25 Of The Best Songs About Trying

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

In the journey of life, progress is often elusive unless you take initiative. This universal truth resonates deeply with the artistic community, and the music industry stands as a powerful testament to the transformative impact of trying.

Countless songs have been composed, echoing the encouragement and the importance of taking that daring leap into the unknown. They serve as reminders that every effort counts and that the beauty often lies in the trying, not just the triumph.

Here, we present 25 of the best songs about trying. Read on, and let their powerful messages inspire you to keep pushing forward.

1. “Trying Your Luck” By The Strokes

We begin this list with a song with “trying” in the title by The Strokes. Originally titled “This Life,” “Trying Your Luck” is about the pursuit of winning the heart of someone, but at the cost of sacrificing all that he has worked hard for.

The narrative unfolds with a raw and authentic portrayal of the emotional stakes involved in the journey: “I know this is surreal, but I’ll try my luck with you / Oh, this life is on my side, oh, I am your one.”

With its upbeat tempo and edgy vocals, “Trying Your Luck” captures the uncertainty, risk-taking, and passion that often come with chasing after love.

2. “This Is Me Trying” By Taylor Swift

Next, we have a song with “trying” in the lyrics. Known for instilling deep and complex narratives in her songs, Taylor Swift’s “This Is Me Trying” captures the struggles of attempting to mend a fractured connection.

The song unfolds with a sense of self-reflection, as Swift’s introspective lyrics convey a genuine sincerity: “I had the shiniest wheels, now they’re rusting / I didn’t know if you’d care if I came back … / I just wanted you to know that this is me trying.”

“This Is Me Trying” embraces the messy reality of trying to make amends. It acknowledges the bruises and scars that come with the process while also expressing a glimmer of hope for reconciliation.

3. “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby” By The Beatles

A cover of a Carl Perkins rockabilly hit, The Beatles’ “Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby,” captures the frustration of being the subject of unwanted attention.

In a song that mentions “trying” in the lyrics, the narrator laments: “Woke up last night / half past four / Fifty women knocking on my door / Everybody’s trying to be my baby.” These lines highlight the challenges of maintaining personal space and privacy in the face of relentless adoration.

The choice of the word “trying” in the lyrics adds a layer of complexity to the song. It implies a sense of effort, as if people are actively striving to fill a role in the narrator’s life, perhaps without truly understanding the person behind the fame.

4. “Trying To Get To You” By Elvis Presley

Long-distance relationships can be a difficult journey for a couple, filled with aching hearts and a deep yearning for physical closeness. This is beautifully captured in Elvis Presley’s song “Trying to Get to You.”

As Presley croons about the obstacles in his way, listeners can’t help but empathize with the universal themes of love and longing: “I just had to reach you, baby / In spite of all that I’ve been through … I kept running all the way / Baby, trying to get to you.”

The song is an affirmation that the heart’s yearning is a powerful force capable of overcoming any distance or obstacle.

5. “Try” By Colbie Caillat

Society’s beauty standards can be a stiff challenge to navigate, but in Colbie Caillat’s ballad “Try,” she encourages listeners to embrace their authentic selves. 

The lyrics start off with the efforts women usually make to conform to societal ideals of beauty: “Put your make-up on / Get your nails done / Curl your hair / Run the extra mile / Keep it slim so they like you / Do they like you?”

The song progresses with a strong message of self-love and empowerment. “Try” emphasizes that true beauty lies in embracing one’s natural self, unburdened by the need for constant modification.

6. “Try” By P!nk

Another song that encourages strength, “Try” by P!nk is a powerful anthem that speaks to the resilience needed to overcome challenges, especially in the context of a difficult breakup.

The chorus encourages listeners to embrace the pain as a natural part of the human experience: “Where there is desire, there is gonna be a flame … / But just because it burns doesn’t mean you’re gonna die / You’ve gotta get up and try.”

The lyrics convey a message of hope and perseverance, acknowledging the pain and heartache that can come with love but urging listeners to rise above the emotional turmoil.

7. “Try Me” By The Weeknd

Relationships fueled by lust and desire can blur the lines between right and wrong. “Try” by The Weeknd explores these themes, capturing the intensity of a desire so strong that it prompts one to persuade a lover to abandon their current partner.

The lyrics itself is straightforward: “Are you alone, baby? / If he ain’t around, pick up your phone . . . / Can you try me?” The narrator’s request to “try me” not only hints at a willingness to fulfill the physical desires of the love interest but also suggests a challenge to the existing relationship. 

Looking at the song deeply, “Try” invites us to reflect on the potential consequences of prioritizing immediate gratification over lasting emotional fulfillment in romantic relationships.

8. “Try Everything” By Shakira

Trials are a normal part of the human experience, and Shakira’s song “Try Everything” beautifully captures the essence of resilience and determination in the face of obstacles. 

The lyrics emphasize that setbacks are inherent in the journey of pursuing one’s dreams: “I won’t give up, no, I won’t give in / Till I reach the end and then I’ll start again … / I wanna try even though I could fail.”

“Try Everything” goes beyond merely acknowledging the existence of challenges; it celebrates the courage it takes to confront them.

9. “Trying” By The Kid LAROI

Our minds can often be our greatest enemies, and Kid LAROI poignantly captures this in his unreleased yet leaked song “Trying.” 

Kid LAROI masterfully weaves lyrics that express the weight of overthinking, self-doubt, and the relentless pursuit of self-improvement: “I’ve been trying to work through this change / But every day, every day, this shit feel the same … / I keep it on silent / You tell me it’s gon’ do me harm if I keep it inside, man.”

Kid LAROI’s transparency about his mental health adds authenticity to the song, contributing to a broader conversation about the complexities of the human mind.

10. “Give Yourself A Try” By The 1975

Aging and growing up usher in a multitude of transformations in an individual’s journey. This experience serves as the focal point of The 1975’s indie pop-rock song “Give Yourself a Try.”

The song encourages listeners to embrace change and take risks: “You learn a couple things when you get to my age / Like friends don’t lie and it all tastes the same in the dark . . . / So just give yourself a try.”

“Give Yourself a Try” encapsulates the resilience needed to confront the uncertainties of life head-on while encouraging listeners to persevere in the ongoing quest for self-discovery.

11. “Why Try?” By Ariana Grande

In romantic relationships, no two individuals are always on the same page. But what happens when the frequency of disagreements surpasses the moments of joy? Ariana Grande poses this dilemma in her song “Why Try.”

The song raises a thought-provoking question about the viability of persevering through a turbulent relationship: “You drive me insane / Now we’re screaming just to see who’s louder / so why do we try?”

“Why Try” prompts listeners to reflect on their own experiences and decisions when faced with the complexities of love, where the line between determination and self-preservation becomes blurred.

12. “I Try” By Macy Gray

Continuing on the topic of complex love, it can be disheartening to continue to pine for someone who has long checked out of the relationship. Macy Gray laments this sentiment in “I Try.”

The lyrics capture the struggle to hold on to a connection that has faded away: “I try to say goodbye and I choke … / Though I try to hide it, it’s clear / My world crumbles when you are not near.”

The song becomes a poignant reminder that love, in all its complexity, can bring both joy and sorrow. And oftentimes, despite our best efforts, some things are just not meant to last.

13. “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” By Wilco

In love, we sometimes find ourselves unknowingly hurting the one we love, which ultimately leads to the demise of the relationship. Wilco addresses this in their song “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.”

The song describes a man who is seemingly alone in a city as he reflects on the choices that led to the dissolution of love: “I’m hiding out in the big city blinking / What was I thinking when I let go of you?” 

The singer goes on to croon, “I am trying to break your heart / but still,​ I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t easy.” This admission reveals the complexity of emotions that accompany the end of a love affair — a mixture of remorse, longing, and an underlying awareness of the pain inflicted.

14. “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart” By Alicia Keys

Love is a paradoxical force capable of delivering unparalleled joy while also leading us down the pathways of heart-wrenching pain. Alicia Keys describes this perfectly in her song “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart.”

Keys’ soulful lyrics describe the emotional turbulence that accompanies a fractured heart: “Tonight, I’m gonna find a way to make it without you / I’m gonna hold on to the times that we had tonight … / Have you ever tried sleeping with a broken heart?”

From a different vantage point, the song is not merely a narrative of heartbreak but a testament to the transformative power of resilience.

15. “Try Again” By Aaliyah

The game of love can be complex. Ladies are encouraged to play hard to get, even when they are interested. Aaliyah’s “Try Again” touches on this narrative, where the woman implores her suitor to persist in his pursuit despite potential setbacks.

The lyrics send a straightforward message: “And if at first you don’t succeed / then dust yourself off and try again.” The repetition of the phrase “try again” acts as a mantra, echoing the age-old wisdom that success often arises from the willingness to persevere in the face of adversity.

The underlying message of the song is clear: sometimes, perseverance is the key to unlocking the potential of a blossoming relationship.

16. “Can’t Blame A Girl For Trying” By Sabrina Carpenter

Young love can take you to a rollercoaster of emotions: it’s both exhilarating and confusing when you’re still at the cusp of discovering your own identity. Sabrina Carpenter captures this in her light-hearted song “Can’t Blame a Girl for Trying.”

The catchy and upbeat melody sends a positive message of resilience after your first heartbreak: “’Cause I’m young and I’m dumb / I do stupid things when it comes to love / And even if I always end up crying / well, you can’t blame a girl for trying.”

Young love, as depicted in the song, isn’t just about romantic entanglements but also about embracing each setback as a crucial element in the journey toward self-awareness.

17. “Try Hard” By 5 Seconds Of Summer

Another song about youthful romance, 5 Seconds of Summer, sings about how one would alter themselves in the pursuit of love in their song “Try Hard.”

The lyrics resonate with the universal experience of youthful passion, even at the expense of your own unique identity: “And I’m finding it hard ’cause / she makes me feel … / like I try … like I’m trying too hard / ’cause I’m not being me.”

In the broader context of the song, “Try Hard” is a reminder that authenticity triumphs over pretense in matters of the heart. It also sends a strong message that sincere connections are built on a genuine appreciation for who each person truly is.

18. “I’m Trying (Not Friends) By Maisie Peters

Staying friends with your former lover is possible when both parties have the maturity to do so. However, with young romance, it can be difficult. This is what Maisie Peters sings about in her boppy song “I’m Trying (Not Friends).”

The lyrics touch upon the delicate balance between preserving the past and embracing a new chapter: “It didn’t work like I thought it would … / but one of us has gotta try to keep a promise / And I swore that I’d swallow my pride … / but at least I’m trying.”

The song serves as a reminder that there’s strength in having the maturity to transform a romantic relationship into a genuine friendship.

19. “Try Not To Breathe” By R.E.M.

Transitioning to a more somber note, let’s delve into R.E.M.’s “Try Not to Breathe” — a song that subtly tells the story of a man grappling with the decision to end his own life.

The lyrics paint a vivid picture of the man’s inner turmoil: “I will try not to breathe … / The decision is mine / I have lived a full life / and these are the eyes that I want you to remember.” 

These lines showcase the conflicting emotions of wanting to end the pain and suffering but also wanting to leave a lasting memory for those left behind.

The song prompts a deep reflection on the fragility of life and the intricate dance between darkness and light that defines the human experience. 

20. “I Ain’t Tryin’” By Chris Brown Ft. Young Thug

Navigating a complex relationship where your efforts seem unreciprocated can be emotionally draining. Chris Brown and Young Thug delve into this theme in “I Ain’t Tryin’,” a departure from Brown’s usual musical style, showcasing a more subdued tone.

The lyrics capture the internal struggle of trying to break free from a relationship that seems to lack mutual appreciation: “When I try to walk away, it’s like I ain’t try … / You made me do it a thousand times / Yeah, you done me.”

As the narrative unfolds, the protagonist’s attempts to walk away gain a deeper significance: it symbolizes a break from emotional complexities and a dedication to their own personal development.

21. “Try Me” By Jason Derulo Ft. J.Lo and Matoma

There’s a certain degree of exhilaration when you meet someone new, and this experience is well-described in Jason Derulo’s “Try Me.”

A collaboration with Jennifer Lopez “J.Lo” and Norwegian DJ Matoma, the song’s lyrics delve into the pulsating energy of meeting a romantic prospect at a club: “I like the way that your body move all over the floor / I’d like to find a way to get lost in you … / Got a crazy feeling that I fit you just right / so try me in the morning when the sun comes rising up.”

Indeed, there are rare moments when there’s an instant connection with a total stranger. The song is a daring exploration of uncharted territory, where both individuals are willing to take a leap of faith.

22. “Give Me A Try” By Sizzla

Forbidden love carries an allure that can be captivating, yet the thrill can quickly dissipate when faced with the disapproving murmurs of others. Jamaican reggae singer Sizzla describes this frustration eloquently in his song “Give Me a Try.”

The track delves into the complexities of clandestine affairs: “Give me a try / ’cause I know that things will be great / Free your mind, don’t deny / True love never dies, it only creates.”

The song serves as a reminder that love knows no boundaries, but society often does. In the broader context, “Give Me a Try” serves as a powerful anthem for those who dare to challenge societal expectations, inviting them to embrace the beauty of love in all its forms.

23. “Try” By Simple Plan

Love can be a powerful force that pushes you to become the best version of yourself. Simple Plan beautifully weaves this narrative into their song “Try.”

The lyrics of the song delicately articulate the transformative nature of love: “You make me wanna turn it all around … / but I’ll try to never disappoint you … / I’ve always been so reckless, all of my life / but I’ll try for you.”

The notion of trying and putting forth genuine effort is a central theme in this song. It also acknowledges the fact that relationships are not always easy, but with love and effort, it is indeed possible to overcome challenges and grow together.

24. “I’m Trying” By Alexander Stewart

Losing a loved one is an indescribable sorrow, a sentiment powerfully conveyed by Alexander Stewart in his soul-stirring ballad “I’m Trying.”

The song delves into the complexities of grief, laying bare the raw and tender moments that follow the departure of someone dear: “I say that I’m fine, but it feels like I’m dying … / Half of the time I’m just barely surviving / but I’m trying.”

The haunting beauty of “I’m Trying” lies not only in its musical composition but also in its ability to connect with the shared human experience of love, loss, and the enduring effort to heal.

25. “Trying My Best” By Anson Seabra

Everyone seems to look okay until you get the chance to have a deep conversation with them. Anson Seabra addresses a sad yet important truth in his song “Trying My Best” — a song about people’s inner struggles.

Seabra’s lyrics capture the universal sentiment of trying to deal with internal battles that are often hidden from the external world: “I’m trying my best but every day / It’s so hard … / Would you believe me if I told you that I’ve got flaws / Now it’s time to let the curtains unfold.”

In the accompanying music video, Seabra skillfully conveys a compelling message: that compassion and empathy should be extended to all, recognizing that each individual is engaged in their own silent struggle.

Summing Up Our List Of Songs That Talk About Trying

So there you have it! From somber songs like R.E.M.’s “Try Not to Breathe” to Sabrina Carpenter’s upbeat “Can’t Blame a Girl for Trying,” each of the songs in our list captures the essence of perseverance and determination.

Whether you’re grappling with personal relationships, professional aspirations, or simply the journey of self-discovery, these songs provide a soundtrack to accompany you through the highs and lows of the effort you invest in making things work.

Did we miss a song that resonated with you? Share it with us, and we’d be happy to add them to our list!

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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.