Do you love songs with figurative language?
So do we! In this blog post, we’ll share 51 of the best popular songs with figurative language.
From country to rap, these songs will have you feeling the beat and understanding the lyrics. Whether you’re a fan of oldies or today’s hits, there’s something for everyone on this list.
Table of Contents
Best Popular Songs with Figurative Language
Let’s move to the list of the most popular songs with figurative language and enjoy the reading with listening.
1. Hungry Like the Wolf (Duran Duran)
Hungry Like the Wolf is the perfect song to kick off our list of popular songs with figurative language. These early 80s songs with figurative language are full of imagery, from the opening lines: “I’m on the hunt, I’m after you.”
The rest of the song is dripping with similes and metaphors, making it a perfect choice for anyone who loves a good metaphor.
2. A Thousand Miles (Vanessa Carlton)
A Thousand Miles is a beautiful ballad with powerful lyrics. The song is written in the form of a letter and uses plenty of figurative language to evoke emotion.
“I would walk a thousand miles If I could just see you smile.”
3. I Am a Rock (Simon & Garfunkel)
I Am a Rock is a classic song from the 60s with dark lyrics and a powerful message. The song is written in the form of a letter and uses plenty of clean songs with figurative language to evoke emotion.
4. Let It Go (Idina Menzel)
Let It Go is another song that uses figurative language to great effect. The song is about being free and not caring what other people think. It’s a powerful message, and the lyrics are very moving.
5. Demons (Imagine Dragons)
Demons is an Imagine Dragons is a great song, this song is about addiction. The lyrics are very simple, but they’re also both literal and figurative at the same time. Listen to the song below!
6. God’s Plan (Drake)
God’s Plan is a song by Drake that was released in early 2018. It is another one of the greatest songs. The song is about Drake’s journey to fame and how he’s been blessed with everything he’s ever wanted. The lyrics are very inspirational, and the song is bound to become a classic.
7. Happy (Pharrell Williams)
Happy is a song by Pharrell Williams that was released in 2013. The song is about being happy and enjoying life. The lyrics are very positive, and the song is an instant classic. It is another one of the greatest songs.
8. Thunder (Imagine Dragons)
Thunder is a song by the rock band Imagine Dragons. The song was released in April 2013 and is featured on the second studio album, “Night Visions.” This piece of popular music contains many literary devices such as personification, metaphor, and simile.
9. What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
What a Wonderful World is a classic jazz song that was recorded by Louis Armstrong in the year 1960. This popular classic contains much figurative language such as alliteration, simile, and metaphor. What a Wonderful World has been used in many media platforms throughout the years including commercials for Delta Airlines and Master Card.
10. Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)
Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen is another one of popular song with figurative language that is a song by the famous rock band, Queen. This British rock anthem was released in 1975 and became one of the most popular songs that year. There are many literary devices found throughout this classic piece including alliteration, metaphor, and personification.
11. Chandelier (Sia)
Chandelier is a complex song with complex lyrics. But, the most obvious song with the figurative language used is in the chorus. Also, the song is about a girl whose life revolves around a bad relationship she’s in.
12. Story of My Life (One Direction)
Story of My Life is a great song with diverse figurative language in it. The most common types of figurative language used are metaphors, similes, and personification. Also, the song itself is about not remembering what life was like before this relationship.
13. Love Story (Taylor Swift)
Love Story is a perfect love song with many metaphors and personifications. The refrain of the song has a lot of great examples of figurative language. This song is about how it seems like they are from two different worlds but still have something between them.
14. Moves Like Jagger (Maroon 5)
Moves Like Jagger uses figurative language very well. The lyrics are about how this person is so amazing that they move like Jagger. The song is a great example of how to use figurative language in a pop song.
15. Stuck Like Glue (Sugarland)
Stuck Like Glue is about how this relationship is so good that they are stuck together like glue. The song uses interesting figurative language to describe how well this relationship is going.
16. Grenade (Bruno Mars)
Grenade is the story of a man who is in love with a woman who is “out of his league.” It is one of the best songs with imagery because it paints a very vivid picture in the listener’s mind.
17. Stereo Hearts (Gym Class Heroes)
Stereo Hearts is the story of a man that is in love with a girl so much so that he feels as if his heart has been put into “stereo” and it is on “repeat.” It is another great song with imagery because it paints such an emotional picture.
18. Theme From New York (Frank Sinatra)
Theme From New York is a song about a city that never sleeps. Sinatra perfectly captures the hustle and bustle of the city in this song with his amazing lyrics.
19. She’s Everything (Brad Paisley)
She’s Everything is a song about when two people fall in love and the feeling of butterflies won’t go away even when they are together because she brings out all his “best.”
20. Life is a Highway (Rascal Flatts)
Life is a Highway song with figurative language is a perfect example of how a song can be so poetic. The lyrics are written in a way that makes you think about the different aspects of life.
21. Fireflies (Owl City)
Fireflies is a beautiful song that talks about the simplicity of life and how sometimes we forget to enjoy the present moment. The lyrics are written in a way that makes you appreciate the little things in life.
22. Mercy (Shawn Mendes)
Mercy song with figurative language is about finding inner peace and hope. The lyrics are written in a way that makes you think about how blessed you are to be alive.
23. Amnesia (5 Seconds of Summer)
Amnesia song with figurative language is about letting go of the past and moving on while not forgetting who you are. The lyrics are written in a way that makes you think about the mistakes we have made in our lives, and how it’s important to learn from them.
24. Imagination (Shawn Mendes)
Imagination is the ability to create mental images, including ideas and imagined experiences. Figurative language includes similes, metaphors, personification, and hyperbole. In “Imagination” by Shawn Mendes, the lyrics reference a number of popular figures of speech.
25. Scars to Your Beautiful (Alessia Cara)
Scars to Your Beautiful is a song about self-acceptance. Alessia Cara sings about how beauty is more than skin deep. The song is full of figurative language, including metaphors and similes.
26. Carousel (Melanie Martinez)
Carousel is a song about a relationship that is falling apart. Melanie Martinez sings about how the relationship is like a carousel, going around and around but never really getting anywhere. The song is full of figurative language, including metaphors and similes.
27. Broken Home (5 Seconds of Summer)
Broken Home is a song about divorce. In the lyrics, 5 Seconds of Summer describes how their home has been broken, and they are waiting for the pieces to be put back together again. The song is full of figurative language, including hyperbole.
28. Something Different (Why Don’t We)
Something Different is a song about being in love with someone who is different than you. In the lyrics, Why Don’t We sings about how they have never been in love with someone like this before. The song is full of figurative language, including metaphors and similes.
29. Old Friends/Bookends (Simon & Garfunkel)
Old Friends/Bookends is another popular songs with figurative language. Bookends is a song about two old friends who were separated by opposite lifestyles and meet again:
30. Better Together (Luke Combs)
Better Together is a song about how two people are better together than they are apart. The lyrics talk about how the two people complement each other and make each other better. If you’re looking for a good songs with figurative language, then this song is perfect for you.
31. Tonight I Climbed the Wall (Alan Jackson)
Tonight I Climbed the Wall is a song about how the narrator’s love for the person he’s singing to is so strong, he would do anything to keep her. The lyrics talk about how the narrator is willing to do whatever it takes to be with her.
32. Ships (Barry Manilow)
Ships is another popular song and is a song about two people who are in love and are separated by the ocean. The lyrics talk about how the two people are always thinking of each other and how they wish they could be together.
33. Birdhouse In Your Soul (They Might Be Giants)
Birdhouse In Your Soul is a song about how the narrator wants to build a birdhouse in his loved one’s soul so she can be happy. The lyrics talk about how the two people are perfect for each other and want to take care of each other.
34. When I Fall (Barenaked Ladies)
When I Fall is a song about how the narrator doesn’t want to let go of his loved one and wants her to know that he’ll always be there for her. The lyrics talk about how the person is like an angel who took over the narrator’s life and heart.
35. Carrying Cathy (Ben Folds)
Carrying Cathy is a song about the narrator’s sister dying of cancer. The lyrics talk about how Cathy was diagnosed with cancer and her last days.
36. Waiting for Superman (Daughtry)
Waiting for Superman is the most popular song. This song is about a guy that wants his life to change. He feels stuck in the same routine and he wants out but doesn’t know how to make it happen. The song is about hope and waiting for the right person or thing to come along and save him.
37. Summer Love (One Direction)
Summer Love is the most popular song. Besides, this song is about a guy that falls in love with a girl at first sight and spends the summer with her. However, when the summer is over and it’s time for her to go back home, he realizes that he doesn’t want the summer to end and asks her not to leave.
38. Pompeii (Bastille)
Pompeii song is about a guy that lives in Pompeii as it’s being destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. He’s in love with a girl and he’s trying to tell her how he feels before it’s too late, but she’s not listening.
39. Cold One (Eric Church)
Cold One song with imagery. The song is about a guy that walks into a bar and sees the girl of his dreams. She’s playing pool with her friends and he realizes that he has never seen anyone more beautiful. He approaches her and asks to buy her a cold one, saying that he always pays his debts.
40. Beside You (5 Seconds of Summer)
Beside You is one of the songs that use figurative language, such as imagery and similes, to describe how it feels for someone to be with the one they love. “When you’re close enough to hold my hand, I feel like I can finally breathe,” is an example of imagery.
41. Bad Company (Five Finger Death Punch)
Bad Company uses imagery to describe how bad thoughts can get in the way of doing things. “The devil’s knocking at my door, he wants my soul again. He sees your face, he takes my hand and drags me to the other side,” is an example of imagery.
42. Every Storm Runs Out of Rain (Gary Allan)
Every Storm Runs Out of Rain is a song about dealing with someone you love being in trouble. It uses imagery to describe how the narrator is “cheering him on” through hard times. “I’m standing on the sidelines cheering for you, telling you everything will be alright,” is an example of imagery.
43. Watching You (Rodney Atkins)
Watching You is a love song about caring for the other person. It uses imagery to express how it feels to be with them. “I’m chained to you, I can’t escape these chains that bind me. You’re playing with my heart again,” is an example of imagery.
44. Caraphernelia (Pierce The Veil)
Caraphernelia is about leaving someone you loved. It uses similes, or comparisons using like or as, to describe how it felt when you’re trying to move on. “There’s not enough time in the day to get all of this stuff out of my head,” is an example of a simile. It is one of the rap songs with figurative language.
45. So Far Away (Staind)
So Far Away is a song about a relationship that has ended. It uses imagery to describe how the narrator feels. “I’m looking through a hole in the sky, I’m seeing nowhere in my life,” is an example of imagery.
46. Sink or Swim (Tyrone Wells)
Sink or Swim is a song about trying to hold on to a relationship. It uses metaphors or comparisons that are not used like or as, to describe how the narrator is feeling. “I’m holding on for dear life, I’m kicking and screaming,” is an example of a metaphor.
47. The New National Anthem (Pierce The Veil)
The New National Anthem is about someone who is in love with someone they know is bad for them. It uses imagery to describe how it feels when they act like nothing’s wrong, even though they know it’s not true. “The skyline reflects my face, but all I can see are all the cracks and scars,” is an example of imagery.
48. The Bomb Dot Com V2.0 (Sleeping With Sirens)
The Bomb Dot Com V2.0 is a song about someone who was hurt so badly by love that they have decided to not let it happen again. It uses imagery and metaphors to describe how they feel after the breakup. “My mind’s on overdrive, I think too much – no surprise there,” is an example of a metaphor.
49. Dam Would Break (Toad the Wet Sprocket)
Dam Would Break is about someone who loves someone so much that it feels like they would be destroyed if the relationship ended. It uses imagery to describe how the narrator feels when they’re with their love.
“You enter my bloodstream, I can feel you touching every part of me,” is an example of imagery. Dam Would Break is another one of the clean songs with figurative language.
50. Roar (Katy Perry)
Roar is a song about someone who has been hurt by love and is trying to move on. It uses imagery to describe how the narrator feels. “You held me down, but I got up. Already brushing off the dust,” is an example of imagery. Roar is great songs with figurative language.
51. Naturally (Selena Gomez)
Naturally is another popular song with figurative language. It uses imagery to describe how the narrator is feeling. “I don’t need anybody else, we could be naturally… I’m gonna find my way to you, naturally,” is an example of imagery.
We hope you can find the list of most popular songs with figurative language on our website. We hope you will enjoy it and be able to use this information for your own music promotion.
Popular Songs with Figurative Language (FAQs)
What two types of figurative language did Forrest use?
Forrest used imagery and metaphors in his song.
What is the difference between imagery and metaphors?
Imagery uses words to create a picture in the mind. Metaphors use words to compare two things.
Why is imagery such a popular tool for songwriters?
Imagery can be very powerful because it can create a vivid picture in the mind. It can also be emotional and stirring.
What are some examples of figurative language commonly found in popular songs?
There are several types of figurative language used in songs, including metaphors, similes, personification, hyperbole, and symbolism. Some popular examples include comparing love to a battlefield (metaphor), describing someone’s smile as bright as the sun (simile), or giving human qualities to an inanimate object, like a talking tree (personification).
Can you provide an example of a song that uses metaphor?
Yes, one popular song that uses metaphor is “Love Story” by Taylor Swift. In the song, Taylor Swift compares her love interest to Romeo from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, saying, “You were Romeo, you were throwing pebbles, and my daddy said, ‘Stay away from Juliet.'”
Are there any well-known songs that include similes?
Yes, a classic example of a song with similes is “Firework” by Katy Perry. In the chorus, she sings, “Baby, you’re a firework, come on, show ’em what you’re worth. Make ’em go, ‘Aah, aah, aah,’ as you shoot across the sky-y-y.”
How does personification enhance a song’s lyrics?
Personification can bring life to the lyrics by attributing human qualities or actions to non-human entities. It allows the listener to connect with the song on a deeper level and adds a touch of imagination. For instance, in the song “Hotel California” by Eagles, the line “Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends” personifies the mind and the car.
Could you give an example of hyperbole in a popular song?
Certainly! In the song “All Star” by Smash Mouth, they sing the line “I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed.” This is an example of hyperbole, where the singer exaggerates their lack of intelligence for emphasis or humor.
How does symbolism play a role in song lyrics?
Symbolism in song lyrics adds depth and layers of meaning by using objects, actions, or concepts to represent abstract ideas or emotions. It allows the listener to interpret the lyrics in their own way and create personal connections. An example of symbolism can be found in the song “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, where the word “Hallelujah” is used to symbolize both joy and sorrow.
How does recognizing figurative language enhance the listening experience of a song?
Recognizing figurative language in songs allows listeners to appreciate the artistry and creativity behind the lyrics. It adds depth, evokes emotions, and sparks imagination. It also allows for personal interpretations and connections, making the listening experience more meaningful and enjoyable.
Can I find examples of figurative language in songs from different music genres?
Absolutely! Figurative language is used in songs across various music genres, including pop, rock, hip-hop, country, and more. It is a versatile literary device that can be found in lyrics from different artists and musical styles.
That’s all for the list of the best songs with figurative language. The above songs are our favorite songs with figurative language.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s check out your favorite songs with a lot of figurative languages and let us know your favorite in the comment section below.