Green is often associated with money and nature, two of the most important things in the world. It’s no surprise then that many musicians have penned songs about the color.
Here are the best songs with green in the title.
1. “Green Light” by Lorde
Song Year: 2017
“Green Light” is one of the newer songs about green, but it was the lead single from her second studio album, Melodrama.
It’s a catchy song about moving on to new things after a relationship. The green light in question tells the listener to go ahead with their plans to move on.
Critics loved it. So did fans. “Green Light” got rave reviews and found a spot in the Top 20 on charts worldwide.
2. “Green Onions” by Booker T. and The MG
Song Year: 1962
This is one of those songs that you’ve heard whether you recognize the title or not. It’s an instrumental, so don’t worry about having never heard anyone singing the words “Green onions.”
The song has a murderously catchy hook played on a Hammond organ, an instantly identifiable sound. These days, “Green Onions” is one of the most recognizable and influential instrumentals in popular music history.
3. “Green River” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Song Year: 1969
When you talk about bands with a distinctive sound, Credence has got to be high on the list. Like Fleetwood Mac, there aren’t a whole lot of other groups that sound like them.
“Green River” came off the band’s third album and became one of their most famous songs. It’s about Green River, a place frontman John Fogarty knew as a kid. That bluesy CCR sound is on full display, propelling the song to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
4. “John Deere Green” by Joe Diffie
Song Year: 1993
There probably isn’t a sweeter couple in country music than Billy Bob and Charlene, the main characters of Joe Diffie’s huge hit from Honky Tonk Attitude. It tells of Billy Bob painting the local water tower with a declaration of his love for the girl in a color he’s intimately familiar with.
It’s a ridiculously catchy song, and some turned their noses up at it as a campy novelty hit. But it made Diffie into a pretty big star. It’s not that it’s the best song ever written, but it’s so endearing to think of Billy Bob making a huge gesture that, to him (if not fancy city folk) was the ultimate romantic move.
5. “O Green World” by Gorillaz
Song Year: 2006
Gorillaz is a virtual band— the four members are cartoon characters. In real life, two Brits named Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett are the flesh-and-blood guys behind the group. They both write songs, and Hewlett handles the animation side.
“O Green World” is a nod to climate change, painting a picture of a world where nature is being destroyed by industrialization and pollution. Albarn’s falsetto voice, interspersed with lower-register notes augmented by distortion, gives the song a chaotic feel. And it works.
6. “Seeing Green” by Nicki Minaj, Drake, and Lil Wayne
Song Year: 2021
Three big names bring their cred to “Seeing Green,” and they trade rhymes expertly throughout the song over a sick, sick beat.
The green in question is money, and the lyrics touch on themes of success, wealth, and fame. So it fittingly samples The Notorious B.I.G.'s “Get Money.” Everybody’s great in the song, but Nicki Minaj stands out. The others aren’t mullets by any stretch, but if this were a battle, she’d win.
7. “The Ballad of the Green Berets” by SSgt. Barry Sadler
Song Year: 1966
Few staff sergeants have number-one hits on their resumes, but SSgt. Barry Sadler does.
“The Ballad of the Green Berets” dropped during the Vietnam War and was a major hit in the States, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The lyrics praise the bravery and sacrifice of the Green Berets and honor their commitment to defending freedom and democracy.
Its sing-along chorus made it a popular anthem for the military and supporters of the war effort, and it was a hit despite the controversy surrounding the Vietnam War and the protests of that era.
8. “The Green Manalishi (with the Two-Prong Crown)” by Fleetwood Mac
Song Year: 1970
“The Green Manalishi” was a rare cover song for Fleetwood Mac, as it was written and originally recorded by guitarist Peter Green. The song was released in 1970, during the period when the band was transitioning from a blues-based outfit to a more rock-oriented sound. It’s a concrete record of the band’s evolution that you can hear happening yourself.
The Green Manalishi haunts the narrator’s dreams and promises riches beyond imagination, but these stories never work out well.
9. “The World’s Green Laughter” by The B-52s
Song Year: 1992
“Quirky,” “weird,” and “surreal” are words that everyone resorts to when trying to describe the New Wave music of the B-52s. There’s a reason for that. The band’s music is, well, quirky, weird, and surreal.
“The World's Green Laughter” toes that line with vocals from the band’s two female members, Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson. The lyrics are cryptic, so can anyone definitively say what it’s about? Judging from other hits from the band (“Planet Claire,” “Rock Lobster”), who knows?
10. “Where the Green Grass Grows” by Tim McGraw
Song Year: 1998
Tim McGraw sings about leaving city life behind to settle down in a more rural area to be closer to nature. It portrays a peaceful and happy life where the grass is green, and the air is clean.
McGraw encourages listeners to leave behind the hustle and bustle of the city and embrace a simpler way of living and paints a convincing picture of the upside of undertaking a change of pace in life.
11. “A Little Green Rosetta” by Frank Zappa
Song Year: 1979
From the title, you might think “A Little Green Rosetta” is about a car or something. But then you realize it’s a Frank Zappa song, so of course, you quickly realize that Rosetta is a little green alien.
The lyrics are playful and humorous, and the music has a jazzy feel to it, as did so much of Zappa’s prodigious output. The message seems to be about the importance of communication and understanding between people of different cultures, and it encourages listeners to embrace differences and be open-minded.
12. “A Certain Shade of Green” by Incubus
Song Year: 1997
Incubus brings its trademark heavy guitar riffs, pounding drums, and energetic vocals to create an intense and powerful sound.
“A Certain Shade of Green” talks about feeling trapped and wanting to break free from the monotony of everyday life. It encourages listeners to take control of their lives and pursue their dreams, even if it means going against the norm.
13. “Bein’ Green” by Kermit the Frog
Song Year: 1970
Yeah, it’s a Muppets song. So? It may be cute, and sure, it’s sung by a frog, but that doesn’t take away from the song’s power any more than the same takeaway from “The Rainbow Connection.”
It debuted on Sesame Street and became an instant classic. It’s cute, it’s catchy, it’s clever. But more important, it carries a message of self-acceptance and the importance of learning to be comfortable in one’s own skin.
Little kids watched, and those were the very people who needed to hear that message.
14. “Big Green Tractor” by Jason Aldean
Song Year: 2009
Country music often sings the praises of the simple life, and “Big Green Tractor” is no exception. Driving around in a big green tractor might not be the sexiest thing you could ever do, but it can be fun and satisfying.
It boasts a laid-back, easy-going feel, and the lyrics are about appreciating the little things in life and finding joy in the company of others. It’s got a killer hook, too, so singing along with it— another of life’s simple pleasures— is almost mandatory.
15. “On Green Dolphin Street” by Miles Davis
Song Year: 1959
Bronisław Kaper wrote “On Green Dolphin Street” in 1947, but perhaps the definitive version comes from trumpet legend Miles Davis, who included it on his seminal album Kind of Blue.
It was originally written for the 1947 film Green Dolphin Street, but after Davis got through with it, most people forgot that flick. The song is well known for its back-and-forth trips from a Latin-infused verse to its swing chorus. It’s a jazz standard these days, so if you stop by a jazz club late at night, the chances of hearing someone in there play this song are pretty good.
16. “Green Christmas” by Barenaked Ladies
Song Year: 1996
If you have to have a Christmas song (and if the color green is involved, you kind of do), you may as well have one from the funny, smart, lyrically gifted Barenaked Ladies. It’s a humorous take on Christmas with lyrics describing a dysfunctional family holiday.
The song features a catchy melody and upbeat instrumentation because that’s what you get from these creative Canadians, and it has ended up being that rare Christmas song that BNL fans love to hear year-round.
17. “Green Disease” by Pearl Jam
Song Year: 2002
Eddie Vedder and company dropped “Green Disease” as part of 2002’s Riot Act, kicking the song off with driving drums and the band’s standard two-guitar attack.
The green disease in question, of course, is greed. Pearl Jam has long spoken out against injustice, battling against Ticketmaster, testifying before Congress, and trying to make the world better with their music.
One way to do that is to point out the world’s shortcomings, and Vedder’s lyrics do a fine job here. Social commentary has rarely sounded so cool.
18. “Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You” by Wilson Pickett
Song Year: 1971
If it’s by Wilson Pickett, it’s probably got a cool factor to it. If there are also horns involved, there’s no “probably” to it.
“Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You” features Pickett’s powerful vocals and a funky rhythm section, and it warns the listener not to get fooled by appearances because even the sweetest, kindest, prettiest of them all might just be in it for the money— your money.
19. “Green Eggs and Swine” by 3rd Bass
Song Year: 1991
Though it has “green” in the title, this song is hip-hop gold. It opens with what very well might be the Wicked Witch of the West reading from Dr. Seuss, then gives over to a block-rock beat topped with the inescapable swagger of 3rd Bass.
The lyrics are funny now and then, but the gist revolves around the exploitation of artists in general and rap music in particular. “Green Eggs and Swine” was part of the group’s second and final album, Derelicts of Dialect.
20. “Green Eyes” by Coldplay
Song Year: 2002
Coldplay features Chris Martin, formerly Mr. Gwenyth Paltrow. Due to who he used to be married to and that Martin himself comes off as kind of a weirdo, Coldplay often gets dismissed. And that’s too bad because they’re a pretty great band.
“Green Eyes” is a love song with acoustic guitar, a piano, and some strings laying a foundation for Martin’s vocals. It’s an effective piece of music describing the pain of separation from a loved one and the hope of being reunited.
21. “Green Gloves” by The National
Song Year: 2007
In this song, the green gloves represent the narrator’s efforts to hold a failing relationship together. It’s a subdued piece of music with frontman Matt Berninger turning in some somber, brooding vocals over quiet guitar and spare percussion.
The couple in the lyrics tries and ultimately fails to make a real connection with each other. Things are ending, but it’s not for lack of trying.
Top Songs With Green In The Title, Final Thoughts
Songs about green aren’t ubiquitous, but the ones we know are all pretty great pieces of music over several genres. If we missed your favorite, remember what Kermit said about how it’s hard to be green now and then. And we’re sorry.