not to eat it. Why would anyone ever do such a thing? Well, at the end of the first verse, a voice carries off in the distance to clear the air that this song is indeed not about frozen precipitation. However, the lyrics turn back to images of winter and snowflakes glistening on trees, which is why ‘Snowblind’ made this list.
‘Frozen By Icewinds’
There’s no band colder and more prepared for winter than Norway’s Immortal. Almost all of their songs have to do with some sort of combination of winter, being cold, ice, snow and storms. Tagging the words “grim” and “frostbitten” along with black metal is all due to Immortal. ‘Frozen By Icewinds’ is one of the best winter songs, detailing all things cold in the realm of Immortal’s catalog. We’re not even sure what icewind is, but it doesn’t sound fun.