21 Of The Best Songs About Peace

Written by Dan Farrant

These days, it’s disheartening to watch the news. There’s almost always a broadcast about war, conflict, famine, and corruption everywhere. Countries wage war against other countries, with innocents caught in the middle.

Despite the chaos, we do not stop to fight for peace. We do not give up because peace is a beacon of hope that encourages dialogue over confrontation, love over hate, and understanding over ignorance.

And so today, we’re presenting 21 of the best songs about peace. May these songs be an inspiration to start change within ourselves. Let’s get started!

1. “911 For Peace” By Anti-Flag

Our first song on the list is one that’s easy to understand. “911 for Peace” by the American punk rock band Anti-Flag contains politically charged lyrics that express their views on peace and the state of the world.

The title itself signifies a call for peace, wherein “911” is the emergency number in the US. It symbolizes an urgent plea for peace in times of conflict and unrest.

The lyrics highlight Anti-Flag’s perspective on the importance of peace. They lament about the hate-filled world and the unnecessary loss of lives. Through this song, they critique war and violence, advocating instead for peaceful resolutions of conflict.

2. “Peace” By Taylor Swift

For Taylor Swift, “Peace” is her most personal song from her album Folklore. This track reflects her evolution and changing perspective on love.

The lyrics find the narrator exploring the concept of peace. The song mentions “peace” not in the traditional global or societal sense, but as a state of tranquility and harmony within a romantic relationship. In the song, the term “peace” is used to describe an ideal state of love, one that is calm and undisturbed by external factors.

In addition, “Peace” delves into the complexities and imperfections of love in an imperfect world. The narrator expresses hope that her love will suffice despite the challenges.

3. “I Wish You Peace” By Eagles

One of the best songs with “peace” in the title is by the American rock band Eagles. Released in 1975, “I Wish You Peace” conveys a deep message of peace and goodwill.

With its gentle melody and heartfelt lyrics, the song expresses a desire for peace in times of struggle and pain. The narrator extends wishes of comfort during lonely times and strength to let love grow.

The song also speaks to an innate desire for understanding and inclusion. It’s almost like a prayer or a blessing that you extend to others.

4. “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)” By George Harrison

Former member of The Beatles George Harrison released “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)” in 1973. It serves as a prayer where the narrator expresses his deep longing for peace both within himself and in the world.

The lyrics straightforwardly ask for love, peace on Earth, light, and life. The narrator longs to be free from the sufferings of life and to be close to God. The song reflects Harrison’s own journey into Eastern philosophy and his devotion to the Hindu god Krishna.

Notably, the song is not about peace as a concept. However, it highlights the role of love in achieving that peace. The song says that love is the path to peace. When we give love, we can create a more peaceful world for everyone.

5. “Heal The World” By Michael Jackson

The 1991 single “Heal the World” by Michael Jackson carries a strong message of love, peace, and unity. Though the lyrics are filled with anti-war sentiments, the song also expresses a desire for a better world, one where peace reigns.

What the song says is that anyone can make a change. We can take steps toward creating a more peaceful and compassionate world. And that includes treating all individuals equally and ending discrimination.

The song also encourages listeners to be kind, empathetic, and understanding to their fellow humans. It tells us to work together to heal the earth and make it a better place for all.

6. “Peace Train” By Cat Stevens

Released in 1971, Cat Stevens‘ “Peace Train” is often considered an anthem for unity, harmony, and peace. It conveys a sense of optimism and hope for a better future.

In the lyrics, the “peace train” is a metaphor for the journey toward peace. The narrator dreams of a world where everyone lives in peace and wants this peace train to take him there.

He also sings about being happy lately and thinking of the many good things in store for him, which reflects his belief in the possibility of positive change.

7. “Ripple” By Grateful Dead

In Grateful Dead‘s “Ripple,” the title can be interpreted as faith. It suggests that our journey toward the higher self creates a ripple effect, influencing the world around us.

This can be understood as a message of peace. It emphasizes how personal growth and inner peace can contribute to a more peaceful world.

The famous chorus goes “Ripple in still water, / When there is no pebble tossed, / Nor wind to blow.” It speaks to the impact of our actions and the changes they can bring about. Again, this points to the idea of personal responsibility in promoting peace.

8. “We Want Peace” By Lenny Kravitz

As the title suggests, Lenny Kravitz‘s “We Want Peace” advocates for global peace and unity. It appeals to all to come together and unite for the cause of peace.

The narrator encourages listeners to reflect on their role in creating a better world, free from conflict and chaos. “We Want Peace” tells us that it’s our personal responsibility to promote peace and unity.

The song also acts as a protest against war and violence. The lyrics speak to the struggles that many people from war-stricken countries face and voice a plea for peace and understanding.

9. “Peacekeeper” By Fleetwood Mac

Penned by Fleetwood Mac‘s guitarist and vocalist Lindsey Buckingham, “Peacekeeper,” at its core, is a peace song. It explores the concept of peace both on a personal and a global level.

One way to look at this song is through the eyes of people who are not affected by the chaos around the world. It’s like we have been desensitized to war and violent events and we do not stand up for what’s right.

Another way to understand the song is by looking at the narrator as the peacekeeper, who is waiting for the right time to act. This could be seen as a metaphor for people working toward peace.

10. “Fussing And Fighting” By Bob Marley And The Wailers

In “Fussing And Fighting,” Bob Marley and the Wailers speak about peace, or the lack of it due to unnecessary conflicts and disagreements. At its core, it conveys that people should love each other in peace and harmony instead of causing strife.

The lyrics suggest that the narrator has been hurt before, and it affects his ability to love in the present. This could be seen as a metaphor for nations that have been scarred by past conflicts. And now they find it hard to move forward to establish peaceful relations.

The narrator’s solution is simple: love. He emphasizes that love should be an instrument of peace and harmony. The chorus directly addresses this, reinforcing the idea that love can overcome strife.

11. “Imagine” By John Lennon

Up next is John Lennon‘s “Imagine,” a 1971 song that has become synonymous with calls for peace and unity. It’s clear why it has become a beacon for people longing for global harmony.

The lyrics present a utopian vision of a world without divisions. It’s a place he wants us to imagine where people live together in peace. He encourages listeners to imagine a world without the things that often divide us — religion, nationality, and material possessions.

The song suggests that removing these barriers can help create a world where people live in brotherhood, love, and peace.

12. “Give Peace A Chance” By John Lennon And Plastic Ono Band

War does not solve. But peace may be a better solution to war-related problems. This is the message behind “Give Peace a Chance” by John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band.

This song with “peace” in the lyrics is a plea for peace worldwide. It encourages people to consider peace as an alternative to conflict and war, suggesting that many societal problems could be resolved if parties were more willing to pursue peaceful solutions.

The lyrics consist of a chant-like repetition of “All we are saying is give peace a chance.” It emphasizes the single, clear message that Lennon wanted to convey.

13. “Love Train” By The O’Jays

The 1970s was marked by big social issues such as the Vietnam War. The O’Jays believed it was the right time to sing about such issues and “Love Train” in 1972.

This track contains a profound message of peace, unity, and love. It’s a call for people to join hands and start a “love train.” It’s a metaphor for a global movement of love and peace, extending an invitation for all to come aboard.

The song mentions several countries that were having human rights problems, including England, Russia, and China. It suggests that no matter where we come from, we should be part of this love train.

14. “Turn! Turn! Turn!” By The Byrds

The book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible is popular for the verses about the cyclical nature of life and the inevitability of change. The Byrds‘ “Turn! Turn! Turn!” was based on this, while at the same time communicating a strong message of peace.

The lyrics convey a sense of hope and peace, suggesting that there is a time for every purpose under heaven, including a time for peace. This message was particularly poignant considering that the song was released during the Vietnam War era.

In addition, the song’s refrain, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” can be a call for change. It urges listeners to turn away from violence and embrace peace instead.

15. “Pipes Of Peace” By Paul McCartney

Another song that promotes peace, love, and unity is Paul McCartney‘s “Pipes of Peace.” It was released in 1983 and is based on the concept of resolving personal and societal problems through love and advocating peace.

The song’s central theme suggests that even in the midst of conflict, human connection and mutual understanding can lead to moments of peace. The lyrics further emphasize this, as seen in the lines “I light a candle to our love, / In love our problems disappear.” This shows the importance of love in overcoming conflicts.

Similarly, the metaphor of playing the “pipes of peace” suggests spreading harmony instead of engaging in conflict.

16. “Where Is The Love” By Black Eyed Peas

The 2003 single “Where Is the Love?” by The Black Eyed Peas conveys a message about peace and unity in the face of societal issues such as police brutality, racism, and terrorism.

The song questions the state of the world, especially in the aftermath of events like 9/11. It urges listeners to reflect on where love and peace have disappeared, given the widespread cases of violence and hate.

The chorus asks “Where is the love?” and promotes peace and understanding in a chaotic world. On the other hand, the song also laments the lack of love, tolerance, and care in the world.

17. “Man Of Peace” By Bob Dylan

Behind Bob Dylan‘s “Man of Peace” is a caution against the deceptive nature of appearance. The song warns that even people who appear as advocates of peace may have hidden agendas, ones that are of a malevolent nature.

The line “You know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace” emphasizes this idea. It suggests that evil can disguise itself in benevolent forms.

In this context, the “man of peace” can represent leaders or figures who promise peace but have ulterior motives, potentially leading to strife and conflict.

18. “World Peace Is None Of Your Business” By Morrissey

English singer Morrissey released “World Peace Is None of Your Business” in 2014 from the album of the same name. At its core, it’s about peace in an unconventional and thought-provoking way.

Rather than promoting peace directly, the song criticizes the apathy of individuals toward global issues. The title itself can be considered a satirical statement that challenges the common belief that ordinary people have no say in matters of world peace.

Furthermore, the narrator questions the motives of people in power and asks why we have allowed ourselves to be controlled. He encourages listeners to question and participate in shaping the world we live in.

19. “We Got To Have Peace” By Curtis Mayfield

Going further down the line, we have “We Got to Have Peace” by Curtis Mayfield. A plea for peace and unity, this song emphasizes the need to keep the world alive and for war to cease.

In addition, the lyrics emphasize the importance of joy and strength in our hearts, which can be interpreted as inner peace. This, according to Mayfield, gives us the strength to endure challenges and contribute to the broader goal of world peace.

In essence, the song tells us that inner and global peace are elements that contribute to human survival and the betterment of society.

20. “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding” By Elvis Costello & The Attractions

The penultimate song on our list is “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” by Elvis Costello & the Attractions. Released in 1979, it calls for peace, love, and understanding in the world.

The title is a rhetorical question that focuses on the importance of these values. The song reflects feelings of frustration and confusion about the state of the world. From the lyrics, we can sense despair over the world’s problems but also propose peace, love, and understanding as solutions.

In relation to peace, the song states that unity and harmony can resolve conflicts and overcome challenges. It suggests that peace can come through love and understanding rather than through violence or conflict.

21. “One Day” By Matisyahu

To close our list, we have “One Day” by the talented musician Matisyahu. Released in 2009, it carries a message of peace, unity, and hope.

In the lyrics, the narrator expresses his longing for a world where violence and conflict have ceased and humanity is united. He envisions a day when people will no longer hurt each other, suggesting the establishment of world peace.

This vision is not just a dream, though. Rather, it’s something that he encourages everyone to focus on and strive toward. He also urges his listeners to believe in the possibility of a world where love and peace reign.

Summing Up Our List Of Peace Songs

As you have seen, music can be a powerful vehicle to promote peace. Each song carries a unique message but all emphasize the importance of unity, love, and understanding in achieving peace.

While it can seem daunting, we can contribute by extending kindness to our neighbors. Remember, it starts with ourselves. The collective action can lead to a domino effect that will take us one step closer to a better world.

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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.