23 Of The Best Songs About Sugar

Written by Dan Farrant

Music, in its diverse and melodious forms, has a sweet way of touching our hearts and souls. Just like sugar, it can add flavor to our lives, making moments more memorable and experiences richer.

Songs about sugar often use the ingredient as a metaphor for love, sweetness, and irresistible attraction, resulting in a deliciously captivating blend of melody and lyrics.

Here, we’ve created a list of 23 of the best songs about sugar that perfectly encapsulate the sweetness, charm, and allure associated with this beloved ingredient. Read on to immerse yourself in the irresistibly sweet world of sugar-themed music.

1. “Watermelon Sugar” By Harry Styles

We begin this list with a song with “sugar” in the title. Harry Styles‘ “Watermelon Sugar” is a track from his second studio album, Fine Line, which was released in 2019.

It masterfully uses the sweetness of sugar as a metaphor. However, “Watermelon Sugar” is not just about the physical sweet taste of sugar. Styles has confirmed that the song is about the feeling of female pleasure, adding a more intimate layer to the song’s meaning.

“Watermelon Sugar” reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 soon after release. Its popularity is due not only to its catchy tune but also to the rich imagery and deep meaning contained within its lyrics.

2. “Sugar” By Maroon 5

Up next is “Sugar” by Maroon 5. Featured on the band’s fifth studio album in 2014, the song quickly became a fan favorite. It was written by Mike Posner, Adam Levine, Dr. Luke, and Jacob Kasher Hindlin.

The song’s infectious, disco-influenced beat blends perfectly with Levine’s passionate falsetto. The lyrics convey the narrator’s intense longing for his love interest’s affection, and the song mentions “sugar” as a metaphor for the sweet and irresistible nature of love.

“Sugar” was a massive success, taking the #2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. It also received an ASCAP Pop Music Award for Most Performed Song, a testament to its popularity.

Related: Check out our list of songs about candy here.

3. “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” By Four Tops

Let’s take a sweet journey back to 1965 when Motown was at its peak, and the Four Tops were serenading the world with their hit song “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch).”

“Sugar pie, honey bunch” is a term of endearment that encapsulates the sweetness and warmth of love. The lyrics express an uncontrollable affection for the object of desire, just as one might find it hard to resist the allure of a sugar pie or honey bunch. This clever use of “sugar” in the lyrics creates a captivating metaphor that listeners can easily relate to.

The song reached #1 on the music charts. With its memorable melody and heartfelt lyrics, its popularity remains undiminished even today.

4. “Pour Some Sugar On Me” By Def Leppard

In 1988, Def Leppard released one of their greatest hits. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” was part of their album Hysteria and climbed up to the second spot on the Billboard 100 chart.

With its catchy riffs, powerful vocals, and rock-and-roll rhythm, the song makes you want to headbang along.

Similar to Maroon 5’s “Sugar,” “Pour Some Sugar on Me” uses the sweet crystallized ingredient as a metaphor for a woman’s love, creating a playful, sensual tone throughout the track.

Since its release, the song has been remastered and re-released. As Def Leppard’s signature piece, it continues to be a fan favorite to this day.

5. “Brown Sugar” By The Rolling Stones

Written primarily by Mick Jagger, “Brown Sugar” served as the opening track for Sticky Fingers, the 1971 album of the legendary English rock band The Rolling Stones.

The use of “sugar” in the song is a bold metaphor that doesn’t shy away from addressing complex themes. Unlike other songs that use “sugar” as a term of endearment or to symbolize the sweetness of love, here, “sugar” — rather, “brown sugar” — is referring to a woman of color, hinting at interracial relationships.

The lyrics delve into the dark history of slavery. This is directly addressed in the lines “Gold coast slave ship bound for cotton fields, Sold in the market down in New Orleans.” This controversial approach to storytelling through music was one of the factors that set The Rolling Stones apart and contributed to their enduring popularity.

Related: Check out our list of great songs about the color brown.

6. “Melt The Sugar” By The Summer Obsession

The pop-rock track “Melt the Sugar” by The Summer Obsession captures the essence of young love and the exhilaration it brings. It was released in 2006 from the album This Is Where You Belong.

“Sugar” here symbolizes the sweetness inherent in a romantic relationship. The lyrics are filled with references to this sweetness, creating a vivid picture of a blossoming romance. Despite differences between the two individuals, they find a common ground, a shared desire that binds them together.

As the song progresses, it delves into the comforting aspect of love. Amidst the chaos of life, the beloved becomes a sanctuary, a source of calm and serenity.

7. “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” By Fall Out Boy

The pop-punk band Fall Out Boy also has a sweet song in “Sugar, We’re Goin Down.” This memorable track was released as the lead single from their second studio album, From Under the Cork Tree, in 2005. It quickly gained popularity and became one of the band’s signature tracks.

Lyrically, “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” delves into the emotional turmoil and sexual tension that often accompanies young love, drawing on the energy and recklessness of youthful hormones.

The term “sugar” in this context serves as a term of endearment. However, the line “We’re going down” suggests a sense of impending doom. It indicates that despite the sweetness, the relationship is fraught with difficulties and is heading toward a downfall.

8. “Candy Shop” By 50 Cent

Our next song, “Candy Shop,” is a notable track by the renowned rapper 50 Cent, featuring Olivia. It was released as the second single from his second commercial album, The Massacre, in 2005.

Upon its release, “Candy Shop” received wide acclaim and became one of 50 Cent’s most popular songs. Its catchy rhythm and suggestive lyrics resonated with listeners, contributing to the overall success of The Massacre album.

Though the song does not explicitly mention sugar, there is absolutely nothing more full of sugar than candy. Lyrically, “Candy Shop” uses candy as a metaphor for sexual desire and seduction. The repeated use of “candy shop” throughout the song refers to a place of pleasure and gratification.

9. “Sugar, Sugar” By The Archies

Though created by the fictional rock band The Archies, the sweetness of the song “Sugar, Sugar” belongs to this list. The band was created for the animated TV show The Archie Show, and this pop hit, released in 1969, quickly became their signature piece.

“Sugar, Sugar” is a sweet love song that uses “sugar” as a metaphor for love and affection. The lyrics are brimming with expressions of love, using phrases like “Ah sugar, ah honey honey, You are my candy girl” to convey deep affection and desire.

The song became so popular it topped not just the Billboard Hot 100 but also several charts across the globe. In 1970, a soul-inspired version was created by Wilson Pickett.

10. “Sugar Magnolia” By Grateful Dead

Up next, “Sugar Magnolia” is a famous song by the Grateful Dead, a product of the collaborative writing efforts of Robert Hunter and Bob Weir. The song made its debut in 1970 as part of their fifth studio album, American Beauty.

“Sugar” in the song does not mean the sweet crystallized flavoring we so love but rather the beautiful flower sugar magnolia. The flower is used as an endearment by the narrator, referring to his beloved woman, who is the focus of the song.

“Sugar Magnolia” quickly became a favorite during live performances by the Grateful Dead. Its popularity endured throughout the 1970s, with fans appreciating its evolving interpretations over the years.

11. “Lips Like Sugar” By Echo & The Bunnymen

Released in August 1987, “Lips Like Sugar” is a notable song by Echo & the Bunnymen, an influential post-punk band hailing from Liverpool. It was the second single from their self-titled album and made a significant splash in the music scene of the time.

“Lips Like Sugar” is essentially a romantic ode to an enchanting woman who is described as moving gracefully “like a swan.” The lyrics emphasize her allure and the sweetness of her kisses, which are likened to sugar. This recurrent metaphor serves as an expression of the singer’s admiration and deep affection for her.

The song stands out among Echo & the Bunnymen’s discography. It showcases their signature blend of post-punk and new-wave elements, resulting in a sound that’s both unique and captivating.

12. “Brown Sugar” By ZZ Top

From ZZ Top‘s debut album, aptly named ZZ Top’s First Album, we have “Brown Sugar.” Though it has the same title as The Rolling Stone piece earlier, this one tells a different story.

This “Brown Sugar” is primarily a blues-rock song that depicts a man’s deep attraction toward a woman. Brown sugar serves as a metaphor for the woman’s irresistible allure, much like how actual brown sugar is sweet and addictive.

However, it’s open to interpretation. Some listeners speculate about potential racial undertones in the song. Notably, these interpretations aren’t widely accepted or confirmed by the band.

Released in 1971, “Brown Sugar” is a classic example of ZZ Top’s early sound, before they moved into a more mainstream rock direction in the later part of their career.

13. “A Spoonful Of Sugar” By Julie Andrews

Up next is a classic song by Julie Andrews — “A Spoonful of Sugar.” She performed it during her role as Mary Poppins in Walt Disney’s 1964 film.

“A Spoonful of Sugar” is featured prominently in the movie, showcasing the playful and optimistic character of Mary Poppins. The phrase “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” originates from the old practice of adding a sweetener to medicine to make it taste better, particularly for children.

In the song, Mary Poppins uses this concept to teach the children she is caring for that even tasks they don’t enjoy, like tidying up, can be made fun with the right mindset.

14. “Sugar On My Tongue” By Talking Heads

Released in 1977, “Sugar on My Tongue” is a song by the American rock band Talking Heads from their debut album Talking Heads: 77.

“Sugar on My Tongue” explores the theme of desires. And like many songs on this list, it uses “sugar” metaphorically to symbolize the sweetness or pleasure of love. Throughout the song, the narrator is anticipating the love his lover will give him.

While the song didn’t chart immediately upon its release, it has since become appreciated by fans for its catchy guitar riff and intriguing lyrics. The album itself did well and reached #60 on Billboard‘s Pop Albums chart.

15. “Sugar Town” By Nancy Sinatra

The eldest daughter of the legendary Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, gave us “Sugar Town.” It was released as a single in 1966, and it hit big, reaching #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The song’s lyrics have stirred up various interpretations over the years. Some suggest that “Sugar Town” is about the experience of taking LSD. This interpretation aligns with the song’s references to a blissful, carefree state of mind that starkly contrasts with reality.

Alternatively, the song could be interpreted as describing a state of emotional detachment from the world. In this interpretation, “Sugar Town” is a metaphorical place where the narrator retreats to escape from the hardships and disappointments of life.

16. “Sugar And Spice (I Found Me A Girl)” By Luther Vandross

From the soulful strains of Luther Vandross comes a delightful track that is all about love and joy. Released in 1981, “Sugar and Spice (I Found Me a Girl)” is an embodiment of the singer’s smooth vocal prowess and talent for conveying deep emotions through his music.

The lyrics weave a narrative about discovering the quintessential girl who is described as “sugar and spice, righter than right.” This discovery sparks the singer’s wish to shout out his love from the rooftops.

“Sugar and Spice” remains an enduring symbol of Vandross’s musical genius. Years after its release, the track continues to resonate with listeners worldwide, a testament to its sweet and soulful sound.

17. “Sugar Daddy” By Thompson Twins

From the vibrant discography of the British pop group, Thompson Twins emerges a track that masterfully blends catchy tunes with intriguing lyrics. Released in 1989, “Sugar Daddy” graced the music scene as the lead single from their seventh studio album, Big Trash.

The song’s narrative revolves around the concept of a “sugar daddy,” an often controversial term in popular culture. However, in this context, “sugar” is used to symbolize the allure and sweetness that such a figure is perceived to offer.

The lyrics hint at the seductive charm of a sugar daddy as the narrator paints a picture of an individual who’s all grown up, looking good and enticingly sweet as sugar.

18. “Sugar Man” By Sixto Rodriguez

The creative genius of Sixto Rodriguez resulted in the haunting track “Sugar Man.” This song, recorded in 1969, was unveiled to listeners on his debut studio album, Cold Fact, in 1970.

At its core, “Sugar Man” is a metaphorical ode to a dope man. Here, “sugar” is a thinly veiled reference to drugs — a temporary salve for the hardships and struggles the narrator faces.

However, the song isn’t merely an exploration of drug use. It’s also a commentary on societal issues and the human condition. The “perfect life” mentioned in the lyrics represents the societal expectations and pressures that many grapple with, prompting a desire for escape — in this case, through the “sugar man.”

Despite its somber undertones, “Sugar Man” carries a message of resilience and hope. It speaks to the power of believing in something better, even amidst adversity.

19. “Sugar Mountain” By Neil Young

A timeless piece from Neil Young, “Sugar Mountain” is more than just a song — it’s a journey through the landscape of youth. It was released in 1977 in the album Decade.

The song conjures up vivid imagery with its references to barkers and colored balloons, symbolizing the unfettered joy and simplicity of childhood. The narrator describes this place as a “sugar mountain,” using “sugar” as a metaphor for its sweet appeal.

Yet the refrain “You can’t be 20 on Sugar Mountain” serves as a sobering reminder of the relentless march of time and the loss of innocence that comes with it.

Overall, the song encapsulates the universal human experience of looking back wistfully at the carefree days of youth while standing on the precipice of the future.

20. “Sugar Baby Love” By The Rubettes

Drenched in the sweet melodies of bubblegum pop, this classic track from The Rubettes is a heartfelt expression of regret and apology. Known as “Sugar Baby Love,” it was the band’s debut single, released in 1974.

At its core, “Sugar Baby Love” is a song of apology. The narrator sings of his remorse for hurting his partner, whom he affectionately refers to as “Sugar Baby.” In this term of endearment, “sugar” is commonly used to denote sweetness. It reflects the tender feelings he still harbors for his lover despite the mistakes he’s made.

The song also delves into the universal theme of human imperfection in relationships. It acknowledges that all lovers err, with lines like “All lovers make the same mistakes” underscoring this sentiment. These mistakes, however, are not limited to the protagonist. They’re a shared experience among all lovers, making the song relatable to a wide audience.

21. “Sugarhigh” By Coyote Shivers Ft. Renée Zellweger

Up next is an energetic track by Coyote Shivers featuring the vocals of actress Renée Zellweger. “Sugar High” gained significant popularity after being featured in the 1995 film Empire Records.

The song has a lively, punk rock vibe, with powerful guitar riffs and pulsating drum beats that create a vibrant sonic landscape. The lyrics are full of youthful rebellion and the desire to break free from societal constraints, capturing the essence of the teenage spirit.

Lyrically, “sugar high” refers to an intense rush of excitement or euphoria, similar to the sugar rush one gets after consuming a large amount of sweets. It’s a metaphor for living life on the edge and embracing experiences that are thrilling, exhilarating, and a little bit dangerous.

22. “Sugar Walls” By Sheena Easton

Unleashing a bold blend of pop and provocative lyricism, Sheena Easton‘s track “Sugar Walls,” from her 1984 album A Private Heaven, is nothing short of a daring exploration of female sensuality.

“Sugar” here serves as a tantalizing metaphor, painting a picture of the sweetness and allure of the singer’s innermost sanctum. “Sugar walls” represent the female body, specifically the intimate parts. It adds a risqué touch to the lyrics that was considered quite audacious at the time.

Although it stirred up controversy upon its release, “Sugar Walls” is seen today as a classic tune and a testament to female empowerment and sexual liberation.

23. “Sugartime” By The McGuire Sisters

We end this list with a classic by The McGuire Sisters. “Sugartime” is a tune that has charmed audiences since its release. This catchy track was published in 1957 and quickly became a fan favorite.

The word “sugar” in the song is used to depict sweetness, affection, and love. The lyrics describe having this “sugar” in the morning, evening, “all the time.” This gives the song its charm and appeal, taking the listener on a journey of light-hearted romance.

The McGuire Sisters’ rendition of “Sugartime” was released on vinyl in 1958, reflecting the popularity of the song during that time. The album’s cover, featuring the sisters, provides a nostalgic glimpse into the music scene of the time.

Summing Up Our List Of Sugar Songs

We’ve taken a sweet journey through some of the best songs about sugar, exploring how these tunes use this delightful metaphor to evoke feelings of love and joy.

From the catchy rhythm of “Watermelon Sugar” by Harry Styles to other sugary hits, we’ve seen the charm and allure that these songs hold.

Thank you for reading along, and we hope this article has been both entertaining and enlightening. If you have any sugary songs that you think should make it onto our list, let us know so we can add them here!

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.