Stormy Weather

Album: Stormy Weather: The Legendary Lena (1941-1958) (1943)
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This pop standard was written in 1933 by Harold Arlen with lyrics by Ted Koehler. It was first sung by Ethel Waters under the title of "Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin' All The Time)" at the Cotton Club in Harlem. "When I got out there in the middle of the Cotton Club floor," Waters recalled. "I was singing the story of my misery and confusion ... the story of the wrongs and outrages done to me by people I had loved and trusted ... I sang 'Stormy Weather' from the depths of my private hell in which I was being crushed and suffocated."

    The song is built around a classic weather metaphor, as the singer pines for her absent man: "Stormy weather since my man and I ain't together, keeps raining all the time." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Lena Horne's version of the song is probably the best-known recording of this standard and became her signature tune. She originally sang it in 1941 for RCA Victor, but in 1943 the African American singer re-recorded it for the soundtrack of Stormy Weather, a movie musical loosely based on a life of its main star, the dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. Horne played his invented love interest, a singer named Selina Rogers.
  • Unsurprisingly, this song is much loved by torch singers. Noteworthy cover versions have been recorded by Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday, among many others.
  • The first line of Crowded House's 1991 hit single "Weather With You" contains a mention of this song: "Walking 'round the room singing 'Stormy Weather.'"
  • The music of the song is played on the piano in the 1950 film All About Eve at the party when Margo is going upstairs.
  • Lena Horne's version of the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000 and Ethel Waters' recording three years later.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 1

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1957 {November 17th} Ferlin Husky performed "Stormy Weather" on the NBC-TV Sunday-evening musical variety program, 'The Steve Allen Show'...
    "Stormy Weather" from track four of side one on his debut album 'Boulevard Of Broken Dreams'...
    Between 1953 and 1975 the Cantwell, Missouri native had forty eight records on the Billboard's national charts, ten made the Top 10 with three* reaching #1, "A Dear John Letter"
    for 3 non-consecutive weeks in 1953, "Gone" for 5 non-consecutive week in 1957, and "Wings of A Dove" for 8 weeks in 1960}...
    "A Dear John Letter" was a duet with Jean Shepard...
    Ferlin Eugene Husky passed away at the age of 85 on March 17th, 2011...
    * He just missed having a fourth #1 record when his "Country Music Is Here To Stay" peaked at #2 {for three non-consecutive weeks} in 1959, the first week it was at #1, the #1 record for that week was "City Lights" by Ray Price, and for it's 2nd and 3rd week at #2, "Billy Bayou" by Jim Reeves was in the top spot...
    For "Country Music Is Here To Stay" Ferlin Husky used the name of Simon Crum...
see more comments

QueenFact or Fiction

Scaramouch, a hoople and a superhero soundtrack - see if you can spot the real Queen stories.

Jon Foreman of SwitchfootSongwriter Interviews

Switchfoot's frontman and main songwriter on what inspires the songs and how he got the freedom to say exactly what he means.

Rock Revenge SongsMusic Quiz

John Lennon, Paul Simon and Lynyrd Skynyrd are some of the artists who have written revenge songs. Do you know who they wrote them about?

Album Cover InspirationsSong Writing

Some album art was at least "inspired" by others. A look at some very similar covers.

David Paich of TotoSongwriter Interviews

Toto's keyboard player explains the true meaning of "Africa" and talks about working on the Thriller album.

Meshell NdegeocelloSongwriter Interviews

Meshell Ndegeocello talks about recording "Wild Night" with John Mellencamp, and explains why she shied away from the spotlight.