19 Of The Best Songs About Eyes Of All Time

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

They say eyes are the windows to the soul. There’s also love at first sight and the “eye of the beholder.”

Eyes have long-held magic. They connect us with others. Think about someone you love. What’s the first part of their appearance that pops into your mind? Most likely, it’s their eyes: blue, brown, green, hazel, happy, or sad.

Eyes look. Eyes see. Eyes watch. What and how we see determines who we are and how we get along in the world.

For this reason and more, musicians have crafted songs about our peepers. We chose several to include in the list of 19 of the best songs about eyes.

1. “Brown Eyed Girl” By Van Morrison

We’ll start this list with the beloved “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison. This had been released in 1967 from the album Blowin’ Your Mind but remains a classic.

This is a sunny, nostalgic, and incredibly singable song about young and new love. But it’s also a song about a love that has run its course. Nevertheless, the singer recounts everything he and his love interest did together.

Usually, blue-eyed people get all the attention and praise for their eye color. But “Brown Eyed Girl” gives some love to brown-eyed people, who are just as unique.

2. “Behind Blue Eyes” By The Who

Our next song with “eyes” in the title is The Who‘s “Behind Blue Eyes.” It was written by Pete Townshend initially for a project he was working on called Lifehouse. Townshend never finished the project, but this song for the main character was on the 1971 album, Who’s Next?

“Behind Blue Eyes” is a sad song about someone who is clearly misunderstood. No one knows how he feels or what he’s going through. But everyone hates and mistreats him.

That’s not to say he’s blameless. He’s got some anger issues that must be addressed. However, he’s begging for empathy, kindness, and understanding.

3. “These Eyes” By The Guess Who

Canadian rock band The Guess Who hit the big time with their 1969 song “These Eyes.” It was their first single to reach the top ten of the Billboard Pop Singles chart, where it peaked at #6. It was later certified gold and remained one of their most recognized songs.

Randy Bachman wrote this song while at his girlfriend’s house. She was taking a long time getting ready. He got bored, sat down at the piano, and made history.

“These Eyes” is a sad tale about a relationship that fell apart. The line, “You gave a promise to me, yeah, and you broke it,” speaks of betrayal. The singer is left brokenhearted, saying how his eyes cry every night. Despite the pain, he acknowledges that he’ll never see someone like her again.

4. “Eye Of The Tiger” By Survivor

Some songs become more popular after being tied with an iconic movie. “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor is the theme song for Rocky III, the biggest movie of 1982. Since then, the song has become both an anthem and a bit of a joke since it is so sincere and cheesy.

In the title, the tiger represents a man who wants to adopt some characteristics of this animal. Specifically, its ability to survive and be a dominant force in the field.

So the song is about having the will, the fight, and the cunning to survive, whether in the wild or on the streets. The tiger watches his prey, looking for moments of weakness, waiting until the absolute best moment to strike.

5. “In Your Eyes” By Peter Gabriel

Up next is a song with “eyes” in the lyrics. Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” comes from his fifth solo album, So, released in 1986. It was a hit, peaking at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100.

If you’ve ever seen the 1989 movie Say Anything, you might remember the actor John Cusack in a trench coat holding a boom box over his head and blasting this song to win back his girl.

Inspired by an African tradition, Gabriel said this song could be about the love between a man and a woman or between a person and God. Either way, this song speaks about the power of eyes, the power of a look, and the power of connection.

6. “In Your Eyes” By The Weeknd

Next, we have a completely different song with the same title. “In Your Eyes” by The Weeknd was released on his 2020 album After Hours and is allegedly one of several songs off the album about his own on-again-off-again relationship.

“In Your Eyes” is about a relationship that’s falling apart. From the chorus, the singer laments, “You always try to hide the pain… I always look the other way.” It seems like their relationship is doomed, yet they do everything to ignore the signs.

This song debuted and peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. Two remixes were later released, one featuring Doja Cat and the other, soprano sax player Kenny G.

7. “Eyes Without A Face” By Billy Idol

A 1960 horror film about an emotionally motivated plastic surgeon turned evil inspired Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without a Face.” This song was Billy Idol’s first top ten hit in the U.S., where it peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

To better understand the song, it’s necessary to get a background on the film. The surgeon’s daughter gets into an accident that horribly disfigured her face. He plans to restore her beauty, leading him to murder to collect the parts needed to graft onto her face.

In the song, a part of the chorus sounds confusing. But that’s because some lines are in French. A female sings the line, “Les yeux sans visage.” This translates to “Eyes without a face,” which Billy Idol sings. Notably, the girl in the film only has her staring eyes visible.

8. “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” By Frankie Valli

Love songs about eyes don’t get much sweeter than Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.” This 1967 song, released as a single, was written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio, members of Valli’s band, The Four Seasons. It was #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for a week and earned gold.

“Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” gives us a look into how a man thinks and feels when deeply in love. He sings about this woman whom he can’t stop looking at. Her mere sight makes him happy.

The line, “You’re too good to be true,” is a reflection that she might be too perfect to be real. Somehow, there’s fear that he might not be the right man for her. And this is probably why he implores, “Now that I’ve found you, stay, and let me love you.”

9. “Ocean Eyes” By Billie Eilish

Our next song is Billie Eilish’s “Ocean Eyes.” This was first posted to Soundcloud in 2015 when she was 13 or 14 and not yet a household name. Her brother Finneas O’Connell wrote the song and intended it for his band, but gave it to her when she needed a piece for a dance performance.

The gentle ballad was re-released as a single in 2016 through Darkroom and Interscope Records. It reached the 84th spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

Quite simply, “Ocean Eyes” is about falling in love. The eyes of the lover in this song are blue, deep, and dangerous, and the singer is helplessly caught in them.

10. “Hungry Eyes” By Eric Carmen

In 1984, Eric Carmen’s “Hungry Eyes” peaked at #4 on Billboard Hot 100. It was written by Franke Previte and John DeNicola and recorded for the film Dirty Dancing.

If you’ve watched the movie, you’ll remember that the song plays as Patrick Swayze gives Jennifer Grey dance lessons. The song highlights the emotions the characters begin to feel as they get to know one another.

The lyrics of “Hungry Eyes” sound predatory at times. But at its heart, it’s about someone who has it so bad for someone they know they can’t hide it.

11. “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” By Crystal Gayle

Sometimes inspirations for the most poignant songs come from the strangest places. Crystal Gayle’s “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” was written by Richard Leigh, who was inspired by his brown-eyed dog.

“Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” is about someone lamenting being left for another. She convinces herself that she’ll be fine eventually and that she’ll “just cry all night long.”

But she also acknowledges their part in the breakdown of their relationship. She treated him badly and didn’t appreciate his presence in her life. And when she realizes how much he means to her, it’s already late.

12. “Pale Blue Eyes” By The Velvet Underground

Up next is The Velvet Underground’s “Pale Blue Eyes,” a gentle, sweet love song for someone the singer can’t have. It has depth but is musically and lyrically calmer and softer than most of the Velvet Underground songs that came before it.

In this song, the singer is in a complicated relationship with someone married. We only learn about this in the last part of the song, when the lyrics say, “The fact that you are married.”

Despite this fact, the singer wants more from her than he’s going to get. But through it all, he focuses on the most beautiful part, her “pale blue eyes” that he can’t resist. Those eyes make it all worth it.

13. “Behind These Hazel Eyes” By Kelly Clarkson

Another sad song that mentions eyes which you can include in your playlist, is one from Kelly Clarkson. “Behind These Hazel Eyes” was from her second album, Breakaway. The song was inspired by Clarkson’s ex, who broke up with her and married someone else only a month later.

The lyrics find the singer recounting how things were between her and her ex. She felt unbreakable then because she had him beside her. She found strength in him, and she felt comfortable opening up to him and telling him everything.

But now his absence hurts. She finds it difficult to move forward. Despite being broken, she swears that he won’t see the tears “behind these hazel eyes.”

14. “My Eyes Have Seen You” By The Doors

One of the very first songs of The Doors was “My Eyes Have Seen You.” They came up with it while playing together in Ray Manzarek’s garage in 1965. It was released two years later on the album Strange Days.

The lyrics of “My Eyes Have Seen You” are pure Jim Morrison. Poetic, dramatic, and a little abstract, ambiguous and opaque. This was also one of the songs subjected to different interpretations. But if you’ll look at the history surrounding this song, you might just have a little understanding of what this song meant.

Some say that before this song was written, Morrison lived on a rooftop in Venice. From there, he had a vantage view of apartment windows and saw the goings-on among tenants. That prompts the line, “My eyes have seen you” which keeps repeating throughout the song.

15. “Green Eyes” By Coldplay

In 2002, the British rock band Coldplay released “Green Eyes” from their album A Rush of Blood to the Head. The inspiration behind this song was an American friend that frontman Chris Martin met at a Dave Matthew Band concert.

Lyrics-wise, “Green Eyes” is a love song that points out the positive characteristics of a love interest. The singer praises her role as “a rock upon which I stand” and “the sea upon which I float.”

From the time he meets her, he feels better despite the challenges he goes through. There’s no one else he’d rather be with. And anybody would be out of their mind to take her for granted.

16. “Bette Davis Eyes” By Kim Carnes

When you first listen to this song, you’ll probably ask what the title means. “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes might not be one of the most famous songs about eyes these days, but it is still one of the coolest.

If you must know, Bette Davis was one of the leading ladies of American cinema. She was a fan of the song made as a tribute for her and reached out to Carnes and the songwriters to thank them. Davis has long since passed away, but this song immortalizes her.

“Bette Davis Eyes” pays homage to the femme fatale. It’s about a strong, seductive, independent woman who knows what she wants. And she’s not afraid to use her “Bette Davis eyes” to charm anyone by batting her eyelashes or staring deeply.

17. “Lyin’ Eyes” By The Eagles

Mouths can spin lies, but eyes always tell the truth. Take it from the Eagles‘ song “Lyin’ Eyes.” This song won a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance by Duo, Group, or Chorus and peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Lyin’ Eyes” was inspired by rich men’s bored wives in Los Angeles. They would go out and cheat or just hit on other men and pretend they were something other than who they were.

This is the story of the woman in “Lyin’ Eyes.” She’s married to “a rich old man” but is far from happy. She feels lonely and discontented, so she cheats on him with a younger man who “makes her feel the way she used to feel.” But their time is borrowed because eventually, she has to go back to her husband.

18. “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain” By Willie Nelson

The lyrics of “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” written by Fred Rose, are sparse but devastating. Many artists have covered this song. In fact, it was the last song Elvis Presley performed, but the most famous version is Willie Nelson’s. This song earned him his first #1 hit.

If we look at the lyrics, the song tells the story of a man kissing his love goodbye. He knows it’s the last time he’s ever going to see her, a woman having blue eyes.

Despite their separation, he holds fast to their love. But now it’s fading, “and only memories remain.” All he can remember is those blue eyes crying. Ultimately, he looks forward to seeing his lost love again in heaven.

19. “Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands” By Bob Dylan

After eyes of many different colors and emotions, we’ll end this list with Bob Dylan’s “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands.” From his 1966 double album, Blonde on Blonde, Dylan wrote this song for his first wife, Sara.

“Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” is Dylan at the peak of his career. He even called it the best song he’d ever written. The song, packed with lyrics, runs over 11 minutes, which takes up an entire side of an album.

This song is a complex, poetic portrait of a sad-eyed woman. Dylan’s lyrics put this woman on a pedestal, turning her into an archetype.

Summing Up Our List Of Eyes Songs

As these songs showed us, eyes have power. They can say words that the mouth doesn’t have to. They can communicate with just a stare, glare, or seductive glance. In short, eye contact connects us with other people.

Even songwriters are obviously fascinated by what eyes can do, especially those of their love interests. Eyes remind them of certain people who have touched their lives in one way or another.

Trust us when we say that more songs will be written that center on eyes, no matter the color. In the meantime, we hope you liked the songs we have selected for this list.

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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.