Space captivates the human mind.
It evokes images of a vast, dark emptiness, stars, and planets, block holes and nebula…
It stimulates our imagination. It makes us wonder what else is out there.
Are there other planets we could occupy? What do they look like? And are they occupied by other intelligent creatures?
Much of it is speculation, but it certainly makes it a great subject for songs.
In this guide, we’ll be looking at 34 of the best songs about space.
“Space Oddity” by David Bowie
Song year: 1969
David Bowie was incredibly prolific through the years, and landed platinum hits in every decade from the 70s onward during his lifetime.
Even so, he will continue to be remembered for “Space Oddity”, more so than just about any other song he ever published.
Its influence, by the way, is felt all over this list, as you’re about to see.
“Space Oddity” was written after Bowie saw the Stanley Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Bowie also admitted, however, that he was under the influence when he saw the movie and wrote the song.
The song tells the story of Major Tom, an astronaut who ultimately gets stranded in space. But many people assumed the song was about the space landing, and the song got used heavily by BBC around that time despite the somewhat dark subject matter (Major Tom never returns to earth).
It will certainly stand as one of my favorite songs about space, though!
“We Are All Made Of Stars” by Moby
Song year: 2002
This early 2000s hit was hard to avoid upon its release. And apparently it was written in New York after September 11 to express a sense of hopefulness.
Reading the lyrics, you get the sense that the song is also vaguely about relationships: “People they come together / People they fall apart / No one can stop us now / ‘Cause we are all made of stars.”
These lyrics allude to the fact that our bodies are made up of a tiny percentage of stardust, the same thing most of the universe is made up of.
No matter how you want to cut it, though, I think it’s a bit of a weird song.
“Space Truckin’” by Deep Purple
Song year: 1972
The lyrics to “Space Truckin’” feature plenty of references to space, whether it’s Mars, the Milky Way, or the solar system. But they kind of read like one big pun.
This is basically one of those songs where you can let your imagination get carried away by what it would be like to travel through space (because that’s exactly what the song is about!).
I’m partial to Deep Purple’s music in general, so I find this to be a fun hard rock track to listen to.
“Walking On The Moon” by The Police
Song year: 1979
Depends who you ask, but British reggae rock band The Police sure had an impressive (if short) run, creating some amazing music along the way. It certainly doesn’t hurt that they had Sting as their lead singer and bassist (but I’ve always thought the entire band was amazing).
So, looking at the lyrics, they’re kind of cryptic, leading you to wonder what the song might be about.
Apparently, an inebriated Sting wrote the song after going to a concert in Munich (that gives it a bit of context). He happened to remember it the next morning and wrote it down.
Sting basically explained that it was a song about being in love, because when you’re in love, you feel like you could defy gravity.
“Supersonic Rocket Ship” by The Kinks
Song year: 1972
Ever wanted a hippie rock song about inclusion and equality? Then The Kinks’ “Supersonic Rocket Ship” will be music to your ears.
The song is, of course, brimming with the same idealism held by hippies.
It has been suggested, however, that songwriter Ray Davies was perhaps making fun of rock star hippies.
I’m not so sure but take what you will from it.
“Space Cowboy” by Steve Miller Band
Song year: 1969
“Space Cowboy” by Steve Miller Band is a catchy (if quirky) rock and roll song.
Lyrically, it seems to be a song about “finding a new way.” Where I have no idea whether The Kinks’ “Supersonic Rocket Ship” is anti-hippie, “Space Cowboy” at least hints at it:
“And I’m tired of all this talk about love / And the same old story with a new set of words.”
Overall, it’s just a song about being tired of the way things are and wanting things to change.
“There’s A Star For Everyone” by Aretha Franklin
Song year: 1981
“Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin’s “There’s A Star For Everyone” is a ballad about being unsure whether your love is being reciprocated. Not unrequited love, but close.
The title comes from a line the backing singers sing: “There’s a star for everyone who’s lost.”
I guess this would be the idea of True North – you can still find your way back home looking up at the stars, even if love leaves you feeling lost.
“Mr. Spaceman” by The Byrds
Song year: 1966
On the surface, The Byrds’ “Mr. Spaceman” seems to be a song about escapism. Trying to get away from a world where everything is going wrong.
Apparently, the band wrote it as a science fiction-themed song, created as a “melodramatic screenplay.”
I don’t sense any melodrama at work here, but I can appreciate the song for what it is either way.
“Space Station #5” by Montrose
Song year: 1973
If I didn’t know better, I would say this hard rock song is about escapism – getting away from challenges and difficulties you’re facing.
Vocalist and songwriter of “Space Station #5” Sammy Hagar claims to have been abducted by aliens when he was a child, so it has been suspected that there is a connection between that experience and this song.
Some reviewers have been quick to explain away this experience as a bad dream, but I guess we’ll never know.
“Rocket” by Def Leppard
Song year: 1987
Def Leppard’s catalog is riddled with hits, and “Rocket” is no exception.
The subject matter of Def Leppard songs often proves much simpler or less serious than you might have at first assumed.
“Rocket” is a good example of that, because it’s basically just a tribute to Leppard’s influences and some of the greatest artists and bands of all time – The Beatles, David Bowie, Elton John, and so on. There are no hidden meanings here.
“Space Junk” by Devo
Song year: 1976
There are few bands that epitomize the quirky, rawness of “new wave” like Devo.
The song tells a story of Sally, who gets hit by “space junk.” And by the end of the song, she’s dead because of the junk. The narrator, therefore, expresses his distaste for things flying down from space.
The title of the song was apparently taken from a headline found in Akron Beacon Journal in 1975. Besides that, we assume the song is somewhat open to interpretation.
“There’s A Moon In The Sky (Called The Moon)” by B-52s
Song year: 1979
Continuing with the new wave theme, we have the B-52s “There’s A Moon In The Sky (Called The Moon)”.
At first glance, the song basically just makes a lot of references to space, whether it’s Saturn, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Van Allen belt, supernova, or otherwise. But there’s also an interesting reference to Superman with “Kryptonite”.
Not sure what else to tell you about this song, except that it’s oddly catchy and groovy.
“Man On The Moon” by R.E.M.
Song year: 1992
By now it’s well known that “Man On The Moon” is a song about innovative comedian Andy Kaufman.
If you don’t know anything about him, you could certainly watch the movie of the same name starring Jim Carrey. You can also watch some of his performances on YouTube.
The fact that Kaufman’s presence extended into music shows you just how influential he was.
“2,000 Light Years From Home” by The Rolling Stones
Song year: 1967
The Rolling Stones’ “2,000 Light Years From Home” is abstract to say the least – both lyrically and musically.
Apparently, singer Mick Jagger wrote the lyrics while in Brixton prison.
So, I guess it could be said that the song is about missing home while you’re in prison. We assume that’s the case.
“Stellar” by Incubus
Song year: 1999
“Stellar” is one of Incubus’ most recognized songs.
The song is basically about how the narrator feels about someone he’s fallen for (“stellar”). He’s never met anyone that makes him feel this good. There are more songs on this list that follow a similar theme.
“Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden
Song year: 1994
If you were anywhere near a radio in the mid-90s, there was no avoiding Soundgarden’s “Block Hole Sun”, a grunge rock hit.
Singer, guitarist, and songwriter Chris Cornell said the song was about the contrast between dark and light.
Apparently, he found it fascinating that a black hole is a billion times larger than the sun, but it’s a dark void of nothingness. Meanwhile, the sun offers light and is life-giving.
“Starlight” by Muse
Song year: 2006
As with many songs about space, this one via Muse also appears to be about escapism and falling in love.
The band noted it’s basically just a song about missing someone, which aligns with our view of it.
“Black Star” by Radiohead
Song year: 1995
As with most Radiohead songs, “Black Star” certainly seems to have some dark undertones. But if you look passed the poetry of it, you basically just see a relationship that’s falling apart.
It has also been theorized that it’s a song about depression. The girl (or woman) the narrator speaks of is having a hard time, and this pains the narrator as well.
“Mambo Sun” by T. Rex
Song year: 1971
In recent memory, grunge music is often referred to as “abstract”, but there was plenty of music in the 60s and 70s that was likewise like a spray of paint on a canvas (to be fair, some of it was created under the influence).
Want to see what I mean?
“My life’s a shadowless horse / If I can’t get across to you / In the alligator rain / My heart’s all pain for you.”
But in the end, it’s just a song about being madly in love.
“Satellite Of Love” by Lou Reed
Song year: 1972
David Bowie’s influence can be heard and felt all over “Satellite Of Love”.
As Lou Reed was beginning work on the song, a satellite had just been launched, and it was covered heavily in the news.
The song is apparently about a man who watches this on the news as he’s reflecting on his unfaithful girlfriend.
I can’t find that anywhere in the lyrics, but it does make sense when you know.
“The Final Countdown” by Europe
Song year: 1986
“The Final Countdown” by Europe is an 80s favorite, though if we’re being honest, the reason it keeps resurfacing is because it continues to get discovered by the younger generations.
After all, the song is kind of cheesy. But in our opinion, it is the right kind of guilty pleasure.
Lyrically, it was inspired by David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”, so not much needs to be said in that regard.
“Cygnus X-1” by Rush
Song year: 1977
Cygnus X-1, of course, is a galactic X-ray source in the constellation Cygnus.
The song, “Cygnus X-1” is in fact a song series by Canadian progressive rock band Rush (we’ve embedded the video featuring the first part “Cygnus X-1 Book One – The Voyage”).
The song tells the story of an explorer traveling towards the black hole to see whether there is anything beyond it.
I’m not going to give any spoilers as to what happens, but if you’re curious, I would suggest exploring it for yourself.
The music certainly takes you on a journey, and it was obviously written that way.
“Mothership Connection (Star Child)” by Parliament
Song year: 1975
I don’t think “Mothership Connection” by Parliament is meant to be taken seriously. It’s a funk song, so you know it mostly exists to make you dance.
And to be honest, lyrically, the song is basically about partying and dancing.
“Heart Of The Sunrise” by Yes
Song year: 1971
Here’s another progressive rock song about space via British band Yes.
If I were to take the song at face value, I would probably say it’s about heartbreak.
Songwriter Jon Anderson has given a few explanations as to the song’s meaning – being lost in the city, the energy of the sunrise, or the power of love.
So, we’re left scratching our heads a little, but we suspect it’s probably a combination of all the above.
“Major Tom (Coming Home)” by Peter Schilling
Song year: 1982
Yet another song that references David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” But in this song, Major Tom somehow survives and begins making his way home.
Bowie did not have a part in writing the song, nor was he involved in producing it. So, the song “unofficially” connects to Bowie’s song, but it’s almost certainly referencing it.
“Supernaut” by Black Sabbath
Song year: 1972
“Supernaut” by Black Sabbath is mostly known for its many, varied, and incredibly catchy guitar riffs.
The lyrics kind of seem nonsensical. But some suspect the title is a play on the term “psychonaut”, which refers to someone who explores the psyche.
As with other songs from this period, it might refer to being under the influence as well.
“A Sky Full Of Stars” by Coldplay
Song year: 2014
Coldplay’s “A Sky Full Of Stars” is about falling for someone amazing:
“’Cause you’re a sky, ‘cause you’re a sky full of stars.”
Of course, there is a catch – this special someone might end up breaking the narrator’s heart, and the narrator knows it.
Aside from that, I just think of this as a catchy dance song.
“Drops Of Jupiter (Tell Me)” by Train
Song year: 2001
If you were listening to music in the early 2000s, it’s unlikely you haven’t heard “Drops OF Jupiter (Tell Me)” by Train.
The narrator tells the story of a girl/woman who can’t sit still. Could be that she likes to travel and explore the world. It could also be that she has big dreams and is always thinking about how life could be.
Lead singer Patrick Monahan, however, said the song is about his mother who died after struggling with cancer.
So, in a way, it’s a song about mourning.
“Lucky Star” by Madonna
Song year: 1983
As with many Madonna songs, this is just a catchy pop song about being in love (or maybe in lust).
No deep meanings here.
But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a weak spot for this era of Madonna music, because of how groovy and danceable the songs are.
“Rocket Man” by Elton John
Song year: 1972
Elton John’s “Rocket Man” was inspired by a short story of the same title. And the themes explored seem to match up with that of Bowie’s “Space Oddity” too.
There are other theories concerning the meaning behind the song, but it’s clear it tells the story of a man going up into air (or space), not to return for a long time to come.
“E.T.” by Katy Perry
Song year: 2010
“E.T.” by Katy Perry is basically just about being in love and infatuation, as many of her songs are.
The song certainly builds up the person the narrator has fallen for, but that has you wondering whether it’s just going to be a big letdown for the narrator.
The narrator does seem self-aware, however, as she says:
“Infect me with your love and fill me with your poison.”
Nevertheless, she’s not turning and running the other way, either.
“Jupiter Crash” by The Cure
Song year: 1996
The Cure’s “Jupiter Crash” sounds kind of somber from the start and seems to carry themes of love lost throughout.
Many of us have that experience of encountering someone we connect with or are attracted to, but just as soon as they arrive, they quickly disappear from our lives. That’s what this song seems to be describing.
“Spaceship Superstar” by Prism
Song year: 1977
Whenever I think of songs about space, I can’t help but think of this one. Not because it was from my era, but more so because I’ve heard it on the radio dozens of times.
I’ve always thought of this as a party song, especially with its reference to a “solar-powered laser beam guitar.” And that certainly seems to be the case.
But there is one interesting fact about it – the lyrics were influenced by George Lucas’ Star Wars.
“To The Moon & Back” by Savage Garden
Song year: 1997
Savage Garden was kind of a “hit and run” one-hit wonder of the 90s. Although it’s fair to say they had a little more staying power than some artists of the same ilk, their biggest hits, and most remembered tunes are mostly from their self-titled debut album.
The narrator tells the story of a girl who’s lived a tough life, with references to a difficult family life and a social or relational life that resembles it.
She hasn’t given up, however, and she’s still out there looking for love.
Top Songs With Space In The Title – Final Thoughts
We hope you enjoyed our look at songs about space.
As you’ve already seen, songs about space aren’t always about space at all, but because it’s such a rich area for metaphor, it inspires the content of many songs.
Which song is your favorite? Are there any we missed? We look forward to hearing from you.