15 Songs About Drowning (in Love or Sadness)
Songs about drowning can be literal or used as a metaphor. They can be musical examples of emotions demonstrating our fear, depression, a sense of feeling lost. So in today’s article, I’m going to share with you my picks for fifteen memorable songs on this heavy topic.
The Top Songs About Drowning
15. Drowning Man by U2
Welp, let’s start with my least favorite track on this list. Now I know The Edge and Bono love working together to create music, but I wish they’d stop. For me, this song is easily forgettable since the track itself is not all that exciting.
Bono’s singing in this number makes me cringe. The melody itself is slow, and the instrumental approach is meager. As for the lyrics, the song does not improve in this department. I find the lyrics rather uninspiring and lacking emotion.
Although this song’s title refers to the topic of drowning, I find the song never touches upon the issue directly or metaphorically. Instead, U2 approaches this song in a disconnected way, leaving the listener very little to process.
Although many U2 fans may disagree with my opinion about this song, I think it is important, to be honest about U2; their music is boring and forgettable. This song is a prime example of just that!
14. Drowning by Chris Young
This country number from Chris Young is a metaphoric song about drowning. It is a powerful and emotional song focusing on grief and loss. What I love about this song is that it focuses on how people can drown in their emotions when it comes to grief and that it is okay to let yourself drown in your feelings. Due to its touchy subject, the song evokes many emotions and memories, including my experience with grief.
Young does an exceptional job of capturing the raw and heavy feelings of dealing with grief and loss. Young’s voice is very soft and feels emotion, which fits well with the theme. Drowning in grief is a challenging process, and Young’s vocal talents gently remind us that this is something people go through.
The lyrics are honest and hit the heart hard. The lyrics do an exceptional job of telling what it is like to deal with grief and how people drown in those feelings. The lyrics are beautifully written while honoring the challenges that come with grief.
13. Drowning Lessons by My Chemical Romance
This intense and haunting song from My Chemical Romance is called “Drowning Lessons” but focuses on the topic metaphorically. The lyrics describe a morbid, dark scene while drowning in the moment. Gerald Way’s delivery is powerful and emotional, showcasing anger and frustration in the song.
His vocals aid in setting a tone for the song, which is that this is a very intense and dark song. One thing that makes this song wild and interesting is that a listener can easily see it as something rather violent as it hints at murder within the lyrics.
The melody of this song is very intense and complex, just like the lyrics. This song is not catchy and is all over the place regarding structure, but My Chemical Romance creates a powerful emotive message. However, my biggest issue with the song is the lyrics. Although I like to believe I understand what the song is about, it is not easy to break down. Many listeners could also be turned off due to the lyrics being dark and angry.
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12. Drowning by Banks
This is another metaphoric song involving drowning. This song by Banks is an atmospheric track that focuses on drowning from a breakup. The song approaches the topic of drowning through the lyrics, which suggest that a person is drowning in the pain their former love has caused them. The lyrics are intense and raw, which makes it a very emotional song.
Banks singing is beautiful in this song. It is raw and honest, which emphasizes the rawness this song has to offer. Her voice alone does an amazing job of conveying a sense of vulnerability and deep pain.
As for the instrumental structure of the song, I love that it is “atmospheric-like.” By making less about the instrumental usage and more about the lyrics and Bank’s vocal delivery, it allows the listener to dive into the setting the song sets up. By approaching the music this way, the listener can feel the pain and understand why someone can drown in a bad relationship.
11. Drowning by The Backstreet Boys
Other than this song’s introduction sounding exactly like O-Town’s “All or Nothing,” this song nonetheless inspires nostalgia each time I hear it. However, my enjoyment of this song has been degraded due to Nick Carter’s accusations.
Unlike the previous songs on this list, this song is about drowning in love. In other words, this song is about falling in love. The Backstreet Boys’ powerful vocal delivery creates a romantic and loving setting for the listener. Of all the Backstreet Boys songs, the band’s singing harmonies are the most impressive in this song. You can feel the love and passion echoing in their singing.
The lyrics themselves are lovely and full of passion. The lyrics help make this song one of the most memorable ballads from the Backstreet Boys. The message of drowning in love is an idea that can be relatable to many people, which keeps this song’s relevancy ongoing.
10. Drowning by Atreyu
This song explores the theme of drowning both metaphorically and literally. This hard rock banger does an incredible job of painting what it is like to drown in your feelings through the lyrics. The lyrics are raw, honest, and descriptive.
This song’s words truly dive into the emotional experience of someone struggling with their mental health. For a difficult topic to discuss, the lyrics are perfectly composed as it truly showcases the struggle of mental health. This creates an emotional and intense experience for the listener.
The vocal delivery of this song goes above and beyond. The singer’s ability to convey a sense of drowning through frustration, desperation, and anger is done perfectly. The singer makes you feel emotionally triggered, which is hard to do, but he succeeds.
And the instrumental component of this song is very hard, with intense guitar playing and powerful upbeats adding another layer of emotion, which helps emphasize the theme of drowning in this song.
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9. Drown In My Own Tears by Ray Charles
This 1965 soulful number from Ray Charles is a song discussing drowning in sorrow after a breakup. This bluesy ballad by Ray Charles captures the essence of what a breakup song should be all about. The lyrics explore the behavior of what many people often go through after a breaking up, which usually involves sulking in sorrow.
This song beautifully and perfectly showcases the emotional process when someone is dealing with a broken heart. Despite the relatively simple lyrics, they remain meaningful because the words convey a relatable experience for many listeners.
The musical structure in this song is very simple as well, but I think it is meant to emphasize the lyrics and Ray Charles’ vocals. The song approaches instrumentals minimally, which nonetheless paints a depressing mood. Ray Charles’s poignant vocals add another element of emotion to this sad song since he performs this song with authentic emotion.
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8. Sink or Swim by Falling in Reverse
This heavy rock banger from 2019 is a metaphoric song about drowning. The song focuses on struggling with hard times in life. The lyrics focus on how there are times when people struggle to survive life challenges. The lyrics in this song are extravagant but showcase a theme that many people can relate to.
What makes this song stand out is the use of instruments. The song is very heavy, especially through the use of the guitar in this song. The techno elements in this song are molded perfectly with the guitar, which helps create a high-energy setting for the song. This song is a great example of hard rock, and the lyrics are not only emotive but relatable.
Lastly, the vocals in this song capture the essence of desperation and frustration, which help convey the song’s message. This is a great song for anyone who is struggling and is a big fan of hard rock or metal bands.
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7. Let Me Drown by Soundgarden
This song is both metaphoric and literally about drowning. This song, that was written by Chris Cornell, focuses on the feeling of being trapped and overwhelmed by emotions; thus, a person can feel like drowning. Soundgarden does an exceptional job capturing the emotions, both musically and lyrically.
The song’s opening features some fantastic guitar playing and great drumming. The instrumental use in this song is very heavy but sets an energetic vibe for the song. It is a powerful track and the musical elements do a great job showcasing what grunge music is all about.
The best part of this song is Chris Cornell’s vocal delivery. He approaches this song with so many feelings that it can easily spark emotions in whoever listens to this song. Chris Cornell is one of the best singers to exist in our lifetimes. His vocals are what truly make this song so incredible. His vocals add power and emotion to both the lyrics and instrumental structure.
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6. The Drowning Man by The Cure
Before advocating for better concert prices, Robert Smith wrote the song “The Drowning Man.” This song from 1981 is a dark song. The lyrics focus on the themes of death, loss, and grief. The lyrics are not entirely obvious, but what is what makes this haunting song so powerful. The use of lyrics in this song is rather artistic and poetic and paints an intensely depressing and tragic picture.
The instrumental structure in this song is very peculiar. It is not bad or good, but it is nothing special at the same time. The melody approach for this song takes away from the powerful vocals and makes it a less memorable song. If the melody were different, it could be a far more iconic song in pop culture.
Robert Smith’s vocals in this song are genuinely haunting and capture the darkness that is woven throughout this song. His voice draws out the feeling of grief and pain when you are listening to this song.
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5. Drowning by Hootie & The Blowfish
For a song about drowning, I absolutely love this alternative rock song!
This song has some of the best lyrics because of the significance this song upholds. What makes this particularly unique from the rest of the songs on this list is that the theme of drowning is about drowning in fear and hate.
The lyrics are brutal and raw while highlighting some issues taking place in American society and culture. It focuses on how people drown through fear and hatred, which is a powerful statement to be made in a song, especially in 1995.
Hootie & The Blowfish made a brave move to talk about how people drown in their racist behaviors. They were trying to make a difference when these conversations were often dismissed.
Also, Darius Rucker’s vocal showcase of this message is incredible. He adds emotional value to this song, which I believe can easily enlighten and encourage listeners to have open conversations about hate and how people are drowning in hateful feelings.
4. Head Above Water by Avril Lavigne
This metaphorically filled song focuses on overcoming the feeling of drowning amidst difficult times in someone’s life. By using drowning as a metaphor, Avril Lavigne expresses feelings of sadness and vulnerability in an empowering and beautiful manner.
This song explores the challenges of dealing with emotionally draining events while encouraging the listener to push through. I love how the lyrics even point out that people often turn to a higher power when facing hard times, which is relatable for many people. Lyrically speaking, this is an incredible song because of how honest and genuine it is.
Now, let’s talk about Avril Lavigne’s performance. Her vocals are powerful and filled with so many emotions; this is no surprise since this song was inspired by Lavigne’s struggles. By adding her personal experience with emotional challenges, she opens up to the listener. She ultimately shows the listener that is going through a rough patch that they are not alone.
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3. Drown (New) by Bring Me The Horizon
This emo rock song is about drowning in the hardships of mental health issues. The lyrics are heavy and cover some honest facts about dealing with mental health issues like depression. The lyrics are poetic, powerful, and extremely meaningful.
By focusing on mental health issues, Bring Me The Horizon reveals the many complex layers when it comes to dealing with mental health and that, in fact, it often feels like a person is drowning. Since the lyrics perfectly capture the essence of what it is like to struggle with your mental health, it creates a relatable and personal setting for the listener.
Oliver Skyes singing in this song is so sincere and powerful that you can tell he understands and relates to the lyrics of his own song. By connecting to his listeners this way, Bring Me the Horizon continues to contribute to creating a setting to connect with their listeners truly.
2. Drown Me Slowly by Audioslave
It is only fitting that we put both bands Chris Cornell was the lead singer for on this list. Now we will talk about “Drown Me Slowly” from the superior band of the two. In this song, the theme of drowning is approached metaphorically. The lyrics focus on drowning in the sense of being trapped by one’s feelings and emotions.
The lyrics also suggest drowning in self-destruction since there is no way of breaking the vicious cycle. The words written by Chris Cornell and Tom Morello are relatively simple, but their meaning is alarming and heavy.
Tom Morello’s guitar playing in this song is incredible and can be easily recognized since he approaches this song with his signature style. Morello’s guitar playing adds a layer of heaviness through his guitar riffs and solo.
As for Cornell, he sings beautifully yet again but adds a lot more emotion in this song, which feeds into the theme of suffocation and drowning. Overall, this is a powerful song.
1. Blue Ocean Floor by Justin Timberlake
This is my favorite song from Justin Timberlake, and I knew it would be number one on this list of songs about drowning.
The topic of drowning is approached metaphorically, and Justin Timberlake does so in a gentle yet intense way. This song evokes heavy and sad feelings each time I listen to it because it is essentially about drowning in your emotions and struggling to find your way back to the top for air.
Timberlake’s perspective always gets me with this song because he wrote the lyrics in a way where he acknowledges that he understands your struggles and provides so much compassion. This song can be very comforting to the soul of someone dealing with a challenging situation.
The lack of instrumental usage in this song makes it even better. I love how the song was approached in this manner since it forces the listener to focus entirely on the words. It contributes to the emotional experience. For such a simple song, it is heart-wrenching and emotional.
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This article was written by Amanda and edited by Michael.