29 Best Songs About Tattoos

11. “New Tattoo” by Mötley Crüe

Song Year: 2000

The title track from Mötley Crüe’s eighth studio album, “New Tattoo” marks a first for a Mötley Crüe— a literary reference to a work by Oscar Wilde. Go figure.

The song sounds unlike some of the band’s earlier music, which was raw and frantic, but instead has a pensive feel to it. It’s not a ballad, though the band would be hard-pressed to argue that it doesn’t fall into the “power ballad” category.

The narrator wants his beloved to be as permanent as a tattoo, and he thinks of her as his newest tattoo.

12. “Summertime” by Kenny Chesney

Song Year: 2006

As the Gen X incarnation of Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney has cultivated a laid-back image and seems like he’d be a really great hang.

“Summertime” did as much to endear him to the world as any of his other hits as it ticks off a lot of things that make summer such a nice time. The mention of a tattoo comes in the chorus as one of those things that we see in the summer. A tattoo represents the season because many people have tattoos in spots that might normally be covered up by work clothes.

But putting on a sleeveless shirt and some shorts tends to show that ink to the world.

13. “Tattoo Vampire” by Blue Öyster Cult

Song Year: 1976

Sadly, there’s no cowbell in this odd little song, but maybe that’s a good thing. “Tattoo Vampire” tells a story about, well, a tattooed vampire— a woman who steals the life force from her victims with her tattoos.

Supposedly, the band wrote the song based on a story that singer-songwriter Patti Smith told them, but whether she made it up for kicks or had a run-in with a tattooed vampire is anyone’s guess.

14. “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” by The Offspring

Song Year: 1998

The Offspring’s frontman Dexter Holland has a Ph.D. in molecular biology, so he’s a pretty smart guy. As such, he writes some pretty clever songs. In this case, “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” is a blistering takedown of cultural appropriation and mocks the sort of people who change who they are to impress people.

The tattoo in this song is an emblem of failure, as the white guy in question gets one to be cool, but the tattoo artist screws it up. The guy has a lifelong reminder now of what a dork he is.

15. “Tattoos and Scars” by Montgomery Gentry

“Tattoos and Scars" by Montgomery Gentry

Song Year: 1999

A classic country ballad about emotional scars, “Tattoos and Scars” discusses the two things in the title. Both tattoos and scars tell stories, but the difference is that most of the time, we choose a tattoo. Scars, on the other hand, get chosen for us by life.

A rough-and-tumble life will leave more scars, the song says, and may drive someone to get more tattoos to commemorate different aspects of life.

16. “She Looks So Perfect” by 5 Seconds of Summer

Song Year: 2014

“She Looks So Perfect” was the first thing most of the world heard from 5 Seconds of Summer as it was the lead single from the group’s self-titled debut album. It didn’t break the top 20, but it was a hit nonetheless and in several countries in addition to the US.

It’s a straight-up love song that celebrates the narrator’s girl, someone he loves so much that he got her name tattooed on himself. Love is great and all, but the whole name tattoo thing doesn’t often work out super well.

17. “Red Dragon Tattoo” by Fountains of Wayne

Song Year: 1999

Ah, young love. “Red Dragon Tattoo” finds a young kid getting a tattoo to prove to the one he loves just how much she means to him. The kicker is that, through the lyrics, we learn that she may not even know he exists.

The narrator is nerdy and not exactly the tattoo-getting type, as he makes a point of bringing antibiotic ointment to his appointment. After all, an infected red dragon tattoo would just be sad.

The song has the same catchy melody and cool harmonies that characterize many other Fountains of Wayne songs.

18. “Springsteen” by Eric Church

Song Year: 2012

Eric Church’s signature song might be “Springsteen.” Many country songs look back at old relationships with poignant nostalgia, and that can be good or bad. It’s good in this song.

It’s not a song about Bruce Springsteen but rather about the relationship defined by the music of The Boss, which the couple spent a lot of time listening to.

Church mentions a tattoo he got in honor of his love, and here it represents the singular focus we can have on that significant other in our lives.

19. “Tattoos Together” by Lauv

Song Year: 2020

Electronic pop has evolved drastically since the 1980s, and Lauv’s 2020 release How I'm Feeling was another step in that evolutionary chain. “Tattoos Together” immortalizes that feeling during the first flush of love when you can’t imagine that anything will ever separate the two of you again. So why wouldn’t you get matching tattoos?

Some might argue that such an act can be the kiss of death for a new relationship. Lauv sings that while that may be true, things could also go the other way and have everyone live happily (and tattooed) ever after.

20. “Smile” by Avril Lavigne

Song Year: 2011

Avril Lavigne’s narrator in “Smile” sees herself as a complicated woman who’s something of a handful. She expresses gratitude to her partner for putting up with her. The partner makes her happy by loving her, even when she gets into shenanigans like getting a tattoo while blackout drunk.

Hey, we’ve all got our habits.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *