Songs About Roses: 20 Songs With Roses In The Lyrics

Roses can symbolize so much and represent a range of emotions. From the single white rose left on the coffin of one dearly missed, to the dozen red roses sent to a lover, the rose is a flower of love, passion, and sometimes pain.

It comes as no surprise that some of the greatest artists of all time have included roses within their work. Famous writers have worked symbolic roses into their literature. In the same way great musical artists have written lyrics and recorded songs, including the powerful rose.

Musical history has given us several unforgettable songs with roses in the lyrics. All are very unique and all tell individual stories. Some stories are of love and happiness whilst others are of death, darkness, and betrayal.

Let us take an in-depth look at some songs with roses in the lyrics and the stories behind them.

Songs With Roses In The Lyrics

Top 20 songs with roses in the lyrics

1. “Every Rose Has its Thorn” by Poison

The famous glam metal band Poison released this hit in the eighties. An epic power ballad this song focuses on the sharp and dangerous rose thorn, rather than the soft and pretty petals which a person may be initially drawn to.

The message of the song is simple, things may look good, things may seem to be going well but under the surface, there may be trouble. “Just like every cowboy sings his sad. sad song, Every rose has its thorn.”

This song was written by Bret Michaels, the frontman of the band after he discovered his girlfriend’s infidelity.

2. “Kiss from a Rose” by Seal

Taken from Seal’s second album “Kiss from a Rose” was included in not one. but two movie soundtracks. Never Ending Story III and Batman Forever. The popular ballad caused mass fan discussion as many theories for the cryptic lyrics were debated.

Seal never confirmed or denied the fan interpretations and years later we are still guessing. He famously confirmed in an interview that he had no intention of divulging the information and invited lyrical analyses to embrace their own theories and interpretations.

3. “Rose Garden” by Lynn Anderson

Back in the 1970s country and pop star Lynn Anderson recorded and released a version of “Rose Garden” which was originally by Joe South. Lynn’s version was a huge chart success. The song represents the ups and downs of any long-term relationship.

Expert Tip: The message is simple: it’s not always easy and to get the good occasionally we must work through the bad. Its popularity is arguably down to how relatable the lyrics are making this a firm favorite in karaoke bars across the world.

4. “Bed of Roses” by Bon Jovi

Famously written by Jon Bon Jovi whilst he was recovering from a hangover “Bed of Roses” Is a song of passion, devotion, and love.

Dedicated to a romantic partner whom he is not currently with, or perhaps cannot be with. The whole song is dedicated to expressing his undying devotion to this lover and how much he wishes to be with this person and take care of them. A powerful rock ballad that gave the band another chart success.

5. “Desert Rose” by Sting

British music legend Sting released ‘Desert Rose” in 1999 and it was featured in a well-known car commercial in 2000. The theme of this song is desire, temptation, and daydreaming or fanaticizing of forbidden love.

The song is said to be inspired by the novel Dune of which Sting was a huge fan. Unlike Sting’s other work at the time this song has an African-inspired melody.

6. “A Rose by Any Name” by Blondie

New Wave band Blondie had huge success in the seventies and eighties followed by more than one come back in later years. “A Rose by Any Name” was part of one of Blondies ‘ back seasons in 2013. Featuring Beth Ditto from the gossip, who is on lead vocals with Debbie Harry, this song is about unconditional love and acceptance.

Originally inspired by parents loving their unborn child and not knowing the gender, the inspiration grew and came to represent the LGBT community and became an anthem. The message of this song is simply acceptance.

Expert Tip: The title of the song is of course a reference to the famous quote from William Shakespeare: ‘a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

7. “Smell the Roses” by Roger Waters

Roger Waters was a member of Pink Floyd before launching his own solo material. ‘Smell the Roses” is taken from his 2017 album. The message of this song is anti-war and Waters uses powerful, dark imagery in his lyrics to represent the brutal consequences of greed and conflict and why as a race we need to embrace peace.

A dystopian world is used to demonstrate the dark and depressing horrors which could easily become reality should we not take heed.

8. “Monarchy of Roses” by Red Hot Chilli Peppers

The Red Hot Chilli Peppers have received numerous requests to use their famous songs in advertisements campaigns and each time they have declined. However the “Monarchy of Roses” became the exception to that rule as they allowed this to be used in a Japanese car commercial.

The Red Hot Chilli Peppers are rock legends known for their musical formula of tension and release tunes. “Monarchy of Roses” is no exception. The tempo rises and falls as it tells the story of the historical war of roses.

9. “Rose of Sharon” by Mumford & Sons

The British modern folk group. Mumford & Sons delivered the unique “Rose of Sharon” as an album track in 2018. Sadly not released as a single this has proved to be a firm favorite with fans. Standing out from the band’s usual style the upbeat track has a hint of dance genre to it. A song best described as intense.

Although the rhythm and tune is fast and upbeat the song is actually inspired by lead singer Marcus Mumford’s first-hand experience of the death of a loved one and loss. Written following his experience of witnessing his Grandmother pass away. In this song, the rose is a Bible reference.

10. “Where the Wild Roses Grow” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Kylie Minogue

“Where the Wild Roses Grow” was a collaboration between the Australian rock band and pop solo singer. This song falls into the controversial subgenre known as murder ballad. This subgenre enjoyed short-term popularity in the 1990s and songs within this theme told stories of crime, murder, and gruesome death.

This murder ballad in particular tells a dark tale of love turning sour, ending in murder and tragedy. A powerful and brace performance, but perhaps not for the faint-hearted.

11. “Roses” by Outkast

A worldwide hit for the hip hop and pop ensemble. Roses is one of Outkast’s best-selling hits. The hit tells of a specific story of an individual. Caroline, whose personality and actions are questionable, however, they possess little or no self-awareness to realize how others portray them, or the negative impact their actions have on others.

The song itself sounds fun. upbeat, and positive in terms of beat. bass, and tune. Therefore it is easy to forget the serious message in the song. It reminds us all to be better and treat others well, concentrate on things that really matter, and do not live our lives like “Caroline.”

12. “Give My Love to Rose” by Jonny Cash

The late and great Jonny Cash was a country music legend. His successful career spun over several decades. This tragic love song was brought to the music world back in 1957. As with many country songs a tale is told to the listener during the song.

As we listen we learn of a dying man attempting a journey to see his love one last time. He does not make it. and in his dying words to a stranger, he asks for his message of love to pass onto his beloved rose. Beautiful, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking.

13. “The Rose” by Bette Midler

Written by Amanda McBroom and made famous when performed by Bette Midler for the film also titled The Rose.” The film tells a story that is loosely based on the life of Janice Joplin, a tale of success. Love and ultimately tragedy.

The song is a powerful, emotional ballad that explains both the potential pain and the beautiful power of love. The song encourages listeners to always take a chance on love and remain optimistic, unlike other ballads the song talks of all kinds of love, not just romantic love. A beautiful and fragile piece of music.

14. “Roses” by Shawn Mendes

The Canadian solo artist sings about his love for a partner he is not with, as she is already in a romantic relationship with another person. He expresses his belief that his love for her is stronger and greater and to prove this offers roses. A fun and catchy pop love song.

15. “Rose in December” by Halestorm

One of the first songs written by American rock band Halestorm. ‘Rose in December” proved to be the start of their career. A song about the pains and pitfalls of love in a long-distance relationship. Despite the hurdles the two may have to endure due to the distance between them, the singer promises to be there no matter what.

16. “Roses” by Mary J Blige

Mary J Blidge is a singer-songwriter who has had hits across the hip hop. R&B. and pop genres. “Roses” is a piece of up-tempo pop that many listeners can relate to. Blige sings about the trials of helping your significant other through a tough time or a particularly bad day.

17. “English Rose” by Motorhead

British heavy metal group Motorhead are known for no-nonsense, harsh metal style rock songs and this is no exception. Although the title “English Rose” may sound like a soft and sensitive love song, do not be misled. It’s a song of passion no doubt with a blunt, almost aggressive feel. It is a song of lust and raw sexual appreciation.

18. “Lady Rose” by Mungo Jerry

Mungo Jerry is a British rock and pop band that had several hits and huge success during the 1970s. This was the band’s third single, written by the band’s lead vocalist Ray Dorset. The positive upbeat tempo includes piano and harmonica and expresses a love story of devotion, admiration, and respect.

19. “For the Roses’ by Jon Mitchell

Singer, songwriter Jon Mitchell is a superstar who draws inspiration from a number of genres including folk. pop. rock. jazz, and even classical. This offering is a blend of pop and folk, and Mitchell’s first attempt at exploring the jazz genre. A sad and thought-provoking song with lyrics symbolizing distaste and distrust towards the harsh music industry. The dark side of fame and fortune is expressed.

20. “Plastic Rose” by Maroon 5

The American pop-rock group Maroon 5 has delivered several albums, both live and studio. ‘Plastic Rose” is an album track from the platinum­selling Red Blue Pills, and never released as a single despite its huge popularity with Marron 5 fans. The sixth studio album includes this funky pop beat tune.

The lyrics are of disappointment and sadness following a one-sided relationship. Frontman Adam Levine sings of his bitterness towards a person who proved to be fake and lied their way through an insincere relationship.

Very different songs with roses in the lyrics

From the above list, we can see that the songs with roses in the lyrics are all very different. The breakdown includes songs from different decades and many musical genres including pop. rock, metal, jazz, and folk to name just a few. The list also includes hits from the 1950s right through to the current decade.

Some songs are stories of melancholy, others of despair, and of course some of the pure joy that endless love can bring. Despite the mood or theme, one thing remains constant, the beautiful rose.

This flower remains a popular source of inspiration for musical artists of all genres, from all decades.

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About Maggie Holding

Hello! My name is Maggie and I am a proud Editor/Author for PlayTheTunes. Coming From South Carolina, USA, my whole life I've sang and played the guitar and flute! I love music with a passion, and am ecstatic to help others in their own music journey!