Flowers can have a deep and meaningful impact on our lives in many ways, from receiving a dozen roses from a lover to watching them signal the arrival of spring.
It’s no surprise that singers and bands of all kinds have used flowers as the subject of their songs, both in a literal sense and as a metaphor for something else.
This playlist brings you the greatest flower songs from music history, exploring their hidden meaning and the story behind their composition.
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The 23 Best Songs About Flowers
Whether it’s a pop song about receiving roses from that special someone or a rock ballad with dead flowers as a metaphor, there’s a song about flowers for everyone.
We’ve searched the music archives to bring you this definitive playlist of the best songs about flowers.
Let’s get the ball rolling and run through our playlist of the 23 best songs about flowers:
23. “Blue Orchid” – The White Stripes
The White Stripes tackled the subject of flowers with their song “Blue Orchid,” which uses one of the most beautiful flowers as an analogy for a manipulative woman.
The lyrics “you took a white orchid, you took a white orchid turned it blue” reflect how relationships can quickly turn sour.
The White Stripes released “Blue Orchid” as part of their 2005 album Get Behind Me Satan, referencing the lost innocence at the end of childhood.
22. “Sunflower” – Post Malone & Swae Lee
Post Malone is one of the most popular singers of all time, and he joined forces with Swae Lee for their song “Sunflower.”
He sings about the titular flower representing a lover and summing up the fortitude to leave a relationship that’s no longer working.
It was featured on the soundtrack to the hit animated movie, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, released in 2018 to critical and commercial acclaim.
21. “(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden” – Lynn Anderson
Lynn Anderson’s song “Rose Garden,” also known by its longer title “(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden,” is another tune about lovers using flowers as a metaphor.
It’s a powerful country song that chooses one of the most iconic flowers to represent the good times people have when in love.
“Rose Garden” has been performed by many artists over the years, with Anderson’s 1971 version staying at the top of the Country charts for five weeks.
20. “Marigold” – Nirvana
One of the most unlikely lovers of flowers is Kurt Cobain, who got Dave Grohl to write the song “Marigold” in 1992.
Cobain sings about “Six color pictures all in a row of a marigold,” with some believing it was written about his daughter, Frances Bean.
Before Cobain’s untimely death, Nirvana picked up dozens of awards, picking up several NME awards, including Best Single Ever in 2000.
19. “(Nothing But) Flowers” – Talking Heads
Talking Heads are no strangers to composing the best songs about nature, so it’s not a surprise they’ve honed in on the topic of flowers.
“(Nothing But) Flowers” is a song about environmental activism, albeit in a rather indirect way that you’d expect from this idiosyncratic band.
It’s a song about a post-apocalyptic world where technology no longer exists and the creation of a world where flowers are free to blossom.
18. “Daisies” – Katy Perry
Released in 2020, Katy Perry explored the subject of hope and dreams in her song “Daisies,” featured on the album Smile.
She sings about staying true to yourself and following your dreams no matter what, even when those around you try to pull you down.
It was a big hit with her fans, gathering 30 million views on YouTube and offering them relief and hope amid the pandemic.
17. “Plastic Roses” – Jessica Sanchez
Filipino-American singer Jessica Sanchez, a runner-up on American Idol, contributes to the list of flower songs with “Plastic Roses.”
As the name implies, it’s a song about the artifice of perfection and how great things don’t always last, even if you fake them.
Released in 2013, it was one of the popular songs from her album Me, You & The Music, which is available to stream on all the major music streaming platforms.
16. “Lilac Wine” – Jeff Buckley
“Lilac Wine” was initially sung by Eartha Kitt on her 1953 album The Bad Eartha, with Jeff Buckley covering it and receiving critical acclaim.
Like drinking too much wine, it’s a song about how love can become a destructive habit over time that removes a person from the real world.
Buckley’s impressive discography includes one of the best songs about family, the poetic rock song “Dream Brother” from his 1994 album, Grace.
15. “Cherry Blossom Girl” – Air
French art-pop duo Air rose to fame in the early 2000s, known for their soothing ambient and chill-out music with wonderful instrumentation.
The song “Cherry Blossom Girl” is one of the most endearing productions, capturing the feeling of meeting someone extraordinary.
This pop song was released in 2004, with the title referring to the slang expression for the girl of your dreams.
14. “Life Is A Flower” – Ace of Base
Swedish pop icons Ace of Base released the song “Life is a Flower” in 1998 as a reminder that life can be as beautiful as a flower.
“Life is a flower so precious in your hand,” the lyrics begin, continuing, “carry on smiling, and the world will smile with you.”
Ace of Base is perhaps best known for the song “The Sign,” which earned them a Grammy Award nomination in 1992.
13. “Scarborough Fair” – Simon & Garfunkel
One of the most popular songs from Simon and Garfunkel, “Scarborough Fair,” is rooted way back in the early 17th century.
The famous lyrics list off a selection of flowers, singing, “Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.”
It’s one of the duo’s most recognizable pieces of music, with a beautiful melody and sweet vocals that resemble a flower in bloom.
12. “Wildflowers” – Tom Petty
Legendary singer-songwriter Tom Petty tackles songs about flowers with a predictable style in his beautiful song “Wildflowers.”
It’s the title track from his widely regarded album of the same name and a love song emphasizing the bond between a father and his adult child.
Petty’s career saw him receive dozens of accolades over the years, with multiple Grammy Award nominations and wins to his name.
11. “Dead Flowers” – The Rolling Stones
Unsurprisingly, the Rolling Stones track “Dead Flowers” features many references to drugs since the band had a reputation for being off the rails.
The song picks up a long-standing tradition of using roses as a stand-in for heroin and how addiction to this drug can ruin a relationship.
The Rolling Stones have had a prolific career, including releasing some of the best karaoke songs of all time, such as Sympathy for the Devil.
10. “Black Roses Red” – Alana Grace
Different flowers represent many different things, with black roses used as a metaphor for vulnerability and mystery.
This metaphor sets the tone for “Black Roses Red” by Alana Grace, who fears rejection from the object of her devotion and seeks reassurance.
“Black Roses Red” was released in 2009 and was featured on the soundtrack to the movie Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
9. “The Rose” – Bette Midler
“The Rose” has been sung by several artists, with Conway Twitty, one of the best country singers with a deep voice, and Westlife among those who tackled the tune.
It’s a song about how fragile love can become and the effort and patience required to make it thrive and bloom like a rose.
Midler released the track on her album of the same name in 1979, exploring soft rock influences and styles.
8. “Run For The Roses” – Dan Fogelberg
Sticking with roses once again for Dan Fogelberg’s “Run for the Roses,” another soft rock classic that became the unofficial Kentucky Derby theme.
This 1981 song, taken from the album The Innocent Age, treats life as a horse race, with roses as the ultimate prize.
It’s another classic song covered by many other artists over the years, bringing it to a much wider audience of new and adoring fans.
7. “Lotus Flower” – Radiohead
Lotus flowers are the topic of Radiohead’s alt-rock song “Lotus Flower,” with the lyrics alluding to the flower’s psychedelic qualities.
The lyrics talk about how the lotus flower is a symbol of unity in Buddhism and uses it as a metaphor for the bond between the singer and his sweetheart.
Radiohead’s discography explores many other topics, with “Go To Sleep” being one of the best songs about sleep you can listen to.
6. “Bed Of Roses” – Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi broke onto the rock music scene in the 1980s in style, releasing many successful tracks over the years, including “Bed of Roses.”
It reflects the group’s move towards a more mature sound and was inspired by the life struggles he was experiencing around the time.
Bon Jovi wrote the music for “Bed of Roses” on a piano in his Los Angeles hotel in 1992 after requesting the instrument be brought to his room.
5. “Kiss From A Rose” – Seal
Seal is another artist fond of roses, as his 1990s song “Kiss From a Rose” proves.
When pressed about what inspired the song, Seal remains enigmatic, stating simply that it was based on one of his relationships.
The song was a huge hit in the UK and abroad, selling over eight million records and remaining a popular song about flowers to this day.
4. “Build Me Up Buttercup” – The Foundations
The Foundations released “Build Me Up Buttercup to critical and commercial acclaim, which is no surprise given how upbeat and infectious it is.
Despite being an upbeat song, it’s actually about how unreliable lovers can be, building up confidence before suddenly letting them down.
One of the most catchy songs about flowers on this playlist, it was included on the soundtrack to the 1998 comedy movie, There’s Something About Mary.
3. “Supermarket Flowers” – Ed Sheeran
Responsible for some of the best songs of all time, Ed Sheeran’s “Supermarket Flowers” is a lament to the passing of his grandmother.
It’s a downbeat and heartfelt song with an official music video shot in brooding black and white to reflect Sheeran’s grief.
His grandmother Anne was the inspiration for Ed and his brother Matthew to pursue their careers in music, which ultimately paid off.
2. “For The Roses” – Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell’s lovely song “For the Roses” was released as the title track on her 1972 album and focuses on her life in the spotlight as a celebrity.
Tired of being a revenue stream for record labels, Mitchell wrote the song after moving to northern Canada to escape the media’s attention.
It’s a beautiful yet haunting song showcasing Mitchell’s singer-songwriting talent in all its glory.
1. “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” – Poison
Love songs about flowers reached their pinnacle with Poison’s classic track, “Every Rose Has its Thorn,” written by Brett Michaels.
A song about a failing relationship, it explores how the upside of romance is counterbalanced by the downside, as represented by the thorn.
It shows that no matter how famous someone is, there’s always the chance they’ll have to deal with infidelity and overcome dark times.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this comprehensive playlist exploring the best songs about flowers from some of the most iconic singers and bands of all time.
Flowers represent many different things to different people and have long been used to symbolize love in romantic relationships.
We’ve featured flower songs from all genres and music eras, so hopefully, there’s something here to bring a touch of beauty into your life.
What’s the best song about flowers you’ve ever listened to? Leave a comment below.
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