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.
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.
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