25 Of The Best Songs About Sunsets

Written by Dan Farrant

Sunsets are one of the most beautiful things on Earth. The magnificent play of colors leaves us in awe of such a beautiful display. It’s nothing short of a miracle that even songwriters are inspired to write about sunsets.

Sunsets are a popular metaphor for many works of art. The setting of the sun is often used to symbolize the passing of time or a new beginning. It can symbolize peace, renewal, and rest.

And there are many songs that capture this sentiment. In this article, we curated a list of 25 of the best songs about sunsets that will surely broaden your horizons and provide some great listening. Let’s start!

1. “Early Sunsets Over Monroeville” By My Chemical Romance

First on our list is a song with “sunsets” in the title. “Early Sunsets Over Monroeville” was featured in My Chemical Romance’s debut album.

The song was inspired by the 1978 horror film Dawn of the Dead. Lead vocalist Gerard Way used the movie’s setting, Monroeville, to create a haunting and atmospheric backdrop for the song.

In particular, the first two lines of the lyrics give a nod to Dawn of the Dead’s setting. The lyrics say, “Late dawns and early sunsets, just like my favorite scenes.” These reflect the fact that most of the scenes were shot at dusk or dawn.

Going deeper into the meaning of the lyrics, the song explores themes of loss, despair, and the struggle to find meaning in a world that seems to be falling apart.

2. “Castle On The Hill” By Ed Sheeran

A song that pays homage to Ed Sheeran’s childhood in Suffolk is “Castle on the Hill.” This is one of the double lead singles in Sheeran’s 2017 album Divide.

The song mentions “sunset” as he reminisces about his boyhood spent near Framlingham Castle, where he watches the sun slowly setting on the horizon. As Sheeran sings about his friends, first loves, and the adventures they shared, the sunset becomes a poignant backdrop to those cherished memories.

He paints a vivid picture of his hometown and reminisces about how things used to be before he left town to pursue a career in music. The “castle on the hill” stands as a reminder of how far he has come in life, at once both familiar and distant.

3. “Two Suns In The Sunset” By Pink Floyd

The final track of Pink Floyd’s concept album, The Final Cut, is “Two Suns in the Sunset.” This somber song alludes to a nuclear holocaust where the sun sets in a place that has been destroyed.

In the second verse, the narrator sings about “the sun is in the east, even though the day is done.” The second sun in the title is a metaphor for an atomic bomb exploding, and the lyrics reflect the narrator’s feeling of dread and sadness at the sight.

The last line of the song, “foe and friend, we were all equal in the end,” reminds us that in the face of destruction, everyone will suffer the same catastrophic fate.

4. “Sunsets For Somebody Else” By Jack Johnson

Next, we have another song that uses “sunset” metaphorically. Folk-pop singer Jack Johnson wrote “Sunsets for Somebody Else” as a reflection of the societal pressure of proving your worth to other people.

Johnson sings about a person who is “selling sunsets for somebody else.” This implies that someone is doing things for the benefit of other people rather than themselves.

The lyrics further explore the ongoing cycle of seeking validation in a fast-paced society. This often leads to emotional exhaustion. This notion is perfectly captured in the chorus, “And oh, can this world not afford to sleep anymore?”

“Sunsets for Somebody Else” serves as a commentary on the complexities of self-identity. Sadly, we live in a world where seeking approval from others often matters more than finding inner happiness.

5. “Waterloo Sunset” By The Kinks

The semi-autobiographical ballad “Waterloo Sunset” is penned by the former lead vocalist of The Kinks. Here, Ray Davies reminisces about the Waterloo Bridge and reflects on his older sister’s love life.

The song mentions a man looking out from his window overlooking the sunset on Waterloo Bridge. Davies sings about an unnamed couple, whom he has confirmed to be his sister and her boyfriend, meeting each other at a train station and watching the sunset together.

“Waterloo Sunset” is partly a love song and partly a song of nostalgia. It celebrates the simplicity of everyday moments and the beauty of youth. It’s a reminder to take time to appreciate life’s little pleasures, like watching a sunset or simply being in love.

6. “Spaceships On Sunsets” By Post Malone Ft. Trae Tha Truth

Sunsets are beautiful as they are, but what if they are seen from the vantage point of the extraterrestrial? Post Malone teams up with Trae tha Truth to give a more psychedelic take on sunsets in “Spaceships on Sunsets.”

This song is a creative reimagining of sunsets as a surreal and trippy experience. The idea of seeing spaceships on sunsets instead of the other way around is indeed an interesting concept.

The song also reflects Post Malone’s belief in the existence of extraterrestrial beings. He relates this belief to his experience while partying in LA and seeing an inexplainable flash in the night sky, accompanied by sky trumpets, which are often associated with alien activity.

7. “Arabella” By Arctic Monkeys

Next, we have Arctic Monkeys’ “Arabella.” This is a play of words between the lead vocalist’s girlfriend, Arielle, and the titular character of the 1968 movie Barbarella.

In the chorus, the narrator sings about his fictional interstellar muse, Arabella. She sits on the passenger seat as he admires her, the setting sun casting a mesmerizing backdrop.

He also compares Arabella’s beauty to that of the sunset. For him, the horizon pales in comparison to her radiant allure. In addition, he sings more about his passion for Arabella and her out-of-this-world aura. This could be interpreted as a metaphor for his infatuation with the unknown.

8. “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” By Luke Bryan

A country love song about a couple enjoying the fleeting summer days is what you’ll find in Luke Bryan’s “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset.” This feel-good track was released in 2018 from his sixth album, What Makes You Country.

The song tells about a budding teenage romance after the girl’s father hires the boy to paint their lakehouse over the summer. It beautifully captures the essence of summer love between two people. It also evokes nostalgia for those warm, sun-drenched days spent with someone special.

With the lyrics, you can clearly imagine two young hearts entwined in the simplicity of life by the lake. It’s where every sunrise is a new beginning, and every sunset marks another cherished memory.

9. “Sunsetz” By Cigarettes After Sex

When we talk about sunsets, we often associate them with something positive. But “Sunsetz” by Cigarettes After Sex is a melancholic song that explores themes of longing and nostalgia.

Here, the narrator sings about a romance that has come to an end. Whether the couple broke up or are separated by distance isn’t clear. But the lyrics speak volumes of the narrator’s inner turmoil and his yearning for the past.

The sunset is a recurring theme, with the opening line saying, “Sunsets, we wander through a foreign town.” The chorus is also short and bittersweet: “And when you go away, I still see you. With the sunlight on your face in my rear-view.”

“Sunsetz” serves as a reminder that love, like the setting sun, can be both breathtakingly beautiful and fleeting. And sometimes, all we can do is hold on to the memories, hoping that they will bring solace to our restless hearts.

10. “Hurts” By LANY

The heartbreaking yet upbeat indie pop track “Hurts” by LANY was released in 2017. This is another song about love that has been lost.

The lyrics “The more I love, the more it hurts” are a plea to find solace in the pain of loss. The second verse emphasizes the darkness you experience during a heartbreak: “The sunset’s black and white, it didn’t use to be. I remember pink skies, just you and me.”

The contrast between the past “pink skies” and the present “black and white” sunset emphasizes the stark difference between the happiness of love’s inception and the desolation of its end.

The song’s reference to sunsets underscores the ephemeral nature of love and how quickly it can fade, leaving behind a sense of longing and emptiness.

11. “Monks” By Frank Ocean

Sunsets can be such breathtaking scenes that it makes sense for Frank Ocean to include them in the lyrics of his 2012 track “Monks.”

The song draws parallels between the world of music celebrities and the spiritual connection between monks and the Dalai Lama. In this context, Ocean refers to “monks” as groupies. Music artists, on the other hand, are the much-revered Dalai Lama.

In the second verse, Ocean sings about getting away with a forbidden lover at sunset, when everyone is winding down to rest. The transient beauty of a sunset aligns with the fleeting nature of fame and the constant pursuit of success in the music world.

“Monks” becomes a thought-provoking commentary on the duality of human desires and the quest for meaning in a world that often celebrates superficiality.

12. “Sunset Jesus” By Avicii Ft. Sandro Cavazza

Another song that lightly touches on themes of spirituality is “Sunset Jesus.” This track is a collaboration between Avicii and Swedish singer Sandro Cavazza.

In the lyrics, Sunset Jesus is a man who dreams of being an actor. He divides his time between working as a waiter and panhandling as Jesus on the streets of Sunset Boulevard. The song serves as a cautionary tale about the challenges that come with the pursuit of fame.

The singer also sings about the golden skies of California. These allude to the stunning sunsets and picturesque landscapes that California is famous for. The repeating themes of golden skies and gold dreams also symbolize the glamour of the entertainment industry and the dreams that draw people to the state.

13. “Beyond The Sunset” By Pat Boone

The popular hymn, Pat Boone’s “Beyond the Sunset,” is often used in funerals. Originally, this was a poem written by Albert Rowswell titled “Should You Go First.” The poem became a hymn in the 1930s, first released by Chickie Davis. It has since been sung by different artists, but Boone’s version popularized the song.

The hymn opens with the line “Beyond the sunset, oh, blissful morning. When with our Savior, heaven’s begun,” alluding to the afterlife that awaits us after we pass away.

The song’s beautiful lyrics evoke a feeling of comfort, peace, and hope for those grieving the loss of a loved one. It also provides a sense of solace that beyond the mourning here on Earth, there is hope and joy in the life beyond this one.

14. “Sunset” By Demi Lovato

Just as the sun gracefully bids farewell to the day, we too must say goodbye to certain moments in our lives. However, in Demi Lovato’s 2021 song “Sunset,” the setting of the sun symbolizes her fear of losing the one she loves.

In the chorus, Lovato begs her loved one not to let the sun “set” on their love, and to not let the night tear them apart. The song gives listeners the idea that their relationship hangs by a tenacious thread, yet she emphasizes that the two of them are meant for each other.

Lovato’s “Sunset” reminds us that it’s okay to be afraid of losing what we hold dear. It acknowledges the vulnerability we feel when facing the uncertainty of a changing relationship, and it encourages us to confront those fears with open hearts.

15. “Bad Guy” By Eminem

A sequel to Eminem’s 2000 hit song “Stan” is “Bad Guy.” The latter follows Stan’s younger brother Matthew, who seeks revenge against their idolized rapper, whom he believes is the sole cause of Stan’s demise.

“Stan” is about an obsessed fan who kills his own pregnant wife and himself after feeling “ignored” by superstar Eminem. “Bad Guy” follows through this narrative decades later. Stan’s brother, Matthew, is now all grown up and fueled with a vengeful agenda.

In the last line of the first verse, Matthew talks about burying Eminem alive and driving off into the sunset. This gives a nod to Eminem’s controversial song “’97 Bonnie and Clyde,” which also details the same murder method.

While the sunset only plays a small “role” in the song, the brief mention adds a feeling of foreboding — a looming darkness that mirrors the revenge-fueled narrative of “Bad Guy.”

16. “Sunset” By Kate Bush

Up next, we have an ethereal song about the mesmerizing colors of the sunset. Kate Bush‘s “Sunset” was part of her double-album release Aerial.

The lyrics paint an imagery of the transition from the bright yellow of the early afternoon to the heavier honey-tinged yellow of the setting sun. Bush adds a deeper poetic appeal to the song, singing about “In a sea of honey, a sky of honey” as the sun sets on the horizon.

The song is a masterpiece that captures the essence of a sunset in a truly enchanting way. It reminds us to stop and appreciate the natural world, to find beauty in the everyday, and to cherish the moments that pass us by all too quickly.

17. “Wildest Dreams” By Taylor Swift

Award-winning singer Taylor Swift is known for her poetic lyrics, and her 2014 hit song “Wildest Dreams” is no different.

The lyrics reflect Swift’s hopes that her lover will not forget her even after their short romance fizzles out. The chorus “Say you’ll remember me, standin’ in a nice dress, starin’ at the sunset, babe” is both a plea and a reflection on the fleeting nature of love, akin to the transient beauty of sunsets.

The song also reflects Swift’s stance on her romantic relationship at that time, where they hide away from the public eye, and how high-profile relationships can be a challenge to maintain.

“Wildest dreams” could also refer to something that is impossible to achieve. The song is both a declaration of hope and a sad reflection on the reality that some dreams may never come true.

18. “What Makes The Sunset?” By Frank Sinatra

Next, we have a poetic masterpiece by Frank Sinatra. “What Makes the Sunset?” is a song from the 1945 musical film Anchors Aweigh, where Sinatra plays one of the main characters.

This song explores the boundless power of love and its influence on the natural world. Sinatra croons how love makes the sun set, the moon rise, the star fall, and the tides move.

This song with “sunset” in the lyrics is simple yet strikingly beautiful. It’s an emotionally stirring song that never fails to bring a tear to the listeners’ eyes. It is also an excellent example of Sinatra’s powerful vocal range and unparalleled talent for storytelling through music.

19. “Rendezvous At Sunset” By Kylie Minogue

Let’s deviate from the mellow and dark songs on this list to include an upbeat song. Kylie Minogue’s disco pop song “Rendezvous at Sunset” was released in 2001 as part of her album Fever.

The song’s lyrics encapsulate the allure of escaping the mundane routine of daily life and indulging in the pleasures of the night. As Minogue sings about a rendezvous at sunset, she sets the stage for an evening filled with anticipation, excitement, and a sense of freedom.

In the chorus, Minogue also sings about taking their adventure through to sunrise, signifying a desire for a deeper connection and a willingness to let go of inhibitions.

The usage of both sunset and sunrise in the lyrics is symbolic of the complete journey that Minogue is inviting her lover (and the listeners) to embark upon.

20. “Pink Skies” By LANY

Sunsets are renowned for the captivating tapestry of colors they unveil. They display different shades of yellow and orange and even a tinge of pink. LANY’s “Pink Skies” deserves a spot on our list for its creative presentation of the hues that grace the evening sky.

“Pink Skies” is a catchy love song about a couple who finds a safe haven “under pink skies.” LANY also beautifully sings about the colors green and indigo to describe the mesmerizing eyes of his lover.

The vivid imagery created by the lyrics captures the essence of love and its power to make us feel as if we are in a world of our own, where everything is bathed in the soft glow of affection.

21. “Sunset” By Kid Ink

Los Angeles, California is popular for its breathtaking sunsets, made more fascinating by the mesmerizing backdrop of the Pacific Ocean that graces the city’s coastline. This is beautifully captured in Kid Ink’s hip-hop song “Sunset.”

The song follows the glamorous life that comes with “Hollywood living.” Kid Ink sings about “riding through the sunset,” which is a popular motif in many classic films. It signifies a new chapter in someone’s life and the beginning of something beautiful.

The upbeat tempo of the song sets the tone for an exciting experience. It makes us feel as if we’re cruising down Sunset Boulevard, taking in all the beauty that it has to offer.

22. “Golden Hour” By JVKE

The period before the sun sets or when the sun rises, where the sky transitions from a bright blue to warm hues of orange and yellow, is often referred to as the “golden hour.” JVKE‘s “Golden Hour” alludes to the hours before sunset that he shares with his beloved.

Released in 2022, the song became an instant hit for its alluring piano-driven production and its poetic lyrics. In the chorus, JVKE belts out how his lover “slows down time, in your golden hour.”

The word “sunset” isn’t explicitly used in the song. But the overall theme of the lyrics and the shimmering golden motif of the music video serves as a visual metaphor for the beauty and radiance of love. It reinforces the idea that love, like the sunset, has a transformative power to make ordinary moments extraordinary.

23. “Dusk Till Dawn” By ZAYN Ft. Sia

One other song that deserves to be on this list is the pop power ballad “Dusk Till Down.” This collaboration between ZAYN and Sia was released in 2017.

In the lyrics, the transition from sunset to sunrise symbolizes the unwavering commitment between two individuals. ZAYN and Sia meld their powerful vocals in the chorus, singing, “But you’ll never be alone. I’ll be with you from dusk till dawn.” This line perfectly embodies the devotion that is necessary for relationships to thrive and survive.

The accompanying music video amplifies the themes of enduring love. It depicts ZAYN and his female partner embarking on a thrilling journey, eluding the law, and ultimately driving off into the sunset together.

24. “Moment 4 Life” By Nicki Minaj Ft. Drake

The Queen of Rap Nicki Minaj hasn’t always had a good life. She struggled financially growing up, and she worked hard to get to where she is now. All these are perfectly captured in her 2010 song “Moment 4 Life,” in collaboration with Drake.

The song reflects her journey from being a struggling artist to making it big. In the bridge, she sings, “I’m one with the sunsets. I have become alive,” signifying that she has finally found success after years of fighting to make it in the rap industry.

In the song, the “sunset” is a metaphor for hope and resilience. It reminds us that even in the darkest moments, there is the promise of a new day and new opportunities.

25. “The Violet Hour” By Sea Wolf

Lastly, we have the 2009 The Twilight Saga soundtrack “The Violet Hour” by Sea Wolf. The song is an upbeat indie love song about the singer’s affection for his sweetheart.

The chorus is simple: “In the dark, you tell me of a flower that only blooms in the violet hour.” The violet hour symbolizes the brief period between day and night when the sun is setting and the dark purple colors of dusk fill the sky.

The metaphorical flower in the chorus represents something rare, precious, and worth preserving. It thrives in the space of twilight, reminding us that sometimes the most beautiful and meaningful moments in life occur during transitions or in the in-between spaces.

Summing Up Our List Of Sunset Songs

So that wraps up our list! We hope that you enjoyed reading about these sunset-inspired songs and that you learned a thing or two about song lyrics that you may not have known before.

As the sun sets in the sky, take a few moments to appreciate this special time of day and listen to some of these songs if the mood strikes. If you know of other sunset-themed songs, let us know and we’ll add them in!

Until then, enjoy the beauty of the sunset, and feel free to be inspired by its captivating beauty. Happy listening!

Photo of author

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.