We couldn’t live without the sun. Nor could we live without great songs about the sun. The sun is an inspiration that provides warmth, love, and music to uplift our souls.
Just as the Earth revolves around the sun, so do some of our favorite songs.
“Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles
Song Year: 1969
Winters in England can be long and dreary. So, when the sun finally did break through, George Harrison strolled around his friend Eric Clapton’s garden with a guitar and was inspired to create one of the best songs with sun in the title.
As Harrison notes, sunshine has a way of putting a smile back on people’s faces after a long, cold, lonely winter.
“Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers
Song Year: 1971
Bill Withers was able to quit his job manufacturing airplane bathrooms when his song “Ain’t No Sunshine” became a smash hit. It peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100.
There is cold, lonely darkness when his woman is not at home. For him, sunshine is love, something he needs to get through the day.
“Seasons in the Sun” by Terry Jacks
Song Year: 1973
Terry Jacks was inspired to write a song for a friend who was sick with leukemia. The sun is a symbol of passing time through the changing of the seasons. It is so hard to say goodbye when the birds are singing.
Irish boy band Westlife had a number-one single with their cover in 1999.
“Trip Around the Sun” by Kenny Chesney
Song Year: 2016
Country singer Kenny Chesney believes there is not a whole lot that can be done if the sea levels are rising or we are on a crash course with a comet.
All we can do is take each year as it comes with another “Trip Around the Sun.” Have fun with your friends, drink a few beers, and enjoy life on the planet while we can.
“House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals
Song Year: 1964
“House of the Rising Sun” topped charts internationally when The Animals released a rock version of the traditional folk song.
It’s about a family’s hard life in New Orleans. Mama was a tailor while daddy was an alcoholic gambler. The House of the Rising Sun is a place of ill-repute that has ruined many men, the singer among them.
“Sunshine Song” by Jason Mraz
Song Year: 2009
Jason Mraz went from playing in coffee houses to seeing his debut album go platinum.
When you feel like the sun is shining on everyone else’s life and not yours, it is important to have somebody close who is full of sunshine. By sharing her light, he has hope that the clouds in his life will disappear.
“Tequila Sunrise” by The Eagles
Song Year: 1973
“Tequila Sunrise” was a popular cocktail in the 70s, and as such, Glenn Frey was reluctant to use it as the title.
The song is from the perspective of a lonely man who cannot have the woman of his affection since she is running around with other men. He drinks away his loneliness, numbing himself with tequila as the sun comes up.
“Sunshine on My Shoulders” by John Denver
Song Year: 1974
John Denver wrote “Sunshine On My Shoulders” on a miserable cold, winter day in Minnesota. He was trying to remember what the sun felt like.
The sun gives you a warm, euphoric feeling while making your surroundings all the more beautiful. It can also help you reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Sun Is Shining” by Bob Marley and the Wailers
Song Year: 1978
Bob Marley knows a thing or two about the sun, born and raised in Jamaica. When the sun is shining, the weather sure is sweet.
Marley speaks directly to a woman in his life, wanting her to know where he stands. He is like a rainbow to the rescue. Every day of the week, he will be there for her.
“Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra
Song Year: 1977
ELO frontman Jeff Lynne was on a retreat in a cabin in the Swiss Alps during a stretch of overcast weather. When the sun finally broke through, he was inspired to create one of the most well-known songs about the sun.
The imagery of a sunny day with not a cloud in sight begged him to ask the question, “Why did the blue sky have to hide away for so long?”
“Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves
Song Year: 1985
There is nothing like the feeling of being in love. It feels like you are “Walking On Sunshine.”
The pop song from Katrina and the Waves is about being in love with someone who you can’t wait to see and can’t live without. The warmth of the sun is just like the warm feeling you get when you’re in love.
“I Can See Clearly Now” by Johnny Nash
Song Year: 1972
Johnny Nash had a number-one hit with his signature song, “I Can See Clearly Now.” It topped the charts in Canada and the US Billboard Hot 100.
It is a song of hope and inspiration when the dark clouds in life lift and you have a clear vision of the future with nothing but blue skies ahead.
“The Warmth of the Sun” by The Beach Boys
Song Year: 1964
If there was ever a band that was inspired by the sun, it would be the Beach Boys. However, this track is not from the same place as many of the band’s surf-inspired hits.
The ballad was written in response to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. When somebody you love is suddenly gone, their presence can linger just like the warmth of the sun.
“Who Loves the Sun” by Velvet Underground
Song Year: 1970
The Velvet Underground was known for its avant-garde experimental rock, and “Who Loves the Sun” was a tongue-in-cheek parody of the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun.”
The sun is looked upon in disdain, with a “who cares” attitude. Who cares about love and sunshine when you are suffering from a broken heart?
“Sunrise” by Norah Jones
Song Year: 2004
The only thing that may be as beautiful and tranquil as a sunrise is a sunset. The song “Sunrise” takes us from the morning, through the afternoon, and into the night.
Norah Jones sings about sleeping in with her lover, not being tempted by the sunrise as the morning turns into the afternoon, and you make it through another day with someone you love.
“Pocketful of Sunshine” by Natasha Bedingfield
Song Year: 2007
British pop star Natasha Bedingfield achieved commercial success with “Pocketful of Sunshine,” reaching number five on the US Billboard Hot 100.
For her, sunshine is love, and she has it in abundance. The sun is on your side, and all you have to do is look up at the sky to know everything will be alright.
“Walkin’ on the Sun” by Smash Mouth
Song Year: 1997
Ska-punk band Smash Mouth had a hit with their debut single from their first album, Fush Yu Mang. It reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100.
Influenced by the beating of Rodney King in L.A., the song is a plea for people to get along with one another. This kind of madness is the equivalent of walking on the sun.
“She’s Only Happy in the Sun” by Ben Harper
Song Year: 2003
Singer-songwriter Ben Harper writes about a woman who only finds contentment in a certain state of mind. The sun sets her free when she is high in the clouds.
The songwriter is saddened by his inability to reach her. Her laughter causes him pain. For her, she is only happy when everything is sunny and perfect.
“Invisible Sun” by The Police
Song Year: 1981
“Invisible Sun” refers to the light at the end of the tunnel during dark times. The Police released it from their album, Ghost in the Machine.
The lyrics refer to the hunger strikes in Belfast with an underlying message of hope. Conflict and war need an invisible sun that “gives heat to everyone.”
“Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream
Song Year: 1967
One of rock’s greatest songs of all time, “Sunshine of Your Love” was the biggest hit for British rock band Cream.
The track compares the warmth of sunshine to the love of a woman. The sun also measures the passing of time, the singer eagerly looking forward to dawn when he will see his love again.
“Blister in the Sun” by Violent Femmes
Song Year: 1983
Off their self-titled debut, The Violent Femmes’ track “Blister in the Sun” is featured on the motion picture soundtrack for Grosse Pointe Blank.
In contrast to love songs full of sunshine, the lyrics are laced with strung-out drug abuse. The blister from the sun is like a failed relationship, not everything is picture-perfect.
“You Are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder
Song Year: 1972
Stevie Wonder had his third number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100 with “You Are the Sunshine of My Life.”
The power of love is like the vitality of the sun – without it, there is no life, only loneliness. Wonder sings that he will “always stay around” because of his woman’s love, warm like the sun.
“Island in the Sun” by Weezer
Song Year: 2001
Weezer is a rock band formed in sunny California. Little wonder that one of their most commercially successful songs would be “Island in the Sun.”
It’s all about having fun in the sun. Run away with the one you love, leave your cares behind, and spend forever in a state of bliss.
“Good Day Sunshine” by The Beatles
Song Year: 1966
There is no greater feeling than being in love, especially on a sunny day. Inspired by the Lovin’ Spoonful’s song “Daydream,” Paul McCartney wrote “Good Day Sunshine.”
“Good Day Sunshine” was used to awaken the astronauts on a Space Shuttle mission.
“You Are My Sunshine” by Johnny Cash
Song Year: 1969
One of the most recorded songs ever has been covered by more than 350 artists. The first recording was by the Pine Ridge Boys in 1939.
But it was Johnny Cash’s rendition thirty years later that is most remembered. His voice fits perfectly with the lyrics, a deep sadness when his love is not there to chase his dark clouds away.
“Cold Day in the Sun” by Foo Fighters
Song Year: 2005
A “Cold Day in the Sun” took on new meaning with the unexpected death of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. Hawkins wrote the track and provided lead vocals.
The singer is saying goodbye to someone who may be a little too self-centered. He tells them it may be time to face the world on their own and that they have worn out their welcome.
“Sunshine Superman” by Donovan
Song Year: 1966
Donovan was one of the first artists to experiment with the fusion of folk and psychedelic rock. It worked. “Sunshine Superman” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
As the sun comes through his window, Donovan is reflecting on a relationship where she seems unsure. He is determined to do whatever it takes to convince her to be his forever.
“Waiting for the Sun” by The Doors
Song Year: 1968
As spring arrives, the singer is waiting for the sun while waiting for his woman to come to him. The repetition of the word “waiting” gives us the sensation of passing time.
The song was the title track from The Doors’ only number-one album on the strength of their chart-topping single, “Hello, I Love You.”
“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” by Elton John
Song Year: 1974
A misunderstanding in a relationship has the singer pleading with his partner to give him a second chance. Without that light in his life, everything will go dark, like the sun going down.
The song was composed by Elton John and his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin and released on the album, Caribou.
“Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden
Song Year: 1994
Another song that turns the sun imagery on its head comes from Soundgarden. Instead of the sun as a symbol of love, the band imagines a black hole swallowing up all the negative things in life.
The trip into quantum physics was successful for the band. The song earned a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1995.
“The Sun Will Rise” by Kelly Clarkson
Song Year: 2011
Kelly Clarkson’s fifth album, Stronger, features songs that focus on strength and empowerment. The duet with Kara DioGuardi fits perfectly.
When it feels like you have been kicked around and beaten, you just need a little faith. The sun will rise, and everything will be alright.
“Father Sun” by Wynonna Judd
Song Year: 1993
When you are not allowed to be with the one you love, darkness fills your days. Wynonna Judd begs “Father Sun” to shine a light and let her be free to love.
Judd plays on “father” and “temptation” as if she was in a confessional. The sun is the almighty with the power to dispel her darkness.
“Saturday Sun” by Vance Joy
Song Year: 2018
Vance Joy sings about meeting the perfect girl while on a trip to California. Not wanting to lose the romance, he longs to get her back.
As the sun rises on a Saturday morning, he is driving along the West Coast, reflecting on how perfect they were together. Tired of being alone, he wants to regain the “ray of sunlight” that he found.
“Away From the Sun” by 3 Doors Down
Song Year: 2004
Sometimes, it feels like you are never going to climb out of the hole. You make it to the top of the hill, and someone pushes you down again.
When you are stuck in a dark place with no sense of ever getting out, you feel like you are far away from the light of the sun.
“Morning Has Broken” by Cat Stevens
Song Year: 1972
A hymn first published in 1931, the song reached international popularity when recorded by Cat Stevens.
He praises the sun, the life it nourishes in the first days of spring. Stevens’ sweet acoustic melody was a commercial success, reaching number one on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.
“Soak Up the Sun” by Sheryl Crow
Song Year: 2002
It is easy to become depressed when you don’t have any of the finer things in life, only a crummy job that doesn’t cover the bills.
When life has got you down, you need to lighten up. The sun will always brighten your day, you just have to take a moment to soak some of it up.
“Sunny” by Bobby Hebb
Song Year: 1966
One of the brightest, sunniest, feel-good songs ever recorded is “Sunny.” This is likely why the song has been recorded hundreds of times by a wide variety of artists.
One of the most well-known versions is from Johnny Hebb. Sunny is a woman who brightens his day, eases his pain, and chases away the dark days.
“Brighter Than the Sun” by Colbie Caillat
Song Year: 2011
Sometimes, love can be blinding, the brightest thing in the world, like a lightning strike to the heart. Colbie Caillat feels like her love is as strong as the sun, and she has never been happier in her life.
“The Sound of Sunshine” by Michael Franti & Spearhead
Song Year: 2010
The sun can make everybody feel good if you believe in the power of sunshine.
No matter who you are or where you come from, everyone struggles through rough days. All you have to do is let go and let the sun shine into your life, and you will feel better.
“Lovers on the Sun” by David Guetta
Song Year: 2014
David Guetta’s song has a spaghetti-western vibe, a cowgirl facing danger to save her cowboy. Love conquers all, even a band of villains.
Their love is so intense that it’s as if they are lovers on the sun. Now that’s hot.
“Why Does the Sun Shine?” by They Might Be Giants
Song Year: 1998
Alternative rock band They Might Be Giants take the question and answer it literally. The sun is a mass of incandescent gas. We rely on its light, heat, and energy.
If you want a song that is educational and rocks out, the sun shines on this one.
Top Songs About the Sun, Final Thoughts
As long as the sun shines, music will be written about it. The sun often appears in a song as a symbol of love. Other songs about the sun can be cold, like a world without sunshine when suffering from a broken heart. So many great songs revolve around the sun.