There are signs all around us. Some are right in front of our faces. Others are more subtle and harder to recognize. It is what we do with these signs that matters.
Signs have been the subject of songs across all genres of music. We have found several songs with the word sign in the title. Each track has a unique message about recognizing the signs that could impact your life and the people surrounding you.
Here are some of the best songs about signs that are hard to miss.
“Signs” by Five Man Electrical Band
Song Year: 1971
Canadian rock band Five Man Electrical Band originally released Signs as a B-side, but when re-released, the record shot up the charts, peaking at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The song is about being surrounded by signs everywhere, telling you what to do and what not to do. An employment sign tells long-haired people not to apply for the job, and a no-trespassing sign states that offenders can receive shots on sight. The hippie protests the messages of these signs.
“Signs” by Beyoncé
Song Year: 2003
Beyoncé trips through the Zodiac in “Signs” from her album Dangerously in Love. Her first solo record debuted at #1 atop the US Billboard 200 chart.
In the song, Beyoncé sings about being in love with a Sagittarius, the Zodiac sign of her boyfriend, now-husband, Jay-Z. She goes through the characteristics of each Zodiac sign, appreciating that her man has a little bit of each one in him and that she loves them all.
“Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles
Song Year: 2017
“Sign of the Times” was the debut solo single from Harry Styles off of his self-titled debut album. The single was a smash hit propelling the album to debut at #1 in several countries.
Styles implies that the hard times people are experiencing are a sign of the times, they are not the first and certainly will not be the last. Some of the lyrics are from the perspective of a young mother who will die from complications during childbirth and only has a few minutes to say goodbye to her baby.
“Sign Language” by Eric Clapton
Song Year: 1976
“Sign Language” is a Bob Dylan song he gave to Eric Clapton for his album No Reason to Cry. Dylan and Clapton recorded it as a duet.
The song is open for interpretation but suggests that two people in a relationship have lost the ability to communicate. It is as if they are using sign language that neither one of them can understand.
“Looking for a Good Sign” by Hall & Oates
Song Year: 1981
Pop rock duo Hall & Oates enjoyed two #1 hits from their album Private Eyes, the title track and “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)”. The record also contained the song “Looking for a Good Sign”.
The latter track is about a man who cannot figure out the emotions of his love interest. She is giving him mixed signals, and he is trying to find a good sign that there may be hope for them.
“Signs of Life” by Arcade Fire
Song Year: 2017
If you are in a rut, sometimes you start to look for “Signs of Life”. So does Canadian rock band Arcade Fire on their album Everything Now.
The cool kids get stuck in the past without the ability to shake the repetitive pattern of their lives. When you look for signs of life and cannot find any, you can do the same things infinitely.
“Signs” by Snoop Dogg (ft. Justin Timberlake & Charlie Wilson)
Song Year: 2005
Snoop Dogg teams up with Justin Timberlake and Charlie Wilson in the R&B hip-hop single, “Signs”. The song appears on the soundtrack for the 2005 movie Guess Who.
The lyrics by Justin Timberlake are from a guy who is attracted to a beautiful woman, and he is trying to read the signs if she is attracted to him. Snoop Dogg counters by telling him that he is no G, that he is out of his league, and that the rapper woos the hottie for himself.
“Sign of the Southern Cross” by Black Sabbath
Song Year: 1981
Mob Rules was the second album released by Black Sabbath featuring lead singer Ronnie James Dio. Dio’s powerful rock vocals are featured prominently on the track “Sign of the Southern Cross”.
The Southern Cross is a constellation that appears on the Australian and New Zealand flags. The sign of the cross in the song alludes to using the constellation to navigate the open seas. Peocal can also consider it a metaphor for the journey we take in ourselves when reaching for our dreams.
“Warning Sign” by Coldplay
Song Year: 2002
Coldplay frontman Chris Martin admitted that he wrote “Warning Sign” when he was acting like a complete knob. The song is from the album A Rush of Blood to the Head.
The song is about a guy looking for excuses to break up with his girl. He is searching for warning songs that would justify the split. However, in hindsight, he realizes that he was wrong and has genuine feelings for her. He is allowed back into her open arms.
“The Sign” by Ace of Base
Song Year: 1992
“The Sign” is the title track off the debut album from Swedish pop group Ace of Base. The techno-reggae Europop ballad reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, while the album was #1 on the Billboard 200.
The singer is contemplating her relationship and sees a ‘sign’ that opens her eyes, making her realize that her partner is not the right person for her. She leaves him and finds her happiness.
“Tell Tale Signs” by Kylie Minogue
Song Year: 1989
“Tell Tale Signs” by Kylie Minogue is from her dance-pop album Enjoy Yourself. It is just one of the songs on the record exploring relationships and romance.
Sometimes the signs that a relationship is coming to an end are evident. There are no more flowers or holding hands. The person you love does not greet you at the door with a kiss like when you were first courting. Never hearing I love you is just another telltale sign.
“Give Me a Sign” by Breaking Benjamin
Song Year: 2010
Alternative rock band Breaking Benjamin’s song “Give Me a Sign” seems to be a cry for help from their album Dear Agony.
The lyrics are dark and filled with despair. The singer seems to be in a state of depression with the walls closing in. He can feel the other person also slipping away and is asking for a sign, some way for them to save one another.
“Signs of Life” by Journey
Song Year: 2001
“Signs of Life” is a song from the eleventh album by Journey, Arrival. The album marks the first with Steve Augeri as frontman. Steve replaced legendary singer Steve Perry.
The song is about a hurtful breakup. The woman of the protagonist left him barely breathing. But he knows he must go on by somehow getting her out of his mind. His healing is a sign of life.
“The Sign” by The Foo Fighters
Song Year: 2005
“The Sign” is a hard-driving rock song released as a bonus track on the Foo Fighters album In Your Honor. The album entered the Billboard 200 chart at #2.
The singer professes his love and devotion, wanting to make things right. He asks for a sign, and he will be right there to rescue her.
“Sign O’ the Times” by Prince
Song Year: 1987
With a focus on the world’s major issues, “Sign O’ the Times” was the first release from Prince’s album of the same name. The track hit #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Prince paints a grim picture of the sign of the times with references to the AIDS epidemic, natural disasters, and poverty. The message is to fall in love before it is too late.
“Signs” by Drake
Song Year: 2017
When a beautiful woman gives you all the signs, it is hard not to resist. Drake tries his best in the title track of his album Signs.
The “Signs” his woman is giving him that she wants to take their relationship further are tempting while he does his best to take it slow. She’s playing him perfectly as he can feel himself falling for her.
“Sign of Judgement” by Marianne Faithfull
Song Year: 1987
Marianne Faithfull was a folk icon in the late 60s into the 70s before expanding her range to rock. “Sign of Judgement” is a throwback to her folk roots.
The repetition of the sign of judgment is like a chant or prayer. She exposes Satan as a liar and a cheat and resists his charms so that she can face her judgment.
“Earth Sign Man” by Donovan
Song Year: 1973
There are four elemental signs of the Zodiac: fire, air, water, and earth. Donovan reveals that he is an “Earth Sign Man” on his album, Cosmic Wheels.
Donavan claims his sign makes him down to earth, at one with nature. She is an air sign, surrounding him, she is his breeze. Together their signs make perfect harmony.
“Signs” by Brett Eldredge
Song Year: 2013
Country music artist Brett Eldredge sees the “Signs” all around him. The song was released on his debut album, Bring You Back.
All of the signs that are posted around town tell a story. Who just got married, who just died. The sheriff is running for reelection and the body of a young soldier is coming home. You can feel the life of the town through its signs.
“Sign of Love” by Aimee Mann
Song Year: 1987
Aimee Mann fronted the new wave band ‘Til Tuesday in the mid-80s before going solo in 1993. In 1987, she recorded the song “Sign of Love” which appeared in the movie Back to the Beach but was never released on any of her studio albums.
Written by her friend Jennifer Condos, “Sign of Love” seems to compare the vastness of the stars in the sky to the vastness of love. Every star that you see represents a sign of love, a light in the darkness.
“Vital Signs” by Rush
Song Year: 1981
Progressive rock band Rush explores the theme of conformity with their song “Vital Signs” from their album Moving Pictures.
It is easy to get short-circuited into a state of incoherence with all of the external interference that society throws at you. You must show some vital signs that you can elevate above the norm and live your own life.
“Love Sign” by Morris Day
Song Year: 1985
R&B artist Morris Day released “Love Sign” from his debut solo album Color of Success following his departure from his band, The Time.
The theme of the song is to make love, not war. Put down the guns and put up the love sign. If everybody was able to love one another instead of trying to kill each other all the time, we would be able to teach the next generation to do the same thing.
“Gimme Little Sign” by Brenton Wood
Song Year: 1966
Brenton Wood delivers the soul with “Gimme Little Sign” from his album Oogum Boogum. The ‘60s classic peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Wood implores his girl to not lead him on, if she wants to be with him then she’s to give a little sign. A little sweet talk, a little kiss, some sign to show that she wants to be his girl.
“Warning Sign” by Talking Heads
Song Year: 1998
From the album More Songs About Buildings and Food, the new wave art rock band Talking Heads give us a “Warning Sign”.
Like a lot of Talking Heads lyrics, they are open to interpretation. The warning sign seems to be ignored because he believes money can make everything right again. He seems to want to get his woman to remember the way things were in the past.
“Signs” by Shriekback
Song Year: 1992
“Signs” was on the Shriekback album Sacred City, the final album released by the band before an eight-year hiatus. Formed outside of London in the early 80s, the band has regrouped and continues to record.
In “Signs”, Shriekback points out that we are inundated with signs everywhere we turn. Whether it’s signs for drugs, sex, sports, or cars, it is up to each one of us to decipher the message and understand the meaning behind the signs.
“It’s a Sign” by Teenage Fanclub
Song Year: 2016
Indie pop band Teenage Fanclub formed in Scotland in the late 80s. “It’s a Sign” is from their album Here, which took over three years to produce.
The singer looks for all of the signs that confirm the love he and his partner share. The happiness that they have together leads him to find his soul, a sure sign that they are meant to be.
“Songs and Signs” by Caravan
Song Year: 1972
Caravan was a progressive rock band out of Canterbury, England, during the psychedelic era of the late 60s-early 70s. Their blend of rock and jazz with classical influences gave the band a unique sound.
From the album Waterloo Lily, “Songs and Signs” is about what happens when outside pressures affect your relationship. Trying to remember the way things used to be, you can see that making songs and signs for others can have a detrimental effect on yourself.
“Dolla Signs” by Teenear
Song Year: 2019
Up-and-coming R&B artist Teenear was born in Jamaica and calls Miami, Florida, home. Her music is heavily influenced by artists like Rhiannon and by fusing genres like dancehall and soul.
“Dolla Signs” is a love song about being out on the road and missing her man. She is out grinding the circuit for dollar signs, but being separated from her love is too much to take. This is the life she asked for, becoming a successful music artist, but the late nights and lonely hotel rooms make her miss her love all the more.
“Signs” by Demun Jones
Song Year: 2019
Demun Jones is a down-home country boy steeped in hip-hop. Several influences from rap to Motown, to heavy metal, have formed Jones’ style of music into a distinct sound of country lyrics with hip-hop grooves.
“Signs” for Jones is about being grounded. As long as God keeps showing him the street signs he knows he’s going to be alright. When you are out on the road, the temptation can be like the Devil nipping at your heels. God will provide the signs to keep you on the straight and narrow.
“Born Under a Bad Sign” by Cream
Song Year: 1968
Cream recorded “Born Under a Bad Sign” for their album Wheels of Fire. It was originally recorded a year earlier by blues guitarist and singer Albert King.
The reference to being born under a bad sign is the belief in the Zodiac. No matter what you do, bad luck will find you. If it wasn’t for bad luck, you wouldn't have any luck at all.
“Sign Your Name” by Terence Trent D’Arby
Song Year: 1987
Terence Trent D’Arby now signs his name Sananda Francesco Maitreya. But before the change in moniker, D’Arby had a hit with the song, “Sign Your Name”. The track reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The sign here is his girl’s signature, marking his heart as hers. The feelings he has for her are all-consuming, and he wants to make their love last forever.
“Warning Signs” by Band of Horses
Song Year: 2022
From their most recent album Things Are Great, rock band Band of Horses released “Warning Signs”. The sound is a return to the strengths that gave the band its early success.
The song is about struggling with health or financial problems without asking for help. The warning signs are there, but the stubborn need to work through problems on your only compounds the situation.
“No Matter What Sign You Are” by The Supremes
Song Year: 1969
Diana Ross & the Supremes recorded the Motown single “No Matter What Sign You Are” for the album Let the Sunshine In. It was one of the final compositions for the girl group before Ross embarked on her solo career.
The song makes light of the Zodiac and the notion that people should connect based on their sign compatibility. No matter what sign he is, the singer is in love and it feels right. You can’t let astrology choose who you are destined to be with.
Top Songs About Signs, Final Thoughts
Signs appear in country, soul, alternative rock, hip-hop– practically every music genre that exists. It’s a testament that people from all walks of life see signs every day. Whether it’s the sign of love, the sign of a relationship breaking apart, or a more literal look at the signs around us that tell a story, music has a way of opening our eyes to look at things in a different light.