20 Songs About San Francisco

San Francisco is home of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and a creative place that has inspired musicians to make beautiful music.

From the vibrant city lights to the majestic bridge, here are 20 songs about San Francisco. Each track offers different melodic tales of this extraordinary city.

1. “Fake Tales Of San Francisco” by Arctic Monkeys

This alternative indie rock song talks about the numerous fun things you can do in San Francisco. It tackles the music scene in the vicinity where bands are trying to find their own identity. The track reminds us to stay true to ourselves and create their own sound.

Arctic Monkeys - Fake Tales Of San Francisco (Official Video)Arctic Monkeys – Fake Tales Of San Francisco (Official Video)

2. “San Francisco” by Vanessa Carlton

This song was featured in the hit television show ‘Charmed’ and is instantly recognizable to fans of the series. The unforgettable piano intro will captivate you, keeping you hooked from the start. Vanessa’s unique voice is a plus for this San Francisco-titled track.

Vanessa Carlton - San Francisco - HQ w/ LyricsVanessa Carlton – San Francisco – HQ w/ Lyrics

3. “San Francisco Knights” by People Under the Stairs

This West Coast hip hop track is a perfect blend that all music lovers will enjoy. Starting off smooth and mellow, it gradually escalates to a groovy beat, making you want to move your feet.

People Under The Stairs - San Francisco KnightsPeople Under The Stairs – San Francisco Knights

4. “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” by Tony Bennett

This classic piece is probably the first song that comes to mind whenever San Francisco is mentioned. It’s a heartfelt tribute to this beautiful place, drawing comparisons to other romantic destinations like Paris. Many say that when you visit San Francisco, you might leave your heart behind.

Tony Bennett - I Left My Heart in San Francisco (from MTV Unplugged)Tony Bennett – I Left My Heart in San Francisco (from MTV Unplugged)

5. “Got The Gate On The Golden Gate” by Mel Tormé

The Golden Gate Bridge always comes to mind when we talk about San Francisco. This rhythmic jazz piece is accompanied with hypnotic vocals. The track talks about how people and vehicles crosses the bridge each day, driven by their destinies. Some chase dreams at work, while others meet with their beloved.

Got The Gate On The Golden GateGot The Gate On The Golden Gate

6. “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” by Scott McKenzie

This 1960s track has a great sound mix of guitars and drums and is labeled as an unofficial hippie anthem due to its popularity. The song also mentions the Golden Gate Bridge where people gathered with flowers in their hair, which is a reference to the hippie movement.

San Francisco - Scott McKenzieSan Francisco – Scott McKenzie

7. “San Francisco” by Jay Farrar and Benjamin Gibbard

“San Francisco” is an indie alternative rock song about how the city is viewed. While the city is filled with people who are skilled in music and dance, it is veiled in shadows of poverty. The harmonica lends another layer of drama to this melancholy piece.

San Francisco - Ben Gibbard & Jay Farrar - Henry Miller Library in Big Sur, CASan Francisco – Ben Gibbard & Jay Farrar – Henry Miller Library in Big Sur, CA

8. “We Built This City” by Starship

This catchy song’s irresistible charm keeps listeners glued, with a repetitive chorus proudly declaring, “We built this city on rock and roll.”

San Francisco was rumored to be an exceptional city and the narrator talks about his experience of getting a full view from the Golden Gate Bridge.

Starship - We Built This City (Official Music Video)Starship – We Built This City (Official Music Video)

9. “I’m Always Drunk In San Francisco” by Carmen McRae

This tune is about a woman who always feel euphoric in San Francisco. With the exciting things going on in the city, she feels intoxicated and carefree.

Carmen McRae / I'm Always Drunk In San FranciscoCarmen McRae / I’m Always Drunk In San Francisco

10. “San Francisco” by Judy Garland

This iconic rendition by Judy Garland talks about coming back to San Francisco. This song tells a story of travel and adventure, but in the end, it’s about missing home.

Judy Garland - San FranciscoJudy Garland – San Francisco

11. “Come Back From San Francisco” by Magnetic Fields

This melancholic folk-rock song is appropriate for anyone who is grieving. The track expresses the emotions of a person who misses his former partner who seems to be moving on with life and is not bothered by the distance between them. The electric guitar adds a rich tone and timbre to the tune, giving it a unique appeal.

The Magnetic Fields - Come Back From San FranciscoThe Magnetic Fields – Come Back From San Francisco

12. “Honeymoon In San Francisco” by Of Montreal

This slow song talks about how San Francisco can be a romantic getaway for newlywed couples. The track mentions activities that can be done when you are with your partner. It also sets a very relaxing atmosphere which is pretty convincing if you are looking for a place to spend the first days of married life.

Kevin Barnes (of Montreal) - Honeymoon In San Francisco (Live) 8 /1/14, Masonic Lodge. Los Angeles.Kevin Barnes (of Montreal) – Honeymoon In San Francisco (Live) 8 /1/14, Masonic Lodge. Los Angeles.

13. “(Sittin’ On The) Dock Of The Bay” by Otis Redding

This soulful song is another masterpiece from Otis Redding. Besides the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco is also known for its docks. The track talks about the beauty and solemnity of this area and how it is a good place to reflect and pass time.

Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay (Official Music Video)Otis Redding – (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay (Official Music Video)

14. “Grace Cathedral Hill” by The Decemberists

This soothing song is a narrative about Grace Cathedral Hill. This episcopal church in San Francisco is often visited by patrons all year round. The track describes people lighting candles on New Year as they pray for a better future.

The Decemberists - Grace Cathedral Hill (from Castaways & Cutouts)The Decemberists – Grace Cathedral Hill (from Castaways & Cutouts)

15. “Lights” by Journey

This song is special to the Journey band members because it talks about the place where they began – the city of San Francisco. This soulful soft-rock classic has it all – beautiful vocals and a perfect instrumental blend. It’s a classic that attracts fans of all ages.

Journey - Lights (Official Video - 1978)Journey – Lights (Official Video – 1978)

16. “San Francisco Blues” by Peggy Lee

This fun song is a blend the trumpet and trombone which provides its pleasant tune. The track talks about a person feeling blue because she longs for her beloved in San Francisco.

San Francisco Blues (Remastered)San Francisco Blues (Remastered)

17. “Ballad Of San Francisco” by Caedmon’s Call

This gospel rock song pays tribute to the lovely city of San Francisco. It talks about a traveler that came into the vicinity and was truly amazed by what he saw. The area has caught his interest and he wanted to stay longer. However, his journey must continue, so all he could do was enjoy the moment.

Ballad of San Francisco ~ Caedmon's CallBallad of San Francisco ~ Caedmon’s Call

18. “San Francisco Days” by Chris Isaak

This rock and roll song talks about a man who has not yet gotten over his past love. He cherishes memories of his special lady in San Francisco, and despite meeting other women, his heart and mind remain fixated on her.

Chris Isaak - San Francisco DaysChris Isaak – San Francisco Days

19. “Save Me, San Francisco” by Train

This pop-rock song has a lot of energy and impressive drum rolls and beats. This track is labeled as a ballad for San Francisco, where the group Train was formed. This catchy tune highlights famous city landmarks like Alcatraz, cable cars, and the Tenderloin district, acting like a tourist’s guide to San Francisco’s must-visit destinations.

Train - Save Me, San FranciscoTrain – Save Me, San Francisco

20. “All the Lost Souls Welcome You to San Francisco” by American Music Club

This soulful song has a groovy beat that is perfect for any San Francisco trips. The track talks about self-reflection. The narrator describes San Francisco as a good place that is suitable for people who are trying to find themselves.

American Music Club - All the Lost Souls...American Music Club – All the Lost Souls…

Final Thoughts

San Francisco’s greatness has inspired a multitude of music, showcased in this genuine mix of ideas and musical styles. From locations to beauty and cherished memories, even life-changing experiences, this list has it all. What ever your taste in music, it only goes to show that San Francisco has a lot to offer!