28 Of The Best Songs About Flowers: Floral Playlist

Written by Laura Macmillan
Last updated

Whether we’re gazing at a field of wildflowers or receiving a bouquet from a loved one, flowers have a way of lifting our spirits and making us feel loved and inspired. They are simply beautiful it makes us catch our breath.

And we’re not the only ones. Artists, poets, and musicians have been using flowers as inspiration for centuries!

Today, we’ll take a look at some of these masterpieces. We put together a list of 28 of the best songs about flowers for you. Let’s get started.

1. “Flowers” By Miley Cyrus

Perhaps you keep hearing Miley Cyrus‘ 2023 song “Flowers” on radio stations lately. It was released in January 2023 and became a massive success for Cyrus. The song stayed on Billboard Hot 100’s top spot for eight weeks. In addition, the song garnered more than 96 million streams on Spotify in its first seven days.

The song is all about self-love and independence. In the lyrics, we find the singer recounting her past relationship that didn’t work. Instead of wallowing in self-pity or begging him to come back, she realizes that she can survive on her own.

The line “I can buy myself flowers” is a testament that you don’t need someone to make you happy or complete. You will be fine on your own despite the challenges of moving on.

2. “Bed Of Roses” By Bon Jovi

The American rock band Bon Jovi has a lot of successful songs under their name. One of them is “Bed of Roses,” which they released in 1992 from the Keep the Faith album.

The phrase “bed of roses” is a metaphor for how you want to make someone happy. In the song, the singer is nursing a hangover while at the same time addressing some issues that can’t be ignored anymore.

At the moment, he is away from his lover and has time to think things over. He comes to the realization that she is all that he needs, and it pains him that they are not together.

3. “Build Me Up Buttercup” By The Foundations

One of the oldest songs on our list is The Foundations‘ “Build Me Up Buttercup.” It was released in 1968, but it remains familiar to most people. The “buttercup” in the title and lyrics is the singer’s endearment for his love interest.

Don’t be fooled by the upbeat music, though. The lyrics are downbeat as the singer is in a very complicated situation with the girl. She leads him on by saying she’d call but not doing it. She tells him she’ll be “over at ten” but doesn’t show up.

Despite her misgivings, he’s ready to forgive her and still loves her. He’s willing to wait on her perhaps in the hope that she’d finally stop playing with his feelings.

4. “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” By Poison

The glam metal band Poison belongs on our list with their 1988 power ballad “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” What the song basically says is that every good thing has a bad side to it.

Frontman Bret Michaels was inspired to write the song after finding out that his girlfriend was cheating on him. This was at a time when he was away touring while his girl was in LA.

The song reflects the point where he and his girl are not officially over, but things are over with her cheating. He tries everything to make the relationship work. But in the end, he recognizes that their relationship has a bad side to it. And now they’re over, with her finding someone new and him still moving on.

5. “Kiss From A Rose” By Seal

Did you know that British singer-songwriter Seal was not the proudest after writing “Kiss from a Rose?” Instead, he felt embarrassed and put the song aside for several years. Worse, the song didn’t chart well shortly after its release.

But it was the use of the song as the soundtrack for the movie Batman Forever that helped propel the song to the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

Lyrics-wise, Seal left it to his listeners to attach meaning to the song. But if we look at the words, the song could be an expression of love. The line, “I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grey” means that the singer’s lover brings light and happiness to his otherwise bleak life.

6. “Paper Roses” By Marie Osmond

In 1973, 14-year-old Marie Osmond released her version of the country pop ballad “Paper Roses.” It gradually became a hit for Osmond as it reached the top spot of the Billboard Hot Country Songs.

The song uses “paper roses” as a comparison to this man’s love for the singer. He pretends to care for and love her. He is sweet and gives her flowers. Perhaps, in her state of love, she thinks it’s real.

But his love is as fake as roses made of paper, and it deceived her for a while. But how thankful she must be to spot the real deal sooner.

7. “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” By Pete Seeger

Continuing our list, we have Pete Seeger‘s “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.” It’s a ballad about love, death, and how “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” This is perhaps one of the most moving songs written about flowers.

Seeger wrote it in 1955, inspired by a Cossack folk song and an Irish melody. It quickly became one of the great anthems for peace of Seeger’s generation.

The lyrics talk about girls picking flowers and men picking girls. Then the girls pick flowers once again to lay on the men’s graves. It’s haunting, mournful, and a reminder to take nothing for granted.

8. “Supermarket Flowers” By Ed Sheeran

When you think of flowers, you immediately think of positive things. But when you hear Ed Sheeran’s “Supermarket Flowers,” it is filled with a somber air.

In the lyrics, the singer talks about the events following someone’s death. He takes the supermarket flowers from the windowsill, along with other mementos such as stuffed animals.

Everything he encounters reminds him of his loss. In real life, Sheeran lost his grandmother around the time he was recording the song. “Supermarket Flowers” became a tribute to her.

9. “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” By Barbra Streisand And Neil Diamond

Up next is a sad song showing the deterioration of a relationship. Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond duet in “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.” They released the song in 1978, which dominated the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for two non-consecutive weeks.

Here, the female singer observes the many changes in her lover. Mainly, he doesn’t bring her flowers anymore. And it’s not a simple case of forgetfulness. Because he doesn’t talk to her like he did before.

These days, everything is just going through the motions. There’s no longer the same passion they used to share. There are no declarations of how much they love or need each other.

10. “Buy Me A Rose” By Kenny Rogers Ft. Alison Krauss And Billy Dean

Sometimes, we do things that we think our loved ones would appreciate. Turns out they want something else. Such is the message behind “Buy Me a Rose,” a collaboration between Kenny Rogers, Alison Krauss, and Billy Dean.

The song tells the story of a man who tries to please his wife by buying her possessions. A big house with a three-car garage and her own credit cards are what he thinks she needs.

But the wife wants his effort, the little things, to show his love such as buying her a rose and catching up with her at work. He realizes it before it’s too late and resolves to do those things for her.

11. “Love Is A Rose” By Linda Ronstadt


Roses have been used as a metaphor for love too often. It’s a little different in “Love is a Rose,” a song that Neil Young wrote. American singer Linda Ronstadt released her version in 1975.

Young presents a different angle to his song. In the lyrics, the singer is warning against picking the flower. The rose will die and you’ll be left with thorns.

Ronstadt’s version was a country music arrangement that peaked at #5 in the Country Singles chart. Aside from Ronstadt, singers Lisa Loeb and Terri Clark also released their own cover of the song.

12. “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)” By Scott McKenzie

It’s difficult not to talk about songs about flowers without remembering the flower power of the 1960s. “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” perfectly encapsulates that fervor. It was released in 1967 and sung by Scott McKenzie.

Famously, the song’s opening line urges listeners to come out west wearing flower garlands. Then the lyrics continue with a gentle, relaxed rhythm.

What’s notable about the song is the ending. The vocals fade to nothing. It’s not abrupt because the chord progressions resolve. But they do so with such decrescendo that they fade to silence. It’s as if the song leaves open possibilities for the listener in keeping with the sentiment behind the lyrics.

13. “Daisies” By Katy Perry

An empowering song is what you’ll find in Katy Perry’s “Daisies.” It was the fourth song in her 2020 album Smile. The title means she’s going to carve and walk her own path on her own terms.

In the lyrics, the singer goes through challenges as she meets adversity from the people around her. They laugh at her dreams, do not believe in her, and try to bring her down.

But she is not about to give up despite the setbacks. In fact, she uses the disappointments as stepping stones toward success. She’s going to achieve her dreams no matter what.

14. “Dead Flowers” By Miranda Lambert

Our next song on the list is Miranda Lambert‘s “Dead Flowers.” This country song was released in 2009 as part of her Revolution album.

In the song, the singer likens herself to a lot of things, including “the flowers in this vase” that her lover brought her. They were beautiful at first. But after a while, the water turned dirty and the flowers died.

Unfortunately, her lover ignores how she feels. He doesn’t feel her love or pain. All he could do is make a comment on the weather, which tells us he’s concerned more about other stuff than anything related to their relationship.

15. “Flower” By Kylie Minogue

Australian singer-songwriter Kylie Minogue never had children. But she entertains the idea of having one in her 2012 song “Flower.”

The wistful lyrics find the singer talking about the idea of motherhood and starting a family. She calls her future child “my flower” as she wonders whether the child is “blowing in the breeze.”

The singer imagines what it would be like when her child is here. She knows their love will be one, and she promises to be there forever. As mothers all want, the singer resolves to give all she has for her future child.

16. “Waltz Of The Flowers” By The London Festival Orchestra

There’s nothing overtly seasonal about Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of the Flowers,” as performed by The London Festival Orchestra. Except this song is strongly associated with Christmas. That’s because it’s part of Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker.

Memorably, it’s the dance that conjures the Sugar Plum Fairy. Despite being the last movement of the ballet, it doesn’t burst into grand, celebratory closing movements. Instead, it starts small and lyrical. Listen to the violins. They play a line that nods and bobs like flowers in the summertime.

That contrasts with a rich, warm legato line. It’s beautiful music, and when it does escalate, the contrast is more striking for the slow and indulgent beginning.

17. “Life Is A Flower” By Ace Of Base

In our next song, Ace of Base compares life to a flower. The Swedish group released “Life is a Flower” in 1998. It was a hit in Europe, reaching the top 10 in several countries.

The uplifting lyrics encourage listeners to live life optimistically. After all, we live in a free world. The song reminds us that “life is a flower” in that it is beautiful and precious in our hands.

However, life is also fragile (like a flower), requiring us to treat it just right. For us to grow as we should, we must be planted in rich soil or, as the song says, in a “free world.”

18. “Wildflowers” By Tom Petty

One of the most beloved songs in Tom Petty‘s discography is “Wildflowers.” This was released in 1994 from the album of the same name.

The song revolves around a person who appears to be a free spirit. For the singer, she “belongs among the wildflowers” or “in a boat out to sea.” The idea here is that she deserves to be where she feels free.

He encourages her to run where her heart leads her, to get a lover if it’s what her heart desires. She deserves to be happy, where she can grow and be herself.

19. “Black Roses Red” By Alana Grace

One of the soundtracks of the 2005 film The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is “Black Roses Red.” Singer-songwriter Alana Grace released the song in the same year.

The singer in the song goes through a depressing time as she asks an unnamed person if they can “turn my black roses red.” In literary works, a black rose often symbolizes decay or even death. From the downbeat lyrics, we can tell how lonely and lifeless the singer feels.

She looks around for help as she drowns in loneliness. There is “so much emptiness inside” that it feels like she’s at the bottom of the sea.

20. “A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing” By Ella Fitzgerald

Here’s another song that showcases several flowers. Daffodils crop up again, as do azaleas and gardenias. “A Flower is a Lovesome Thing” is a smooth, melancholy melody in Ella Fitzgerald‘s capable hands. It swoops unexpectedly low and has atypical harmonies and blue notes that keep it interesting.

 It’s not heard as much these days, and it’s a shame because it’s a complex musical piece. It’s a slower kind of jazz, but it’s tender, and it deserves to be revisited.

Besides, when you listen to the words, you’ll fall in love with the song. It says that flowers remain beautiful no matter what happens. Where it grows, whatever time of day, you can appreciate its beauty.

21. “Honeysuckle Rose” By Fats Waller

Unlike other songs on this list, “Honeysuckle Rose” is as much about love as it is about the titular flowers. While it’s not your typical song about flowers, it’s worth a listen.

Fats Waller‘s “Honeysuckle Rose” began as a dance number for the jazz clubs where he enjoyed playing. And it does its job. The music zips along at a clip that ensures even the most nervous dancer can’t sit still while the music’s playing.

In 1999, “Honeysuckle Rose” became part of the Grammy Hall of Fame. It remains a popular jazz standard.

Related: Check out our list of songs about Roses.

22. “The Crown Of Roses” By The Choir Of King’s College Cambridge

You might agree that Tchaikovsky can’t write a wrong note. “The Crown of Roses” is one of his choral works. It tells the apocryphal story of a young Christ’s encounter with other children in a rose garden. Watch the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge‘s performance above.

The flowers of this song are actual. However, they carry heavy religious implications and anticipate the Crown of Thorns that Christ wore on the cross.

The lyrics talk about a small garden that Jesus kept when he was a boy. He loved roses and made garlands out of them. One day several children came by and picked all of the flowers. They made a crown out of the thorns and put it on his head.

23. “I Only Bought You Flowers” By The Other Guys

The English poet Wendy Cope once famously wrote a poem praising a fictive partner for thinking about buying her flowers. Who wouldn’t love being given flowers, after all?

The Other Guys’ “I Only Bought You Flowers” is a playful musical riposte. It’s the story of someone who’s forever gifting his sweetheart flowers. It’s unapologetically sentimental, but the jaunty melody keeps it from being overly sweet.

What’s notable about this song is that it mentions almost all of the flowers. From roses to daffodils, the singer always has something to give her. Isn’t it sweet?

24. “Le Fleur Que Tu M’Avais Jeté” By Roberto Alagna

If you’re up for a sad song, here’s Roberto Alagna‘s “Le Fleur Que Tu M’Avais Jeté.” This appeared in French composer Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen. The eponymous heroine throws flowers casually at any number of suitors.

This song is about one flower in particular. Early in the opera, Carmen throws the enamored Don José a rose, so he will help her get out of prison. He does, and it gets him into trouble.

By the time José sings this famous aria, Carmen has left him for someone else. All he has to remember her by is the flower she threw at his feet.

25. “The Flower Duet” By Joan Sutherland And Marylyn Horne

These days, modern listeners still know this famous aria from Leo Délibes’ opera Lakme as an integral part of British Airways commercials. Joan Sutherland And Marylyn Horne have a hair-raising performance of “The Flower Duet.”

This song was intended as a moving tale about a priest who was prohibited from practicing his religion. His daughter and her servant go to the riverbank and pick flowers for a bath in the river. They describe the flowers around them, such as white jasmine and roses.

Crucially, Lakme is an opera about love. Familial love, friendship, and romantic love, in particular. The intricate, close-set harmony is a testament to that.

26. “There Is A Rose In Spanish Harlem” By The Drifters

Another old song that unabashedly uses flowers metaphorically is “Spanish Harlem” by the Drifters. Ben E. King, who led the second group of the Drifters, wrote the song as a love letter to the part of New York he loved. It was his first triumph after breaking from the Drifters.

A surface reading of the lyrics suggests the rose is a beautiful woman who inspires the speaker. In the same way, the rose blossoming through the concrete is a metaphor for people who overcame adversity.

After the song’s first recording, subsequent versions integrated typical Spanish musical elements. These include marimba, Spanish guitar, drums, and a male chorus. But the most noticeable alteration came from producer Mike Stoller. King credits him with the piano trill that became the signature of “Spanish Harlem.”

27. “The Flowers That Bloom In The Spring” By John Reed

From the sublime to the faintly ridiculous, “The Flowers that Bloom in the Spring” is a piece from Gilbert and Sullivan’s satirical operetta The Mikado.

In the song, John Reed’s Koko has lost the woman he loves to the hero. Instead, he has to marry the awful Katisha, and he’s less than thrilled. The jocular, lilting, even bouncy rhythm of the song belies this.

When the volta arrives in the second verse, notice how Reed uses the dance-like rhythm to offset Koko’s frustration. The flowers aren’t the point. His frustrated love is. It’s a bit like listening to a musical soufflé, but it’s a fun soufflé. Listen as Reed spits out the words with astonishing diction at equally astonishing speed.

28. “Pussy Willows, Cat Tails, Soft Winds, And Roses” By Gordon Lightfoot

Last, but far from least, is Gordon Lightfoot’s melancholic “Pussy Willows, Cat Tails, Soft Winds, and Roses.” This song features several seasonal bouquets and has some of the most poetic lyrics on our list.

Lightfoot wrote and recorded the song in 1968. It was an immediate success, and many argue it is Canada’s most beautiful folk song.

When listening to the lyrics, it’s hard to disagree. The song refers to a particular day, perhaps sometime between spring and summer. This is evidenced by the growing pussy willows and dusty roadside.

Summing Up Our List Of Songs About Flowers

Flowers have this magic that makes us smile when we see them. As you’ve seen from our list above, sometimes they’re a metaphor for something larger than life.

Whatever the genre and the flower, these are worth a listen. They’re thoughtful songs and may leave you with a deeper appreciation of flowers and music.

Whether you’re looking for something to listen to while you tend your garden or just want to appreciate its beauty, play one of these songs. You’ll appreciate flowers more.

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Laura has over 12 years experience teaching both classical and jazz saxophone and clarinet. She now resides in California where she works as a session and live performer.