20 Songs with the Word “Rose” in the Title

The rose, with its rich red petals, has been a muse for musicians, inspiring songs about love, passion, and intensity. Check out 20 melodious tracks that bring the timeless rose to life.

This versatile flower is not limited to love songs alone; it also finds a place in songs that speak of passion and intensity, as demonstrated by this diverse collection of tracks from some of the world’s most renowned recording artists.

1. “Kiss From a Rose” by Seal

Starting off our list with a bang is the epic Grammy-winning mega-hit from Seal, which was propelled to fame, thanks to its appearance on the soundtrack of the summer blockbuster Batman Forever. But what exactly is a “kiss from a rose”? The lyrics are certainly mysterious, and no matter how many times he is asked about it in interviews, Seal isn’t telling.

2. “La Vie en Rose” by Edith Piaf

This is an ageless classic whose title translates literally as “Life in Pink” (rose is the French word for pink). Written in 1945, and originally taking its name from a nightclub where Piaf used to perform, it has since come to symbolize the feeling of jubilation in the French people at the end of the second world war. This was one of Piaf’s signature songs and lent its name to the Oscar-winning movie based on her life.

3. “Desert Rose” by Sting

An international hit for Sting, the British artist has claimed the lyrics to “Desert Rose” deal with longing for a lost love. Musically, it is a song which crosses both cultural and genre boundaries, and is particularly noted for Sting’s duet with popular Algerian singer, Mami.

4. “A Rose by Any Name” by Blondie

Bust out your leather jackets and neon shades; we’re taking a journey back to the new wave era with Blondie, led by the iconic Debbie Harry. From their 2013 repertoire comes “A Rose by Any Name”, a tune that buzzes with acceptance and understanding. It tips its hat to Shakespeare’s famous line, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” reflecting the group’s timeless appeal.

5. “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Poison

This legendary power ballad by the kings of ’80s hair metal is a romantic epic. The rose is a metaphor- basically, it means you have to put up with the bad things in life to appreciate the good. That’s something we can all relate to. This killer tune also boasts an epic guitar solo from the criminally underrated CC DeVille.

6. “Love Is A Rose” by Linda Ronstadt

Originally written and recorded by Neil Young, “Love Is A Rose” did not become a hit until it was recorded by country music sweetheart Linda Ronstadt in 1975. The title and lyrics compare love to the beauty and delicacy of a rose, making this a poignant song about the fleeting nature of relationships in contrast to their short-lived power.


7. “English Rose” by Motorhead

A deceptively sweet-sounding title for a colossal song by one of the most badass bands in history. “English Rose” is a lesser-known track from the 2008 Motorizer album, on which front man Lemmy growls about the eponymous Rose, a “nasty girl” in the very best rock ‘n’ roll tradition. This is a bluesy, underrated number which deserves a place in the heart of every hard rock fan.

8. “Rose Tattoo” by Dropkick Murphys

The Dropkick Murphys are a powerhouse band best known for their thunderous theme tune from the Martin Scorsese classic The Departed, but “Rose Tattoo” is a more reflective song about a rose tattoo containing the name of a lost love. But like all Dropkick Murphys numbers, it’s a perfect Celtic sing along.

9. “Last of the English Roses” by Pete Doherty

Erstwhile front man for the Libertines and Babyshambles, Pete Doherty has cultivated a bad boy reputation for wild partying and excess. That’s why it’s hard not to think of “Last of the English Roses” as an ironically nostalgic look at a vision of England that never really existed. The song was Pete’s debut solo single, and kick-started a whole new musical direction for him.

10. “Mother Rose” by Patti Smith

So-called godmother of punk Patti Smith is in a decidedly introspective mood on this song from 2004, in which she meditates on motherhood and the loss of her own mother. It’s poignant, and reflects the creative genius of an artist at the peak of her powers.

11. “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses” by Kathy Mattea

In the tradition of country music “story songs,” “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses” tells the tale of Charlie, a truck driver who is retiring so that he can enjoy his golden years with his wife. The dozen roses are a gift for the woman he loves, and the song evokes his sense of excitement and affection as he draws closer to home in his eighteen-wheeler.

12. “The Rose” by Bette Midler

A spine-tingling vocal performance from the mighty Bette Midler elevates this Oscar-nominated title track from the movie of the same name to dazzling heights. The movie (and the song) tells the story of a singer loosely based on Janis Joplin. Like a rose, her spirit is beautiful yet fragile.

13. “Run for the Roses” by Dan Fogelberg

Dan Fogelberg’s “Run for the Roses” is a melodious twist to this list. This artist may be flying under your radar, but his song certainly stands out. Paying tribute to the thrill of the Kentucky Derby—popularly known as the “Run for the Roses”—this track tells the riveting journey of a racehorse. Since its commission for the 106th Derby in 1980, it’s a tune that continues to gallop through racing events.

14. “Rose of Sharon” by Mumford & Sons

“Rose of Sharon” by folk-pop favorites Mumford & Sons is a song bursting with emotional intensity. Inspired by frontman Marcus Mumford’s experience at his grandmother’s deathbed, the track paints a poignant picture of enduring beauty and love, using the biblical symbol of the rose.

15. “For The Roses” by Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell’s “For the Roses” is a melancholic commentary on the fleeting nature of fame. The title track from her often overlooked 1972 album, Mitchell’s lyrics use the Kentucky Derby as a metaphor for the adulation the winner receives—brief, just like the ephemeral stardom. It’s a brilliant perspective from a legendary artist at the pinnacle of her musical journey.

16. “Monarchy of Roses” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

In “Monarchy of Roses,” Red Hot Chili Peppers showcase their unique blend of funk and rock. The song’s meaning, much like many Chili Peppers tracks, unfolds through a stream-of-consciousness narrative, offering a potential commentary on drug recovery—a theme they explored in their massive hit, “Under the Bridge.”

17. “Rose Red Violent Blue” by Stone Sour

Brought to life by Corey Taylor’s “side project” band, Stone Sour, “Rose Red Violent Blue” reimagines the classic “roses are red, violets are blue” idiom. The song grapples with a sense of frustration towards a culture steeped in ignorance, misinformation, and “fake news.” It’s a catchy rock number with a sharp commentary at its core.

18. “Black Roses Red” by Alana Grace

Featured in the uplifting 2004 film, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Alana Grace’s “Black Roses Red” is a vibrant exploration of the throbbing heartbeat of a blossoming relationship. Through the stark contrast of black and red roses, the song muses on the thrilling question: “Can you turn my black roses red?”

19. “Roses from My Friends” by Ben Harper

Dive into the lyrical labyrinth of Ben Harper’s “Roses from My Friends,” a song brimming with nuanced imagery that portrays the harsh sting of betrayal. The stark juxtaposition of receiving “stones from my enemies” and “roses from my friends” explores the pain of disloyalty from a loved one—a raw and captivating narrative woven by a true musical maestro.

20. “Smell the Roses” by Roger Waters

Roger Waters, former lead singer of Pink Floyd, is known for his fascination with apocalyptic imagery. In “Smell the Roses,” he explores a terrifying world with his unique creative flair. The dystopian atmosphere, contrasted by the ironic “smell the roses” refrain, paints a chilling image of a horrific reality—another masterstroke from the solo star.

Final Thoughts

There you have it—roses, an enduring symbol of passion, and the muse for countless musicians across diverse genres. From the gruff, irreverent strains of Motorhead to the tender sincerity of Seal, the rose continues to bloom in the fertile soil of music, sprouting classics that withstand the test of time.