Anyone who whines about the fact that South Florida has no change of season ought to bear one thing in mind: We do have at least two seasons -- and sometimes, even three. The first extends six months, from June 1 to November 30 -- an ungodly long portion of the year if you ask us -- and is dubbed Hurricane Season, marked not by the changing of the leaves or a shift in temperature but rather by the intense interest in any little blob forming off the coast of Africa and its subsequent progress on a potentially deadly collision course with that spit of sitting-duck-type terrain otherwise known as Florida.
There's the three months preceding Hurricane Season, generally referred to as "Get ready to panic and prepare for ultimate devastation as predicted by forecasters as far away as Colorado and agreed upon by local officials, media, and meteorologists." We celebrate by conceding that it's not a matter of if but rather when we're going to be wiped off the map.
The third season is an option, but judging by the dire predictions that accompany the second, it's almost a certainty. It's called "Clean up all the shit caused by the storm" season, whereby we go through the devastation of our homes, our lives, our neighborhoods, and then welcome the National Guard and the prospects of living life without electricity for three months.
Ah, what better way to celebrate the passing of the seasons! Given that we're apparently stuck with this rather unfortunate scenario and a ton of rain already since June 1, we here at New Times have come up with a way to mark these circumstances with some musical merriment, namely, top ten songs well-suited for the stormy season.
10. "Riders on the Storm" - The Doors
Jim Morrison's ominous vocals and the tinkling of keyboards that simulate the first traces of rain before the deluge set the tone and suggest a feel of impending doom. Rather like watching the forecasts on the Weather Channel.
See also: Top Ten Failed Jim Morrison Replacements
9. Rock You Like a Hurricane" - The Scorpions
Yes, a hurricane will no doubt rock you. The fact that this tune, as popular as it may have been on FM radio, never hit the top of the pop charts is testimony to the fact that most of us really don't want to be rocked like a hurricane. Had the Scorpions not hailed from Germany, where they really don't get hurricanes, they might have been aware of that fact.
8. "Shelter From the Storm" - Bob Dylan
Now this is more like it. Dylan offers a nice alternative to hitting the highway with 100,000 other panicked motorists all fleeing for our lives or taking refuge in a gymnasium where the food sucks, there aren't enough showers, but there are more than enough wailing babies to make us want to brave the storm in our flimsy homes. Bob, save us a mattress, some jugs of water, a flashlight, and batteries. We're happy to take you up on your offer.
7. "A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall" - Bob Dylan
The Bobster giveth and he taketh away.
This dire prediction reminds us of what we generally get from our local forecasters. All together now, doomsayers and weather folks.
6. "Ridin' the Storm Out" - REO Speedwagon
It feels like there's a hint of optimism in this classic nugget from REO, as if to say we will persevere despite Mother Nature's fury. Then again, what about those endless gas lines and interminable waits for bottled water? There's a decided difficulty in that.
5. "Who'll Stop the Rain" - Creedence Clearwater Revival
That's a good question we'll be prone to ask when our roof gives way and we run out of buckets. This brings us back to Bob and this little ditty, presumably written about one such leaky roof: "Buckets of Rain."
4. "Like a Hurricane" - Neil Young
When Neil sings in that particular whiny drone of his, "You are like a hurricane/There's calm in your eyes/And I'm getting blow away," it tells us that he would be of no use whatsoever in an actual emergency.
3. "Stormy Weather" - Billie Holiday
Now here's one tune that doesn't put the fear of God into us. Though this song has been sung by dozens of performers, Lady Day's is the one that can seduce us into thinking a big storm might not be such a bad thing after all.
2. "Hurricane" - Panic! at the Disco
"Hey! Hey! We are a hurricane!/Drop our anchors in the storm." OK, we gotta admit, we have no idea what they're alluding to here, but somehow we suspect it's a song about personal affirmation, and that's probably a good thing when waste and destruction surround you. Besides, any band that has the word "Panic" in its handle would seem well-qualified to take on a situation like a megastorm.
1. "Surfing in a Hurricane" - Jimmy Buffett
You have to hand it to Mr. Buffett. He has the ability to turn even the most perilous situations -- shark encounters, stepping on pop tops, and, in this case, the most perilous weather conditions -- and turn them into a celebratory scenario. Then again, after one too many margaritas, anything goes. Kids, don't try this at home.
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