One of the most exciting things humans have come up with is the rocket. It’s an iconic image in our modern society. It represents power, possibility, and the chance to go places no one has ever gone before.
What better way to pay homage to this invention than through songs? Surprisingly, there are a decent number of songs out there that talk about rockets.
Here, we were able to come up with 11 of the best songs about rockets. In some songs, they refer to the literal humungous object. In others, they are used to symbolize something else. So what are you waiting for? Read on to find out more!
1. “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Gonna Be A Long, Long Time)” By Elton John
There’s no better way to start our list than a song with “rocket” in the title. “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Gonna Be a Long, Long Time)” is from the Rocket Man himself, Elton John. Unknown to most, the song was inspired by a Ray Bradbury short story called “The Rocket Man.”
While many people equated it with David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” and others thought it was about drug use, none of that was right. In the Bradbury story, the job of an astronaut is an everyday gig, and the boy in the tale longs to be a rocket man like his dad.
Even if going to space becomes a commonplace thing, it’s hard to imagine a rocket ride being anything less than exciting, especially if it takes you to another planet.
2. “Space Oddity” By David Bowie
One of the saddest songs ever, “Space Oddity” became a signature song for David Bowie. It came from his self-titled 1969 album. And while the album itself isn’t one of Bowie’s finer efforts, the song has appeared on Billboard charts in six different years in two different millennia.
“Space Oddity” follows a fictional character named Major Tom. He is an astronaut who, after leaving Earth and getting into space, falls victim to a malfunction on his ship. Ground control radios him about the problem, but for reasons unspecified, he doesn’t get it.
He eventually realizes he can’t go home. He watches helplessly as his ship flies further and further into space, where he’ll meet a lonely end.
Related: For more like this, check out our list of songs about space here.
3. “Supersonic Rocket Ship” By The Kinks
When The Kinks released Everybody’s in Show-Biz in 1972, the world was still in the thrall of the moon landings and the space race. Everyone was singing about space travel and rocket ships. So when the band recorded “Supersonic Rocket Ship,” it wasn’t such a shocking subject matter.
The song, on the surface, invites the listeners to go with the singer on his titular rocket ship. It serves as a refuge for everyone, no matter their age, race, or status in life.
Beneath the face value of the lyrics, the song is about returning to a simpler time when the trappings of fame didn’t put rock stars on a different plane than so-called “normal” people.
Related: Check out our list of the best songs about the moon here.
4. “Rocket” By Beyoncé
Okay, so the rocket in this song isn’t the kind that blasts off a launch pad and takes travelers into space. From Beyonce’s 2013 self-titled album, “Rocket,” is a song about a woman’s confidence and sensuality.
In the lyrics, the singer shows different sides of her personality as she talks about spending some quality time with her man. She is a confident woman who knows what she wants out of a relationship.
Before the conception of “Rocket,” Beyoncé said she wanted a song in which nothing was off-limits but also one that reflected her growth as a human being. She had just given birth to her daughter and felt that she (and her audience) was growing up. This song reflected that.
5. “Rocket” By Def Leppard
English rock band Def Leppard was already a big deal when they released Hysteria in 1989. It sold 20 million copies and spent nearly two years on Billboard’s albums chart. “Rocket” was one of several huge hits from the album.
It’s hard to pin down exactly what this song with “rocket” in the lyrics is about. But its lyrics consist largely of call-outs of musicians and songs that frontman Joe Elliott loves and played parts in his musical education.
Since a lot of that material sat squarely in the glam genre, “Rocket” ends up making lots of references to space- and rocket-related music and ideas: Elton John, David Bowie, Lou Reed’s “Satellite of Love.”
6. “Rockets” By Lion Babe Ft. Moe Moks
The song quickly begins with the singer flying high, “like I’m NASA, Move my hips like a salsa.” This shows a carefree attitude. She then compares herself to “butter on a lobster” and feels like Cleopatra, indicative of a luxurious lifestyle.
The chorus consists of lines about how the singer feels high in spaceships and rockets. What this tells us is to get lost in the moment and enjoy life to the fullest. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to let loose and have fun.
7. “Rocket 2 U” By The Jets
Up next, we have The Jets‘ 1987 single, “Rocket 2 U.” The song appeared on their album Magic and received a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
The lyrics find the singer hurrying to his lover after a frantic call, only to find out she needs his help fixing the TV so she could watch her favorite show. He tells her he can “rocket” to her if what needs fixing is her.
He lays some boundaries in their relationship, telling her not to call him for things that need repairing at home. He makes it clear that he’s not the man to fix the kitchen sink or a toaster that won’t work. What he is best at is being with her for emotional support.
8. “Rocket’s Tail” By Kate Bush Ft. Trio Bulgarka
Rocket was a cat that Kate Bush had. But while the lyrics had nothing to do with the feline, Rocket inspired the song. “Rocket’s Tail” came from Bush’s 1989 album, The Sensual World. It featured the Bulgarian singing group called Trio Bulgarka.
While the song mentions rocket-related imagery, it’s actually about anything. Bush said that the song talks about enjoying the moment for what it is. You have to enjoy being right in that moment.
It’s like a rocket that hypes up excitement, but when it’s gone, that excitement is gone as well. What’s important is the part where you get excited and you live and enjoy it fully.
9. “Shake It Over Sputnik” By Billy Hogan And The Twilighters
Up next on our list is one of the oldest songs. Billy Hogan and the Twilighters’ “Shake It Over Sputnik” was released in 1957 and was a direct response to the Soviet launch of Sputnik just a few months earlier.
In the lyrics, we find the singer and his girl dancing to rock and roll. They imagine going to space on a rocket ship and staying up late.
This song captures people’s excitement for rock and roll and their curiosity about Space Age. And despite being a very old song, one can still sing along or dance to it to relive an era of music that has gone by.
10. “Rockets” By Samantha J
Jamaican artist Samantha J dropped “Rockets” in 2017 as a single. She has yet to put together a full-length album. But she may not need to, as her current system of recording and releasing a single at a time seems to be working well for her.
“Rockets” is about her love for a boy, and we can tell the feeling is mutual. Their attraction goes deep as she desires to spend time alone with him.
What they feel for each other is characteristic of a love that’s typical at the beginning of a relationship. The singer describes themselves as rockets, igniting and blasting off when they’re together. Ah, young love.
11. “Surfing On A Rocket” By Air
To close our list, we present to you the French electronic music duo Air. Off their album Talkie Walkie, “Surfing on a Rocket” is a minimalist piece—musically and lyrically—about getting away.
If the rocket in the lyrics is literal, the singer hopes to get away from Earth. If it’s metaphorical, maybe she just needs some space. He’ll “be back one day,” but for now, he needs to get away from everyone and everything.
On the other hand, the song could be simply a fantasy of raising a rocket to somewhere no one had ever been to.
Summing Up Our List Of Rocket Songs
There you have it, our songs about rockets. As always, songwriters displayed their creativity in penning songs that put rockets front and center.
As we’ve seen, rockets are either literal or metaphorical. But whatever the case, the songs use rockets as a way to show the feeling when you’re up in the sky or space. They’re also the perfect vehicle to show one’s preference for escaping or getting away from everything.
We hope you liked our compilation today. The songs make for a nice playlist for just about any time of the day.