Songs titles are incredible important, as they are our first insight into what a song is actually about. But one word song titles are something special, because not only are short and to the point, but they can become much more memorable if they are truly good because they are so easily remembered. So without further ado, here are fifteen of my favorite songs that only have one word titles.
One Word Song Titles You Will Love
Let’s begin with a song that put the musical artist Lorde on the map.
15) “Royals” by Lorde (2013)
There was a time in 2013 after this song was released that it was played so often (and in so many places) that no one could escape it. On the radio, in grocery stores, you name it—this song was ubiquitous.
It was also undeniably the song that shot Lorde to fame.
This song is arguably a nice change of pace compared to many others in the industry; instead of flaunting fame and the ever-so-chased “Hollywood lifestyle,” Lorde tore down all of the fantasies commonly associated with being rich and famous and revealed that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. It was a message many can relate to, and I am sure this song has made its way into history.
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14) “Firework” by Katy Perry (2010)
The message behind the track is admirable: we all have that little spark—a firework—in us to chase our dreams, be the best versions of ourselves, and get everything we want. It is definitely an earworm (even now, all these years after its release), and a fairly inspirational one at that. This is one of those songs that makes you feel fearless and ready to take on the world after listening to it. I will admit it was one I got tired of for a few years, but its message resonates with me. Just like Royals, this song has surely made its way into the history of music.
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13) “Uprising” by Muse (2009)
I’m a sucker for songs with messages that revolve around “sticking it to the man” and making sure that your voice is heard. That is exactly what this song does. It revolves around taking back your control and not letting those in power walk all over you.
This is a song I can remember my mother listening to when I was younger (not because she is an anarchist or anything; she just genuinely enjoyed the song), so I also have emotional ties to this track from my childhood. I immensely enjoy the electronic rock feel of the song, as this band is pretty much known for. It’s powerful, and I think everybody needs to hear it.
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12) “Yellow” by Coldplay (2000)
It is a common trend nowadays (especially on social media) for people to associate others with colors. Someone who is “yellow” brings joy into your life, brightens up a room when they walk in to it, and overall is someone that just makes people happy. The meaning of the song Yellow is not entirely certain, but many are sure that it is a love song.
This song reminds me of my roommate in college. There were no romantic ties between us, but she was my yellow. The person I connected to the most over those years, and someone I couldn’t do anything without. This song reminds me of her. This is a song I hope lives forever.
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11) “Wonderwall” by Oasis (1995)
This song is legendary, and revered by many as one of the greatest of all time. I love it because it was one of the first songs I learned how to play when I started taking guitar lessons in high school, and has remained one of my favorites to strum along to.
Noel Gallagher, lead singer of the band, said the song was about an imaginary friend that saves you from yourself. It is something that we all undoubtedly need sometimes. It was the band’s best performing song, and they never released another one quite like it. It’s melodic and the guitar in it is absolutely perfect. It’s a masterpiece through and through, and deserves to be considered one of the best songs of all time.
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10) “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder (1972)
Talk about an earworm. This song has a funky feel to it that fits the message it offers. It is a warning against believing in superstitions and protecting yourself from bad energy. Especially considering there was a lot of negative things going on around the time that Stevie Wonder wrote and released this song, it was his way of offering a warning to those who would listen to protect themselves of what was going on.
Many people do not know the history of this song, or what was going on around the time it was released, but they can appreciate the message nonetheless. As someone who classifies themselves as “spiritual” (not religious, just “spiritual”) I especially adore this song. I am a person who is often weary of bad energy and how those around you can drain your strength or your happiness if you do not protect yourself from their bad intentions. This song perfectly represents that to me. But spiritual or not, countless people know this song, and it has a message that deserves to be heard.
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9) “Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down (2000)
This is another track I have an emotional connection to because of my mother. This was one she loved, and one I often heard her play growing up. This seems to be a common theme, as even singer of the band Brad Arnold recalls playing this song at a concert where most of the audience was younger than the song was, and appreciating that these kids knew the song because their parents played it.
This is a song about friendship, those important people in your life that are there to support you and pick you back up after you fall. This is a meaning that I think often goes over people’s heads, but I adore songs like this that emphasize how important friendships can be rather than romantic relationships, which single people cannot relate to. Everyone has a friend that’s been there through all of their ups and downs, and this song is an ode to that.
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8) “One” by Metallica (1988)
My dad listened to a lot of 80s rock while I was growing up, so Metallica has been commonplace in my music repertoire since I was young. The band is known for their iconic guitar riffs and otherwise incredible instrumentals.
One is no exception. The story that the song tells is admittedly morbid; a soldier steps on a landmine and loses just about everything except for his mind, and he is now stuck in this reality where he has no limbs or senses. It’s grim and macabre, but offers a realistic look into war that most other bands have not dared to touch.
It’s powerful, and forces you to think about things you would otherwise prefer to ignore. That is one of the main reasons I like this song so much; it forces you to confront things that make you uncomfortable. It elicits strong emotions, as music should. This is one of the songs that shot the band to fame, and it will go down in 80s rock history.
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7) “Waterfalls” by TLC (1995)
This song, in my opinion, is almost the opposite to Firework. On this track, TLC warns their listeners about having reckless ambition and partaking in unnecessary risky behavior.
In a decade when a lot of hip hop and R&B music was glorifying street hustling and sex, TLC offered up this cautionary tale about gun violence on the streets and the deadly consequences of having unprotected sex with multiple partners.
Waterfalls is one of the more memorable and long lasting vestiges of 1990s R&B music, in part because it had a salient message in its music: don’t get seduced by the darker side of your hopes, dreams, and fantasies.
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6) “Hello” by Adele (2015)
Adele is known for her emotional, hard-hitting ballads, and Hello is no exception. The artist said the song is about being able to reconnect with others and yourself, and Adele considers the album that this song came off of as “making up for everything she ever did and never did”. It’s painfully real, and something we all struggle with sometimes. It can be easy to lose yourself and hard to find your way back.
Adele’s voice is powerful. Her vocals is what makes her so well known, and they lend themselves beautifully to this track. She gives it the emotion and the strength it needs, and it is clear that the lyrics come from within her and resonate with what she has experienced. I believe she was being truly vulnerable in this track, and that’s what makes it so great.
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5) “Happier” by Marshmello ft. Bastille (2018)
This is a breakup song, through and through. The singer wants to hold on to a relationship he has with someone, but realizes they would be much happier and better off if they were to go their separate ways. It’s a sad and touching track, and something that many of us would hate to have to go through. It resonates with those that have already been in a similar situation.
It’s rhythmic, catchy, and will have you nodding along even as you cry. Marshmello’s electronic influence on the song adds somewhat of a more light-hearted tone, but the lyrics bring you back to the central theme of having to let go of something you don’t want to end. I listen to this song on repeat, even as I’m crying through it. I once saw Bastille play this song live, and it was everything I had hoped it would be. It’s just an incredible track, and a staple in my playlist.
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4) “Youngblood” by 5 Seconds of Summer (2018)
5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS) got big during the “boy band” phase that the Internet went through around the time that One Direction was popular. 5SOS was similar to One Direction, but a little edgier and more indie than pop. I personally am a fan of this band, and this song is one of my favorites of theirs. Youngblood is about the ups and downs of relationships, how they can be hard sometimes but also amazing, and how you kind of just have to keep pushing even if you don’t want to.
This song is so catchy to me it’s almost annoying. I can never skip it when it comes up on my Spotify. I scream it at the top of my lungs and punch the roof of my car. Yes, in some ways, this is just another relationship song. But it is edgy and fun and appeals to my inner emo kid. It’s magnetic to me, and will likely always be one of my favorites by this band.
3) “Circles” by Post Malone (2019)
Post Malone is my favorite musical artist, so of course one of his songs was going to land on this list. I was addicted to this song from the first time I heard it. I played it on repeat for literal months, until everyone else around me got so tired of it that they yelled at me whenever I put it on. The message of this song revolves around a romantic relationship that goes in “circles”: it gets bad, then it gets better, then it gets bad again. The passion dies, and you know you’re better off without that person, but if you let go, you’ll seem like the bad guy.
Even though this song came out after I had already graduated high school, it reminded me of a relationship I had been in my senior year. It was controlling, emotionally draining, and definitely went around in circles. We broke up and got back together again at least three times, and, of course, it never got better like I was promised.
Many people have been in similar experiences and I think this song is perfect for those kinds of situations. It’s one of those things where leaving a relationship is painful, but staying in it would be even worse. In some ways, it’s almost reassuring to know that a famous celebrity like Post Malone has been in the same situation. It really does reassure you that regardless of gender, status, or anything else, we have all dealt with something like this.
2) “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons (2017)
This song has a very special meaning to me, and one that not many people may expect. I went to college in beautiful Tampa, Florida, which is proudly known for its famous hockey team, the Tampa Bay Lightning (also affectionately called the Bolts). I have vivid memories of walking around downtown Tampa, around Amelie Arena (where the Bolts played) on nights that they had games, and the energy in the air was palpable.
Residents of the Tampa area adore their hockey team, and their love is very clear. Whether you were sitting in a chair inside of the arena during a game, or happened to be wandering downtown when the game ended (almost always in a victory) and you heard Bolts fans running into the street cheering and celebrating, it was electric (pun intended). It made you happy, whether you were a hockey fan or not. I adored those times.
I bring this up because Thunder is one of the songs commonly associated with the team, and you could often hear it being played over the speakers of the arena after the games were over. Because of that, I now have strong emotional ties to this song that make me think of Tampa and all of the good times I have had there. I also just think the song itself is incredibly inspiring, flaunting a message of dreaming of success and ultimately achieving it, as the band did. This song really does have a special place in my heart, and that is why it landed itself so high up on this list.
1) “Thriller” by Michael Jackson (1982)
There was absolutely no doubt this song was going to come in number one on this list. It is literally one of the most famous songs of all time, is often regarded as one of the best songs of all time, and is instantly recognizable by pretty much every single person on this planet. “Thriller” did things that had never been done in music before (like forever changing the concept of music videos), and has one of the best music videos ever made. It is a staple in any Halloween-themed playlist, and as an avid lover of all things Halloween, it makes me adore it that much more.
The meaning of this song is pretty much open to audience interpretation. The one thing about it that’s known for sure—it’s spooky and fun. It has an incredible bass riff, addicting instrumentals, and of course Michael Jackson’s iconic vocals to back it up. It is a song that will continue to live way past its years, as generations and generations pass it down around Halloween time. Its music video will always remain one of the best, and it will continue to inspire others in the industry for countless years to come.
Oh, and the song features the voice of Vincent Price. What more can you really ask for?
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Making a list like this can be especially tricky, since it is pretty open with no general theme. It gave me the freedom to incorporate songs that I love that all have one uniting factor: their titles are only one word. This list felt like a journey through time and multiple genres, and was just incredibly fun to make. All of these one word song titles are legendary in their own way, and I am glad I could pay tribute to them with this list