Flowers, particularly roses, are a common theme and symbol in many songs.
They represent different things in life, such as budding romances, a place of beauty, or people, depending on the situation. Generally, most cultures use roses in their music to represent love, appreciation, passion, and pain.
With that in mind, let’s discuss the top songs with the word rose in the title.
“Kiss From A Rose” by Seal
Song Year: 1994
Would there be a better way to start this list than with a song from the musical pop icon, Seal? Having burst into the music scene in the early 1990s, he released “Kiss From a Rose,” which became an instant hit, garnering millions of views and accolades.
Although Seal never revealed what the lyrics behind the song meant, many believe it is a portrayal of true love. It encompasses both pleasure and pain, as exhibited by a rose.
“La Vie en Rose” by Edith Piaf
Song Year: 1947
“La Vie en Rose” is one of the most popular songs from the album “Chansons Parisiennes” by Edith Piaf. The song title translated literally means “life in pink” but it can be interpreted as “life through rose-colored glasses” or life in happy hues,” among other potential meanings.
Based on lyrical interpretation, the song portrays how a partner’s love brings about comfort and happiness in the singer’s life. Though the song is written and sung in French, it’s been a global hit since its release. Notably, there were several different versions of the song released by various artists in 1950 and they all ranked well on the US Billboard charts.
“Roses” by Chainsmokers ft. Rozes
Song Year: 2015
This hit song by the American DJ duo Chainsmokers introduces songstress Rozes who sings about love and passion towards her lover and boyfriend. It features chilling drop beats and sultry vocals, making it adventurous and captivating.
The accompanying music video features a tale of a woman who spends a romantic evening with a man, only to realize he left in the morning while she was asleep. The two reunite though and her joy is represented with her dancing through falling rose petals.
“Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Poison
Song Year: 1988
“Every Rose Has Its Thorn” is a powerful ballad released in the late 1980s after electronic dance and modern rock music emerged.
The song’s narrator speaks of the love he once had and lost due to the onset of his musical career. It reminisces the happy moments the singer shared with his lover and expresses the loving relationship as a rose and the pain in the aftermath of the breakup as its prickly thorns. He notes that the experience molded him into a better person.
“Rose of My Heart” by Johnny Cash
Song Year: 1986
“Rose of My heart” is a heartfelt country song that speaks of love as one of the greatest gifts a man can receive. Following the lyrics, you can understand that the singer expresses love toward his partner. He describes his partner as the love and the rose of his heart.
Sung with a lot of passion and sincerity, you can dedicate the “Rose of My Heart” to the person you love and make their day.
“A Rose is Still A Rose” by Aretha Franklin
Song Year: 1998
Commonly referred to as the “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin is known for her sultry vocals and unforgettable songs, including “A Natural Woman” and “A Rose is Still A Rose.”
“A Rose is Still A Rose” is an affirmation of self-love. The lyrics offer advice to young women easily lured by men only wanting them for their bodies and not love. Aretha reminds these women that they are still beautiful and resemble a rose with a lot of power.
“Mother Rose” by Patti Smith
Song Year: 2004
“Mother Rose” is a tribute to all mothers who have dedicated their lives to their loved ones.
Patti Smith pays homage and tribute to her “Mami,” who was there for her when she needed her the most. The song is beautiful and full of unforgettable memories of her mother, prompting the listeners to think about the motherly figures in their lives.
“Desert Rose” by Sting
Song Year: 2000
“Desert Rose” is a smash hit by Sting that features an enchanting combination of his distinct vocals and a hint of Arabic culture and folklore introduced to the world by Algerian raï singer Cheb Mami.
Sting views this as a song about longing, and though he initially didn’t know what the Arabic verses mean, he was happy to find out that they carry much of the same sentiment. In addition to the the great vocals, the music is equally enthralling from the first beat, reminding us how intoxicating the feeling of love can be.
“A Rose By Any Name” by Blondie
Song Year: 2013
Sung by the American new wave band, Blondie, “A Rose By Any Name” is one of their best-selling singles.
The song has a powerful chorus that depicts love for any gender, referring to both males and females as roses worthy of love.
“Monarchy of Roses” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Song Year: 2011
Red Hot Chili Peppers’ second single, “Monarchy of Roses,” from their album “I’m With You,” topped the Billboard charts soon after its release.
The lyrics to this song explore the ups and downs of relationships, likening individuals to a rose that depicts both pleasure and pain.
“Last of the English Roses” by Pete Doherty
Song Year: 2009
“Last of the English Roses” is a solo single by Pete Doherty. It reached number 67 on the UK singles chart, becoming a favorite to many.
Lyrically, the song allows the listener to idealize the aspect of English roses. It also adopts the upbeat style and melody of great guitar string work, making the song enjoyable.
“The Rose” by Bette Midler
Song Year: 1980
This is a timeless love song by Bette Midler used in many movies and TV shows. The lyrics are about proving that love is power, pain, and happiness. It teaches the listeners to nurture their love for it to bloom like a rose.
“Rose Tattoo” by DropKick Murphys
Song Year: 2012
“Rose Tattoo” is a song about tattoos that tell a story. The singer reminds himself of his upbringing through his tattoos. Each symbolized a virtue he learned, including bravery, sacrifice, and love. He insists he wears his tattoos with pride because they all mean something to him.
“Roses” by OutKast
Song Year: 2004
OutKast’s “Roses” became an internet sensation soon after its release. It also gained much popularity in the United States and the U.K.
The song is about a beautiful girl named Caroline with an ugly attitude and character. It warns the girl to stop being too proud and thinking she is a rose when she is not.
The song warns young women to stop being superficial, proud, and money-oriented and exercise humility.
“Rose of Sharon” by Mumford & Sons
Song Year: 1981
“Rose of Sharon” is an intense song where the narrator speaks of his undying love for his partner. He insists that he will love and cherish her because they belong together.
That said, this song is a justification for love and loyalty. Dedicate “Rose of Sharon” to your loved one and let them know of your undying love.
“Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses” by Kathy Mattea
Song Year: 1988
If you are a fan of 80s country music, then “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses” is just up your alley.
The song is about a truck driver named Charlie who is about to retire and enjoy the rest of his life with his wife. It is a sentimental song that talks about love for loved ones and your work.
“Smell the Roses” by Roger Waters
Song Year: 2017
“Smell the Roses” focuses on anti-war themes. The song speaks about the catastrophes in Syria and North Korea and other inhumane activities that have claimed millions of lives.
It reminds all his listeners to awaken and fight for the good and not to instigate wars. Waters focuses on spreading peace using this song.
“English Rose” by Motorhead
Song Year: 2008
“English Rose” is a rock song that details how a beautiful woman’s duality can bring happiness and emotional pain to a man.
The singer tells a story of how he waits for his lover to arrive, insisting that she always keeps him waiting, yet he cannot have enough of her.
“Run for the Roses” by Dan Fogelberg
Song Year: 1981
“Run for the Roses” is a familiar theme song for many horse racing events. The song is a tale of the trials and tribulations horses experience in a race while praising them for their bravery and strength.
“A Dozen Roses (You Remind Me)” by Monica
Song Year: 2006
This classic hip hop and R&B song by Monica depicts love towards her lover, whom she likens to many of her favorite things.
Listening to the song, you can feel the love and passion oozing from the lyrics. So, if you are head over heels in love with someone, listen to Monica’s love song and immerse yourself into the emotions.
“Bed of Roses” by Bon Jovi
Song Year: 1993
“Bed of Roses” is a track from Bon Jovi’s Keep The Faith album that portrays the protagonists’ love towards their partners. The song’s title is a metaphor for what the singer is going through describing his undying love despite the torture and pain he feels.
Interestingly, as some of the verses reveal, Bon Jovi wrote the lyrics to while staying at a hotel and recovering from a hangover. The old piano he references was brought to him by the hotel’s staff.
“For the Roses” by Joni Mitchell
Song Year: 1972
“For the Roses” is widely considered one of Joni Mitchell’s best songs. Further cementing its legacy, it was among 25 recordings chosen to be added to the National Recording Registry in 2007.
Mitchell drew inspiration for the song from a horse race in the Kentucky Derby where horses charge for the finish line and the winner is adorned with a wreath of flowers.
“Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris” by Hayley Williams
Song Year: 2020
If you are a fan of soft rock, then you may have probably heard of Hayley Williams. She is best known as the frontwoman of the rock band Paramore.
Her song “Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris” features her magnificent vocals and impressive drumming, guitar, and rhythmic notes. It’s a song about girl power and loving yourself like a rose.
“Roses” by Adam Lambert ft. Nile Rodgers
Song Year: 2020
This song has an electric and funk theme serving you with desirable beats to which you can dance. However, the song has a deeper meaning as the singer insists on telling his lover to make his feelings known rather than giving him flowers without speaking about his emotions.
“White Roses” by Greyson Chance
Song Year: 2019
“White Roses” is perhaps one of the best pop songs of the century.
Featuring powerful vocals from singer Greyson Chance, euphoric notes, and a great video description, the song is about a man facing his sexuality and the challenges of accepting that part of himself.
“Love is a Rose” by Neil Young
Song Year: 1977
“Love is a Rose” is a song composed and written by Neil Young from his album, the Decade. It features some sensational steel guitar tunes and a powerful chorus. The lyrics can be interpreted as a warning for anyone in love.
Neil insists that love is like a rose whose thorns can prick you if you touch it. Thus, he urges his listeners to beware of love and, at the same time, nurture it well so that it does not affect them.
“Rose in Harlem” by Teyana Taylor
Song Year: 2018
“Rose in Harlem is an iconic song that references a poem from the legendary icon Tupac Shakur.
It also chronicles Teyana's ups and downs in life, referencing themes of fake friends and tribulations while in the music industry. The song is a reminder to stay humble and work through life.
Top Songs About Roses, Final Thoughts
As this list portrays, roses are a common source of inspiration for most musicians, regardless of the music genre. Whether they use it to reference love, pain, pleasure, strength, power, anguish, or disappointment, among other emotions, it shows how versatile roses are as a theme.