Home / Music Playlist: Songs For Hurricanes

Music Playlist: Songs For Hurricanes

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Hurricane season officially began on June 1st. So if you live on the coast of the eastern United States it’s time to start biting your nails. I have a personal hatred for these storms.
You see, I arrived in Charleston, SC in October of 1989 just after hurricane Hugo, which decimated this truly beautiful American city a month previously. I had never seen anything like it, but it wasn’t until hurricane Floyd in September of 1999 that I truly began to have a demonic hate for hurricanes. When Floyd was closing in on what we thought was a certain Charleston landfall, we evacuated. Unfortunately for us, poor government planning combined with the largest evacuation in American history left us trapped in the biggest traffic jam I will probably ever see. It took my wife, dog, 2 cats and myself twenty-six hours to make it from Charleston to Atlanta. A trip that should have taken four hours.

Have you ever driven 26 hours straight in bumper-to-bumper traffic? Pray you never do. Pray hard. I was literally having hallucinations of giant, German-speaking chickens pulling helpless victims from their cars and eating them whole. Might be pretty cool in the context of a movie or a dream, but not when you really believe it to be true.

Recently, I was thinking about this horrific experience and started compiling a list of songs that would fit if I ever find myself in a similar situation again or perhaps for those stupid enough to have a “hurricane party”.
All of these songs have something to do with hurricanes or storms whether it’s literally or as a metaphor.

In 1953 the National Hurricane Center began naming hurricanes. At first with only female names, but this changed in 1979 when male names started to be alternated with female ones. The first storm of the season is given a name that begins with “A” and each subsequent storm follows the alphabet all the way to “W” if necessary, excluding the letters “Q” or “U”. A name is retired only after a devastating storm. This year’s name schedule is as follows:


Let’s hope none of these retire this year, but if one of them does visit you, at least you’ve got the soundtrack.

The Playlist:

01 Ridin’ The Storm Out Reo Speedwagon
02 Riders On The Storm The Doors
03 Bad Moon Rising Creedence Clearwater Revival
04 Like A Hurricane Neil Young
05 Where Were You Hiding When The Storm Broke? The Alarm
06 Storm Warning Bonnie Raitt
07 Rock You Like A Hurricane Scorpions
08 Florida Hurricane St. Louis Jimmy
09 Lightning In The Sky Santana
10 Hurricane Joan Osborne
11 Hurricane Bush
12 The Storm Big Country
13 Hurricane Season Tom Russell Band
14 Oh! What A Storm The Dry Branch Fire Squad
15 Dance To The Storm Hothouse Flowers
16 Shelter From The Storm Bob Dylan
17 Like A Hurricane Roxy Music
18 Ahead of the Storm Blue Highway
19 Let The Thunder Roar Grim Reaper
20 Electrical Storm U2
21 Hurricane Mindy Smith
22 Blow The Man Down Robert Shaw Chorale
23 Dose Of Thunder The Replacements

Listen to the playlist here.

Find hundreds of great playlists on the Rhapsody Radish.

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About Robert of the Radish

  • Marc Charles


    Here’s a link to a big one you missed on your list. I saw it performed live by Mark Hackley and the band called Mid Life Crisis at the Paramount Theater, Charlottesville in the fall of 2010 when they opened for The Kingston Trio.

    It’s called “Hurricane” written by Mark Hackley, Lonesome Dog Records, BMI.

  • Michael

    Amy, it’s “crossfire hurricane” Thanks

  • norman chappetta

    You are like a Hurricane.Neil Young. Waiting on Issac, hoping for the best for my friends and neighbors. Almost 7 years to the day for Katrina. That was the worst hurricane I have been through. Been through Betsy, Camille, Andrew and Katrina.

  • Deb

    Etta James- Stormy Weather

  • Jen

    Texas Flood by Stevie Ray Vaughn

  • BK

    Stevie Ray Vaughan – Couldn’t Stand The Weather!

  • Kevin-PA

    My co-workers and I have been making our own list. Pressure drop by toots and the maytails is one I would add to this list.

  • Evan

    With Hurricane Irene coming up the coastline in a couple days, I’ll be going to my friends ‘Hurricane Evacuation Party’ on the boardwalk. I’ll certainly be bringing a stereo to play this playlist.

  • Michael Petter

    Jimmy Buffett – Trying to Reason With Hurricane Season. Great song, great artist.

  • my new CD to soon be released is entitled “Hurricane” with the feature track of the same title. It will be posted on my website- http://www.markhackley.com- by December and will be available for download/ online purchase soon. I wrote the song in 2004 after VA was hit hard by a hurricane.

    (FYI) Mark Hackley

  • amy

    how bout jumpin jack flash, “i was born in a class five hurricane”

  • phil

    rode out charley last year on my 23′ sailboat…thought the roof was coming of several times the next morning i find a dead fish in my cockpit ….it was truly a spiritual experience..Nature is awesome…God is nature

  • Good List – I have an addition if ya like. How about Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks”.

  • uao

    Sadly, Rhapsody Radish is no more. I actually felt depressed all night about that; it was becoming a nexus of sorts of music-blog writers. I wish Robert well with his next endevor.

    Don’t forget Robert: “We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams”

  • “Hurricane 2000” by the Scorpions