Water has captured the imagination of musicians for decades, inspiring some of the most iconic songs in history. From the serenity and calmness of a flowing river to the tumultuous waves crashing against rocks and shores, water represents a range of emotions and moods. This inspiration has resulted in a vast collection of songs that celebrates the natural beauty and power of water.


Whether it’s joyful hymns or melancholy ballads, water songs have a unique ability to move, inspire, and transport listeners to another world.





“Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Simon & Garfunkel


Simon & Garfunkel’s classic “Bridge Over Troubled Water” features lush orchestration and soaring vocals that evoke the calm and strength of a bridge over troubled water. The song is a moving tribute to the healing power of friendship and support, exploring themes of comfort, compassion and perseverance, all while drawing upon the metaphor of water as a powerful force that can both inspire and soothe.


Its haunting melody and poignant lyrics have made it a beloved staple of the American songbook, inspiring countless covers and adaptations over the years.




“Waterfalls” – TLC


The mellifluous harmonies and catchy chorus of this R&B classic create a captivating soundscape reminiscing on the dangers and pitfalls associated with chasing after dreams, paralleling the turbulent flow of waterfalls.


A soulful ballad with smooth vocal delivery, “Waterfalls” showcases TLC’s signature style and reflects on the difficulties of life paths and redemption.



“Cry Me a River” – Justin Timberlake


The melancholic melody of “Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake echoes the ebb and flow of a body of water. The haunting chorus coupled with the heartbroken lyrics creates a sense of drowning in emotions, much like one would be engulfed by the waves of a tumultuous sea.


Timberlake’s emotive vocals and the song’s atmospheric production capture the essence of the water’s unpredictable nature, leaving the listener yearning for solace and clarity.




“Cool Water” – Sons of the Pioneers


“Cool Water” by Sons of the Pioneers is a beloved classic country song, lauded for its seamless integration of calming harmonies and vivid storytelling. The song’s lyrics call to mind images of parched desert landscapes and a desire for a cool, refreshing drink, which beautifully captures the theme of water songs.


With its well-crafted lyrics and soothing melody, “Cool Water” remains a fan favorite to this day and signifies the pure and simple power of water in our lives.




“Water Under the Bridge” – Adele


The melancholic yet uplifting tune “Water Under the Bridge” by Adele is a testimony to the immense power and depth of water as a transformative force in our lives. Through powerful metaphors, the song evokes a sense of loss, yearning, and acceptance, drawing parallels between the ebb and flow of emotions and the cyclical nature of rivers.


With Adele’s soulful vocals and the poignant instrumentation, the song leaves a deep impression, serving as a touching ode to the ever-changing nature of our human experience.




“The Water is Wide” – James Taylor


James Taylor’s “The Water is Wide” is a hauntingly beautiful song that explores the vastness of the ocean, the depth of human emotion, and the yearning for connection. With his signature silky voice and delicate guitar work, Taylor lulls us into a state of contemplation and introspection, inviting us to ponder the mysteries of life as we gaze out at the endless expanse of water before us.


The lyrics are poetic and deeply moving, painting vivid pictures of a love that transcends time and space, and a longing that echoes across the waves. Truly a masterpiece of musical artistry.




“Yellow River” – Christie


“Yellow River” is a captivating ode to the riverbanks and flowing water, featuring an energetic rock vibe that is perfect for those looking to rock out while enjoying the scenic beauty of a river.


With its catchy hook, dynamic guitar riffs, and powerful drums, the song captures the essence of traveling downstream and exploring new frontiers. Its electric energy and infectious rhythm make it an absolute favorite for fans of rock music and nature lovers alike.




“Take Me to the River” – Al Green


The track stands out as a soulful jam with a groovy vibe that is certain to get your feet tapping. The smooth and silky vocals of the artist blend effortlessly with the pulsating bassline and upbeat rhythm.


The lyrics flow like a river, taking the listener on a journey through emotions of love and loss. With its catchy hooks and infectious melody, the song is sure to leave a lasting impression like water’s ebb and flow.




“The River” – Bruce Springsteen


“The River” by Bruce Springsteen tells the story of a man searching for redemption in the ebb and flow of the water. Springsteen’s gruff, emotive vocals punctuate the track’s raw, stripped-down instrumentation, conveying the protagonist’s raw emotions as he drifts down the river of his memories.


Springsteen’s mastery of metaphorical expression creates a vivid and compelling portrait of the complex relationship between an individual and their regrets. Its rough-edged authenticity and evocative imagery make “The River” a fitting addition to any playlist of songs that explore the varied nuances of the human experience through the metaphor of water.




“Waterloo” – ABBA


“Waterloo” by ABBA is a lively pop song which portrays a narrative of a lost love story, themed around Napoleon’s crushing defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. The song’s lyrical structure uses clever metaphors, combining them with upbeat orchestration and distinctive vocal harmonies to create a wildly catchy tune that has stood the test of time.


With its infectious chorus and buoyant rhythm, “Waterloo” is a classic danceable hit that will make you want to sing and sway to the music.




“River Deep, Mountain High” – Tina Turner


One track that truly embodies the watery mood is a well-known number by the iconic Tina Turner. With rich, soulful vocals and a powerful sound, the song features a strong current of emotional intensity that flows throughout. The riveting lyrics and the soaring chorus evoke images of rivers and mountains, capturing the essence of the natural world.


This is a classic that perfectly exemplifies the theme of water songs and sure to leave listeners awestruck even after all these years.




“Waterloo Sunset” – The Kinks


“Waterloo Sunset” is a quintessential song of British pop-rock band, The Kinks. Its cryptic lyrics are open for interpretations, but it is generally believed to be a tribute to the beauty and melancholy of the changing urban landscape of London. The swell of the melody complements the introspective yet upbeat tone of the song, and Davies’ silky voice delivers an enigmatic but evocative portrayal of love, loss, and reminiscence.


With its vivid imagery and edgy sensibility, “Waterloo Sunset” is a timeless classic that captures the essence of the human experience and the allure of the urban milieu.




“Down by the Water” – PJ Harvey


“Down by the Water” is a haunting and moody single released by PJ Harvey in 1995. The song explores themes of loss and despair, with Harvey’s vocals paired with a driving rhythm section and haunting guitar riffs. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of a woman coming to terms with the death of her child, seeking solace in the water that surrounds her.


With its atmospheric production and emotional depth, “Down by the Water” is a standout track in Harvey’s discography and a powerful example of how music can capture complex human emotions.




“The Water” – Johnny Flynn


“The Water” by Johnny Flynn, with its enigmatic lyrics and haunting melody, conjures a sense of eerie tranquility that is hard to shake. The song draws imagery from the river, creating an atmospheric soundscape that is as soothing as it is disquieting. Harvey’s distinct vocal styling adds to the song’s enigmatic quality, making it an unforgettable listening experience.


The sparse instrumentation, coupled with the song’s cryptic lyrics, can leave listeners with a sense of unease, adding to its allure and mystique.




“River” – Leon Bridges


“River” by Leon Bridges is a contemplative ballad that infuses soulful melodies with poignant lyrics, creating a sonic depiction of the powerful presence of water in our lives. The hauntingly beautiful vocals express the flowing nature of water, while the music arrangement creates an immersive experience, taking the listener on a journey through the ups and downs of life.


Bridges’ heartfelt performance and the intricate instrumentation make it a standout track that’s sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who listens.




“Water” – Ra Ra Riot


“Water” by Ra Ra Riot is a dreamy, ethereal track that transports listeners to a peaceful place where water dominates the landscape. The calming, repetitive feel of the song is accentuated by its airy arrangement, and the lyrics paint an abstract picture of the beauty of water and its transformative power.


This song is the perfect choice for anyone looking to get lost in a tranquil soundscape and immerse themselves in the imagery of water.




“The River of Dreams” – Billy Joel

This haunting and enigmatic track by Grammy-winner Billy Joel conjures up images of a mystical, ever-flowing river of dreams. The lyrics are poetic and mysterious, with vivid descriptions of the mythic landscape the singer finds himself in.


The melody is haunting, weaving together elements of pop, gospel and blues to create a soundscape that is as bewitching as it is bewilderment-inducing. A true tour-de-force of musical storytelling that leaves the listener feeling both exhilarated and disoriented.




“Watermark” – Enya


Enya’s “Watermark” is a hauntingly beautiful song that captures the essence of fluidity and fleetingness. With her ethereal voice and soothing melody, Enya effortlessly paints a sonic landscape that evokes emotions of introspection and wonder. The song’s subtle yet powerful instrumentation blends perfectly with the lyrics, creating an immersive atmosphere that transports the listener to a serene and calming place.


Enya’s “Watermark” is a masterpiece that showcases the power of music to evoke emotions and connect us in ways that words alone cannot.




“Deep River Blues” – Doc Watson


The artful composition “Watermark” by Enya delivers an ethereal soundscape that captures the essence of this thematic musical journey. The haunting melody combined with the singer’s soaring vocals evoke the mystique of water in a way that transports the listener on an otherworldly journey.


Enya’s masterful use of layered harmonies adds complexity to the track and creates a feel that is equal parts fantastical and serene. It’s a must-listen for aficionados of water songs and anyone seeking an aural escape.




“Black Water” – The Doobie Brothers


“Black Water” exemplifies the Doobie Brothers’ signature sound with groovy guitar riffs and soulful vocals, but it also adds a splash of Southern charm with references to “black water” and “old cypress logs”.


The song’s mesmerizing melody and catchy chorus make it an all-time favorite amongst fans and one of the great “water songs” in our musical history.




“Water Song” – Hot Tuna


This tune is a real gem. “Water Song” by Hot Tuna showcases an impressive fusing of bluesy riffs and rootsy acoustics, resulting in a sound that instantly captures the ears. Despite being an instrumental track, the music successfully portrays the essence of water – from its fluidity to its turbulence.


The intricate guitar work, coupled with a steady rhythmic pulse, will leave you feeling mesmerized and wanting more. A must-listen for enthusiasts of blues-infused instrumentals!




“Water” – Brad Paisley


As part of the blog’s exploration of music inspired by water, Brad Paisley’s “Water” is a sublime example of how musicians can weave the theme of water into their lyrics and melodies with haunting effect. Through the use of soothing guitar strums, gentle percussion, and Paisley’s lilting vocals, this wistful but uplifting ballad transports listeners to a place of calm and serenity, evoking an oceanic ebb and flow that is both mystical and deeply comforting.


With its memorable chorus and expert musicianship, “Water” is a masterclass in contemporary country music, sure to capture the hearts of fans and newcomers alike.