The best songs about light can be used as a metaphor for the hope a loved one brings into our life and a celebration of the sun.
It’s a theme that has been explored throughout the history of contemporary music, embraced by pop stars and rock bands alike.
This playlist will bring you an eclectic mix of light-themed songs to lift your day and give you something great to sing about.
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The 21 Best Songs About Light Of All Time
We’ve hunted through the history of music across all genres to bring you this comprehensive playlist of songs inspired by the concept of light.
This ranges from popular songs from chart-topping female vocalists to obscure gospel classics that have been covered many times over the years.
Without further ado, here’s our list of the 21 best songs about light of all time:
21. “Love Shine A Light” – Katrina And The Waves
Katrina and the Waves take the concept of light and tie it closely to love in the song “Love Shines a Light.”
She sings about light in the lyrics, “Let our love shine a light in every corner of our hearts,” and explores the concept of global unity.
It’s one of a handful of songs that won the Eurovision song contest, taking the top spot at the awards in 1997.
20. “Blinding Lights” – The Weeknd
“Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd is rumored to be based around the on-and-off relationship between Bella Hadid and Abel Makkonen Tesfaye.
Light acts as a stand-in for love, with the vocals singing about being unable to sleep before feeling the touch of a loved one.
The Weeknd is also responsible for one of the best songs about breathing, the 2021 release “Take My Breath.”
19. “No Light, No Light” – Florence + The Machine
Florence Welsch eschews her typically dreamy songwriting for a more personal approach with the song “No Light, No Light,” released with her band The Machine.
“I’d do anything to make you stay,” she sings, using the absence of light as a metaphor for a fizzling relationship on the rocks.
It was released on the third studio album by Florence and the Machine, Ceremonials, with the track proving to be a huge hit, gaining over 40 million streams.
18. “Neon Lights” – Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato has sung on a wide range of topics throughout her impressive career, including one of the best songs about addiction, “Old Ways.”
“Neon Lights” is her contribution to songs about light, with lyrics talking about the brightness of a shooting star passing in the night sky.
Taken from her self-titled album Demi, “Neon Lights” is a wonderful pop song that enjoyed worldwide success when it was released in 2013.
17. “Light Of The World” – Lauren Daigle
Lauren Daigle’s powerful ballad about light, “Light of the World,” is full of hope and redemption with a beautifully haunting melody.
She sings about the “light in the darkness,” going on to vocalize her thoughts on the presence of “hope in despair.”
The song also explores the significance of God in her life and how her faith in his love never fails to bring her hope.
16. “I Saw The Light” – Hank Williams
Sticking with songs about light with a religious theme, Hank Williams wrote “I Saw the Light” in an old Southern Gospel song style.
This cover song is all the more fitting, considering its relevance to the death of Williams and the sense of mortality he felt in his final days.
The celebrated country music singer was given a Grammy Award for his album, Red, picking up two additional nominations for his other work.
15. “Light Years” – Pearl Jam
Popular alternative rock band Pearl Jam released their song “Light Years” on their 2000 album, Binaural.
Light and time merge in the lyrics, with the singer talking about, “Your lights reflected now, reflected from afar.”
It was the first album to feature former Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron and was certified gold by the RIAA.
14. “Morning Light” – Justin Timberlake
Hugely popular singer and songwriter Justin Timberlake brings his unique style to his song about light, “Morning Light.”
Instead of using light as an analogy for something else, Timberlake is straightforward in his approach to appreciating the early morning light.
It’s also a love song, made in collaboration with Alicia Keys, and the feeling of waking up in the morning next to the person you love.
13. “Turn On Your Love Light” – Grateful Dead
“Turn on Your Love Light” was originally performed by Bobby Bland in 1961 before the Grateful Dead took on their cover version.
It’s one of the more popular songs about light, and the lyrics describe the feeling of desperately seeking love.
The Grateful Dead produced many songs over the years, including one of the best songs about work, “Cumberland Blues.”
12. “New Light” – John Mayer
One of the more obscure songs about light to be featured on this playlist is “New Light” by John Mayer, released in 2018.
Mayer sings in a positive manner about his desire to be seen in a new light, asking for one more chance to prove his worth.
It was the lead single from his album, Sob Rock, and featured Mayer dancing in various locations in the official music video.
11. “The Light Behind Your Eyes” – My Chemical Romance
My Chemical Romance was a huge success during the 2000s, and their track “The Light Behind Your Eyes” is one of their more enduring releases.
It’s a song about the inner light that exists in everyone and how each of us has something special we can contribute to the world around us.
After taking a break, My Chemical Romance reunited in 2019 and has performed at several venues around America in the years since.
10. “Leave A Light On” – Belinda Carlisle
Belinda Carlisle released “Leve a Light On” in 1989, using the song as the second single from her album Runaway Horses.
It’s a beautiful and heart-rending pop song about setting someone free, and the pain felt when someone leaves your life.
With so many songs to her name, the track continues to be one of her most popular songs online, with millions of YouTube views to date.
9. “In The Light” – Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin uses the concept of light to inspire hope and the power of transformation in their song “In the Light.”
The lyrics talk about “In the light you will find the road, you will find the road,” with the unique sound of bows on an acoustic guitar.
Taken from the Led Zeppelin album Physical Graffiti, it’s an ambitious production with intricate musical arrangements and a keen ear for exploring new sounds.
8. “Ray Of Light” – Madonna
During the 1990s, Madonna began exploring the world of spirituality and the Kabbalah, which she drew on as inspiration for the song “Ray of Light.”
The song was taken from the album of the same name and is notable for its dance music-inspired production and high energy levels.
One of her generation’s most enduring and successful singers, she wrote one of the best karaoke songs of all time, “Like a Virgin,” released in 1984.
7. “This Little Light Of Mine” – Various Artists
“This Little Light of Mine” is one of those songs where it’s difficult to choose the best version since it has been covered many times over the years.
It’s a gospel classic in the public domain that talks about the inner light that shines inside everyone and brings out the best in all of us.
Harry Dixon Loes wrote the original version of the song in the 1920s, with the version recorded by Bruce Springsteen perhaps the most famous of all.
Listeners with a strong faith in God are likely to be moved by this timeless classic that gets to the deepest meaning of the word light.
6. “You Light Up My Life” – Debby Boone
A classic track first released in 1977, “You Light Up My Life” by Debby Boone, is a celebration of the light a lover brings into someone’s world.
It’s a straightforward yet earnest song about light that talks about how someone can act as a guiding light and bring joy and meaning.
Winner of several awards and a huge hit at the time of its release, “You Light Up My Life” was released on the album of the same name.
5. “This Little Light Of Mine” – Bruce Springsteen
We’ve touched on the various versions of “This Little Light of Mine” and how many artists have performed their own versions of this gospel song.
Bruce Springsteen’s take on the song is perhaps the most memorable of them all and a perfect companion piece to his other song, “Blinded by the Light.”
Springsteen has written many songs over the years, including one of the best songs about brothers, “Highway Patrolman,” released on his 1982 album Nebraska.
4. “Shine A Light” – The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones frontman and guitarist Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wrote “Shine a Light” for their 1972 album of the same name.
Discussing light as something that guides us through troubled times, it was originally intended to be about guitarist Brian Jones and his struggle with addiction.
While the song was reworked following the death of Jones, it remains a powerful track about wishing for nothing but happiness for those closest to you.
3. “Ultra Violet (Light My Way)” – U2
U2 have written many great songs about light and other subjects, including the track “Red Light” and their hit track “Ultra Violent (Light My Way).”
The Irish rockers drew upon their faith in God for this song and how God brings light into your life when things appear dark.
U2’s massive success over the years is almost unmatched by other bands of the era, with millions of copies of their singles and albums sold worldwide.
2. “Hit The Lights” – Metallica
Known for their exceptionally well-produced metal music, Metallica’s first ever song written happens to be one about light called “Hit the Lights.”
The song title tells you everything you need to know about this audacious rock song that was used to launch their hugely successful music career.
Taken from the debut album Kill ’em All, it’s one of the most heavy-hitting songs about light you can listen to and a powerful example of Metallica’s musical skills.
1. “Here Comes the Sun” – The Beatles
The natural light of sunshine forms the basis of “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles, who also wrote another song on the topic called “Inner Light.”
“Here Comes the Sun” was written by George Harrison, celebrating how the sunshine that comes into our lives brings us joy after enduring the long winter months.
The Beatles have written several of the best songs of all time, including “Hey Jude,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” and “Yesterday.”
The exceptional songs about light featured in this playlist span several decades and include some of the best singers and bands in music history.
There’s a track here to suit all music tastes, picking up your mood if you’re feeling low and giving you the encouragement you need to feel positive.
A popular musical topic, we can expect to listen to many more great songs about light in the years to come as more artists explore the concept.
Has this article helped you find an inspirational song about light? Leave a comment below.
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