BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE!

My Top 10 Cold Weather Songs, Rich Paschall, Sunday Night Blog

With much of the nation having already been visited by cold and snow, it seems like a good time to bring on the winter tunes. Songs by any band with “Cold” in their name is not what we mean here.  Nor shall we include song about loves who are as “Cold As Ice” or running “Against The Wind.”  Our tunes are really songs about winter, cold, and snow.  Some are a bit more symbolic than others, but they will do nicely for my purposes.

Let’s be clear, they are not holiday songs, although some of them only get played in the holiday season.  Since the Christmas holiday season seems to start around Halloween and go until New Year’s Day, I guess there is already ample opportunity to hear some of them.  You will discover that there is no holiday greeting included in the cold and snowy lyrics.  In fact, we will give you some instrumentals just because you can already place them in your winter memory.

Let me start you off with an honorable mention from the movie White Christmas.  No I am not sneaking in a Christmas song.  This is strictly two minutes of wishing for snow by four big name performers:

There are a number of other songs about snow that may not be classics, but are good nonetheless.  Track down “Snow” by Harry Nilsson, for example.  Type in “Snow” in a You Tube search and you will certainly see “Snow (Hey Oh)” by Red Hot Chili Peppers.  On second thought, you better type in “snow songs” so you can avoid all those home-made videos of people stuck in a snow drift.

Here’s our bottom 5 with everything from a Classical sound to traditional, rock to rolling “down the streets of town” by a snow man.  There are winter birds of all kinds if you just let it snow:
10. Wizards of Winter – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
9. Winter – Rolling Stones
8. Frosty the Snowman – by just about everyone with a Christmas Album or two
7. Snowbird – Anne Murray
6. Let It Snow – Frank Sinatra, but there are probably a thousand versions of this by now

The next one earns a place here as much for the back story as anything.  This symbolic “A Winter’s Tale” was written by Freddie Mercury from his hospital room overlooking Lake Geneva, Switzerland.  The visions he describes are what he could see from his room.  He laid down the keyboard tracks and vocals in a Swiss studio two weeks before his death.  Queen later finished the song with their parts.  It was released as the second song on a posthumous album four years later.
5. A Winter’s Tale – Queen

Winter imagery can be found in a lot of songs by Paul Simon, especially from the Simon and Garfunkel years. A Hazy Shade of Winter was certainly one of their biggest hits and earns a spot on my songs of the Polar Vortex. You will find an intriguing version by the Bangles from years later, but let’s stick with the original.
4. Hazy Shade of Winter – Simon and Garfunkel

One of the most popular songs of the Christmas season is Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson. Although often played only as an instrumental, the lyrics say nothing of the holidays. There is, however, “a birthday party at the home of Farmer Gray.” They are rather seasonal as they “pass around the coffee and the pumpkin pie,” but the song really is about a sleigh ride through the snow. Find a version with someone singing, if you must. Nothing says “Sleigh Ride” like the Boston Pops Orchestra:
3. Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson – John Williams & The Boston Pops

If you are not sleigh riding through the snow, perhaps you are walking in a winter wonderland. There are many versions of this seasonal classic, but I could not pass by Tony Bennett singing outside in Rockefeller Center. Tony’s nose is so red he could be Rudolph. Despite the frozen crowd, the musicians somehow manage to play as Mr. Bennett looks appropriately cold:
2. Winter Wonderland – Tony Bennett

When I think of cold and snow outside, this is my song. There is nothing that inspires me to go out in a storm. While I enjoyed seeing Joseph Gordon-Leavitt do this with Lady Gaga, of all people, and nothing compares to Ricardo Montalban crooning at Esther Williams or Red Skelton at Betty Garrett in the movies, the best version is Dean Martin and anyone. He recorded the song with a number of people, here with Martina McBride
1. Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Dean Marin with Martina McBride


This Frank Loesser penned tune won the Academy Award for the 1949 romantic comedy musical Neptune’s Daughter.

20 thoughts on “BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE!

  1. Marilyn Armstrong November 23, 2014 / 12:13 am

    I love the post, but winter, ugh! I hate it and I’m not ready. Still need to get the snow tires on the car, too. Geez. Too soon.

    Liked by 3 people

      • Marilyn Armstrong November 23, 2014 / 10:47 am

        I am deeply grateful I don’t live in Buffalo. Actually, since Buffalo is terrible weather central and not a gorgeous town anyhow, I have ALWAYS been glad I don’t live in Buffalo.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Rich Paschall November 23, 2014 / 12:40 pm

          I went through Buffalo once. That was enough. I can not imagine living in a snow belt like that one.

          Like

          • Marilyn Armstrong November 23, 2014 / 1:16 pm

            It’s also the kind of city that is so terribly missable. Never having been to Buffalo is just FINE.

            Like

            • Rich Paschall November 23, 2014 / 1:20 pm

              Driving through Buffalo was like driving through Gary, Indiana, grey, depressing, economically depressed. The best part was stopping at the Anchor Bar, the home of Buffalo chicken wings. If you have to drive through Buffalo, you might as well get some wings.

              Liked by 1 person

    • Garry Armstrong November 23, 2014 / 11:09 am

      Love the post Rich but I’m not a fan of winter. Too many @#$*$! blizzard live shots that have rendered me a functional mute. That said, let’s kick back with Nat Cole’s “The Christmas Song”, courtesy of the “Velvet Fog”, Mel Torme.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rich Paschall November 23, 2014 / 12:42 pm

        I like the Mel Torme version a lot. I think the author can sing it any way he likes. Surprisingly, he did not make a Christmas album until late in his career.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Garry Armstrong November 23, 2014 / 12:56 pm

          Speaking of Mel, I just saw him as a shy gunfighter in an old “The Virginian” episode. I also remember him as a “vicious” gunfighter in a feature western which starred Jack Lord. Can’t remember title (Mother of Mercy!) but plot involved racism against Asians. Yes, my mind is driftin’ today.

          Like

          • Rich Paschall November 23, 2014 / 1:12 pm

            Walk Like A Dragon is the movie. Mel, a Chicagoan, was well liked around here.

            Like

  2. orples November 23, 2014 / 1:09 am

    Ah, —Seasons change with the scenery, weaving time in a tapestry—one of my favorite lines of all time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rich Paschall November 23, 2014 / 12:35 pm

      “I look around, the leaves are brown,
      There’s a patch of snow on the ground…”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. disappearingwoman November 23, 2014 / 9:20 am

    I’m tapping my toes and smiling from ear to ear! I have so many favorite Winter songs. I was fortunate to grow up in a home with good music constantly playing (mostly of the 1940s). Your top three are my top three, too; although I really can’t assign them numbers.
    I’m not a fan of cold weather, but I do love the music associated with the season! This is the best post ever! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rich Paschall November 23, 2014 / 12:38 pm

      Thanks. I think I could have moved 2 thru 4 around in just about any order, but I am sticking with number one. There are indeed many great seasonal songs.

      Like

  4. ciflau November 23, 2014 / 11:02 am

    Winter is great if we listen the message from the songs . Winter means family reunion , christmas , and the death of the viruses :O . So…. winter is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Marilyn Armstrong November 23, 2014 / 5:03 pm

        And sliding around on the ice both on foot, and in the car. It’s heaven for insurance adjusters.

        Like

  5. Rich Paschall November 22, 2015 / 11:21 am

    Reblogged this on Sunday Night Blog and commented:

    The now and cold have arrived here in the Midwest, so it is time for my top ten winter songs again.

    Like

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