33 Songs About Failure

“Success Has Made a Failure of Our Home” by Sinead O’Connor

Song Year: 1992

Sinead O’Connor’s “Success Has Made a Failure of Our House” showcases an interesting take on failure through its lyrics. The lyrics describe a woman remembering how she and her man used to be close. Their relationship began to waver once he focused on his music career. The contrast between success and failure makes this piece stand out from others.

Initially recorded by country icon Loretta Lynn, O’Connor’s rendition incorporates bold string and brass accompaniment to enhance its bittersweet tone.

“Failing” by Staind

Song Year: 2010

Rock band Staind’s “Failing” is another track about the failure of love. The narrator attempts to reach out to the one he loves, but she’s too full of herself to notice him or show him that she cares about him. If you’ve ever felt invisible in a relationship, this song might strike a chord with you.

This song was featured on Staind’s seventh album, which remained on the Billboard 200 Chart for eight weeks. The metal-inspired guitar solos near the song’s halfway point and ending emphasize the band’s signature edgy sound.

“Fails” by Jynx

Song Year: 2019

Jynx is a notable metal band from New York, and one of their best tracks is “Fails.” Despite only releasing a few years ago, the instrumentation and vocals replicate the metal music you’d hear during the early 2000s.

The narrator states that his failures inspire him to work harder to achieve his goals, pushing against any odds that go against him. He tells the audience that while it’s okay to push past failure to achieve your dreams, they shouldn’t be reckless when making choices that can potentially lead them back to failure.

“Failure” by Swans

Song Year: 1991

“Failure” by Swans is a haunting song encapsulating the lowest point a person can feel when experiencing failure. The vocalist’s inflection doesn’t indicate hope, making the piece’s tone extra somber.

The lyrics describe the narrator’s hardships in life, from failing to build his social life and earning little money to becoming depressed as he ages. The song incorporates imagery of drowning and being in an inescapable pit, reiterating the narrator’s feelings about how his demise is the only way he can escape eternal failure.

“Wake Me Up” by Fickle Friends

Song Year: 2018

Although “Wake Me Up” has an uptempo beat and electronic sound, its subject matter is bittersweet. The central theme depicted in this song is about two people struggling to make their relationship work. No matter how hard they try, they know they’re failing and must accept it.

“Wholesale Failure” by Days N’ Daze

Song Year: 2017

If you’re looking for songs about failure that don't fit the mold of mainstream music, Days N’ Daze’s “Wholesale Failure” definitely fits the description. The lyrics depict the narrator feeling like a failure in a world worsening by the day, making him question if anything he does matters and why people focus their entire lives on success and failure.

The rapid acoustic guitar accompaniment and rough, almost unintelligible vocals give this song a minimalist vibe that isn't overpowered by synthesized beats, embodying the narrator’s frustrations.

“A Suicidal Failure” by Cage

“A Suicidal Failure” by Cage

Song Year: 2002

Cage’s “A Suicidal Failure’ is about a man whose life falls apart after the girl he loves leaves him. Feeling empty inside, he attempts to take his life many times but fails. He feels as if he’s a failure at life and death. Despite its dark content, the song has a catchy beat and excellent rap vocals that embody the speaker’s inner turmoil.

“Failure” by Laura Marling

Song Year: 2008

Laura Marling’s “Failure” is a song featured on her debut album Alas, I Cannot Swim. The narrator describes a musician she once admired, whose success and happiness eventually dwindle, turning him into a failure. Years later, she takes a risk for nothing and experiences failure.

Marling’s uplifting vocals and the soothing guitar backing track give the song a down-to-earth vibe.

“Failure” by Blood Youth

Song Year: 2015

Do you prefer songs with a hardcore punk edge? Blood Youth’s debut single, “Failure,” is about wanting to start over after encountering countless failures. The rough yet cathartic vocals during the chorus sections enhance the song’s relatability. This song reminds us that although failure can be hard to overcome, it's not impossible to escape it.

“A Song For A Failure” by The Boys You Know

Song Year: 2018

Are you looking for an uplifting song for your indie rock playlist? The Boys You Know might be a relatively unknown music group to some, but their song “A Song For A Failure” is a hidden gem among other failure-centric hits.

In this song, the speaker motivates the listener to move on in life, despite encountering failures and hardships.

“Failure” by The Staves

Song Year: 2021

The Staves’ “Failure” is a mid-tempo folk ballad about a woman who believes she's a failure. She mentions that nobody wants to hang out with her. Although the reason why everyone makes her believe she's a failure is ambiguous, the feelings reflected through the lyrics are relatable to many music lovers.

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