The best songs about wishes inspire the listener to focus on their dreams and strive for a future full of potential and new opportunities.
It’s a subject that has led to many heartfelt and moving songs, from rock and roll icons such as Elvis Presley to contemporary chart-topping pop stars.
Read on, and we’ll cover the classic and modern songs about wishes you need to hear from world-class singers and bands who have stood the test of time.
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The 21 Best Songs About Wishes
Songs about wishes approach the topic from a variety of angles, whether it’s wishing their loved ones to have a better life or wanting the world at large to improve.
We’ve chosen great music from all music genres, from rock and pop to classic country songs that inspire the listener with their moving lyrics.
Now that you know our criteria, here’s our playlist of the 23 best songs about wishes:
21. “I Hope You Dance” – Lee Ann Womack
While some people wish for their own lives to improve, Lee Ann Womack opts for a more charitable interpretation of the concept of wishing.
The song lyrics for “I Hope You Dance” show her desire for someone’s improvement in life, from keeping their sense of wonder to dancing through the night.
It’s a pop-inflected country music song that earned critical acclaim when it was released in 2000 as part of the Lee Ann Womack album Sons of the Desert.
20. “Bet U Wish U Had Me Back” – Halestorm
Halestorm’s song “Bet U Wish U Had Me Back” features the searing vocals of one of the best female metal singers of all time, Lzzy Hale.
“I bet you wish you had me back, another chance to gain it just like that,” she sings, continuing, “The best you ever had, and do you close your eyes with her.”
The American rock band released “Bet U Wish U Had Me Back” on their self-titled debut album in 2009, a hard rock classic for the ages.
19. “The Wish” – John McLaughlin
John McLaughlin is famous for his double-barreled guitar playing, as can be seen in the live video of his performance of the song “The Wish.”
Released in 1999, “The Wish” is another rock classic about making wishes and searching for a better life with a catchy melody and great instrumentation.
John McLaughlin performed this original song on his live album Remember Shakti, which was recorded over a period of four nights in London.
18. “Three Wishes” – The Pierces
The Pierces released the song “Three Wishes” in 2007 on Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge, and it’s a great indie pop song on the topic.
“And, you want three wishes, one to fly the heavens, one to swim like fishes,” the song lyrics go, continuing, “And then, one you’re saving for a rainy day.”
The Los Angeles-based band, which is comprised of sisters Allison and Catherine Pierce, were home-schooled by their hippie parents and grew up listening to the Beatles.
17. “I Wish It Would Rain” – The Temptations
The multi-Grammy Award-winning singers The Temptations wrote “I Wish It Would Rain” following the death of songwriter Roger Penaaben.
This is a melancholy song that they released in 1967 to critical and commercial acclaim, featuring their fine harmonies and sweet-sounding vocals.
The group was hugely popular during the 1960s, with many hit songs in their discography and a growing fan base around the world to this day.
16. “Airplanes” – B.o.B.
The song “Airplanes” by B.o.B. is one dedicated to a better future, and the lyrics express a desire to achieve success in future endeavors.
The rap song features the lyrics, “Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shootin’ stars? I could really use a wish right now, wish right now, wish right now.”
Featuring Hayley Williams, “Airplanes” is another fine example of a song about wishes that uses visual imagery to describe a past relationship gone wrong.
15. “My Wish” – Rascal Flatts
Having released one of the most iconic songs about Friday, Rascal Flatts turned his attention to the subject of wishes with “My Wish.”
In this great tune, the lyrics talk about the one wish the narrator has for lost love and the hope that life becomes all that they have hoped and dreamed for.
Rascal Flatts released “My Wish” in 2006 on the album Me and My Gang, a country music classic that became the highest debut release that year.
14. “I Wish I Could Break Your Heart” – Cassadee Pope
The Cassadee Pope song “I Wish I Could Break Your Heart” takes a more cynical view of the concept in which she wishes things bad would happen to someone.
“Be strong enough to pull you under, throw you back a little under thunder, even though I never would,” she sings, “I wish I could break; I wish I could break your heart.”
It’s a song that reflects the desire to hurt someone when a person feels slighted and was featured on her album Frame By Frame in 2013.
13. “I Wish” – Cher Lloyd
From a country ballad to a pop song by singer Cher Lloyd, “I Wish,” which she wrote and sang in conjunction with American rapper T.I.
This is a considerably more upbeat take on the topic of wishes that features a catchy melody and a pumping rhythm that drives it forward.
Described by one critic favorably as “spluttering spunky pop,” “I Wish” was considered to be among the best-overlooked pop songs of 2013.
12. “Wish Wish” – DJ Khaled
DJ Khaled teamed up with Cardi B and Savage for the dynamic hip-hop song “Wish Wish,” a popular track that has over 100 million YouTube views.
Released with a literally explosive music video, it’s a fine example of contemporary hip-hop from one of the true masters of the music genre.
While “Wish Wish” was a huge hit, DJ Khaled became internationally famous thanks to his track “I’m on One,” which featured Drake, Lil Wayne, and Rick Ross.
11. “When You Wish Upon A Star” – Tony Bennett
“When You Wish Upon a Star” has been covered by various artists over the years, and our first pick for this is the classic version from Tony Bennett.
“When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are,” Bennett sings in this iconic rendition, continuing, “Anything your heart desires will come to you.”
A prolific singer-songwriter, Tony Bennett has won many music awards and was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his efforts in 2010.
10. “Wish You Were Here” – Avril Lavigne
Our first pick of great songs about wishes, titled “Wish You Were Here,” is from Avril Lavigne, a pop-punk classic she released in 2011.
“All those crazy things you said (Things you said), you left them running through my head (Through my head),” she sings, “but right now, I wish you were here.”
Avril Lavigne has covered many different topics, including one of the best songs about death, “Slipped Away,” which came out in 2004.
9. “I Wish You Were There” – REO Speedwagon
From “I Wish You Were Here” by Avril Lavigne to “I Wish You Were There” by REO Speedwagon, an altogether different take on the topic of wishes.
In this great song, the American rock band uses the lyrics to sing about pushing forward to a brighter future, searching for a new life with better prospects.
It’s a classic rock song from 1980 that was featured on the band’s ninth studio album, Hi Infidelity, which was a huge hit in America at the time.
8. “I Wish You Were Here” – Incubus
Another stirring and upbeat rock song about wishes is “I Wish You Were Here” by Incubus, a hard rock masterpiece released in 2002.
Fans of Pearl Jam will appreciate the guitar riffs and dynamic vocal performances on display here in a song that is full of energy and vitality.
A wide range of iconic bands, including Nine Inch Nails, Faith No More, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Rage Against the Machine, has influenced Incubus.
7. “Don’t Cha” -The Pussycat Dolls Ft. Busta Rhymes
The Pussycat Dolls and Busta Rhymes joined forces for the song “Don’t Cha” in 2005 to create a wonderful blend of pop and rap music.
The lyrics express a range of desires and wishes, from having a menage a trois to finding a happy home where you can live a better life.
Busta Rhymes has collaborated with many great artists, including the great song about destiny, “Can’t Put It In The Hands of Fate,” with Stevie Wonder and Rapsody.
6. “Wish You Would” – Justin Bieber
Pop icon Justin Bieber wrote and performed the song “Wish You Would” in 2021, making it one of the most recent additions to this playlist.
“Wish You Would” was released with a colorful and entertaining music video in which Bieber sings about a loved one he wishes would stay around.
Featuring the artist Quavo, “Wish You Would” was released as part of the Justin Bieber album Justice, which also included tracks with Chance the Rapper and the Kid Laroi.
5. “When You Wish Upon A Star” – Jackie Evancho
Jackie Evancho took a stab at the song “When You Wish Upon a Star” in 2011, bringing her unique blend of classical music-inspired pop to the table.
She performed this rendition at the Dream With Me concert and received praise from critics for her endearing take on this hugely popular classic.
Jackie Evancho’s classical-pop crossover style makes her one of the most fascinating and unique singer-songwriters working today, with several hit albums in her discography.
4. “I Wish You Well” – Bill Withers
The Bill Withers song “I Wish You Well” delivers a heartwarming and charitable take on wishes with excellent vocals and catchy lyrics.
It’s a rhythm and blues/soul masterpiece in which Withers wishes a lover has flowers, sunshine, pretty things to wear, and children who make them proud.
He released “I Wish You Well” in 1975 on the album Making Music, which went by the title Making Friends when it was launched in the United Kingdom.
3. “My Wish Came True” – Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley, the man behind some of the best karaoke songs of all time, tackled the subject of wishes in his 1959 song “My Wish Came True.”
It’s a quintessential Elvis Presley song that captures everything about the rock and roll icon’s enduring appeal through the decades.
“My Wish Came True” was written by Ivory Joe Hunter, who was also known as The Baron of the Boogie and The Happiest Man Alive.
2. “I Wish I Had A Girl” – Henry Lee Summer
“I Wish I Had A Girl” by Henry Lee Summer takes us back into indie rock territory for another 1980s classic song about wishes.
It’s another song that talks about wishes and romance as connected concepts, with Henry Lee Summer singing to various women in the music video.
The song performed well on the American charts, landing at the top spot of the US Billboard Mainstream Rock charts in 1988.
1. “Wish You Were Here” – Pink Floyd
One of the most famous songs released by Pink Floyd is “Wish You Were Here,” the title track from one of their most popular albums ever recorded.
The impressive production values include the tuning of a radio station over the instruments, which gives the song a more unique and layered sound.
Pink Floyd released some of the best songs of all time, with “Comfortably Numb” often included on lists of the greatest rock songs in the history of music.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this overview of the great songs about wishes from the leading singer-songwriters and bands in the music industry.
This music has endured through generations, expressing the hopes and dreams of its creator in a way that many people can easily relate to.
It’s an endearing topic that will no doubt inspire many more artists and performers in their work for years to come.
What’s the best song about wishes, in your opinion? Leave a comment below.
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