13 Best Songs About Light Of All Time

Using light as a theme conjures so many images and feelings. It can be a representation of good or something holy. In fact, many gospel songs have been written about it.

In addition, light can be the sudden realization of the truth after a lifetime in darkness. On that note, light can represent the sun, a new day, a new birth, or a beginning. It is the spark that starts something new.

In that light, we have compiled 13 of the best songs about light. They span the genres of music from classic rock to old-time country and even gospel children’s music. Let’s get started.

1. “I Can See Clearly Now” By Johnny Nash

This song is so ingrained in our lives through the numerous times it has been used in film and television that many people think it is older than it is. “I Can See Clearly Now” was released in 1972 on Johnny Nash’s album of the same name.

The title does not have the word light. But the lyrics say, “It’s gonna be a bright (bright)/Bright (bright) sunshiny day.” The image of a sunny day taking all the bad feelings away is clear.

The song is versatile in that it is simply about happiness and hopefulness. The singer is not speaking about a lover or anything in particular. In that respect, it is a song about being happy without questioning why.

2. “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” By Vicki Lawrence

Our next song with “lights” in the lyrics is Vicki Lawrence‘s “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.” This track is a southern gothic murder ballad about a cheating spouse and revenge. It is one example where the light in the title refers to darkness.

When you listen to the song, you hear about a man going home after being away for two weeks. He drops by the bar for a drink or two and finds out from his best friend Andy that his wife had cheated on him with Andy and a guy named Seth.

The man gets a gun to kill Andy, but the latter is already dead when he finds him. He gets arrested and hanged. It’s only later in the song that it becomes clear that the singer is the man’s sister. She is the one responsible for Andy’s death. And, surprise, surprise, she was also the one who killed his wife.

3. “Neon Lights” By Demi Lovato

If you’ve ever felt like igniting a spark with someone, you can relate to Demi Lovato‘s “Neon Lights.” The song tells us to enjoy what we have while it lasts.

In the lyrics, Lovato sings, “Shining like stars ’cause we’re beautiful, we’re beautiful right now.” It talks about one’s compatibility with someone she likes. At the moment, he’s all she sees “in all these places” and “in all these faces.” This means that thoughts of him fill her mind all the time.

And so she’s not going to wait another moment. She tells him, “let’s pretend we’re running out of time.” It forces her to act and do something about the attraction she feels for him.

4. “Blinded By The Light” By Bruce Springsteen

Up next is a song with “light” in the title. Bruce Springsteen‘s “Blinded by the Light” was released in 1973 from his Greetings from Asbury Park album.

The song is an autobiographical telling of his childhood playing Little League baseball. He uses so many symbols that the meaning is cloudy to many who hear it.

It has also become infamous as an example of misheard lyrics. Many people do not understand the lyrics, “Cut loose like a deuce, another runner in the night,” when they first hear them. They think that “deuce” is a “douche.” The things people think the Boss is saying are rather funny.

5. “Here Comes The Sun” By The Beatles

The 1969 album Abbey Road by the Beatles is a seminal piece of music history for many rock and roll fans. Every song from it has become a favorite. “Here Comes the Sun,” performed by lead guitarist George Harrison is no different.

Harrison famously wrote the song during a dark period of his life as he was looking into a hopeful future. He came up with the iconic words and melody while playing hooky from a Beatles business meeting at his friend Eric Clapton’s country estate.

The song begins with the line, “Here comes the sun, doo-doo-doo-doo, here comes the sun, and I say, it’s alright.” As you listen to the rest of the lyrics, you’ll discover that it is about hope. We may go through difficult times like a long cold winter. But the season changes, and the sun eventually appears.

6. “Blinding Lights” By The Weeknd

If you love listening to songs through streaming devices, you’ve probably come across the Weeknd‘s “Blinding Lights.” The song, released in 2019, was a hit in the US and stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks.

When you first listen to the song, it will give you the idea that it is about the rekindling of a relationship. The singer has been on his own “for long enough.” He misses her, and so he “hit the road in overdrive.” The blinding lights in the lyrics refer to the streetlights that blind him on his way to her.

The Weeknd himself admitted that the song has a dark undertone. He says that the guy is drunk and misses this person, probably an ex. So he drives over to see her. The Weeknd clarifies that he does not promote drunk driving.

7. “This Little Light Of Mine” By Listener Kids

From the lyrics, it is clear that this song mentions “light” in relation to faith. “This Little Light of Mine” by the Listener Kids is often sung for children. It is a spiritual song about the light of God in someone’s life.

The singer says that they will let that light shine and that nothing will ever be able to put it out. Some lines are repeated over verses, making it ideal for kids who can’t memorize complicated words.

The song has unclear origins, with the first known appearance being in a book of poetry from the 1920s. The lyrics have remained nearly the same over the decades. But some singers like to add contemporary verses to help children of the time identify with them.

8. “Walking On Sunshine” By Katrina And The Waves

The British rock band Katrina and the Waves may be best known for “Walking on Sunshine.” Released in 1985 on the album of the same name, the song reached #9 on the charts in the U.S.

“Walking on Sunshine” finds a resurgence every few years. It gets used widely in film and television, keeping it at the forefront of our memories for the past 37 years.

The track is a happy, upbeat song about new beginnings. Specifically, we can’t forget the lines, “I’m walking on sunshine, wooah, And don’t it feel good! Hey, alright now.” These words reflect one’s feelings when deep in love.

9. “One More Light” By Linkin Park

This song from Linkin Park‘s 2017 album of the same name has a sad origin. Written by Mike Shinoda and Eg White, “One More Light” describes a friend who died after a sudden bout with cancer.

While the song is sad, the message it brings is one of hope. The band sings, “Who cares if one more light goes out?… Well, I do.” “One more light,” in this case, is a metaphor for life. Thus, the song tells us that every life matters.

It is also about how the most important thing you can do is bond with the people you love. To appreciate the ones around you before, “one more light goes out.”

10. “Darkness And Light” By John Legend

Lead singer Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes teamed up with John Legend for this song. “Darkness and Light” was released in 2016 from the album of the same name.

Legend talked about the ideas that led to the song in several interviews. According to him, the world is riddled with darkness and pain. We face conflict left and right.

However, the desire is always there to find light and joy in the midst of it. Despite the darkness and difficulties, we show optimism by enjoying life at the moment.

11. “Morning Light” By Justin Timberlake And Alicia Keys

American singer-songwriter Justin Timberlake returned to his southern roots with his 2018 Man of the Woods album. One of the songs that stood out from it is “Morning Light,” a duet with Alicia Keys.

The song finds the singer waking up, “layin’ here, in a morning light.” He is next to the person he loves after spending the night with her. We can tell how much he enjoys her company, as he wants to be with her “just one more night.”

But then the lyrics say, “‘Cause I’m in love with you,” which explains the contentment he feels in her arms.

12. “Pocketful Of Sunshine” By Natasha Bedingfield

If you’re looking for a song about female empowerment, give “Pocketful of Sunshine” a try. Here, Natasha Bedingfield is singing about escaping all your troubles.

From the lyrics, we can tell that the girl has had a challenging life and isn’t happy. But something happens, making her realize that no one can break or control her. Because now she’s “got a pocketful of sunshine” and love.

Along with this realization, she is doing what makes her happy. The line “the sun is on my side” is a statement of her new positive mindset.

13. “I Saw The Light” By Hank Williams

Country music singer Hank Williams was well-known for his songs about drinking. But occasionally, he was inspired to write gospel music, such as the 1948 “I Saw the Light.”

There was a little story about how Williams came up with the title. His mother was driving them to the next tour destination. When she told him, “I saw the light,” she meant they were near the airport.

The phrase gave Williams an idea for a song that used citations from the gospels and the book of Revelation. It was the prayer of someone who had fallen away from God and seeking redemption.

Summing Up Our List Of Light Songs

As you can see from our songs above, the concept of light opens many avenues for songwriters and musicians. Whether they are old or new musicians, their songs are a testimony of the influence light has on them.

A lot of imagery can be brought up by thinking about light. Pretty sure you have your own experiences where light has been the central theme.

We hope that you have found new songs from our list that remind you of that experience. We suggest that you create a playlist of these songs so you can go back to them on those days you need a guiding light.

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Written by Dan Farrant
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. Since then, he's been working to make music theory easy for over 1 million students in over 80 countries around the world.