Listening to songs about nature can be just as soothing as walking outdoors. From songs about wildlife and landscapes to tunes about taking care of natural areas for the next generation, we’ve got a round-up of the best songs about nature to add to your listening list.
1. “The Moss” by Cosmo Sheldrake
Song Year: 2014
Do you want to learn more about our natural world? We suggest listening to Cosmo Sheldrake. He’s an English artist that sings about everything from swamps to fungi, using recordings from nature.
“The Moss,” one of Sheldrake’s top songs, combines legends with facts, and the singer describes the life of moss alongside classic myths. On the funky indie track, Sheldrake sings about worms, mountains, swallows, leaves, and other features in the natural environment around him.
2. “Wildflowers” by Tom Petty
Song Year: 1994
Tom Petty represents the natural environment of his beloved Santa Barbara in his 1994 track, “Wildflowers.” It’s the titular first track of his album Wildflowers and describes the free feeling one can get in nature.
The singer drew inspiration from his city to describe the flowers and the sea, and Petty encourages his listeners to go out and enjoy nature.
3. “The Bug Collector” by Haley Heynderickx
Song Year: 2018
For better or worse, we often share our lives and houses with bugs. Portland-based artist Haley Heynderickx describes this experience in “The Bug Collector,” the second track from her 2018 indie-folk album, I Need to Start a Garden.
Follow Heynderickx as she tells you about all the bugs she meets in her home, from centipedes in the bedroom to praying mantises in the bathroom.
4. “In the Woods Somewhere” by Hozier
Song Year: 2014
Irish musician Hozier is famous for his songs about nature. “In the Woods Somewhere,” a hit from his first album, Hozier, is a nature song that follows a man lost in the woods.
The chill folk track has a stripped-back sound, melancholy guitar, and Hozier’s defining powerful voice. His lyrics describe the haunting glow of the moon, the darkness of the night, and the wounded fox he stumbles upon.
5. “In The Pines” by Nirvana
Song Year: 1994
“In The Pines” is an Appalachian folk tune originating in the 1870s. The song lives on through many different covers and editions, including being famously referenced in Francine Toon’s novel, “Pine.”
Notably, the grunge band Nirvana covered the track on MTV Unplugged in New York, a 1994 album and the last singer Kurt Cobain recorded before his passing. The haunting song is about a girl who spent the night in a pine forest, describing the cold night and blowing wind of the natural environment.
6. “Mother Nature’s Son” by The Beatles
Song Year: 1968
“Mother Nature’s Son” is a relaxing folk track from The White Album, a famous 1968 compilation from The Beatles. It’s by Paul McCartney, who wrote the song after traveling to India.
McCartney sings about growing up in touch with nature. Then, he describes reconnecting with nature as an adult, loving the flowers, sun, and rushing rivers.
7. “Out In The Country” by Three Dog Night
Song Year: 1970
“Out In The Country” is a track about escaping to nature to find peace. It dropped in 1970, at the height of the folk movement.
American band Three Dog Night wrote the track for their album, It Ain’t Easy, describing the feelings of getting in touch with nature and breathing the fresh outdoor air.
8. “Nature Feels” by Frank Ocean
Song Year: 2011
“Nature Feels” is the 14th track from the mixtape Nostalgia Ultra. It’s by American avant-garde artist Frank Ocean and features nature imagery in its lyrics.
The song has a smooth, upbeat feel and choral vocals, and Ocean sings about being out in nature with his lover, spending time together among the cherry trees and the rich oxygen.
9. “Weeds or Wildflowers” by Parsonsfield
Song Year: 2013
Listen to “Weed or Wildflowers,” a 2013 track by Parsonfield. It debuted as the first track from their studio album, Poor Old Shine.
The multi-genre band lends their talents to this folk-inspired track about the passing of days. The singers conclude that even though we’ll one day be gone, the weeds and wildflowers will still be around.
10. “In a Week” by Hozier
Song Year: 2014
In “In a Week,” the 7th track of his debut album Hozier, Andrew Hozier-Byrne shares two sides of nature, the beautiful and the morbid.
The Irish singer describes a haunting scene of decay and death in the depths of a forest in the wilderness. Accompanying the song is a gentle folk track with dark melodies.
11. “Waterfalls” by Death Cab For Cutie
Song Year: 2020
“Waterfalls” is a song by Death Cab For Cutie, an indie rock band from Washington. The track came out in December 2020 as part of their EP, Georgia.
Using nature imagery and evocative lyrics, “Waterfalls” is a warning tale that advises young listeners. Lead singer Ben Gibbard sings about avoiding dangerous situations, likening them to waterfalls.
12. “Scarborough Fair / Canticle” by Simon & Garfunkel
Song Year: 1966
Classic folk-rock pair Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel released this iconic tune in 1966. The track covers an old English folk song, and nature themes run throughout the piece.
The song is a ballad and follows the story of a man who lost his lover. He weaves lyrics about herbs, flowers, sparrows, and the weather, describing the past relationship.