Many people will find themselves alone at some stage in their lives or experience loneliness. Therefore, it is a topic with which people can connect, and that is why it is a theme chosen by many artists and songwriters in their music. It is a subject used across the decades and in many music genres, so there are songs about being alone that will suit all tastes. Here are 10 awesome songs about being alone.
10. Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely, Backstreet Boys (1999)
‘Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely’ was the third single released from the Backstreet Boys’ 1999 album ‘Millennium.’ It peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100, number four in the UK, and in the top ten in most of the countries in which it charted. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award for the Best Pop Song Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. Max Martin and Herbie Crichlow wrote the song.
9. All by Myself, Celine Dion (1996)
‘All by Myself’ was written and recorded by Eric Caren in 1975. Multiple other artists have since covered it. Canadian singer Celine Dion recorded the best known and most successful version in 1996, and it is featured on her album ‘Falling into You.’ Dion’s version topped the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart in the United States and peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also a top ten hit in the UK, Ireland, France, and Belgium.
8. Alone, Heart (1987)
‘Alone’ was written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, and they recorded it under the name i-Ten in 1983. It featured on their album ‘Taking a Cold Look.’ However, the track is better known as a Heart song, and their version was a power ballad that appeared on their 1987 album ‘Bad Animals.’ It topped the charts in both the United States and Canada. Celine Dion and Alyssa Reid have since covered the song.
7. Solitary Man, Neil Diamond (1966)
Neil Diamond’s debut single was ‘Solitary man’. Diamond had written the track, and it was the song that marked the turning point of his career. The song featured on his debut album, ‘The Feel of Neil Diamond.’ Many other artists have since recorded their own versions of the song, including Cliff Richard, Theuns Jordaan, Crooked Fingers, Chris Isaak, Billy Joe Royal, Jay and the Americans, Olof Arnalds, B.J. Thomas, Farhad Merad, HIM, T.G. Shephard, Johnny Rivers, The Sidewinders, and Gianni Morandi.
6. Are You Lonesome Tonight, Elvis Presley (1960)
‘Are You Lonesome Tonight’ was written in 1926 by Roy Turk and Lou Handman, the famous Tin Pan Alley songwriters. A year after it was written, Charles Hart recorded the song, followed by Vaugh De Leath and Henry Burr, both in the same year. Many other artists then recorded their own versions of the song. However, the best-known version of the song was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1960. Elvis Presley’s manager, Colonel Parker, asked Presley to record the song because his wife liked the song. It became one of Elvis Presley’s biggest hits, topping the charts for six weeks.
5. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, Hank Williams (1949)
Some people consider ‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry’ as one of the best American songs ever written. It is also considered one of the best songs about being alone. It was written and recorded by Hank Williams in 1949, and it has elements of hillbilly, honky-tonk, and country blues. Since then, the song has been covered by multiple other artists, including B.J. Thomas, Charlie McCoy, Leon Russell, Terry Bradshaw, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
4. Eleanor Rigby, The Beatles, 1966
The title of the song doesn’t indicate that the song is about being alone, but it is about post-war Britain and a lonely old woman called Eleanor Rigby who stands at the window every day waiting for either her son or her husband to return home. McCartney later explained that seeing women waiting for people they had lost in the war was something that he experienced while growing up in Liverpool. Another key figure in the song is Father McKenzie, and the Beatles were criticized for having a dig at Christianity in the lyrics as they sang about nobody being saved. A few weeks after the song’s release, Lennon caused controversy by claiming the band was more famous than Jesus. The choice of ‘Eleanor Rigby’ as the name of the song’s main character was said to have been inspired by Eleanor Bron, an actress who appeared in the Beatles film ‘Help!’, and by a shop called Rigby & Evans, Ltd. However, the grave of a woman called Eleanor Rigby was later found in the cemetery close to where Lennon and McCartney first met.
3. Space Oddity, David Bowie (1969)
David Bowie was inspired to write ‘Space Oddity’ after watching the 1968 film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. The artist later admitted that he had been under the influence of drugs when he watched the film. ‘Space Oddity’ is a song about an astronaut who floats into space and cuts off communication with earth, so it is the ultimate song about being alone and the feeling of loneliness.
2. So Lonely, The Police (1978)
Despite being a song about being alone, The Police’s song ‘So Lonely’ is surprisingly upbeat. It has a reggae feel, and Sting admitted that the chords of the verses are directly lifted from Bob Marley’s ‘No Woman No Cry.’ However, the song’s chorus has a more rock ‘n’ roll feel. ‘So Lonely’ was the third and final single from The Police’s debut studio album, ‘Outlandos d’Amour.’ Several artists have covered the song, including The Militia Group and Limbeck.
1. Only the Lonely (Know the Way I Feel), Roy Orbison, (1960)
Zing Instruments names ‘Only the Lonely (Know the Way I Feel) as one of the most awesome songs about being alone. Roy Orbison released ‘Only the Lonely (Know the Way I Feel) in 1960, and it was his first major hit. When Orbison wrote the song, he initially tried to sell it to Elvis Presley. After Presley turned it down, Orbison decided to release the track himself. The song showcased Orbison’s powerful and soulful voice.