Friday Five: Songs About The Cold

Juli Thanki | February 19th, 2010

Hopefully you’ve all escaped the various snowstorms of the past couple weeks unscathed. Here’s a Friday Five guaranteed to lift your spirits: songs about freezing to death. Don’t worry, folks; spring is just around the corner. (Thanks to Ken Morton, Jr. for the idea.)

  • Broken Hymns, Limbs, and Skin5. “Crawl Through Snow” – O’Death

    These Gothic Country Brooklynites are a little bit folk, a little bit punk. On this rockin’ song from Broken Hymns, Limbs, and Skin, lead singer Greg Jamie is barely comprehensible as he sings about slowly freezing to death. But who expects a frozen guy to enunciate clearly anyway?

  • Songs Of The Trail4. “Deep Water, Ice And Snow (Album Version)” – Don Edwards

    Being a cowboy in the winter must really suck, especially when you have to move a thousand heads of cattle across a river in the dead of winter. Thanks to his horse, the narrator survives—many of his companions don’t—but he’s seen a version of hell that’s “mighty cold.”

  • The Best Of Michael Martin Murphey3. “Wildfire” – Michael Martin Murphey

    Murphey’s biggest hit is a little—okay, a lot—cheesy, but don’t act like you don’t know all the words to this song about a girl and her pony, lost in a killing frost.

  • A Hundred Miles or More: A Collection2. “Jacob’s Dream” – Alison Krauss

    This mournful tale about a pair of young boys who freeze to death in the mountains will make you long for a less depressing Krauss song, like “Whiskey Lullaby.” The clip below features the songwriters, Julie Lee and John Pennell, discussing the inspiration behind the song. Though the story told in “Jacob’s Dream” sounds like fiction, the tragedy of the Lost Children of the Alleghenies—and the farmer who dreamed of their location—is sadly true.

  • The Essential Jim Reeves1. “The Blizzard” – Jim Reeves

    This single (from Tall Tales and Short Tempers) went to #4 in 1961, which means a whole lot of folks dug a song about a guy who freezes to death a hundred yards from his sweetheart’s house because he couldn’t leave his lame horse. Scottish indie pop band Camera Obscura recently released a pretty excellent cover if you’re into that sort of thing.

  1. Mike Parker
    February 19, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    North Dakota…

  2. Jon
    February 19, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Nice call on “Jacob’s Dream!”

  3. David S
    February 19, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Cold Day in July by the Dixie Chicks= great song! Miss those ladies.

  4. luckyoldsun
    February 20, 2010 at 9:41 am

    There are a lot more country songs about metaphorical coldness–from “Cold, Cold Heart” to “Too Cold at Home.”

  5. stormy
    February 20, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Right now my favorite weather related song is “Go F* You” by Hank III, but that’s more of a personal statement directed at a specific storm than a song about weather in general.

  6. J.R. Journey
    February 20, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Wish I had a snuggie now after listening to these 5 songs.

  7. Rodney
    February 21, 2010 at 12:54 am

    Glad to see Don Edwards in the list… of my all time favorites. If you like western music he is THE guy.

  8. Ron
    February 21, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Regarding Jacob’s Dream, I also thought of the excellent “California Snow” by Dave Alvin.

  9. Cindy
    February 21, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Wintertime Blues.. by John Hiatt.

    “Well its a 1-2 my lips are turning blue..
    It’s a 3-4 I’m as stiff as Al Gore..”

    The line about the suicide prevention hotline all running away is funny, too.

  10. Buddynoel
    February 21, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Vince Gill – Colder Than Winter (1984)

  11. Thomas
    February 22, 2010 at 8:12 am

    …strait’s “chill of an early fall” and diffie’s “is it cold in here” spring to mind, too

  12. Sheldon
    February 22, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Dolly’s “Me and Little Andy” The kid and the dog are caught outside on a “cold and stormy night” and end up at Dolly’s door. she lets them in (lucky, lucky them!!) but die that night. (not so lucky…)

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