20 Songs About Deserts

The desert is a massive space full of sand at first glance. But deserts also symbolize extreme weather temperatures and serve as the habitat of some of the toughest wildlife. There are also many tales of desert life and folklore. 

This geographical location has piqued the interest of many from the music industry and several artists have performed songs about deserts. Curious to know what these tunes are? Go through the list below and find out!

1. “Lost On The Desert” by Johnny Cash


The desert to many seems like an endless world of sand. It is used to symbolize feelings of loss and hopelessness and that seems to be the overarching theme in this tune “Lost on the Desert ” by Johnny Cash.

The lyrics are so poignant that you will feel the scorching heat of the desert. It would be wise to listen to this with the air conditioner on!

2. “Desert Island” by Magnetic Fields

Desert island - The Magnetic FieldsDesert island – The Magnetic Fields

There are times your love for another will be judged and looked down upon. In situations like these, one wants to just escape to a place where you and your lover can be alone.

It is the magic of “Desert Island” where being in love is a lot of fun. You can enjoy the beach and days of bliss under the sun with your special someone without worrying about being judged.

3. “Arabian Sand” by The Coral

The Coral - Arabian Sand @ Pinkpop 2005The Coral – Arabian Sand @ Pinkpop 2005

Arabia is known for being a sandy desert. The Coral wrote the song “Arabian Sand” about self-reflection amidst unfavorable circumstances.

The lyrics explain that it will be a hard journey but if you look forward, the future could surprise you. Don’t view challenges as obstacles but rather as enhancers of your true self. This one is a symbolic song about the desert, isn’t it?

4. “Desert Rose” by Sting

Sting - Desert Rose (Official Music Video)Sting – Desert Rose (Official Music Video)

To be honest, it is impossible to grow roses in the desert. However, veteran singer Sting has his own opinion about it. Desert Rose is about pining for a woman of extraordinary beauty.

Sting believes she is too good to be true and hence the unbelievable description that a rose can grow in the desert. The symbolism is very sweet, thoughtful, and romantic.

5. “Desert Star” by Shakra

Shakra - Something You Don't Understand (Lyric Video)Shakra – Something You Don’t Understand (Lyric Video)

The song Desert Star talks about reminiscing a deep love that did not last. Here the narrator talks about missing an ex-lover with whom she had a relationship for quite some time.

And as the search for closure escalates, the message of the song is the Desert Star can lead the protagonist out of loneliness. Sometimes our losses can make us stronger.

6. “Desert Plains” by Judas Priest

Desert PlainsDesert Plains

This melody is about a man searching for his true love. Here he travels the Desert Plains to find the person he is longing for. Eventually, fate shows mercy and he finds a person to dedicate his life to. The diligent search and travels pay off. The song gives a powerful message – it might very painful to endure but if you embrace the struggles, you will find yourself in a better place. 

7. “Barefoot Desert” by King Gizzard

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Barefoot DesertKing Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Barefoot Desert

Barefoot Desert is a song about being tired and stressed when something difficult arises. The protagonist compares his situation to that of walking barefoot on the hot sand. However, with the proper mindset, all of it can be settled for the better.

8. “Desert Prayer” by Haddaway

Haddaway - The Drive - Desert PrayerHaddaway – The Drive – Desert Prayer

The song Desert Prayer talks about the struggles of the family. The child in the family has an inkling of the parent’s situation. However, the songs express hope that they can get through it successfully. After hearing this number, you would want to root for the family described.

9. “Desert Moon” by Dennis DeYoung

Dennis DeYoung - Desert MoonDennis DeYoung – Desert Moon

Here is a melody about the memories of a wonderful first love. The protagonist expresses how he spent his youth with the girl of his dreams.

The former lovers were naive back then and inexperienced and made many mistakes. However, despite those flaws, it is still a memory that is appreciated and that is the true beauty of love. Even if it fades, the joy brought by it never goes cold.

10. “Unusual Occurrences In The Desert” by Grateful Dead

Blues for Allah: Sand Castles and Glass Camels / Unusual Occurrences in the Desert (2013 Remaster)Blues for Allah: Sand Castles and Glass Camels / Unusual Occurrences in the Desert (2013 Remaster)

This 1975 Folk-Rock and Blues tune has references to the journey of the prophet Muhammad. Muhammad had a spiritual encounter in Mount Jabal aI-Nour in Arabia.

Despite being a mountain the location looks like a bare desert but it holds a deep meaning for religion and faith. Now his religious conviction is being practiced by millions of people all over the world.

11. “Painted Desert” by Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar - Painted DesertPat Benatar – Painted Desert

This 1984 song describes the feeling of the protagonist in finding a former love. After the split, everything is like a Painted Desert to the narrator.

But even if the pain has not yet fully healed, things are bound to get better through acceptance. If you continue searching, it will lead to finding the oasis that can put things back together.

12. “Desert Song” by Dead Can Dance

Dead can Dance - The desert songDead can Dance – The desert song

This song has a unique structure. It has strong and eerie instrumentals at the beginning. As the song progress, the lyrics are sung unconventionally. If you are a fan of complex and artistic tunes, then this one is worth a listen.

13. “Desert Man” by Bat for Lashes

Bat For Lashes - Desert ManBat For Lashes – Desert Man

Sometimes you cannot choose who you will love. But the saddest thing is if that person does not feel the same about you. This is the story of the beautiful melody of Desert Man. The powerful lyrics set out the scene and the story of this one-sided love is discussed and makes it a worthy listen. 

14. “The Return Of Rocky Mountain Slim And Desert Rat Shorty” by Woody Gutherie

The Return of Rocky Mountain Slim and Desert Rat ShortyThe Return of Rocky Mountain Slim and Desert Rat Shorty

Woody Gutherie is considered one of the best folk singers. The Return of Rocky Mountain Slim and Desert Rat Shorty is a song about two singers performing and trying to outdo each other.

The guitar playing is energetic and the arrangement of the record is interesting. If you like listening to classics, you have to add this to your playlist.

15. “Beneath A Desert Moon” by Sting

Sting - Beneath A Desert MoonSting – Beneath A Desert Moon

Here is the second song from the iconic Sting on the list. This love-themed song is inspired by Egyptian influences. Sting played the electric bass while being the lead singer. He is truly is a talented all-around artist.

16. “Asleep In The Desert” by ZZ Top

ZZ Top - Asleep In The Desert [Instrumental]ZZ Top – Asleep In The Desert [Instrumental]

This enchanting instrumental will put you in a trance and eventually lead you to a place of mental calm. The guitar playing is superb and gives a vibe of how Spanish pieces are played.

The combination of the drum and snares complement each other. Putting altogether these elements, the final product is outstanding. The sound is calming and intriguing and perfect to meditate.

17. “Low Desert” by R.E.M.

R. E. M. | Low Desert | 1996R. E. M. | Low Desert | 1996

This lovely song is about discovering yourself as you travel through life. Some items will be left behind on this journey. A strong individual must keep moving forward toward the goal. Only when you are committed to doing everything it takes to succeed can you improve.

18. “Cry For The Desert” by Twila Paris

Cry For The DesertCry For The Desert

This electronic pop-rock Christian song is a soulful listen. It symbolically talks about frustration and sorrow and it leads you to Cry for the Desert.

Despite these difficulties, your faith will keep you whole. Twila Paris is telling all listeners that it is okay to feel challenged and sad, but with faith and prayer, things will be better.

19. “Desert Me” by Tantric

Tantric - Desert MeTantric – Desert Me

This song is a call to time out from the world to relax the mind. We have all been in a situation where too many things are going on and it is hard to know who is truthful and who is not. Here, as the song implies, people should have the luxury to be left alone so they can think more properly and not be pressed on the side.

20. “Flow This Desert” by Visions of Atlantis

Visions Of Atlantis - Flow This DesertVisions Of Atlantis – Flow This Desert

This song is about a person who had a rough life. However, instead of allowing the circumstances to put him down, he goes on with life with a brave face. At first, it won’t be easy but with dedication and determination, everything can yield a better result.

Final Thoughts

The songs about deserts take you on a journey of self-discovery and realization. Most of the tunes are symbolic and aim for listeners to accept difficulties to move forward. Whether the goal is about love, work, or simply life in general, sometimes things look empty. As if you are lost in the desert, don’t give up because your oasis is just right up ahead!