As someone who has always been captivated by the beauty of the sea, I find solace and inspiration in its vastness.
Whether I’m sitting on the sandy shores, watching crashing waves, or sailing across the open water, the sea is a constant presence in my life.
And what better way to accompany the sea’s majesty than with the perfect playlist of songs about the ocean?
In this article, I’ve compiled a list of 15 sea songs from various genres, offering a diverse mix for everyone’s taste. You’ll find the full Spotify playlist at the end of the article.
“Beyond the Sea” – Bobby Darin
This classic song from 1959, originally a French song called “La Mer” by Charles Trenet, features the sea as a metaphor for distance between two lovers. The lyricist imagines his loved one waiting beyond the sea, evoking a sense of longing and hope.
“The Ocean” – Led Zeppelin
This 1973 rock song metaphorically refers to the ocean as the throng of fans that the band wanted to reach with their music. The band compares the crowd to an ocean, a poetic analogy of the vast and mighty sea.
“Ocean Eyes” – Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish uses the concept of ‘ocean eyes’ to describe a person’s deep, captivating gaze. The lyrics paint an emotional landscape as profound and complex as the ocean itself.
“Sloop John B” – The Beach Boys
This 1966 song is an adaptation of a Bahamian folk song from the early 20th century. It narrates a troubled journey at sea on the titular ship, the ‘Sloop John B.’
The Beatles: A delightful and whimsical song from the Beatles’ Abbey Road album, it expresses the desire to escape to the ocean floor, to an octopus’s garden, away from the troubles of the world.
“Orinoco Flow” – Enya
This 1988 hit, often known as ‘Sail Away,’ references the Orinoco River, leading to the Atlantic Ocean. The song reflects the artist’s fascination with global travel and the freedom of the sea.
“Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)”
Looking Glass: This 1972 song tells the tale of a sailor’s love for the sea, personified as a woman named Brandy. The lyrics offer a compelling narrative of love and longing.
“I’m On a Boat” – The Lonely Island ft. T-Pain
This humorous and catchy 2009 rap song is all about the luxury and opulence associated with a high-end boating experience, using the ocean as its setting.
“Under The Sea” – Samuel E. Wright
This 1989 Disney classic from ‘The Little Mermaid’ is an ode to the joy and beauty found under the ocean’s surface. The song won an Academy Award for its catchy, upbeat tune and imaginative lyrics.
“The Downeaster ‘Alexa'” – Billy Joel
This 1989 song describes the struggles and perils of fishermen in the Atlantic Ocean, focusing on the impact of overfishing and changing economic realities.
“Rock the Boat” – Hues Corporation
This 1974 hit, one of the early disco successes, uses a nautical theme and the metaphor of ‘rocking the boat’ to portray the ups and downs of a romantic relationship.
“Island in the Sun” – Weezer
A 2001 hit, this song isn’t directly about the ocean but rather describes an idyllic island surrounded by the sea, a place of escape and relaxation.
“Sea of Love” – Phil Phillips
This 1959 song uses the ‘sea of love’ as a metaphor for overwhelming emotions. It has been covered by numerous artists, including The Honeydrippers and Tom Waits.
“Son of a Son of a Sailor” – Jimmy Buffett
Released in 1978, this song encapsulates the laid-back, seafaring lifestyle that Jimmy Buffett is famous for in his music.
“Into the Ocean” – Blue October
This 2006 song uses the imagery of diving into the ocean as a metaphor for surrendering to overwhelming emotions and the trials of life.
🐬 Create Your Own Sea Playlist
The sea has been an endless source of inspiration for artists across various genres. Whether you prefer alternative rock, classic rock, country, or pop, there’s a sea song for every taste.
As you embark on your journey to create your own sea playlist, let these songs be your guide.
Let the melodies and lyrics wash over you, transporting you to the endless horizon of the sea, where dreams come alive and worries fade away.