25 Of The Best Songs That Start With The Letter P

Written by Dan Farrant

How music artists title their songs is often a reflection of the message they want to convey. It’s no surprise that song titles play an important role in capturing the attention of listeners and setting the tone for a particular piece of music.

Songs that begin with the letter “P” are no exception, as they cover a wide range of themes and emotions. And that’s why we’re here!

In this post, we’ve selected 25 of the best songs that start with the letter “P” for you to enjoy and explore. So if you’re ready, let’s dive in!

1. “Perfect” By Ed Sheeran

What can be better than starting our list with a song titled “Perfect?” Released in 2017 from the album ÷ (Divide), this beautiful ballad is an Ed Sheeran masterpiece that presents a pure and enduring love.

The lyrics keep us spellbound as they tell how the narrator found a “beautiful and sweet” girl whom he could share his life with. He believes she is the “perfect” person who can carry his secrets, love, and children.

“Perfect” was a smashing success. Not only did it top the Billboard Hot 100, but it also took the music charts by storm in over 15 other countries!

2. “Photograph” By Ed Sheeran

For the second time, Ed Sheeran hits our list again, this time with his 2015 song “Photograph.” From his × (Multiply) album, this ballad is not as popular as “Perfect.” However, it has garnered over a billion views on YouTube.

Its lyrics revolve around holding on to memories of loved ones through photographs. This emphasizes how these images can keep feelings alive even when distance or time separates us. It’s a universal message that connects with many people.

Despite its widespread acclaim, a copyright lawsuit followed. Songwriters Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard claimed that “Photograph” bore similarities to their song “Amazing.” Fortunately, this issue has since been settled.

3. “Poker Face” By Lady Gaga

Up next is a Diamond-certified track by Lady Gaga. “Poker Face,” released in 2008, is one of three tracks that topped the charts from her debut album, The Fame.

This uptempo electropop and dance-pop song embodies the glam and glitz of the late 2000s pop scene. Its catchy melody, combined with Gaga’s distinct vocal style, creates an infectious rhythm that’s hard to forget.

The term “poker face” refers to the expressionless face poker players maintain to deceive opponents about the quality of their hands. Gaga uses this metaphor to describe her ability to maintain an emotional façade in romantic relationships.

4. “Party In The USA” By Miley Cyrus

Many songs on this list are pop hits, and one of them is Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA.” This upbeat pop song is the lead single from her first EP, The Time of Our Lives (2009).

Its infectious melody and catchy chorus made it an instant hit. It peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a staple summer anthem.

The lyrics narrate a young woman moving to Los Angeles from Nashville. At first, she feels out of place, but she ultimately finds comfort in music: “They’re playing my song / The butterflies fly away … / I’m gonna be okay.”

5. “Price Tag” By Jessie J Ft. B.o.B.

Despite being over a decade old, Jessie J’s “Price Tag” (2011) continues to stay relevant. This track combines elements of pop and R&B with a reggae influence.

Thematically, it critiques the materialistic culture and emphasizes the importance of things that money can’t buy, such as happiness and personal fulfillment.

The chorus, “It’s not about the money, money, money / We don’t need your money, money, money / We just wanna make the world dance / forget about the price tag,” encapsulates the song’s message. It advocates for a return to simplicity and genuine human connections over material wealth.

“Price Tag” became Jessie J’s first song to top the UK Singles chart. It also performed well in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and many European countries, making it a global hit.

6. “Payphone” By Maroon 5 Ft. Wiz Khalifa

Our next “P”-starting track is the pop song “Payphone” by Maroon 5. It quickly became one of the band’s most iconic tracks following its release on April 16, 2012. Featuring Wiz Khalifa, the song is the lead single from Maroon 5’s album, Overexposed.

With its catchy melody and reflective lyrics, “Payphone” captures the essence of nostalgia and lost love. The narrator laments a lost love and how it’s too late to make amends because all their “bridges burned down.” Khalifa’s verse complements the song’s narrative, adding a contrasting perspective to the story of a relationship that has ended.

Like many on this list, “Payphone” was a success, topping the UK Singles chart and #2 on the Hot 100. It also received several awards and nominations, including a Grammy nod for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

7. “Pump It” By Black Eyed Peas

Let’s get the dancing energy pumping with Black Eyed Peas’ “Pump It.” This track is featured on their fourth studio album, Monkey Business. It stands out for its vigorous beat and compelling use of samples, most notably the iconic surf rock version of “Misirlou” by Dick Dale.

“Pump It” is all about the power of music and dance to uplift and invigorate. The repeated line “Pump it (louder)” urges listeners to turn up the volume and let loose, embodying the song’s celebratory spirit.

Landing in the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100, the song’s success was further amplified by its music video. It features the Black Eyed Peas in a series of high-octane performance scenes, capturing the song’s dynamic energy and the group’s charismatic presence.

8. “Pompeii” By Bastille

The alternative-rock track “Pompeii” was the breakout hit of the band Bastille. Released in 2013, it quickly climbed the charts. It reached #2 on the UK Singles Chart and topped the US Hot Rock & Alternative Songs and Dance Club Songs charts.

The song’s title and lyrics draw inspiration from the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, which was destroyed in AD 79 by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. However, the lyrical content of “Pompeii” goes beyond historical references.

The repeated question “How am I gonna be an optimist about this?” reflects a struggle to find hope amid devastation, making the song both haunting and thought-provoking.

The music video for “Pompeii” further enhances the song’s narrative. It features visuals that complement the themes of disaster and renewal. It portrays the band’s frontman, Dan Smith, wandering through desolate scenes filled with people whose eyes are blackened, symbolizing the ash-covered victims of the volcanic eruption.

9. “Peaches” By Justin Bieber Ft. Daniel Caesar And Giveon

The Canadian singer-songwriter Justin Bieber has come a long way since his debut in 2007. He’s released several chart-topping hits, and one of them is “Peaches” (2021).

Featuring the talents of Daniel Caesar and Giveon, this collaboration brought together a unique blend of R&B and soul influences, underlining the diverse vocal and stylistic range of each artist involved.

The essence of “Peaches” lies in its celebration of love, life, and the simple joys that ground us. Bieber opens the song with a nod to his deep connection to his wife and the places that hold special meaning for them, notably mentioning Georgia and California.

10. “Permission To Dance” By BTS

Korean pop music has become quite prevalent in recent years. One of South Korea’s popular groups is BTS (or Bangtan Boys). Here, we present their third English-language single, “Permission to Dance.”

Released on July 9, 2021, this song serves as a beacon of hope and joy, especially during challenging times. The message is simple yet profound. That no permission is needed to find joy in the rhythm and movement of life. This sentiment resonates deeply amid global uncertainties.

The song’s release led to a series of concert performances titled Permission to Dance on Stage. These concerts, adapted to comply with COVID-19 restrictions, showcased BTS’s commitment to connecting with their fans despite the limitations on gatherings and travel.

11. “Positions” By Ariana Grande

Topping the Billboard Hot 100 in 2020–2021 is “Positions” by Ariana Grande. From her sixth studio album of the same name, it blends pop with R&B, trap, and hip-hop.

The song is about the narrator’s willingness to switch roles and go the extra mile for her partner. The lines “Switchin’ the positions for you / Cookin’ in the kitchen and I’m in the bedroom” metaphorically express her dedication and the efforts she’s willing to put into making her relationship work.

Its music video further amplifies the song’s message through visual storytelling. It depicts Grande in various leadership roles, juxtaposed with scenes of domestic life. This visual representation plays with role reversal and the multifaceted roles women can embody.

12. “Paint It, Black” By The Rolling Stones

The 1960s rock scene had amazing music that heavily influenced the rock we know today. One such song is The Rolling Stones’ “Paint It, Black,” from their 1966 album Aftermath.

Written by the iconic duo of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, it became a major chart success. It spent 11 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, including two weeks at #1.

The song’s distinctive sound, characterized by Brian Jones’s sitar playing, was inspired by Indian music. This addition of non-Western instruments into rock music was innovative and contributed to the song’s haunting and somewhat mystical quality.

Over the years, “Paint It, Black” has been included in video games, TV shows, and films. The latest is a cello arrangement in the Netflix series Wednesday and as a background song to a fight scene in Black Adam (both 2022).

13. “Physical” By Dua Lipa

The English and Albanian singer-songwriter Dua Lipa is known for her great dance tracks. “Physical,” which she released in 2020 from Future Nostalgia, is one of them.

The song embodies an irresistibly catchy dance-pop, power-pop, and synth-pop fusion. Its roots are deeply entrenched in techno and disco beats. What you get is a sound that’s sure to get listeners moving.

Thematically, “Physical” revolves around the exhilarating honeymoon phase of a relationship. It captures the intensity and passion that come with new love. This theme is further accentuated by Lipa’s powerful vocals and the song’s energetic rhythm, making it a compelling anthem of desire and connection.

14. “Paparazzi” By Lady Gaga

Another dance-pop hit makes our list, Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” from the album The Fame. It marked a significant moment in the singer’s early career, helping to skyrocket her to fame.

“Paparazzi” explores the complex relationship between fame and love. It delves into the allure of celebrity and the desire for genuine connection. Through the song, she questions the price of fame and the lengths one might go to remain in the spotlight.

The music video for “Paparazzi” features Gaga in a series of visually striking, theatrical scenes that depict the dark side of fame and the paparazzi’s relentless pursuit. It is cinematic in scope, blending fashion, art, and drama to create a compelling visual story that enhances the song’s impact.

15. “Papercut” By Linkin Park

Let’s dive into the world of nu-metal next with Linkin Park’s “Papercut.” From their debut album, Hybrid Theory, the song stands out not just for its raw energy and compelling lyrics. It is also noteworthy for its role in cementing Linkin Park’s place in the music world.

The lyrics capture the narrator’s internal conflict and the feeling of being overwhelmed by his thoughts: “It’s like I’m paranoid, lookin’ over my back. / It’s like a whirlwind inside of my head.” Despite his efforts, he “can’t stop what [he’s] hearing within.”

Though “Papercut” did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100, it took the top spot on the UK’s Rock & Metal chart. And it remains a fan favorite, even after Linkin Park disbanded in 2017 following frontman Chester Bennington’s passing.

16. “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath

The legendary English heavy metal band Black Sabbath takes a spot on this list for their 1970 song “Paranoid.” It achieved remarkable success in the UK, landing at #4 on the Singles chart.

Despite its title, “Paranoid” is not just about paranoia. It touches more on depression, a topic that was not very well understood at the time. This exploration of mental health issues was somewhat pioneering for its time, especially in rock and heavy metal music.

Since its release, the song has been covered by numerous artists, including Avenged Sevenfold and Megadeth. Additionally, “Paranoid” and its album have been credited with helping to pioneer the heavy metal genre. They lay down a blueprint that countless bands would follow in the years to come.

17. “Piano Man” By Billy Joel

One of Billy Joel’s most beloved songs is “Piano Man” from the album of the same name. Released in 1973, it marked Joel’s first major hit and became his signature piece and a classic in American music history.

The song is set in a bar where the narrator, a piano player, observes and recounts the lives of the patrons. Through its verses, “Piano Man” introduces listeners to a cast of characters. Each one is grappling with unfulfilled dreams and looking for solace in their shared camaraderie and the music played by the piano man.

Over the years, “Piano Man” has been recognized with numerous accolades. Its cultural impact is significant, too. It was preserved in the National Recording Registry for its cultural, historical, and aesthetic significance.

18. “Purple Rain” By Prince

One of the iconic songs in rock history is “Purple Rain” by Prince. It is the title track of the singer’s 1984 album and is often considered his magnum opus. It also served as the soundtrack to the film of the same name, in which Prince made his acting debut.

The song’s lyrics speak to themes of love, loss, and longing. Prince delivers a vocal performance that is both vulnerable and commanding: “Baby, I could never steal you from another / It’s such a shame our friendship had to end.”

“Purple Rain” achieved massive commercial success and critical acclaim. It landed at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Not only that. It was also added to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

19. “Perfect” By Simple Plan

Living up to expectations can be a constant battle, especially when it comes to our relationship with our parents. But what happens when we feel like we can never quite measure up? In the 2003 song “Perfect,” Simple Plan sings about this experience.

The song features a heartfelt narrative directed toward the protagonist’s father. It expresses the deep-seated feelings of inadequacy and disappointment stemming from failing to live up to parental expectations.

Its lasting appeal lies in its honest portrayal of the challenges of growing up and the universal quest for acceptance. This song is a powerful anthem for anyone who has ever felt the weight of not being “perfect.”

20. “Papa Don’t Preach” By Madonna

Our next song beginning with “P” is by Madonna. “Papa Don’t Preach” is one of the singer’s earlier hits, released in 1986 from the album True Blue. It was written primarily by Brian Elliot, with additional writing credits going to Madonna.

The lyrics tell the story of a young woman who finds herself pregnant. She decides to keep her baby, despite knowing her decision will face opposition from her father.

The chorus, “Papa don’t preach, I’m in trouble deep … / But I’ve made up my mind, I’m keeping my baby,” expresses the protagonist’s resolve and the tension between personal choice and familial pressure. This narrative struck a chord with listeners, sparking conversations about teenage pregnancy and family dynamics.

“Papa Don’t Preach” quickly rose up the music charts across the globe. It peaked at #1 on both the UK Singles and US Hot 100 charts, as well as Australia, Canada, and other European countries. Today, it remains a significant work in Madonna’s discography.

21. “Put Your Head On My Shoulders” By Paul Anka

Canadian singer-songwriter Paul Anka was only about 19 years old when he released “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” in 1959. Since then, the classic ballad has become one of his most beloved songs.

The lyrics invite a loved one to lean in close, offering a moment of comfort and connection. It feels both timeless and universal, helping the song become a staple on the airwaves and at dances during the era of its release.

The song was not quite as successful as “Diana” or “Lonely Boy,” both of which were chart-topping hits. However, “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” was still a success, landing at #2. Over the years, it has enjoyed a lasting legacy, covered by numerous artists and featured in various movies, TV shows, and commercials.

22. “Proud Mary” By Creedence Clearwater Revival

Up next is another classic, but this time from the late 1960s. “Proud Mary” by Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) is a song that has stood the test of time. Written by the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist, John Fogerty, “Proud Mary” quickly became a staple of American rock music.

Its narrative is compelling and relatable. It tells the story of an individual who leaves behind a mundane job in the city to seek a life of freedom and adventure along the Mississippi River. The refrain, “Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river,” paints a picture of life along the Mississippi.

“Proud Mary” has been covered by various artists, most notably Ike and Tina Turner. Their rendition added a powerful soul and rock infusion that brought a new level of intensity and emotion to the song.

23. “People Like Us” By Kelly Clarkson

If there’s a great relatable song out there, it’s “People Like Us” by Kelly Clarkson. This vibrant and empowering anthem urges listeners to stand up for themselves and others. It fosters a sense of belonging among “people like us.”

The song begins with a powerful message of solidarity and belonging: “We come into this world unknown / but know that we are not alone.” The lyrics proceed to encourage us to stand firm against adversity and believe in change and the possibility of a better future.

“People Like Us” might not be as successful as Clarkson’s past songs, like “Breakaway” or “Because of You.” But it is powerful in its message nonetheless and worth adding to your playlist!

24. “Paper Rings” By Taylor Swift

Though a lesser-known song by Taylor Swift, “Paper Rings” lands on this list for beginning with the letter “P.” This 2019 track is a bright and upbeat addition to the pop singer’s discography.

Written and produced by Taylor Swift alongside Jack Antonoff, “Paper Rings” captures the essence of a carefree, deep love that values emotional connection over material wealth.

The narrator opens with a nostalgic reflection on the night she first met her lover. She is firm in her belief that he’s The One, as shown in the line “I like shiny things, but I’d marry you with paper rings.” It suggests her love for him transcends material possessions.

25. “Play That Funky Music” By Wild Cherry

Our list would not be complete without Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music,” so get ready for this funk-rock tune to hit your “P”-songs playlist. It was written by the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist, Rob Parissi, and released in 1976.

Its origins are rooted in Wild Cherry’s desire to create a sound that was reflective of the era’s musical trends, but unique at the same time. It was inspired by a real-life experience when the band was asked to play some funky music at a club.

As you might have guessed, “Play That Funky Music” soared up the charts, landing at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also earned Wild Cherry two Grammy nominations: Best New Artist and Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.

Summing Up Our List Of Letter P-Starting Songs

And that’s a wrap for our list today. It’s amazing how just one letter can bring together so many different vibes and stories in music.

In revisiting these songs, we’re reminded of the power music has to evoke memories, inspire dreams, and even provide comfort during tough times.

We hope this list has rekindled old favorites or introduced you to new gems. There are undoubtedly countless other “P”-starting songs, so we invite you to share your picks. We’re certain to add them here!

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.