It’s safe to assume that everyone loves music, if though people may like different types of tunes. By the same token, almost everybody loves the ocean. It’s easy to understand why. There is just something about both music and the ocean that frees your soul. When you combine the two, there’s no telling what could happen.
Below are 20 great songs about the ocean. Give a few of them a listen the next time you need a pick-me-up. Before you know it, you’ll be back in good spirits, jamming to your favorite tunes and dreaming of the waves licking your toes.
20. Somewhere Beyond the Sea (Bobby Darin)
This was a song that started out being about the ever-changing temperament of the sea itself. Somewhere along the way, it was adapted as a love song. Eventually, it became well-known as the jazz-inspired classic about lost love and the feelings that are directly associated with such things.
Today, it is a song that has been recorded by a number of artists including such notables as Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. That being said, the version recorded by Bobby Darin is undeniably the most popular version in existence.
19. Across the Sea (Weezer)
Many people who are fans of the group consider this one of the finest songs ever written by them. At its core, it is a song that is an intensely personal story about being bullied and tormented by other individuals.
It goes to an even deeper level, exploring the reasons why other individuals allow these types of feelings to invade their psyche, often to the point of making them feel like every hurtful word is the absolute truth. For any person who has ever been deeply hurt by the words or actions of someone else, this is a song that will undoubtedly resonate.
18. Sea of Love (The National)
For the most part, this particular band was much better known locally. Brooklyn natives, they became quite popular in the area. It seemed that they were never singing about anything particularly blissful, but always something that had a hint of melancholy to it. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that this particular song is actually about a love gone wrong.
Despite its somewhat carefree title, the lyrics to the song itself couldn’t be a much bigger contrast to the mental image that is most frequently conveyed by such a title.
17. Only the Ocean (Jack Johnson)
As previously mentioned, a lot of people have a tendency to love the ocean. It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that someone would eventually write a song about romantic love and somehow connect it to the sea. As a matter of fact, this is something that has been done countless numbers of times before.
This is another song that tells a story of someone who is in love, in this particular case with a person who just happens to love the sea themselves. It uses a lot of word play to paint a mental picture about the similarities between a love for the sea and the romantic love that is involved.
16. Ocean Eyes (Billie Eilish)
This is one of the moodier songs on this list, largely because it is one that involves the types of things that happen to a person when they are involved in a relationship that isn’t healthy. The song talks about that relationship, but then it transforms itself to become more of a deep dive into the damage that is done to a person when they are involved in such things.
15. Lost Sailor (The Grateful Dead)
Oddly enough, this is a song that sounds as if it is talking directly about a sailor who is literally lost at sea. However, the song is actually about substance abuse. More specifically, it deals with telling the story of someone who has abused substances for so long that they feel as if they are completely lost in the sea of life, not knowing where to turn next.
14. Don’t Fight the Sea (The Beach Boys)
In 2011, Japan was struck by an earthquake which then caused a massive tsunami. The resulting damage was beyond anything that a person would be able to conjure up in their imagination. This song was then written by the surviving original members of the group in order to raise money for those who were directly impacted by these events.
The lyrics themselves deal with telling the story of living and working by the sea, its beauty, and its massive potential to destroy everything in its path in a matter of seconds.
13. Seaside (The Kooks)
Sometimes, you just need to listen to songs that make you feel happy. This is definitely something that falls into this category. It is a love song at heart, but it’s not one of those that talks about a lost love or the tragedy that happens when a relationship doesn’t work out. Instead, it’s a very simple song with an upbeat tune that talks about going to the beach and finding love. It then goes on to talk about all of the happy, wonderful feelings associated with doing so.
12. Yellow Submarine (The Beatles)
Any person who loves The Beatles (or classic rock in general) is likely to have this particular song in their collection. After all, it’s one of the foremost songs recorded by the group and it still enjoys more than its fair share of airtime on radio stations today. Believe it or not, it’s often thought of as a children’s song these days. It’s even taught to some kids in schools, albeit with a few variations in some of the lyrics.
11. The Sea (HAEVN)
This is a somewhat ethereal song recorded by an independent band who pride themselves on their inability to be characterized as any one specific thing. For the most part, this particular song deals with the enormous, all-encompassing size of the ocean. More specifically, the song tends to use this as a analogy for life in general, talking about both the vastness of life as well as how it can be both exhilarating and perilous at the same time.
10. Orinoco Flow (Enya)
Even if you don’t tend to be a huge fan of alternative music, this is one of those songs that you just can’t help but fall in love with. The rhythm of the tune and the breathy lyrics somehow make you feel like you’re listening to the waves crashing into shore and then receding back out into the ocean.
Even if you listen to the song when you’re on the 30th floor of a skyscraper in a landlocked city, you end up feeling like you’re sitting right next to the water.
9. Pure Shores (All Saints)
In this particular tune, you have a person singing about an actual ocean. However, it is an ocean that is fictional. Of course, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t particular sections of an ocean out there that fits this description. The lyrics describe perfectly clear waters that caress a pristine beach, all of it unspoiled by pollution. In short, it provides a perfect description of what the ocean would probably look like if it weren’t for the destructive impact of mankind.
8. On the Sea (Beach House)
This is probably one of the most relaxing songs on the list. The lyrics themselves talk about walking along the shore. It’s a song that’s meant to be relaxing. It works great if you are actually able to listen to it while walking along said shore, but it works just as well if you’re not able to do that at all (at least not in a physical sense).
When you listen to the song, your mind will undoubtedly be transported so that in a way, you are indeed walking right next to the water, regardless of where you might actually be located.
7. The Sea Is Calling (The Temper Trap)
This tune is well known for using an instrument to expertly provide a mental image of the actual waves of the ocean as they move back and forth. In this particular case, the guitar is the instrument that was selected. Despite the fact that it might not sound like something that would work all that well, it actually proved to be a genius decision.
If you haven’t listened to it yet, you owe it to yourself to go and give it a quick listen because it’s a song that will quickly find its way onto your favorite playlist.
6. Oceanic Feeling (Lorde)
Who doesn’t like the idea of listening to a light-hearted tune that deals with enjoying a summer fling next to the ocean? After all, the world is chock-full of seriousness and it has far more than its fair share of heartache. You don’t always need to drive those nails even further into your coffin by listening to them in the form of melancholy music. Sometimes, this sort of thing is exactly what you need.
5. Dead Sea (The Lumineers)
Don’t let the title of this song fool you. It sounds positively dreadful, but the song itself is beautiful. In fact, it could easily serve as a beautiful love song and in many cases, that is exactly what it does.
4. Waves (Imagine Dragons)
Did you ever just have one of those days where you’re trying so hard to make things work out a certain way, yet it seems that at every turn, it goes completely differently than you had hoped it would?
Everyone has days like these. While they can be absolutely frustrating, they can also serve as an important reminder to simply slow down and let things be. We can’t control everything. In fact, we don’t have nearly as much control over anything as we would like to think we have and these days exists to remind us of that fact.
This particular song goes right along with that theme. It reminds you that it’s important to just let things be and roll with it.
3. What The Water Gave Me (Florence and the Machine)
Water is both beautiful and graceful, but it also has an immense amount of power. This particular song speaks to the power that water has. It points out the fact that over the course of several years, water has the ability to reshape stones. It’s even capable of cutting an entirely new pathway. Anyone who has ever thought that something couldn’t be both powerful and graceful only needs to look to the water or perhaps, listen to this song.
2. Rockaway Beach (Ramones)
If you’re from the area, you probably already know that Rockaway Beach is a very real place. Depending on exactly where you’re from, you might say that the famous Rockaway Beach is located in Queens, New York. On the other hand, you could say that it belongs to New Jersey. Either way, this is a song that celebrates this location and the beauty of growing up there.
1. Cake By the Ocean (DNCE)
This smash hit was easily one of the most popular songs during the summer when it was released in 2015. Even now, it’s a song that practically screams summertime. It’s all about having fun, letting your hair down and just letting go. Also, enjoy sunshine, warm weather and of course, the ocean.
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