17 Of The Best Songs About The Color White

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

We often equate the color white with cleanliness, perfection, and innocence. It also symbolizes authority and holiness, as seen in angels’ gowns and the Pope’s robes.

You can find white everywhere, even in songs! Come to think of it, have you ever wondered how many songs are out there about this particular hue? The number is far more than you might expect.

In this post, we dive into some of the most popular and enduring songs about our color of the day. From holiday classics to modern hits, each song offers a unique interpretation of this pure and bright color. Stay tuned as we give you 17 of the best songs about the color white.

1. “White Wedding” By Billy Idol

White is the traditional color of weddings. It’s usually where the bride is still a virgin. But you might find it interesting that Billy Idol‘s “White Wedding” is a sarcastic view of this occasion as the bride in the song is far from being a virgin.

Two things need to be clarified, though. First, despite some lines starting with, “Hey little sister,” the song is not entirely about his sister, who was pregnant and about to be married during the writing of the song. Second, the song is about his girlfriend, who wants to marry another man.

In this case, the singer is sarcastic about a white wedding since his girlfriend is not a virgin, and he feels resentment toward her for breaking it up with him.

2. “White Christmas” By Bing Crosby

One of the most enduring and best-known Christmas songs ever recorded is Bing Crosby‘s “White Christmas.” His rendition, released in 1942, was the best-selling among all versions.

The song presents a romanticized image of a perfect Christmas day blanketed in fresh, clean snow, hence the term “white Christmas.” The heartwarming tune has become synonymous with the holiday season around the world.

Listening to the singer recalling past white Christmases brings in a serious case of nostalgia. The lyrics are repetitive, but it’s enough to stir anticipation for this wonderful time of the year.

3. “Black And White” By Michael Jackson

Exploring the concept of racial unity, “Black and White” by Michael Jackson is an anthem for equality. Released from the album Dangerous, the song saw immediate success. It soared to the top of Billboard charts worldwide, proof of Jackson’s incredible global reach.

In this song with “white” in the title, the colors black and white symbolize different races. However, there is no specific meaning in each color other than being paired together to show diversity.

The lyrics emphasize that regardless of skin color or race, we’re all the same. The song leaves a lasting message of unity and equality and breaking down barriers.

4. “White Room” By Cream

While Cream‘s “White Room” is based on a literal place, the color here represents depression and hopelessness. The song was penned by poet Pete Brown, a friend of Cream’s bassist Jack Bruce.

The song’s setting is an empty apartment, reflecting the singer’s emotional isolation and melancholy. This is further enforced by the use of white, which in this context is used to show desolation and emptiness.

By using the white room, the singer is able to put focus on the emotional struggles he’s going through.

5. “White Flag” By Dido

In war, a white flag is a symbol of surrender. But in Dido‘s 2003 single, “White Flag,” she subverts the symbolism and has no plans of surrendering to the end of her relationship.

In fact, she declares, “But I will go down with this ship, And I won’t put my hands up and surrender.” These lines suggest her unwillingness to let go of the relationship, despite knowing she had caused the other party “too much mess and destruction.”

She recognizes that her ex might not talk to her again should they cross paths. She will even allow him to think that she has moved on. But the fact remains that she is still very much in love with him, and there’s nothing he can do about it.

6. “White Rabbit” By Jefferson Airplane

Up next is another song with “white” in the lyrics that uses this color as symbolism. “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane takes listeners on a psychedelic journey by referencing Lewis Carroll’s famous Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its 1871 sequel, Through the Looking-Glass.

“White Rabbit” explores themes of curiosity, escapism, and the pursuit of enlightenment. The title itself symbolizes curiosity. It’s a nod to Alice, who followed the white rabbit down the hole. She ended up in a world of surreal and mind-bending experiences in the book.

Many believe that the song is about drug use, specifically psychedelics. Notably, this was very popular around the time the song was written. The line “feed your head” may be a reference to the use of such substances to expand one’s consciousness.

7. “White Horse” By Taylor Swift

In fairy tales, white horses have always symbolized a dream-like love. They always come with the knight in shining armor, ready to save the princess. But Taylor Swift‘s “White Horse” shows her disappointment and shattered illusions in love.

With her signature storytelling style, Swift depicts a once-idealized romance that ultimately falls apart. The lyrics convey the pain and vulnerability she feels upon realizing that the fairy tale she believes in is nothing more than a façade.

The song mentions “white,” embodied by the horse, to symbolize innocence and purity. It also represents people’s idea of love gleaned from fairy tales. But the singer faces the harsh reality that real-life relationships are far from what we see in these fairy tales.

8. “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” By Procol Harum

Our next song on the list, “A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum, is one of those that are open to interpretation due to its abstract lyrics. Nevertheless, this song topped the UK Singles Chart for six weeks in 1967 and peaked at #5 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

The song is characterized by an instrumental melody, melancholic tone, and soulful vocals. The lyrics are said to be unusual as well, seen as complex than most songs during this time.

The band’s lyricist, Keith Reid, claims that what he had in mind in writing the song was a girl-leaves-boy story. He had heard the term “a whiter shade of pale” at a party and knew it was going to be a song.

The title describes the person’s face when it loses color due to fear or shock. On the other hand, it can also be a metaphor for loss in connection to the theme of love in the song.

9. “White Lines (Don’t Do It)” By Grandmaster Flash And Melle Mel

You may find yourself a party anthem in the song “White Lines (Don’t Do It)” by Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel. But did you know that this 1983 song is an anti-drug PSA? The “white” in the title is a metaphor for cocaine.

The song warns listeners against the use of cocaine and the dangers of addiction. The singer finds himself in a struggle to avoid drugs, telling listeners, “Don’t buy it.”

The song also reveals a hard truth when it comes to these substances: the unjust drug laws in the United States. This is reinforced by two stories in the song. The first is of a young kid who is arrested but goes back to a life of crime after getting out of prison. The second is of a businessman “caught with 24 kilos.” He posts bail and is free again.

10. “White Liar” By Miranda Lambert

Some people believe that white lies are okay, especially when used to prevent further harm. But others do not sit well with these “innocent” lies, particularly when they cause significant hurt, as seen in Miranda Lambert‘s “White Liar.”

Lambert takes us on a journey of betrayal and deceit being in a relationship with a man who is a chronic white liar. He weaves tales to cover his questionable activities. What he does not foresee is how all his white lies will come together to reveal the truth.

Near the end of the song, the singer couldn’t resist dropping a bomb. Not only is she a white liar like him, but she has also been unfaithful in their relationship.

11. “Single White Female” By Chely Wright

Here’s a witty way to find that man who only has his eyes on you: put up a love ad. That’s exactly what you’ll find in Chely Wright‘s country song, “Single White Female.”

Here, the singer provides enough description of herself to attract potential suitors. She includes her marital status (single), race (white), and gender (female). She may have been loveless for a while now, making her seek the help of the publication in searching for love.

In particular, she is looking to commit to a “one-woman man who doesn’t want no other.” She hopes not only to find Mr. Right but also to be the right person for that man.

12. “White Shadows” By Coldplay

With Chris Martin’s haunting vocals, Coldplay‘s “White Shadows” takes listeners on a journey into a world filled with uncertainty and longing. The lyrics delve deep into themes of hope, despair, and finding solace in the midst of chaos.

In the song, the band uses “white” metaphorically. We can look at white shadows as fleeting moments that we can easily miss if we do not pay attention. This is the essence of the line, “Blink and miss them.”

The song also depicts the transient nature of life. Sometimes you find yourself looking back and wishing you could return to what you’ve left behind. This suggests the importance of savoring every moment. Because once it’s gone, you cannot go back to it.

13. “White Sandy Beach” By Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

With his soothing voice and gentle ukulele strumming, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole transports listeners to a tropical paradise with his 1993 single, “White Sandy Beach.” The song perfectly evokes feelings of relaxation and tranquility.

The color white in the song describes the pristine sandy beaches of Hawaii. It’s the setting where the dreams of our singer take place. He recalls some distant memory where he walks down the beach while holding hands with his significant other.

The white sandy beach represents a good time in the singer’s life that he will always go back to. The sound of the waves provides him with peace and comfort, just what he needs to soothe his restless soul.

14. “White Noise” By Disclosure Ft. AlunaGeorge

The dance track “White Noise” by Disclosure, featuring vocals from AlunaGeorge, is our next on the list. Here, white noise is used as a metaphor in the lyrics.

The term is often associated with meaningless or distracting sounds, such as the static from an untuned television. But in the song, AlunaGeorge uses it to describe her partner. He turns her into someone she’s not, and it’s making her crazy and confused.

We can tell that the relationship is not working, yet neither does anything to leave the other. It’s like a static or unchanging situation where communication is reduced to noise. One tries to understand the other person, but all they get is white noise.

15. “White America” By Eminem

The hip-hop song “White America” is rapper Eminem‘s commentary on race and censorship. He uses the term to point out the privilege that white people in America enjoy.

With his signature raw and provocative style, Eminem delves into his own experiences as a white artist in a predominantly black genre. The song addresses racial tensions, stereotypes, and social injustices head-on.

Eminem’s lyrics are thought-provoking and unapologetic as he talks about his influence on young white Americans. The controversy that surrounds his name seems to stem from the content of his songs.

Eminem believes that the controversy arises from the fact that he appeals to white youth. However, he also admits that his skin color, more than his talent, is one of the primary factors of his success as a rapper.

16. “White Flag Warrior” By Flobots Ft. Tim McIlrath

In “White Flag Warrior,” Flobots and Tim McIlrath pick their side in a war. They believe that war is not the answer. They’d “rather make our children martyrs than murderers.”

That said, they’d rather wave the white flag, which means surrender in the context of war. For them, there are other equally effective ways to achieve peace than killing each other. Negotiation and communication can achieve the same desired results.

The song makes a stand for peace and non-violence and against the violence associated with war. In this way, they fight for change and remind us that sometimes it takes courage to challenge the status quo.

17. “White Bird” By It’s A Beautiful Day

For our last song, we give you “White Bird” by the American band It’s a Beautiful Day. The lyrics use the imagery of a white bird to symbolize a person who is trapped and desires freedom.

In the song, the bird is contained in a golden cage alone. We can see this as a situation where a person is surrounded by wealth or comfortable living but does not feel fulfilled. Instead, she feels confined.

Another interpretation of the song can be from the perspective of someone in an abusive relationship. She may be surrounded by wealth and all the material things she can have. But her heart longs for happiness and emotional freedom.

Summing Up Our List Of The Color White Songs

Now we are at the end of this list, and we hope you liked our diverse selection of music that celebrates the symbolism and beauty of the color white.

From Billy Idol’s iconic “White Wedding” to Bing Crosby’s classic “White Christmas,” these songs evoke feelings of purity, winter wonder, and new beginnings.

Have we missed a song that you want to see on the list? Be sure to let us know, and we’ll add it! In the meantime, we encourage you to create a White Playlist, so to speak, to celebrate this particular color.

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.