In the spring of 1315
There began an era of unpredictable weather
It did not lift until 1851
You remember 1816 as the year without a summer

June 1816
A sudden snowstorm blankets all the country side
So Mary Shelly had to stay inside
And she wrote Frankenstein
Oh 1816 was the year without a summer

Grain couldn’t ripen under these conditions, no
It was brought in-doors in urns and pots
It’d go from 95 degrees to freezing within hours
A brutal struggle for the people and the starving livestock

During the most sever years of this little ice age
We looked for scapegoats to blame
Many people tried to blame it all
On a vast Freemason conspiracy
Or Benjamin Franklin and his experiments with electricity

The eruption of the volcano Tambora
Blanketed the earth with ash
That was the real cause discovered by some explorer
Years later, looking back at the past

I will give you
My red color
To take away your sickly pallor
For you were very choleric of complexion
Please beware the mounting sun
And all dejection

1816 was the year without a summer


Lyrics submitted by boneyardsorceress


1816, The Year Without A Summer song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThis might be a wacky idea, but all the talk about how Oh Perilous World came out of headlines got me wondering if this song is relating the occurrence in 1816 with the current global warming debate.

    "During the most severe years of this little ice age
    We looked for scapegoats to blame"
    "The eruption of the volcano Tambora
    That was the real cause discovered by some explorer
    Years later, looking back at the past"

    May be referring to how many people believe that global warming is all talk, and years from now we might find that the planet is heating due to natural conditions having nothing to do with humans.

    Please god don't let this comment start a global warming fight on here >_< Just putting my two cents in, that’s all.
    BalisongAbraxason August 17, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is AMAZING!! Love the vocals and the lyrics! GENIUS!!
    dissolvedboy2008on February 12, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can't believe no one has commented on this yet! I absolutely love this song. I'm pretty sure there are some people out there that have figured it out, I know there's more to it.
    jillflash1289on August 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs with the rest of the songs on Oh Perilous World the songs are all directly taken from head lines. 1816 actually didn't have a summer - check it out on your own by googling it. The particles of ash from Mt Tambora caused huge fluctuations in the weather that year ~ Vermont and Maine lucked out and only had snow in June, the rest of the midwest had snow all the way through August and the southern states got bizarre cycles of hailstorms which completely decimated crops - it was even reported to drop to 30 something degrees in Georgia one night.

    Crazy stuff - my heart aches when I think of what the poor farmers must have gone through. :(

    The melody in this song is absolutely mesmerizing - gritty and catching. I think its one of the best songs on the album.
    radish_babyon August 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentits really about 1816's horrible dismay with no summer. it's about during the Little Ice Age, the year 1816 had an unusual weather pattern (due to the volcano Mount Tambora exploding) and was known as the Year Without a Summer. The song also makes mention of author Mary Shelley writing her infamous novel Frankenstein, Freemasons and Benjamin Franklin.
    PeachFanon August 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYea she actually talks about the Medieval Climate Optimum & the little Ice age, both were actually real and both were unpredictably odd.

    The Medieval Climate Optimum was an era when the temperatures were above normal and it started around 1315, then shortly after that period the "Little Ice Age" came about. Its all real and really neat!
    asuburbancurseon March 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with Balisong, this song is relating 1816 to global warming, with how people blamed it on conspiracies and such. The song directly relates things in the past to now, talking about how horrible it was and how it could very easliy happen again. I live in northwest washington, and it went between snowing and being warm on and off, which has never happened before, and some weather sources are predicting small snows in June.
    Kinopioon April 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSimple, Melora loves history. And what better event to write about then the "little ice age" of 1816? =D
    Jack Miceon June 30, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI just learned about Tambora in Landforms class. I was like, "Ohhh! So that's what Rasputina was singing about!"
    kendorurumonon February 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really don't think Melora would be against putting blame on human environmental destruction for Global Warming (which isn't even teh scientific name for it). Just look at the lyrics for "A Retinue of Moons". I think this is a song about how one small event can affect everything else --- what if we did not have Frankenstein? What if the Little Ice Age hadn't happened?
    sheela_lon May 30, 2009   Link

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