When searching for songs with walk in the title, a variety of musical pieces can be found. You’ll certainly see songs discussing walking tall with self confidence, but you might also find somber songs about walking away from love. Whatever the meaning or theme of the song is, here are our favorite songs that feature the word “walk” in the title.
Songs With Walk in the Title
Let’s begin with a song literally titled “Walk” by the Foo Fighters.
Walk by Foo Fighters
The Foo Fighters’ career has been a long and interesting one, and the career of frontman Dave Grohl even more so since he was the drummer of monumentally influential ‘90s grunge innovators Nirvana.
“Walk” was the third single from the Foo Fighters’ seventh studio album, 2011’s Wasting Light, which also featured singles such as “Rope” and “White Limo”. Unlike some of their more in-your-face gritty rock n’ roll style singles, “Walk” kicks things off with gentle guitar tones, arpeggios, and a soft sincerity behind Grohl’s usually gravelly voice. It starts slow, but it’s not too long before the distortion kicks in and everything builds to an all-out rock out while Grohl repeats lyrics like “I never want to die!”
Grohl shared that the song was partly inspired by the death of former bandmate and beloved friend Kurt Cobain and the feelings he was left with upon the loss. The feelings and emotions expressed in “Walk” apparently resonated with many fans as the song skyrocketed to the top of the Billboard Rock Songs chart and earned two Grammy Awards that year.
I Walk the Line by Johnny Cash
“I Walk the Line” was released way back in 1956, and although Johnny Cash would eventually become one of the most iconic figures that country music has ever known, it marked his first number one single.
At the time, drums were uncommon in country music, but Cash enjoyed the sound of a good snare hit and sought to create something similar in his songs. “I Walk the Line” was unique in that it marked one of the first instances where Cash would place a piece of paper or a dollar bill in the neck of the guitar so that the rattling strings would strike it and create a percussive sound similar to the snare. This simple stylistic move was what created his trademark “boom-chicka-boom” truck-along sound present in most of his music.
Lyrically, Cash sings of fidelity, personal responsibility, and showing devotion in a world filled with temptations. Fans might think the song was written for June Carter whom Cash would eventually marry, but it was actually written for his first wife, Vivian Liberto. While it may lack the punch of “Folsom Prison Blues” or the fanfare of “Ring of Fire”, “I Walk the Line” remains one of Cash’s greatest hits and a timeless classic.
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Walk Like an Egyptian by The Bangles
The Bangles enjoyed some success before 1987’s “Walk Like an Egyptian”, but the song marked their first number one single and became Billboard’s pick for the song of the year as well. The album it hailed from, Different Light, also had included famous single “Manic Monday,” making the album pivotal to exposing The Bangles to a much wider audience than they had previously enjoyed.
While the song was massively successful for them, The Bangles did not actually write “Walk Like an Egyptian” and instead it was purchased by producer David Kahne from songwriter Liam Sternberg. Kahne retained enough control during recording to make integral creative decisions like vetoing Debbi Peterson’s vocals and replacing her drumming with a machine. Peterson was not pleased and the move caused tension in the band.
Despite the drama, “Walk Like an Egyptian” is the undisputed biggest single The Bangles ever put out, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s chock full of simple tricks that make it oh so infectiously catchy, from the “oh way ohs!” to the upbeat bass and snare rhythm pulling us out of our chairs and onto the dance floor every time the song is played.
Of course, it does flirt with cultural appropriation by encouraging listeners to imitate the movements of Egyptian hieroglyphic paintings, but songwriter Sternberg actually derived inspiration for the song by watching people lose their balance on a rocky ferry ride.
Regardless, the song was banned in 1991 by BBC and again in 2001 by Clear Channel Communications.
Walk Away by Donna Summer
“Walk Away” was featured on Donna Summer’s classic 1979 album Bad Girls and became the sixth single from the album. Commercially, it did not dominate the charts the same way that other singles from the album like “Bad Girls”, “Hot Stuff”, and “Dim All the Lights” did, but it still remains a classic from the accomplished singer-songwriter.
Stylistically, the track falls in line with other Summer singles featuring an upbeat dance vibe amidst high-hat hopping, muted guitar-picking, and resonant keyboard notes to contribute to a sound that’s so quintessentially disco. Despite the upbeat music, Summer’s emotion comes through as she entreats a lover not to “walk away when [they] see that [she] needs [them].”
Although she would rather her significant other stay by her side, she understands that it isn’t meant to be and knows that “I’ll get over you, it’s the only thing to do.” Despite the two parting ways, Summer will emerge triumphant in the long run and become stronger because of it.
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Walk On By by Dionne Warwick
Dionne Warwick is one of the most accomplished singers, performers, and hit makers of the 20th century, as well as one of the most charted singers of all time. “Walk On By” was an early single from the singer, written and composed by Burt Bacharach, which peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 while clinching number one on the Cash Box Rhythm and Blues chart in 1964. The song also earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rhythm and Blues Recording in 1965, as well. It’s a track that has been endlessly covered by musicians and artists like Isaac Hayes, Gloria Gaynor, and Cyndi Lauper, to name a few.
What makes “Walk On By” such a classic is the understated elegance and simplicity of the music and lyrics. Warwick’s lover has left her and she is coping with the loss and, although they see each other regularly still, she urges him to “walk on by” so she can preserve her dignity and not cry in front of him.
The slow tempo and soft trumpets add to the somber mood, but the emotion is at its high when everything breaks in the chorus and only a resonant piano shines through, supplemented by backup vocals and Warwick’s repeating “walk on by.”
It’s simple, it’s sophisticated, it’s timeless and elegant.
Walk Away by Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson’s second album Breakaway was an absolute hit factory, giving us Clarkson classics like “Breakaway”, “Since U Been Gone”, “Behind These Hazel Eyes”, and, you guessed it, “Walk Away.” Released in 2004, the album was a strong entry in the pop rock scene, with Clarkson showing equal skill and promise to contemporary counterparts Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera while illustrating more edge reminiscent of Avril Lavigne or Pink.
“Walk Away” punches its way in with a pronounced distorted guitar in front of a subtle, arpeggiated guitar and wah-effect sounds to give a grooviness to the alternative rock sounding single. Clarkson sings about a relationship that isn’t going so well, and tells her lover that she’s “looking for attention, not another question– ‘should you stay or should you go?’”
If they’re not sure whether or not they’re committed, why are they still standing there asking Kelly to figure it out? Save us all the trouble and “just walk away.”
Lyrically and musically, the song is endlessly catchy in a perfect combination of pop sensibilities and hard rock rawness. It’s no surprise the song sold over one million copies and became certified Gold by the RIAA.
Sky Walker by Miguel featuring Travis Scott
“Sky Walker” hails from Miguel’s seventh studio album War & Leisure, and was co-written and performed alongside fellow superstar Travis Scott to present to us one of the chillest, most laid-back party anthems ever conceived.
The music keeps things light and airy with a modest tempo, bubbly ambient effects, and Miguel repeating “splish” in the background every couple of measures for a little stylistic flair. Travis Scott’s verse adds a lot too as he injects his signature auto tuned vocals that blend so seamlessly with the music in the rest of the song.
Miguel wanted the song to be a “mindful celebration” and the lyrics support that completely as he encourages listeners to “take a shot, make a friend, just enjoy the moment.” With a catchy hook, great musical production, a relaxing vibe, and the vocal delivery of two music greats, “Sky Walker” is a classic that we just can’t turn off when it comes on.
Jesus Walks by Kanye West
The College Dropout was a strong debut showing for then new-to-the-scene rapper and producer Kanye West, but what would happen over the next few decades would cement it as the start of lyrical greatness and innovation in the hip hop community.
With singles such as “Through the Wire”, “The New Workout Plan”, and “Jesus Walks”, the album was massively successful selling almost a half-million copies in the first week of its release and eventually going quadruple Platinum.
“Jesus Walks” received favorable reviews and marked Ye’s fourth consecutive top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Critics praised it for the pure gravitas of the acapella style beat and openness regarding his faith in Christianity. Lyrically, West explored both themes of his own faith in a world where folks might “snatch your necklace” or “jack your Lexus” as well as Jesus’ universal love, even for the “hustlers, killers, murderers, drug dealers, even the scrippers. Jesus walks for them.”
The 2004 album featuring singles like “Jesus Walks” marked history and gave us a great talent and bold personality in Kanye West, whose career ranks among one of the most accomplished today and in all of music history.
Walk Like a Man by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
Some of the rationale offered in Frankie Valli’s “Walk Like a Man” doesn’t age particularly well– “No woman’s worth crawlin’ on the earth, so walk like a man, my son”– but the music and vocals sure hold up! From the moment the song starts up with the twangy guitar chords, understated simple percussion, and The Four Seasons singing a robust vocal harmony accentuated by “walk, walk, walk, walk” and Frankie’s trademark falsetto wailing.
The melody holds up and, although some of the gendered terminology lacks the politically correctness present in today’s modern culture, the message still is a positive one. Valli’s former lover has allegedly been “tellin’ dirty lies to [his] friends” and painting him in a negative light, but his father offers sage advice and instructs Frankie not to bother and instead take it in stride.
“Walk Like a Man” marked the third Billboard Hot 100 single from Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons to reach number one. It also peaked at number three on the Billboard R&B Charts.
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Walk of Life by Dire Straits
“Walk of Life” is one of those classic rock songs that not everyone can remember until they hear, at which point a knowing smile forms and they say something like, “Oh yeah! I know this song!” It’s true that the long intro and synthesized keyboard melody is classic and instantly recognizable, leading into a blues-rock driven arrangement and soulful song about street performers sung by vocalist Mark Knopfler. Throw in some backing vocals and a couple of sweet guitar licks and you have a certified classic on your hands.
Dire Straits, a UK-based rock band, charted well overseas peaking at number two on the UK charts, while “Walk of Life” rose to an impressive number seven on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song also charted in 14 other countries including Austria, Australia, Ireland, Spain, and South Africa.
With so many songs with walk in the title, it’s hard to narrow things down. Singers and musicians sing about walking on to overcome adversity, walking by to bypass lost loves and move on, walking with confidence to celebrate personal triumph or a celebratory life.
Whatever your reason for walking, enjoy the walk by playing a great playlist of songs just like these to keep you walking tall and loving life!
- This article was written by Christopher and edited by Michael.