30 Of The Best Songs That Start With The Letter O

Written by Dan Farrant

Every song has its own identity, often reflected in its title. When we focus on songs that begin with a particular letter, it’s intriguing to see how diverse and rich the music world is.

In this case, we’re interested in songs whose titles begin with “O.” This particular letter might seem ordinary at first glance. But in music, it opens the door to a fascinating array of tracks.

Among the many songs, some stand out. That’s why, here, we’ve listed 30 of the best songs that start with the letter “O.” If you’re curious to discover which songs made the list, read on!

1. “On The Floor” By Jennifer Lopez Ft. Pitbull

We’re starting this list on a fast beat with Jennifer Lopez‘s “On the Floor.” Featuring Pitbull, the song encapsulates the 2010s global music trends and highlights Lopez’s enduring impact on the pop and Latin music scenes.

Blending electronic dance music (EDM) and Latin rhythms, “On the Floor” is built around an infectious, pulsating beat. It’s designed to pull listeners onto the dance floor. It’s an ode to nightlife and the freedom found in dance.

As we know, J.Lo is a prominent figure in pop and Latin music and Pitbull is a rapper known for his global appeal. This collaboration is proof of the increasing crossovers of genres and cultures in contemporary music.

2. “Over The Rainbow” By Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

Our next song, “Over the Rainbow,” is a timeless classic originally written by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg for the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. However, Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo’ole brought new life to the song in 1993.

Kamakawiwo’ole’s version quickly gained popularity and became one of his signature songs. What sets his rendition apart is his soulful interpretation. It’s characterized by his soothing vocals and the gentle strumming of his ukulele.

Moreover, Kamakawiwo’ole’s “Over the Rainbow” holds cultural significance. By infusing the song with elements of traditional Hawaiian music, he paid homage to his Hawaiian heritage while also bringing it into the global spotlight.

3. “Old Town Road” By Lil Nas X Ft. Billy Ray Cyrus

In 2019, rapper Lil Nas X and country singer Billy Ray Cyrus released “Old Town Road.” This groundbreaking track not only shattered chart records but also challenged and redefined genre boundaries within the music industry.

“Old Town Road” blends trap music with country, creating a catchy sound that resonates with many listeners. The song narrates a story of freedom and the cowboy lifestyle, albeit with a modern twist.

Cyrus’s feature on the remix bridged the gap between traditional country music fans and a younger, more diverse audience. This collaboration was pivotal. It lent credibility to the track within the country music scene while maintaining its appeal across other genres.

The impact of “Old Town Road” on the music community and global audience was profound. It sparked debates about genre classification, particularly regarding its removal from the Billboard country charts.

This led to discussions about race, gatekeeping, and what constitutes “country” music in the 21st century. The song also set several records, including the longest consecutive run at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

4. “Only Girl (In The World)” By Rihanna

Going back to dance beats, Rihanna presents to us “Only Girl (In the World),” recorded for her album Loud in 2010. It celebrates the feeling of being the center of attention in a romantic relationship.

Its lyrics convey a sense of empowerment and confidence. Rihanna asserts her desire to be the sole focus of her partner’s affection and attention. This is addressed in the lines “Want you to make me feel like I’m the only girl in the world / like I’m the only one that you’ll ever love.”

Upon its release, the song received widespread critical acclaim for its infectious energy and Rihanna’s dynamic performance. It topped the charts in numerous countries, including the United States. It became Rihanna’s ninth #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

5. “One Kiss” By Calvin Harris And Dua Lipa

Another song to get the body moving is “One Kiss.” This powerful collaboration between the Scottish DJ/producer Calvin Harris and English-Albanian pop sensation Dua Lipa became one of the defining songs of summer 2018.

Infused with elements of ’90s house and dance music, “One Kiss” dives into themes of attraction and the intoxicating feeling of a new romance. The lyrics “One kiss is all it takes / Fallin’ in love with me … / I look like all you need” encapsulate the thrilling and sometimes fleeting nature of a budding relationship.

The song proved to be a commercial success. It dominated the charts across the globe. It reached the #1 spot in several countries, including the UK, where it became the biggest-selling song of 2018.

6. “One Thing” By One Direction

English-Irish boy band One Direction dropped several hits during their six-year career. “One Thing,” from their 2011 album Up All Night, is one of them.

In the song, the narrator expresses his desire to be with someone. He emphasizes that she has that one thing that sets her apart from everyone else. He invites her to “get out of [his] head / and fall into [his] arms instead.”

The song received generally positive reviews from music critics, who praised its catchy hooks and radio-friendly sound. “One Thing” was also a commercial success, particularly in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at #9.

7. “Otherside” By Red Hot Chili Peppers

The alternative rock world is not exempt from “O”-starting songs. Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ “Otherside” is perfect for this list. Released from their seventh studio album, Californication, in 1999, the song quickly became one of the band’s most iconic tracks.

The song’s haunting lyrics and melodic composition create a deeply emotional experience: “How long, how long will I slide / separate my side … / I don’t believe it’s bad / Slit my throat, it’s all I ever.”

It captures the essence of the internal battle faced by those struggling with addiction. It depicts the sense of being torn between two worlds — the harsh reality of addiction and the hope for something better on the “other side.”

8. “On My Way” By Alan Walker, Sabrina Carpenter, And Farruko

Up next is the upbeat track “On My Way.” This is a collaboration between British-Norwegian DJ Alan Walker, singer-songwriter Sabrina Carpenter, and Puerto Rican rapper Farruko. Released in 2019, the song was also featured in the soundtrack of the video game PUBG Mobile.

It opens with a catchy guitar riff that sets the tone for the rest of the track. Carpenter’s vocals lead the verses, while Farruko contributes a rhythmic rap verse in Spanish. Walker’s signature production style is evident throughout the track. It’s characterized by its atmospheric synths, driving bassline, and infectious melodies.

“On My Way” achieved success internationally, particularly in Europe and Latin America. It charted in multiple countries and received significant airplay on radio stations and streaming platforms.

9. “Ocean Eyes” By Billie Eilish

Did you know that “Ocean Eyes” was initially released on SoundCloud in 2015, when Billie Eilish was just 13 years old? The song quickly captured the attention of listeners worldwide. This led to its official release as the lead single from her debut EP, Don’t Smile at Me.

“Ocean Eyes” explores themes of vulnerability, longing, and the intensity of young love. Eilish’s lyrics convey a sense of awe in the face of love’s immense power: “I’ve never fallen from quite this high / falling into your ocean eyes.”

The song became a viral sensation, propelling Eilish to international fame and establishing her as a voice of her generation. Its success also showed how the music business is changing, with social media and online streaming becoming important ways to find and share new music artists.

10. “Oops!… I Did It Again” By Britney Spears

Released in 2000, “Oops!… I Did It Again” is one of Britney Spears‘s earlier songs that shot her to fame. From her second album of the same name, it features the singer’s signature pop style and catchy lyrics.

The song tells the story of a girl who acknowledges her pattern of leading guys on, making them believe she’s interested in a deeper relationship than she is. Despite the realization, she can’t seem to stop this behavior, hence the phrase “Oops!… I did it again.”

The song was a commercial success, topping the charts in several countries. In the US, it peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

11. “One Last Time” By Ariana Grande

Written by David Guetta, Giorgio Tuinfort, Savan Kotecha, Carl Falk, and Rami Yacoub, “One Last Time” is a song by Ariana Grande from her second studio album, My Everything (2014).

The song is a synth-pop and EDM track. Its lyrics detail a desperate plea from the protagonist, who knows her lover is with someone else. She asks him to allow her to love him one last time before he leaves her for good.

The song was well-received by music critics and listeners alike. It climbed to the top 20 in the music charts of several countries, landing at #13 on Billboard‘s Hot 100.

12. “One Last Breath” By Creed

From the rock band Creed, we have “One Last Breath.” It was released from their third studio album, Weathered, in 2002. The song was a chart success both in the United States and internationally. It gave Creed their fourth and final top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #6.

The lyrics of “One Last Breath” are deep and emotional. The protagonist is at a crossroads in life, feeling as if they’re falling and holding on to what they believe is safe.

The chorus is particularly poignant: “Hold me now / I’m six feet from the edge and I’m thinking / Maybe six feet ain’t so far down.” This suggests the protagonist is contemplating the end, yet questioning whether it’s as daunting as it seems.

13. “One Sweet Day” By Mariah Carey And Boyz II Men

Our next song, “One Sweet Day,” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men, is a monumental achievement in the annals of music history. Released in 1995, it quickly ascended to the pinnacle of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. There, it established an unprecedented reign for a remarkable 16 consecutive weeks.

“One Sweet Day” delves into the heartache of losing a loved one. The narrator expresses a yearning for just one more day with them. This universal theme of grief and longing strikes a chord with listeners. The song offers solace and a sense of companionship in moments of sorrow.

The collaborative effort behind “One Sweet Day” significantly contributed to its success and enduring legacy. The song secured nominations and awards across various ceremonies, including the Grammy, Billboard Music, and BMI Pop Music Awards.

14. “Oh, Pretty Woman” By Roy Orbison

The Caruso of Rock, Roy Orbison, presents one of the most iconic and enduring songs in the history of music. “Oh, Pretty Woman,” released in 1964, quickly rose to the top of the charts. It reached the #1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 and UK Singles charts, among many others.

“Oh, Pretty Woman” opens with a distinctive guitar riff that immediately grabs the listener’s attention. The lyrics are playful and flirtatious, telling the story of a man captivated by a beautiful woman he sees “walking down the street.”

The song’s enduring popularity has also been reflected in its frequent use in popular culture. Perhaps most famously, it was featured in the 1990 romantic comedy film Pretty Woman, starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.

The film’s title was inspired by the song. Its use in several key scenes helped elevate the song to even greater heights of popularity.

15. “On Melancholy Hill” By Gorillaz

The third single from Gorillaz‘s Plastic Beach album makes it on this list. “On Melancholy Hill,” released in 2010, confronts feelings of sadness or longing.

The protagonist is searching for solace and companionship on a desolate hill. They grapple with feelings of isolation and melancholy: “Up on melancholy hill / there’s a plastic tree / Are you here with me?”

The accompanying music video features the virtual band members on a surreal journey through a vividly imagined world. This visual component plays a crucial role in the overall experience of the song, merging the auditory and visual into a cohesive artistic expression.

16. “Ode To My Family” By The Cranberries

Fans of The Cranberries are certain to know the familiar intro of our next song. “Ode to My Family,” which the group released as a single in 1994, was part of their album No Need to Argue.

The song is deeply personal. It reflects singer Dolores O’Riordan’s relationship with her family and the passage of time. The lyrics evoke a sense of longing and yearning for the simplicity and innocence of childhood, as well as a desire to reconnect with loved ones and recapture lost moments.

With its haunting melodies and poignant lyrics, “Ode to My Family” received widespread praise. It became one of The Cranberries’ most beloved songs and remains a fan favorite to this day.

17. “One” By Ed Sheeran

Though not quite as popular as Ed Sheeran‘s other songs, “One” is no less a masterpiece of lyrical storytelling. In it, Sheeran tells the story of a couple who have grown apart.

He recounts the ups and downs of the relationship, acknowledging the mistakes and misunderstandings that have occurred along the way. Despite these challenges, he declares she is still “the only one” for him.

“One” was released from Sheeran’s second studio album, X (Multiply). It stands out for its acoustic arrangement, which allows the emotional weight of the lyrics to take center stage. This minimalistic approach underscores the song’s message of love and commitment.

18. “One Step Closer” By Linkin Park

Diving into Linkin Park‘s discography, we have “One Step Closer.” It exemplifies the band’s signature blend of rock, metal, and electronic elements. Released in 2000 from Hybrid Theory, the song quickly became a breakout hit.

“One Step Closer” captures the feeling of being pushed to the edge. It’s about the desperate desire to break through barriers and find a sense of liberation. Lines such as “I cannot take this anymore / I’m saying everything I’ve said before” resonate with listeners who can relate to the frustration of feeling trapped in a cycle of negativity.

The song’s intense energy and emotion were singled out for particular praise. It became one of Linkin Park’s most iconic songs and established them as one of the most exciting new acts in the alternative rock scene.

19. “Ordinary World” By Duran Duran

After the heavy rhythm of “One Step Closer,” let’s cry our hearts out with Duran Duran‘s “Ordinary World.” Released in 1992, this track was instrumental in reestablishing the band’s relevance in the music world during the early ’90s.

Lyrically, “Ordinary World” delves through the search for meaning after losing someone dear. Introspection and melancholy permeate the entire song. But it’s particularly evident in the opening lines, “Came in from a rainy Thursday on the avenue / Thought I heard you talking softly.”

The chorus consists of its haunting refrain, “But I won’t cry for yesterday, there’s an ordinary world / Somehow I have to find.” It speaks to the universal experience of seeking solace and normalcy in the face of adversity.

20. “Old Time Rock & Roll” By Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

Our next song, “Old Time Rock & Roll” by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, is a classic rock anthem that has become synonymous with the genre itself. Released in 1979, the song has since become one of the most iconic and enduring tracks in rock music history.

The song opens with a driving piano riff that immediately sets the tone for the rollicking and nostalgic journey that follows. Seger’s raspy vocals enter, delivering the song’s playful and rebellious lyrics. These celebrate the timeless appeal of classic rock-and-roll music and the joy of letting loose and dancing to the rhythm.

“Old Time Rock & Roll” was not a chart-topping hit upon its initial release. However, it has since become one of Seger’s most beloved and enduring songs. Its inclusion on Stranger in Town helped solidify the album’s status as one of Seger’s most successful and iconic releases.

21. “Ours” By Taylor Swift

Let’s move over to country pop. Taylor Swift released “Ours” in 2011 from the deluxe edition of her third studio album, Speak Now. The lyrics explore themes of love that persevere in the face of judgment and criticism.

The song is about a couple who faces skepticism from those around them, including disapproval from family members. Despite this, the song is a celebration of love’s triumph over adversity. It highlights the importance of the bond between the couple over the opinions of others.

Swift’s ability to convey deep emotions in a simple yet profound manner is evident in “Ours.” Her storytelling invites listeners into a personal space, making the song resonate with anyone who has experienced love that defies external expectations.

22. “Over You” By Daughtry

People who have experienced a painful break-up and come through it can relate to our next song. “Over You” by Daughtry was released in 2007 from their self-titled album. It quickly became a fan favorite and established Daughtry as a force to be reckoned with in the rock music scene.

The lyrics convey the narrator’s difficulty in moving forward as he grapples with memories of a past relationship. However, after spending years putting his heart back together, he’s finally over her.

“Over You” is characterized by its anthemic chorus, soaring guitar solos, and powerful vocal performance by Chris Daughtry. The dynamic shifts between quiet verses and explosive choruses create a sense of tension and release that adds to its emotional impact.

23. “One Of Us” By Joan Osborne

Up next is a quintessential example of 1990s pop music that transcended its era to achieve a timeless appeal. “One of Us” by Joan Osborne was penned by Eric Bazilian of The Hooters.

Released in 1995 as part of Osborne’s debut studio album, Relish, “One of Us” poses a thought experiment: “What if God were one of us … / just a stranger on the bus / trying to make his way home?”

This simple yet profound question invites listeners to ponder the nature of divinity and humanity’s relationship with the divine in a very personal and accessible way. The song’s chorus ensures that this question lingers in listeners’ minds long after the song has ended.

24. “Out Of Touch” By Daryl Hall & John Oates

The 1980s music scene was never the same when Daryl Hall & John Oates released “Out of Touch” in 1984. The infectious and upbeat pop-rock song became one of the signature hits of the duo.

“Out of Touch” explores themes of alienation and disconnection in the modern world. The lyrics depict a protagonist who feels disconnected from society. He struggles to connect with others on a meaningful level.

Hailed as one of the standout tracks on the group’s Big Bam Boom album, “Out of Touch” helped solidify the duo as one of the most successful and influential pop acts of the 1980s.

25. “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” By The Beatles

Fans of The Beatles rejoice. We have next the band’s iconic 1968 song “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.” The title comes from a phrase Paul McCartney heard from Jimmy Scott, a Nigerian conga player. It means “life goes on” in Yoruba, reflecting the song’s cheery outlook on life.

The narrative of the song revolves around the lives of Desmond and Molly Jones. It paints a picture of everyday happiness and contentment in domestic life.

Upon its release, “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” landed The Beatles another #1 hit on several charts across the globe, including Australia, New Zealand, and Switzerland.

It received mixed reactions from fans and critics alike. Over time, the song has garnered appreciation for its infectious energy and simple yet profound message that life goes on, regardless of the ups and downs.

26. “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” By Yes

In 1983, the prog-rock band Yes released a groundbreaking song titled “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” It marked a significant departure from the band’s earlier sound and catapulted them to mainstream success.

Lyrics-wise, the narrator encourages others to take control of their life and not be afraid of change or the future. It tells the listener to be proactive, make their own decisions, and not let fear of loneliness or failure hold them back.

In terms of critical acclaim, the song received widespread praise. This helped it rise to the top of both the Billboard Hot 100 and Mainstream Rock charts. Its innovative sound and powerful lyrics make it a classic of progressive rock music and a timeless addition to Yes’s extensive catalog.

27. “Oye Como Va” By Santana

Originally composed by Tito Puente in 1962, “Oye Como Va” enjoyed worldwide fame when the rock band Santana covered it in 1970. It is one of the group’s most celebrated tracks.

Santana’s rendition transformed the song from a cha-cha-chá to a Latin rock sensation. It features rock guitar riffs, courtesy of Carlos Santana, and Latin percussion elements.

The lyrics of “Oye Como Va” are relatively simple. They focus on rhythm and dance. “Oye como va mi ritmo / Bueno pa’ gozar, mulata” translates to “Listen how my rhythm goes / It’s good for enjoying, mulatta.”

Despite its straightforward message, the significance of “Oye Como Va” lies in its cultural impact. Santana’s version played a pivotal role in the Latin rock movement of the 1970s. It opened doors for Latin American musicians and influenced subsequent generations of artists across multiple genres.

28. “Only Happy When It Rains” By Garbage

The alt-rock sensation “Only Happy When It Rains” by Garbage dominated the airwaves in the mid-1990s. This iconic song features gritty guitars, electronic elements, and Shirley Manson’s distinctive vocals.

The lyrics dive into irony and self-awareness, playing with the theme of reveling in one’s own despair. The band took a step back, looked at the human condition with a wry smile, and said, “Yes, we’re only happy when it rains, and isn’t that just beautiful?”

But what truly sets this song apart is its ability to connect. It speaks to those who have felt a strange comfort in sadness. It’s a reminder that sometimes, feeling something deeply, even if it’s pain, is better than feeling nothing at all.

29. “Only You” By The Platters

Going back in time to the ’50s, we have the classic “Only You (And You Alone),” commonly known as “Only You.” Composed by Buck Ram, the song became a significant hit and a defining track for The Platters in 1955.

The Platters’ recording of the song features a blend of doo-wop and early rock-and-roll elements. The song quickly rose to prominence, becoming a major hit not just in the United States but around the world.

The emotional depth of “Only You” lies in its lyrical content. It focuses on the singular affection one feels toward their beloved, emphasizing the idea that, for the narrator, no one else can compare.

30. “Oh! Carol” By Neil Sedaka

We close this list with another ’50s classic, “Oh! Carol.” This pop song, written and performed by Neil Sedaka, was released in 1959. It was a love letter to Sedaka’s friend whom he briefly dated during his teenage years.

In “Oh! Carol,” the singer expresses his affection for Carol. The lyrics convey his longing and nostalgia, as Sedaka reminisces about the time they spent together and longs to reconnect with her.

The song’s catchy melody, upbeat tempo, and heartfelt lyrics were singled out for particular praise. It landed in the top 10 of Billboard‘s Hot 100 and #1 in Belgium and Netherlands.

Summing Up Our List Of Letter O–Starting Songs

In the end, our list offers a wide array of emotions, stories, and melodies. From uplifting tunes to deep, thoughtful lyrics, these tracks have something for everyone.

While we’ve covered some noteworthy tunes, there’s always a chance we missed a few gems. What are your favorite “O” songs that didn’t make our list?

Share your recommendations with us so we can keep the music playing. Who knows? Your suggestion might just be the highlight of someone’s playlist!

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.