Does your bucket list include traveling the world? Maybe you’re a seasoned traveler already. Or someone still waiting for a chance to see what’s beyond your country.
Either way, isn’t it nice to listen to songs about countries? Some of these are about a place one visited and fell in love with. Regardless of the source of inspiration, these songs have one thing in common: they’re an ode to the beauty and power of countries around the world.
From sentimental ballads to upbeat anthems, we have a compilation of 13 of the best songs about countries. Read on!
1. “America” By Neil Diamond
To start our list, we have “America” by Neil Diamond. He wrote and recorded it in 1980. The song originally appeared on the soundtrack to The Jazz Singer. This is a film starring Diamond as a cantor’s son who goes into the family business of singing.
“America” is an ode to the immigrant experience in the United States, with Diamond being the son of Russian Jewish immigrants.
The song is often played at patriotic events, such as Independence Day celebrations and presidential inaugurations. “America” is a timeless classic that celebrates the spirit of America and its people.
Related: Check out our list of songs about America here.
2. “Born In The USA” By Bruce Springsteen
This list wouldn’t be complete without including Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA.” The song was recorded in 1982 and was part of his album of the same name.
The song talks about the fact that he had to leave the country to fight in Vietnam and how hard life is after coming back. Despite fighting for his country, he faces hard circumstances back home. For one, he can no longer get his old job back.
“Born in the USA” reflects the lives of so many war veterans. They have “nowhere to run ain’t got nowhere to go.” They are lost. They come home to America but realize that they can’t find a home.
3. “Costa Rica” By Benjamin Ingrosso
Up next is a song with “Costa Rica” in the title. Sung by Swedish singer Benjamin Ingrosso, it was released in 2019 and reached #17 on the Swedish Singles Chart.
When you listen to the lyrics of “Costa Rica,” you’ll discover it’s a breakup song. Ingrosso himself admitted that he wrote it after he ended his relationship with Linnea Wildmark. In fact, the last line of the song says, “I want to go to Costa Rica/So I can bring back my Linnea.”
Apparently, Wildmark loved to visit the country as proven in the line, “You fucking love la Costa Rica.” The singer sounds bitter, saying it was at this point that the breakup was fresh and everything hurt.
4. “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” By Madonna
You might not think of Madonna when you think of Argentina. However, this song from the 1996 concept album Evita is one of the country’s most iconic tracks. This was also the soundtrack of the film Evita and reached #1 on the European Hot 100 Singles.
“Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” is a ballad about Eva Peron, the wife of Argentine president Juan Peron. The film shows her life from her humble beginnings in Argentina to the capital of Buenos Aires. Here, she pursued a career in entertainment until she married Peron.
Eva was deeply loved by her people. She fought for workers’ rights, as well as the rights of the poor and women. Unfortunately, she died too young of cancer at age 33.
5. “Brazil” By Declan McKenna
Any list of songs about countries would be incomplete without “Brazil” by Declan McKenna. This song quickly went viral, thanks to its catchy melody and lyrics that critique the inequality in the country.
A song with “Brazil” in the lyrics, it is fun, upbeat, and will make you want to dance, even as it raises important questions about the state of the country. McKenna sings about a man “with six cars and a grizzly bear.” Here, he describes an oligarch.
Another notable line says, “He talks like an angel, but he looks like me.” It means some powerful people resort to doing bad things which makes them feel as if they’ve done humankind a favor. But the truth is, they’re just like everybody else in being a terrible person.
6. “Cuba” By Gibson Brothers
We dare you not to groove when you heard Gibson Brothers‘ “Cuba.” The Gibson Brothers are a French-American country music trio consisting of brothers Chris, Patrick, and Alex Francfort.
“Cuba” was released in 1978 and peaked at #9 on the US Dance chart. In the song, the narrator describes how he feels the first time he sees this woman dancing. He knows “it was love” and sets about making her his.
The song has a catchy melody and is sure to get your feet tapping. Or your hips swaying to salsa.
7. “China” By Anuel AA
This song is a collaboration of Latin American artists Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G, Ozuna & J Balvin. “China” was released in 2019, quickly climbing the charts as one of the hottest songs of that year.
The tune is a catchy mix of reggaeton and trap, with a heavy dose of Spanish lyrics. The song’s title refers to the growing influence of Chinese culture in the Latin American world. Its lyrics, on the other hand, talk about the materialistic side of life in China.
Despite its light tone, “China” offers a snapshot of living in a country that is rapidly changing.
8. “Greece” By DJ Khaled Ft. Drake
Sometimes, we wish we were living lavishly, just like these rich musicians. The girl that DJ Khaled and Drake sing to in “Greece” must be a lucky lady to know what she can expect if she dates one of them.
The song’s lyrics talk about the luxurious lifestyle of the rich and famous. There are references to expensive things such as private jets and yachts. The singer also promises to take his woman shopping at expensive stores such as Gucci and Louis V.
The music video was shot in Greece and featured beautiful views of the country’s stunning coastline. This song is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a summer jam that will make them feel like they’re living a high life.
9. “Guatemala” By Swae Lee
We’ve got another fun, summery track that will get stuck in your head for days. The song’s enchanting melody and positive vibes make it easy to see why it has become such a hit.
The lyrics tell the story of a man’s desire to take his woman to an exotic place. He sings, “maybe to Guatemala.” She doesn’t deny liking him, so he promises her some really nice things such as boarding his jet aside from his love.
Whether you’re planning your own trip to Guatemala or just dreaming about one, Swae Lee‘s “Guatemala” is the perfect song to get you in the mood.
10. “Colombia, Mi Encanto” By Carlos Vives
One’s love for his country can be best expressed in a song, such as “Colombia, Mi Encanto.” If you’re familiar with it, it’s probably because it is featured in Disney’s 2021 animated film Encanto.
The song translates to “Colombia, My Charm.” Written and performed by Carlos Vives, it is a love letter to his homeland of Colombia.
The lyrics reflect pride and admiration for Colombia’s natural beauty, people, and culture. Vives believes that it is a place where anything is possible and that its people are capable of overcoming any challenge.
11. “Canada” By Lauv Ft. Alessia Cara
The song paints a picture of an idyllic life in the great outdoors, surrounded by nature and wildlife. It’s clear that the singer has never been to Canada before, but that doesn’t matter. The image he conjures up of the country is still appealing.
The chorus says that they could be happy up in Canada, and it’s hard to disagree. Who wouldn’t want to live in a country where you can ski in the winter and go camping in the summer? Sign us up!
12. “Never Been To Spain” By Three Dog Night
If you listen closely to Three Dog Night‘s “Never Been to Spain,” you’ll find out it’s an awesome song. Not only that. It reflects the connections we make to places we’ve never even visited.
For instance, you may have never been to Japan, yet you love sushi so much. Or you’ve never been to Chicago but you root for the Chicago Bulls while watching their game on TV.
In the same way, the singer in the song says he hasn’t been to England, but he likes the Beatles. He hasn’t been to Spain, but he likes Spanish music. The song tells us that we don’t have to be in that place to appreciate what it offers.
13. “Cambodia” By Kim Wilde
A heartbreaking song, “Cambodia” became a surprise hit, reaching the top 10 in several countries. The song was released in 1981 from Kim Wilde‘s album, Select.
“Cambodia” is about a girl who loses her lover in war and is left wondering what could have been. It’s a sad, beautiful song highlighting the human cost of conflict.
When you reach the end of the song, it’s not clear about the fate of her lover. He might have died in Cambodia, or he returned and was never the same person she met. It is indeed a saddening fate.
Summing Up Our List Of Countries Songs
There’s no doubt about it. If our circumstances do not allow us to go places, music surely can.
Through these songs, we get a glimpse of countries we’ve never been to before. The culture, people, and places that the songs describe make us appreciate them more.
So if you’re planning your next vacation or just dreaming about one, be sure to crank up the volume and enjoy listening! You just might find yourself inspired to book a ticket to one of these amazing places.