20 Best Songs About Water For Your Playlist

songs about water
The Best Songs About Water. Image by David Becker on Unsplash

Last updated on April 2nd, 2023 at 10:25 pm

Looking for songs about water? Whether you are making a slideshow of your beach vacation or just need some song lyrics for your Instagram story, songs about water can help you get your point across.

Surprisingly, there are several songs about water written by a variety of artists, so you can take your pick depending on the genre and mood you wish to convey. Led Zeppelin, Sinatra, and even Elvis all once sang great songs about water.

Not all songs about water have a happy ending so let’s take a look at the most famous songs about water so you can find the best one for your situation.

20. “Girl and the Sea” by The Presets

Songs about water cross many genres and contain many different metaphors. Our first song is unique in that it is about a father’s love for his daughter, rather than a romantic relationship which is the case for many other songs on this list.

19. “River” by Eminem and Ed Sheeran

Never thought we would see an Ed Sheeran and Eminem crossover, but it happened. This song talks about making mistakes and allowing them to be washed away by the river. It has rap elements and a catchy rhythm, what more can you ask for?

Related: 45 Interesting Facts About Eminem

18. “Ocean Eyes” by Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish makes us all look like idiots, as she wrote this song when she was just 13 years old.

This song isn’t obviously about water as it talks about “ocean eyes” rather than the ocean itself, but the metaphor is there, just beneath the surface.

We love both the melody and chorus of this song and it should be on any playlist about water.

17. “Breng Me Naar Het Water” by Marco Borsato

If you struggle to read the title, it’s because this song about water is in Dutch. It’s by a popular Dutch singer Marco Borsato. But don’t worry, he sings the song verse first in Dutch, then in English.

Not for the faint of heart, it’s a haunting and tragic ballad about dying that is known as a funeral song.

16. “Oceans” by Coldplay

People often relate losses to water, and this song emulates that perfectly. It talks about loss as if it were a ship lost at sea.

While it isn’t our favorite Coldplay tune, it is a good song about water with a lonely and soulful vibe.   

Related: The 21 Best Songs About Anxiety

15. “Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake

Is there any other way to start out a list of songs about water without mentioning Justin Timberlake? While this song is so cheesy we can’t listen to it without a straight face anymore, it was a hit when it first came out.

And if you need some lost love lyrics about water—this song is perfect with its catchy tune, everyone will be singing along.

14. “Don’t Go Near the Water” by The Beach Boys

Were you thinking more ocean than river? Then The Beach Boys have just the tune for you.

This song is perfect for your environmental project as it specifically discusses how man has destroyed water to the point it “threatens life on land.”

While this isn’t their best song, it really does show a side of The Beach Boys that most people forgot, and is one of our favorite songs by them!

13. “Ocean Avenue” by Yellowcard

Need a throwback? There’s a special place in our hearts for early 00s punk rock and this tune by Yellowcard still gets stuck in our heads from time to time.

The lyrics here still aren’t the happiest, but this song is perfect for a flashback slideshow soundtrack. Plus, it’s their greatest song for sure. (And in our opinion, one of the greatest songs of all time!)

12. “Bridge Over Trouble Water” by Simon and Garfunkel

Unfortunately, it seems like songs about water are mostly about the sad times in life. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” is no exception.

Though this song was more about the troubles Simon and Garfunkel went through during their career, it could also be sung as a love song.

Related: 14 Best Simon & Garfunkel Songs of All Time

11. “Lost at Sea” by Zedd

As we mentioned, there are songs about water in every genre. So, if you are looking for something more EDM and electronic to listen to, “Lost at Sea” by Zedd is perfect for you.

This song is about inviting someone to get lost at sea with you…the perfect tune for that vacation reel.

Related: The 22 Best EDM Songs 

10. “The River” by Bruce Springsteen

Ah, Bruce Springsteen, one of the greats. This song is reminiscent of young love and is about diving into the river.

It’s more upbeat than others on this list, but it’s got a great love story that rivals the one in Taylor Swift’s “Love Story.”

It’s not quite a pop song, but it has great lyrics traditional of Bruce Springsteen songs.

Related: 17 of the Best Bruce Springsteen Songs 

9. “Big River” by Johnny Cash

Want something with a little western or folk vibe? Then “Big River” by Johnny Cash is the song you should choose.

This song is also about a love story, which you have to wonder why we humans associate water with love, but apparently, it’s a thing.  

Related: Johnny Cash’s Complete Story of Life and Death 

8. “Rain” by The Beatles

It seems like almost every major singer out there has a song about water, whether it is a river, the ocean, or the rain.

The Beatles are next up on our list, and they don’t disappoint with this great song which doesn’t explicitly talk about love, but we are pretty sure it’s a metaphor for it.

Ringo’s drumming is also amazing!

7. “Water” by The Who

Another oldie but a goodie, The Who song “Water” talks about the necessity of water and relates it to numerous other aspects of life.

It’s not sad, but it is a bit of a lament about how everyone in life has the same needs, with water as the great equalizer.

This sweet deep track is a favorite of Music in Minnesota Managing Editor and songwriter Erik Ritland.

Related: How Did The Who Drummer Keith Moon Die?

6. “Candle on the Water” by Helen Reddy

This is technically a Disney song, as it came from Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, released in 1977. This is a beautiful song to request for karaoke and is a love ballad with memorable lyrics for your Instagram caption.

While we won’t really recommend it for anything else, it is a lot of fun to reminisce to and is a total 70s masterpiece.

Related: The 10 Best Disney Theme Songs 

5. “Something in the Water” by Carrie Underwood

There are many lullabys and religious songs about water, and that likely goes back to the tradition of baptism.

This hymn by Carrie Underwood discusses how she was “changed” by the water.

She openly speaks about her faith in this song which has a cool pretty cool music video of dancing in the water to go along with it.

4. “Born Bob Dylan” by The Veronicas

The Veronicas, while known for some of their cheesier pop songs, truly have some hard-hitting lyrics in “Born Bob Dylan” it talks about how they wish they had the words to speak their feelings and had the courage of Rosa Parks. The song talks about being able to sing “even if the water was cold.”

While this isn’t as obviously about water as other songs on this list, it is a touching song with a different spin for those who need a song about water and don’t want it to be about love.

3. “Head Above Water” by Avril Lavigne

This song is one of the darker songs about water, and it was written by Avril Lavigne to raise awareness of Lyme Disease.

It talks about fighting to keep your head above water, something everyone can relate to at some point or another in their life.

2. “Purple Rain” by Prince

Prince himself explained that he wrote this hit song about the end of the world and the purple rain that will rain down.

Originally intended to be a duet with singer-songwriter  Stevie Nicks, she rejected the project after hearing a little bit about the song. In the end, Price wrote it with the help of his band.

1. “Water Under the Bridge” by Adele

Adele is our go-to artist when it comes to amazing songs about almost any topic and water is no exception. “Water Under the Bridge” is a song about a pending breakup (typical Adele) but she talks about it using the saying “water under the bridge” bringing it to the top of our list.

After all, there is no one that surpasses Adele(especially when it comes to Grammy Awards) and this is one of the greatest songs ever written.

Honorable Mentions:

We obviously couldn’t list every song about water so here are the ones we like but just didn’t make the list! Below are hit songs that made our honorable mentions list.

1. “When the Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin

2. “Down by the River” by Neil Young

3. “The River of Dreams” by Billy Joel

4. “Madman Across the Water” by Elton John

5. “Waterfalls” by TLC

6. “Children of the Sea” by Black Sabbath

7. “The River” by Garth Brooks

8. “Following the River” by The Rolling Stones

9. “A Tear Drop to the Sea” by Bon Jovi

10. “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple

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Written by Hope Davis

Long-time music lover Hope became a full-time writer in 2020 after being laid off from her regular job due to COVID-19. She now spends her time traveling the world to see her favorite bands while writing about them!


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