Flowers are some of the most stand-out elements of the natural world. As a result, people have been featuring them in art since ancient times. Music is no exception to this rule. Thanks to this, there are some remarkable songs about flowers.
Here are ten of the best songs about flowers ever released:
10. “Cherry Blossom” – Lana Del Rey
It isn’t clear what Lana Del Rey was singing about in this song. One interpretation is that the narrator is a mother who has lost her child. To an extent, this is because Lana Del Rey said the album Blue Banisters was partly about motherhood. However, the critical part is the juxtaposition of cherry blossoms and sycamore trees in the song’s mournful lyrics. Cherry blossoms are famous for their short-lived nature. Indeed, it has often been said that their impermanence is why they’re so prized. In contrast, sycamore trees symbolize life, strength, and protection while being capable of living for centuries. As a result, it’s easy to see why this interpretation has caught on.
9. “Amaryllis” – Shinedown
“Amaryllis” seems to be another song about confronting loss. The song’s name makes more sense when one realizes the flower’s symbolic meaning. First, the amaryllis can represent transition. Second, the flower signals strength and determination. The singer is hurting. Even so, he won’t be broken by the experience.
8. “Wildflowers” – Tom Petty
It’s understandable when people react poorly to the end of long-standing relationships. However, they can also move on in a more measured manner. Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers” is an excellent example. Famously, he wrote it after his divorce. The song didn’t see him blasting his ex-wife. Instead, its lyrics show that he wishes nothing but the best for her.
7. “Yellow Roses” – Dolly Parton
Roses are rich in symbolism. Everyone knows red roses represent romantic love. The intriguing thing is that other rose colors have different meanings. For instance, yellow roses represent friendship. Dolly Parton’s “Yellow Roses” isn’t the happiest of songs. The narrator feels more strongly for the person she longs for than they feel for her. After all, it’s outright stated that this person is in a romantic relationship with someone else. Under these circumstances, one can’t help but wonder whether “Yellow Roses” referenced the flowers for that extra bit of irony.
6. “Build Me Up Buttercup” – The Foundations
“Build Me Up Buttercup” is a song about unreciprocated love. That isn’t unusual. What’s noteworthy about “Build Me Up Buttercup” is that the song’s subject encourages the narrator’s interest before rejecting him. Something that puts them in a somewhat sinister light under some interpretations. Funny enough, plants have been known to feign flower smells to lure insects for various reasons.
5. “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” – Poison
People often use the titular phrase to describe someone as beautiful but dangerous. However, it’s worth mentioning that the original meaning is that everything good comes with less pleasant elements. It seems safe to say that the singer was thinking of the latter. This is because the song describes a painful breakup followed by the news that his ex has found someone new. In other words, the sweetness of his romance is counterbalanced by its bitter conclusion.
4. “Paper Roses” – Marie Osmond
Paper flowers can be incredible works of art. As a result, it’s unfair for them to have a reputation for falsehood because they’re not what they were meant to emulate. Regardless, “Paper Roses” has a straightforward meaning. It’s a condemnation of the singer’s lover because they’ve proven as false as the flowers they once gave. This song has been covered numerous times. Marie Osmond’s version is especially well-known because it topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs in 1973.
3. “Kiss From a Rose” – Seal
“Kiss From a Rose” is another song that found massive commercial success. Specifically, it became a number-one single in the United States and Australia in 1994. One of the reasons for the popularity of “Kiss From a Rose” is its frequent media appearances. For instance, there was a music video associated with Batman Forever. Similarly, the song was featured in EastEnders as recently as 2023.
2. “Lotus Flower” – Radiohead
Lotus flowers are some of the most symbolic flowers out there. For those curious, they represent purity, rebirth, and enlightenment. To a considerable extent, this is because lotus plants grow in the muck but rise beyond to exhibit gorgeous blossoms upon the water. Thom Yorke and the rest of Radiohead have shown themselves to be familiar with Buddhism, which matters because lotus flowers are prominent symbols in that religion. As such, it seems safe to say that the use of the flower in this song is no coincidence. There is intense debate over the song’s meaning because its lyrics are highly interpretable. Some think it’s a song of reassurance for people who doubt themselves. Others wonder whether it’s a message from a parent to his kids.
1. “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” – Pete Seeger
Peter Seeger released “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” in 1955. He took lyrical inspiration from a Cossack folk song and musical inspiration from an Irish piece. The result is one of the most political songs of the 1950s, which is perhaps unsurprising when Seeger was a social activist who struggled to find audiences under McCarthyism. There is no mystery about the meaning of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.” Young women have plucked them all to have something to put on their dead husbands’ graves. Sadly, the meaning of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” remains relevant.
You can also read:
- The 10 Best Seal Songs of All-Time
- The 10 Best Lana Del Rey Songs of All-Time
- The 20 Best Dolly Parton Songs of All-Time
- The 10 Best Tom Petty Songs of All-Time
- The 10 Best Better Than Ezra Songs of All-Time