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Top 13 Best Songs About Gold

Just a glance at any playlist will tell you that the inspiration for a song can come from a variety of places. Some songwriters like to use imagery in their music, which is why gold is so often used. It is representative of wealth and prosperity. 

For the writers, it is a popular choice and has inspired plenty of great songs with gold as a metaphor. So, I decided to take a closer look at some of the best songs about gold.


A Lasting Fascination

Our love of this metal has never waned. Gold is symbolic of prosperity, wealth, and, therefore, power. It is a powerful descriptor and has been since people sang songs around campfires thousands of years ago.

This is going to be a musical journey that will include some of the finest bands, singers, and songwriters of the last 70 years. So, let’s get started.

Best Songs About Gold

Top 13 Best Songs About Gold

Goldfinger by Shirley Bassey

I do smile when I read about this or that singer being a diva. There is only one modern-day diva, and that is Shirley Bassey. She has been there, done it, and got the T-shirt.

One of the great voices over five decades, she came from a tough upbringing down by the docks in Cardiff in South Wales. That helped to shape her dramatic visual performances, as well as using her outstanding voice.

This is the main title song for the James Bond film of the same name. It was written by John Barry and Tony Newley. It reached #21 in the UK and #8 in America. 

Bit Of Trivia

The main guitar part was played by British session guitarist Vic Flick. But, also in the session was a very young Jimmy Page doing some chord work. The song was produced by Sir George Martin and recorded at CTS in Wembley, West London.

Golden Slumbers by The Beatles

And, on the subject of Sir George Martin, he also produced this. Not the most well-known of Beatles tracks, it was included on the Abbey Road album from 1969. It formed a part of a progression of music that finished the album.

The lyrics are based on a lullaby by Thomas Dekker entitled ‘The Cradle Song.’ McCartney, who wrote the piece, saw the sheet music at his father’s house. He liked the lyrics but couldn’t read the music to get an idea of the melody. Simple solution, if you are a Beatle, write your own, which is what he did. 

Bit Of Trivia

George played bass on this track, and John Lennon didn’t participate in the session at all.

Silver and Gold by Dolly Parton

If there is one songwriter who likes telling a good story, it is Dolly Parton. “Silver and Gold” was released in 1991 from her album, Eagle When She Flies

It reached #15 on the American Country music chart and #7 in Canada. The song isn’t a Dolly Parton original; it was written by Carl, Stan, and Greg Perkins. The song is a story about how money cannot buy the important things in life.

After The Gold Rush by Neil Young

Many people think that Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young’s early material was some of his best. The album, and the track “After The Goldrush,” released in 1970, certainly lends weight to that opinion. 

Some Controversy

Neil has often said that the song came from just looking out of a window one day. He began wondering what that same view would have looked like a hundred years before.

The song has a few different topics on which he comments, but it is essentially an environmental song. Young is scathing in his lyrics about the devastation we have caused. 

It continually refers to circumstances that he sees through the eyes of a dream, and his criticisms have provoked some controversy and still do. He has changed the lyrics slightly today as he still performs it and wanted it to remain relevant. A very powerful song about gold that helped to establish his reputation.

Sister Golden Hair by America

The members of the band America were brought up in Ruislip, West London, where their fathers were stationed in the American military. And, very quickly, they made an impact on the local West London music scene. They were presenting their songs in a way that no one else locally was at the time. 

Luscious vocal harmonies layered over some acoustic-guitar-driven Folk-Rock. It was very impressive. “Sister Golden Hair” was released in 1975 and taken from their fifth album, Hearts. It was produced by Sir George Martin and is without a doubt one of the best songs about gold.

Typical America

It is what you might expect from the finger-picking acoustic guitar and easygoing style that leaves enough room for those harmonies. What I always appreciated about this band was their understated productions. They didn’t need fancy tricks, they just let their vocals, musicianship, and the quality of the songs do the job.

Silence is Golden by The Tremeloes

“Silence is Golden” was originally recorded by the Four Seasons and released as the B-side to their huge hit Rag Doll in 1964. The Tremeloes brought out their version in 1967, which was mostly just a copy. It reached #1 in the UK and #11 in America, establishing them as one of the top acts of their time.

Regular singer and band leader Brian Poole left the band to try a solo career in 1966. That was the springboard for the band to have major successes, and this was one of them.

The song has interesting lyrics. It speaks of a man who has to watch while the girl he wants to be with is cheated on by another man. He knows, though, that he can say nothing. She wouldn’t believe him, and it would destroy any friendship they may have. His silence is, therefore, golden.

Fields of Gold by Sting

I suppose you might have expected this well-known song about gold to be on this list. Sting has never been slow to experiment with his music and even cross genres, either with The Police or by himself. But this song was very much a first.

Sting was inspired to write the song after buying a new house that was situated near barley fields. The sight of those fields swaying in the gentle breeze on a sunny day inspired the song. He sings of making sure you appreciate the simplest of things, the beauty all around us we so often take for granted. A great melody line that is simple but full of hope and encouragement.

“Fields of Gold” wasn’t as big a success commercially as you might imagine. It reached #2 in Canada but peaked at #16 in the UK and #23 in America. That said, it is still a very popular song about gold and is often heard played both on the radio and at certain functions.

Golden Brown by The Stranglers

This is a song taken from their 1982 album La Folie and released as a 7-inch single. Commercially, it was their most successful song, reaching #2 in the UK.

The Stranglers were a British Rock group that emerged from the Punk scene. Although there are some early ‘punk-like’ recordings, you couldn’t say they were in that style. They varied it all around far too much. 

What is special about this song is the range of timings and the 13/8 involved. And, of course, that distinctive harpsichord played in a Baroque style that sets this song apart from anything else of its time.


It was headed for the #1 spot in the UK. Unfortunately, in an interview on Dutch TV, bass player Jean-Jacques Burnel told the assembled press the song was about heroin. It was immediately pulled from all radio stations, and TV appearances were canceled. 

That certainly affected sales, and it stayed at #2. Hugo Cornwell, who wrote the lyrics, said he would have waited until after it hit #1 and then said it.

Oddly enough, the song can operate on two levels. It could be about a relationship with a girl, but as we all know now, it is actually about heroin. Both of these options provided the lyric writer with pleasure, which is really what this song is about.

Gold Dust Woman by Fleetwood Mac

One of the very ‘moody’ highlights from Rumours, this is the kind of song that suits Stevie Nicks’ voice. Not surprising; after all, she wrote it. Everything about the track is morose and downbeat. From the music to the way she delivers the song. There is very little light at the end of the tunnel with this one. 

And, like the previous song, this track also uses a metaphor for a drug. In this case, cocaine. It was written at a very difficult time for her and the rest of the band. They weren’t speaking to each other. And, the on-off relationship between her and Buckingham looked like it was finally on its last legs.

If all that wasn’t enough, then she had to deal with her own addictions… 

She always said the song was about her observing someone going through a broken relationship while also taking too many drugs. I wonder if she was just looking in a mirror.

Some people think there is some comfort in that and use them in an attempt to ease the pain. Hardly surprising then that we get a track like this. 

But is there a plus side? Of course, she produced one of the most atmospheric tracks on the album. Rumours was always going to be good, but this made it so much better.

Band of Gold by Freda Payne

I can remember this song being released and thinking what a great voice she had. It was only later that I realized it was also a very good song.

The production is understated and very simple, allowing her voice to be at the front of the mix. Plenty of subtle backing vocals carry it forward along with its very 70s Soul bass and drums.

Those are all reasons that made this song successful. But what made it a huge hit song about gold was that the lyrics were relatable. It is about heartbreak and carries the weight of regret of how things didn’t turn out like she had thought and hoped they would.

A Motown Influence?

When you listen to the song, you may find yourself thinking it has that Motown feel to it. You wouldn’t be wrong. It was written by Motown songwriting legends Holland, Dozier, and Holland under pseudonyms. It reached #1 in the UK and #3 in America, as well as being a Top 10 song in five other countries. 

There have been plenty of notable cover versions, including artists like Bonnie Tyler and Belinda Carlisle. However, it is the original that is still the best. 

Love Over Gold by Dire Straits

Over their incredibly productive career, Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits produced some of the greatest music we have had. The album Love Over Gold falls into that category despite it often being overlooked.

This was an album that gave us the epic Telegraph Road, the monumental Private Investigations, and, of course, the single “Love Over Gold” itself.

Different Ways

You can interpret the meaning in a variety of ways. However, it seems to be about having the courage to pursue what you want. About sometimes taking risks even though you know it could all end badly.

It has plenty of innovative influences. You can hear some Jazz on the vibes and an almost Classical feel to the piano part. A great song from a genius songwriter.

Silver Threads and Golden Needles by Linda Ronstadt

In my view one of the great singers of the 70s. She had a voice that could sing just about anything. This is essentially a Country song that talks about not being able to “buy my love with money.”

It wasn’t a new song at the time. Originally, it goes back to the 50s and was written by Jack Rhodes and Dick Reynolds. It was one of the songs she included in her set when The Eagles were her backing band, as you can hear here.

Even after they had started to find their own way, she would still sing this song with them when there was an occasion. A typical Ronstadt performance for a song with a powerful message for people who think money is the answer to everything.

Heart of Gold by Neil Young

I suppose there are few better places to finish my list of the best songs about gold than with this Neil Young song from his album, Harvest. It features backing vocals from Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor. 

Of course, it had its critics saying the song was a little too sentimental. But, given the subject matter, I think he gets it about right. Furthermore, you could say this is the most famous song about gold.

Initially, you might think he was searching for a person who had that “heart of gold.” But, it hasn’t got to be a person. It could be anything that gives you peace and happiness. The song proved to be his most successful single, reaching #1 in America and #10 in the UK.

Want More Great Songs With Metaphorical Meanings?

If so, check out our thought on the Best Songs About Fire, the Top Songs About the Sea, the Best Songs With Pink In The Title, the Best Songs with Colors in The Title, and the Best Songs About Rainbows of All Time for more superb song selections.

Of course, you’ll need to listen to them. So, have a look at our reviews of the Best Noise Isolating Earbuds, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, as well as the Most Comfortable Earbuds, the Best Earbuds for Running, the Best iPhone Earbuds, and the Best Cheap Earbuds Under $100 that you can buy in 2023.

Best Songs About Gold – Final Thoughts

Gold has always seemed to have a mesmerizing effect on us. There is something about it that appeals to us, and it isn’t just the monetary value. Perhaps, it is what I mentioned earlier about it representing wealth and prosperity and, therefore, power. It has certainly been the driving force behind many great songs, as we have seen here.

Until next time, enjoy the music.

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About Corey Hoffman

Corey is a multi-instrumentalist who has played in numerous bands over the years, some good, some not so good. He has also written countless songs and recorded five albums in professional studios across America. Today he is a hobby musician but still loves the guitar after over 15 years of playing.

He considers his writing as a way to share what he has learned over the decades with younger generations ad always can't wait to get his hands on the latest gear.

He lives just outside New York with his wife Barbara and their two German Shepherds, Ziggy and Iggy.

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