The sky is vast, open, and endless. Much like the stars, its become a place we can stand beneath to reflect on life, make wishes, and work out our emotions. So in this article, I’m going to provide you with my favorite songs about the sky, which should hopefully come in handy the next time you gaze above in an effort to daydream or reminisce.
Northern Star by Hole
“Northern Star” came off Hole’s 1998 Celebrity Skin album but was not a single. But it certainly could have been, because it’s one of the best songs on the album. It was the first album Hole released after Kurt Cobain died in 1994. And it’s filled with four years of raw emotion.
And blackest night and I wait for you
It’s cold in here, there’s no one left
And I wait for you
And nothing stops it happening
And I knew, I’d cherish all my misery alone
And I wait, staring at the Northern Star
The sky is a metaphor for the universe that took her husband away. We often find ourselves in nature questioning events in our lives, and “Northern Star” is our song for that moment.
It’s a polished grunge ballad, and when the song slows down to a desolate background of strings and drums, Courtney owns us all for just a moment. The climatic wailing of a very sad human being holds us captive, as Courtney rages louder:
And I want you
And blessed are the broken
And I beg you
No loneliness, no misery is worth you
I’ll tear his heart out, cold as ice
Goodbye Blue Sky by Pink Floyd
There may be people roaming the Earth who have not experienced Pink Floyd’s 1979 double album The Wall. This album is a must for any fan of good music. Roger Water and the boys give us a psychologically fascinating rock opera masterpiece chronicling the real life descent into madness of their original singer, Syd Barret.
Every song is perfect and emotionally engaging. “Goodbye Blue Sky” is no different, and paints a dreamy landscape of a child’s experience growing up in a war state. The sky is a metaphor for happiness.
Skyscraper by Demi Lovato
Lovato gives us a flag to hold up high over our heads when life knocks the crap out of us. This empowering pop ballad reminds us to get back up and keep going.
Demi Lovato has been through a lot over the years, and on this song, she busts through the atmosphere like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Heavy on the piano, with perfectly crafted imagery due to the music’s instrumentation and Lovato’s lyrics, this song makes us feel invincible again.
It’s also heavy on the painful confusion of being left behind by someone we love. A broken heart can often take us down. It’s the “get-back-up” part that counts. And this is our song for that moment.
Fierce and determined, we sing along with Lovato:
You can take everything I have
You can break everything I am
Like I’m made of glass
Like I’m made of paper
Go on and try to tear me down
I will be rising from the ground
Like a skyscraper
Oklahoma Sky by Miranda Lambert
“How long has it taken me to find you. Five hundred years. Five hundred thousand miles,” Lambert sings, “It don’t matter now. Love’s always on time. Meet me underneath the Oklahoma sky.”
This 2011 country ballad is a love song about finding that one human after looking for them for so long. It’s a slow sunset drive filled with the hope and promise that comes when that sort of love finally arrives.
The Oklahoma sky is a metaphor for wide-open possibilities and a place to finally surrender to a love that feels like home. It’s the perfect love song.
No Voices in the Sky by Motorhead
“The ones who dedicate the flags to make you brave. They also consecrate the headstone on your grave. Ritual remembrance when no one knows your name. Don’t help a single widow learn to fight the pain,” sings Lemmy on this 1991 heavy metal rocker.
He gives us a rocking rager for the times we need to rage on about the government, war, and humanity. It’s quite profound. It’s a song of indifference. Why bother trying if it doesn’t work out? Why bother asking for help when nobody listens?
It’s a give-up song, but it still wants to challenge things, which means there is still a passion. The sky is the metaphor for a silent world in times of need. We’ve been there collectively, and sometimes alone. “No Voices in the Sky” is a perfect speed metal punk rager for those times. Throw it on the house speakers and tell grandma to get her butt in the living room for a before-dinner moshpit.
Scar on the Sky by Chris Cornell
This 2007 song by the late Cornell is about trying to hold onto something good in our lives. “So, hover in the diving light. We will rip the night out of the arms of the sun one more time,” sings Cornell.
The sky is the battleground between night and day. The space that holds time and memory. He doesn’t want the night to end. We’ve been there. Though our attempts at keeping time still are futile, we still try to hold on to the goodness in life.
Any Cornell song is worth our time. And this one is no different. Our hats are off to the angelic songbird gone too soon. And we are grateful for the music left behind.
Bullet the Blue Sky by U2
In 1987, U2 released the Joshua Tree album and the musical world has never been the same. Every single song—just perfect.
Bullet the Blue Sky was not a single, but it became a very well-known song among music enthusiasts. These Irish rockers are known for involving themselves in world dialogue through their music.
This song was inspired by Bono’s 1985 trip to Central America. “Bullet the Blue Sky” is Bono’s condemnation of the American government and its promotion of political unrest. It’s slow and dreamy. Bluesy and emotional.
The Edge’s guitar is haunting. Adam Clayton’s bassline and Larry Mullin’s classic hard-pounding drum stylings make us bang the steering wheel a little bit harder than normal.
Edge of Seventeen (Midnight Sky) by Miley Cyrus
In 2020, Miley Cyrus and Stevie Nicks teamed up in the studio and gave us a musical child borne out of “Midnight Sky” and the “Edge of Seventeen.” And man—it’s fantastic.
“I was born to run. I don’t belong to anyone, oh no. I don’t need to be loved by you,” Cyrus sings, “The midnight sky is the road I’m takin’. Head high up in the clouds.”
The midnight sky is a metaphor for freedom, independence, and self-indulgence. It’s the perfect driving song. Play it loud and proud.
Late for the Sky by Jackson Browne
There are times in our lives we don’t want to acknowledge failure, and it can prove especially true in our relationships. Sometimes we miss the boat. Sometimes the timing is off. And sometimes, well, we just don’t have what it takes to hold on.
This 1974 Jackson Browne song finally gives us the words for that moment:
“You never knew what I loved in you. I don’t know what you loved in me. Maybe the picture of somebody you were hoping I might be,” Browne sings.
“Through the whispered promises and the changing light of the bed where we both lie, late for the sky.”
The sky is a metaphor for love. This heavy piano ballad is filled with grief, sorrow, regret, and the painful recognition that comes when it’s time to move on.
Remember Us This Way by Lady Gaga
“That Arizona sky burnin’ in your eyes. You look at me and babe, I wanna catch on fire,” sings Gaga in the opening lines from this hit song from A Star is Born soundtrack.
Gaga pours out her heart into this desolate, vulnerable, and, beautifully crafted song about holding on to the good times when things go sideways in love. The sky is a metaphor for passion, desire, and love in the eyes of her lover. The song crushes us. It slays us. It’s perfect in every way.
As humans, we are built for connection. And when we find something that moves us, we want to hold on to it. This song is a plea from the heart.
Touch the Sky by Kanye West
This is just such a fun, memorable, and well made song. In fact, you know a song is firing on all cylinders if it can find a way to introduce Curtis Mayfield to not only a different genre of music fans, but an entirely new generation of listeners.
That’s exactly what Kanye did with Touch the Sky, which features a Mayfield sample of “Move On Up.” Lupe Fiasco also jumps onto this track by verse 3, as well.
This song is all about the come up, as Kanye talks about his upbringing, the various obstacles he’s faced in life, and how his struggles helped him write great music.
Couldn’t keep it at home, thought I needed a Nia Long
I’m tryin’ to right my wrongs
But it’s funny them same wrongs helped me write this song
Sky is the Limit by The Notorious B.I.G.
This is an anthem for anyone struggling to make ends meet. And while Biggie raps on this track about hustling on the streets and always keeping your eyes on the prize (money and success), this song also discusses a lot of the struggles and burdens one faces in the ‘hood, where you have limited corporate career opportunities, but an over abundance of street-wise ambition.
Yes, Biggie is doing some unsavory things in this song. But he’s living in an unsavory ‘hood with more than a few unsavory characters. And while the song is indeed catchy, when you dive deep into the lyrics, it’s actually kind of a sad rap song.
Drugs. Guns. And a whole lot of pain.
But, as Biggie says later on in the song, he needs to put money in his mom’s hands. And he wants to make sure his daughter never feels like she has to rely on a man for comfort or safety. And so, faced with this harsh reality, Biggie is gonna do what he does best—hustling on the streets.
And when it comes to the short and longterm prospects of that hustle, well, the sky is the limit.
Sky is the limit and you know that you keep on
Just keep on pressin’ on
Sky is the limit and you know that you can have
What you want, be what you want
No matter what might be going on in our lives, music can be an amazing outlet. Songs can be mission statements, letters of acceptance, and often, a way to say goodbye.
And when it comes to songs about the sky, music can leave us wishing on stars and, in certain cases, cause us to deeply reflect back on the past.
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