Rings can mean something different to everyone and have a huge cultural significance. Maybe a ring is a commitment between two people to put each other first. Or maybe, it deals with some far more simplistic, and materialistic, like a display of wealth.
Regardless, of the situation, in this article, I’m going to provide you with my favorite songs about rings. Hopefully, you’ll discover one or two new gems on this list to add to your music playlist.
7 Rings by Ariana Grande
In this surprising R&B sample of “My Favorite Things” from the Broadway musical The Sound of Music, Grande details the finest, most expensive parts of life and having everything she wants; and how empowering it is to be able to work and buy it all for herself.
Although she credited the musical, she did get into a lawsuit about the song with a smaller songwriter. It was eventually settled and no comments were made from either party.
The song was released on her fifth studio album, thank u, next, which features a single of the same title about her troubled past with relationships, yet being grateful for the lessons it’s taught her. 7 rings was the next single she released off the album, and its meaning is quite literal, as she explained in an interview with Billboard.
“It was a… challenging day in New York. Me and my friends went to Tiffany’s together, just because we needed some retail therapy. We bought seven engagement rings, and when I got back to the studio, I gave everybody a friendship ring.” Whereas many of her songs are about love and romantic situations, 7 rings is about living lavishly with your friends by your side.
Paper Rings by Taylor Swift
The song on Taylor Swift’s seventh studio album, Lover, is about her partner since 2016, Joe Alwyn. Some fans speculate they have gotten engaged, or even married, as the first year in marriage is the “paper year.” It represents a new story together, and traditional one-year anniversary gifts are paper, such as photo albums or customized pieces.
Unlike her previous relationships, she has kept this one very private. It’s a fact that they’re together, but details beyond that are unclear. This could also be significant to the song, “I like shiny things, but I’d marry you with paper rings.” She doesn’t need anything glamorous or extravagant with him, just that they’re together.
She talks about how she wants to drive away with him, wants to spend dreary Mondays with him, and all the complications that may come with a serious relationship. The ring is the least significant part of their courtship, all she knows is that she wants to be with him.
Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) by Beyonce
The iconic song, at first listen, simply sounds materialistic (“If you like it then you should’ve put a ring on it”). It may even sound likeshe needs a tangible item for someone’s love to be proven to her.
However, when Beyonce sings “don’t treat me to these things in the world, I’m not that kind of girl,” she’s telling us that she doesn’t need dramatic gestures. She’s not arrogant or full of greed—she just doesn’t want her feelings to be toyed with.
Beyonce was married in April of 2008, just a few months before the song was released, so it’s about more than just a ring. The ring is symbolic of being treated with respect and commitment. While the song urges women to find a man who “puts a ring on it”, she is referring to much more than being legally married.
Primadonna by Marina
Singer Marina, formerly known as Marina and the Diamonds (name change to avoid being confused for a group, as she is a single artist) wrote this song about having anything she wants without having to work for it. (“All I ever wanted was the world / I can’t help that I need it all”).
She talks about being a beauty queen with a crown, having men propose at her demand, and knowing she’s egotistical but not understanding why it’s a big deal. She has said that she wrote the song ironically, as she wanted to draw in a new audience but wasn’t comfortable being known as a pop artist. So, what better way to do that than write as if she is a pop diva?
Mood Ring by Lorde
In another satirical take on pop culture, this one about pseudo-spirituality and wellness, Lorde’s single Mood Ring, on her much-anticipated second studio album, is all about trying to heal yourself with crystals and sage.
The song begins with feeling as dark as her roots (if she ever lets them grow out) and being unable to find what’s wrong.
In the pre-chorus, she instructs her girlfriends to do their sun salutations, meditate, burn sage, and cleanse the crystals, and get high—but only if the wind is right. She goes on to say she can’t feel a thing and looks to her mood ring to tell her how she’s feeling, she looks at the celebrity news and sings with the sad girls “until the mood rings,” looking for something outside of herself to dictate her happiness.
Violent by carolesdaughter
The 18-year-old singer and songwriter known as carolesdaughter released “Violent” on the app Tik Tok and it garnered her massive success. In the chorus, she says, “Don’t make me get violent / I want my ring back, baby that’s a diamond.” But later, she explains that the diamond she’s so upset about is symbolic of someone being a different person than the one you thought you knew.
In an interview with Wonderland Magazine, she says, “It’s about being pushed to the edge, wanting to hurt someone because they hurt you, and the desperation when you are in an abusive cycle.” This is probably one of the few times you’ll hear a diamond ring being talked about in a negative context, and its executed perfectly.
In the same interview, she talks about being in treatment for addictions, and how the only book they had were about recovering and coping, so she took inspiration from them as she had so much time to write songs. In Violent, it’s as if she’s using this ring as an excuse to see someone again and try to make things work the way they used to between them.
Congratulations by Mac Miller
In the late rapper’s passionate song Congratulations, he talks about loving a girl he has a rich history with and wanting to wait as long as he needs to for her because he sees her in such a godly, divine way. She was there before the fancy cars, when no one knew his name and he was just a starving artist.
Being with her is like Heaven—he sees her as an angel who brought light and color into his life. He talks about how he bought a wedding ring and keeps it in his pocket. He wanted to propose to her, but he was scared she’d run away. So, he waits for the right time, because everything is the same between them regardless, and has been for years.
Wear My Ring Around Your Neck by Elvis Presley
In Presley’s 1958 song, he says he wants a girl to wear his ring around her neck and let the world know they’re together. A similar gesture to wearing an engagement ring, but “they say we’re too young to know the meaning of a ring,” so wearing his ring on her necklace will suffice to show that they love and are committed to each other.
Sometimes marriage isn’t necessary to prove to each other that you believe you’re meant to be together. But being proud of your relationship and wanting to show it off is reasonable, so Elvis urges her to wear his ring even though they aren’t getting married, as it’s basically the same thing just without the courthouse and legal paperwork.
Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash
I bet you didn’t expect to see any 60s country songs about rings on this list, did you? Well, I’m just full of surprises today.
Although this song is credited to be written (or at least co-written) by June Carter, there appears to be some degree of doubt that this is true—at least according to Johnny Cash’s first wife (well, at least if you believe Vivian Cash’s autobiography).
The mariachi trumpets at the beginning of the song stray from Cash’s usual style. Still, it works rather well with the song, as he desperately sings about being caught up in an intense love that feels like falling into a burning ring of fire, and the flames grow as he falls deeper in love.
Diamond Ring by Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi’s Diamond Ring tells the story of a man who will do anything for the girl he loves, and the title symbolizes the ultimate act of commitment. He says there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for her and bleeds every night when she sleeps because he doesn’t know if she’s dreaming about him. He wants her to wear a diamond ring and tell the world he’s her only man.
He says, “you’ve got me on your string,” confessing that he’s hooked on her and is certain he’d go to the ends of the Earth for her. He takes care of her, giving her basic needs like food and water, as well as a shoulder to cry on when she needs it. There’s nothing more he wants from her than for her to show off their love.
Rings are a prominent conversation piece in pop culture, particularly wedding rings, and music is no exception from that. Whether you’re reminiscing on something that could’ve been, longing for more to come out of something beautiful, or just admiring the finer materialistic things in life, this list is sure to meet your expectations of songs about rings!
You Might Also Like:
- Songs About Getting Married
- Songs About Toxic Relationships
- Songs About the Friend Zone
- Songs About Heartbreak
- Songs About Arguments
- Songs About Trust
- Songs About Regretting Hurting Someone