Forget singing in the rain! Songs perform better in the charts when the weather is warm and sunny, study finds
- Researchers analysed songs which topped the UK charts from 1953 to 2019
- They found the popularity of upbeat songs was linked to the forecast
There’s nothing quite like sitting in the sunshine and listening to some upbeat music.
And it turns out we really do prefer happy songs when the weather is nice, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of Oxford analysed tens of thousands of songs which topped the UK charts between 1953 and 2019.
When they compared the songs to Met Office weather records, they discovered the popularity of energetic and upbeat songs was linked to the forecast.
Songs which evoked positive emotions of joy and happiness performed better in the charts when the weather was warm and sunny, when compared with cold and rainy months, they said.
There’s nothing quite like sitting in the sunshine and listening to some upbeat music. And it turns out we really do prefer happy songs when the weather is nice, according to a new study (stock image)
UK summer chart-toppers
9 September 1965 – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (The Rolling Stones)
19 July 1970 – In The Summertime (Mungo Jerry)
3 August 1975 – Barbados (Typically Tropical)
6 July 1980 – Xanadu (Olivia Newton-John & Electric Light Orchestra)
25 August 1985 – I Got You Babe (UB40 ft Chrissie Hynde)
26 August 1990 – Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini (Bombalurina)
17 September 1995 – Boombastic (Shaggy)
16 July 2000 – Life Is A Rollercoaster (Ronan Keating)
19 June 2005 – Crazy Frog (Axel F)
25 July 2010 – We No Speak Americano (Yolanda Be Cool vs D Cup)
24 July 2015 – Black Magic (Little Mix)
A look back at the UK charts supports their findings – with the likes of ‘In The Summertime’ by Mungo Jerry and ‘Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini’ by Bombalurina topping the charts during the warmer months.
The researchers said their study, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, challenges the view that success in the music industry is solely based on the quality of the music.
Dr Manuel Anglada-Tort, head of the Music, Culture, and Cognition Lab at Oxford University, said: ‘Our study suggests that favourable environmental conditions, such as warm and sunny weather, induce positive emotional states in listeners, which in turn, leads them to choose to listen to energetic and positive music, potentially to match their current mood.
‘Thus, it highlights the importance of considering broad environmental factors when analysing the success of songs in the music market, and provides insight into how music choices are influenced by external factors beyond the music itself.’
The team said hyper-popular songs in the top 10 of the charts showed the strongest links with weather fluctuations.
However songs that were of low intensity and had negative emotions of sadness – such as Never Gonna Fall In Love Again by Dana – did not appear to be influenced by the weather.
Dr Anglada-Tort said: ‘This suggests that negative emotional states may be more influenced by individual situational factors rather than general environmental conditions.’
The researchers said their work only shows a link between music success in the charts and the weather conditions so the results must be interpreted with caution.
The team said hyper-popular songs in the top 10 of the charts showed the strongest links with weather fluctuations. Pictured: Little Mix’s music video for Black Magic
MUSIC CAN IMPROVE YOUR MOOD
Listening to melancholy music can improve a person’s emotional well-being in times of loneliness and distress.
Sad songs, in particular, can stir up a mixture of complex and ‘partially positive’ emotions, including nostalgia, peacefulness, tenderness, transcendence and wonder.
Upbeat music that you’re not consciously aware that you’re listening to typically have no affect on how you feel.
But actively seeking out happiness through music can sometimes improve your health and relationship satisfaction.
Research has also found that listening to fast-paced, energetic music can increase the perceived spiciness of food by up to ten per cent.