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Top 15 Best Songs About Loneliness For Your Mood

Being lonely is a normal part of human existence. You can’t avoid it; we all experience it, some of us regularly, no matter what our situation in life. But there are different types of loneliness.

There are plenty of songs that express loneliness. It isn’t hard to find a couple of hundred if you look. But, loneliness can extend to things other than just being alone. It can also be experienced when you feel isolated. 

In choosing these songs about loneliness, I have tried to cover as many different manifestations of this emotion we all feel sometimes as possible.

Are You Lonesome Tonight? – Elvis Presley

Probably one of the best and most recognizable songs written about loneliness is this from Elvis Presley. I have to admit and say that for years I was not a fan of Mr. Presley. But then I played for a while with a band who did nothing else. 

It didn’t take me long to realize that his early stuff was pure room-shaking rock ‘n’ roll. My opinion changed from that point.

Elvis’s Cover version

This was a big hit for him in 1960, so it was early in his career. But the song was much older than that, being written in “Tin Pan Alley” days in 1926. It had already been released by several artists before Elvis got his vocal cords around it.

Interestingly, it was the final song, recorded as an afterthought, of an all-night session. That night he recorded eight songs in total. 

In the song, he asks if his ex is missing him as he misses her. But then confronts her about lying to him whilst admitting he would still rather be with her and hear her lies. Good song, and a good start for this list, from a man with more genre range than most.

Yesterday – The Beatles

You can’t usually compose a list of any sort of songs without having at least one from these guys. The greatest band there has ever been, and probably ever will be, with possibly the greatest contemporary songwriters of our age.

There is too much backstory in this song to pay too much commentary as there isn’t room. Credited to Lennon and McCartney, it was written by Paul. This was 1965, and the cracks in the band were already beginning to show.

No Time At All

It is a song that defines the Beatles, and especially McCartney in some ways. Written only a few years into their existence, which was no time at all. It demonstrates the skill and creativity that was in this band.

Is it a man feeling lonely without his lady? Or is that image shrouded and used as a metaphor for something else?

Alone – Heart

Heart was an interesting band. Immense amounts of ability but somehow never seemed to achieve the worldwide acclaim you might expect. However, for a brief time, they were on the brink of that, and this song comes from that period.

Released in 1987, it has become a rock anthem for some. It is a song not about missing something but about feeling misunderstood and being isolated, and feeling alone. A powerful track from one of the best bands and live acts of the 80s.

Pictures of You – The Cure

The Cure came out of the punk age in the UK but was always a bit more than that. Their songs had similar ideals and comments but were better crafted than most. 

I thought that some of the punk bands were quite good. However, the songs were thrown together sometimes without much thought. That doesn’t apply to The Cure and certainly not to this song all about loneliness.

The Past Can Be Powerful

Paul Simon wrote, “preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you” (Bookends). That is portrayed in this song. In this song, Robert Smith, the writer, is looking at some old photos and seeing the faces wondering what might have been.

Old pictures can sometimes shake you up a bit, especially if they are of people you care about. A thoughtfully written song, inspired by a fire at his house when he looked at a photo of his wife.

So Lonely – The Police 

An interesting band from the UK and another group of people capable of being very creative. They took some stick in some circles for being too much of a ‘pop’ band. But maybe it was just how the music came out. Pop or not, they were one of the first real “stadium” bands.

We will look at a lot of songs about loneliness. But, this has got to be the one that is the most rhythmically upbeat. And that itself creates a certain positivity about the loneliness involved. 

The chorus especially is put your foot down rock n roll. No weeping into handkerchiefs with this one. And this is despite him feeling dejected and rejected. Great track from a great band.

All By Myself – Eric Carmen

This 1975 song was written and performed here by Eric Carmen, previously of the Raspberries. It has been covered by a host of people, but none seem to quite capture the feeling of the original.

It is the most basic interpretation of the word. And, is simply a song about a man feeling lonely who wants to be with someone.

Only the Lonely (Know the Way I Feel) – Roy Orbison

Time for a song now from the man who must have put a higher value on Kleenex tissues over the years than most. His songs might be considered a bit cheesy and overdone. And they are when they are sung by some other singers. 

But when Roy Orbison sings them, they just seem to work and strike a chord. This was a 1960 release he co-wrote with Joe Melson. It was his first big hit and brought the man in the sunglasses to our attention. 

When we are talking about songs that talk about loneliness, this will be one of the first that comes to mind. A simple song made into a classic by a master performer.

Alone Again (Naturally) – Gilbert O’Sullivan

Gilbert O’Sullivan, or Raymond O’Sullivan to give him his real name, was a strange character in some ways. A talented piano player and songwriter, he played up a bit to the stereotypical image of an “Irish Boy” early in his career. At some point, he drifted away from that.

He came to everyone’s attention with the excellent “Nothing Rhymed” in 1970, and “Alone Again Naturally” followed two years later. This was the song that propelled him into a form of stardom, if only for a short while.

Representative of Feelings

It was a song that had particular resonance with anyone who had recently lost a family member. And was very representative of the feelings we experience when confronted by that kind of loss. It talked about loss and touched on suicide, a difficult subject to write about at that time.

I Wish You Lonely – Morrissey

I was never a great fan of Morrissey or The Smiths, who he fronted, but this song is spectacular in its meanings.

This is a very direct attack on the world’s leaders, their hypocrisy, and their contempt for all but themselves. He wishes loneliness on some of them so that they can feel how the writer feels, just for one day.

Released in 2017, perhaps he could see what most of us could, but he went ahead and said it. The album cover was banned in certain places for being too graphic. I should think that may have pleased him as it justified the sentiment in the recording.

Lonely Avenue – Ray Charles

Okay, back in the time machine for this one, 1956 to be precise. Ray Charles was someone who may have uniquely felt a certain loneliness. And in a way that only people with his affliction could feel it. But he rarely seems to wallow in that; instead, he finds a way to bring us some great music.

Great music takes great songwriters, and this song had that as well in Doc Promus. Promus was acutely aware of loneliness himself. He had polio, which made mobility difficult. Cut off from the mainstream of social behavior in many ways; he understood what it was like to be alone.

Plenty Of Covers

This might be called a blues song in the way Ray Charles performs it, but genre styling hardly seems to matter. It is a great song with a great performance. Furthermore, it has been covered by Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Van Morrison, and The Animals. Also known to be a favorite of John Lennon’s.

The Long And Winding Road – The Beatles

And talking about members of The Beatles, let’s pay a return visit. This was a 1970 release from the album Let It Be. Whilst, not the last recorded album The Beatles made, it was the last released.

This song became a focal point and was McCartney at his best in terms of the style of song. It was recorded at a time when the cracks were on show publicly. But in private, as a band, they were still a working unit. 

The song talks about walking down the “Long and Winding Road” to see someone he loves. Affirming that the road will “never disappear,” and he’d “walked that road before.” John’s house in Tittenhurst Park, Ascot, had a long and winding road that led to the door. You can see it in the video of “Imagine.”

Lonely People – America

American boys, yes, but America, the band, was very much made in The UK. I can remember them as their fathers were at the local American base in Ruislip, West London. 

They recorded “A Horse With No Name,” their first big record at Morgan Sound Recording Studios, where I also did some work. Lots of other recordings followed, and this track came a couple of years later and was written by Dan Peek and his wife.

Say Hello To Eleanor

People feel lonely when they are all alone. As they say in the lyrics, it is a song for “all the lonely people who think life has passed them by.”

It may also have been an answer to the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby.” A track that so graphically outlined loneliness.

Total Eclipse Of The Heart – Bonnie Tyler

Time to include some work by Jim Steinman. Working with Bonnie Tyler was always going to be a success. She had a voice that could carry off anything that he wrote and wanted to produce in her own inimitable way. This song was a classic example.

It was taken from her 1983 album Faster Than The Speed of Night, which was recorded in New York during 1982 and 1983.

Is It Autobiographical?

Some seem to think it is. I feel that might be a bit fanciful as the song was written by Steinman. Nevertheless, the inspiration, whatever it is, gives us a great song with a great performance that doesn’t seem to age.

Owner of a Lonely Heart – Yes

Nice to be able to include a track from a set of the finest musicians ever to be in one band at the same time. Yes were quite something else at the time with their over-elaborate stage sets and creative writing and performances. 

They broke up in 1981 after 13 years but reformed for the first time in 1983 with the album 90125. That is still their biggest selling album to date, despite the popularity amongst many of The Yes Album.

“Owner of A Broken Heart” came from that 1983 album and re-established their credibility as performers. It was considered a little bit of a ‘pop’ song compared to what had gone before. However, its commercial success cannot be ignored.


It is not actually about someone who has been left with a broken heart. This is a song that talks about decisions and their ramifications of them. It talks about the consequences of the things we do and those decisions we make that affect others.

But, the big message is that we must decide to do what is best for ourselves. Just not in a selfish way. 

Eleanor Rigby – The Beatles

Let me complete this list of songs about loneliness with another Beatles classic and probably the best lonely song.

Many people talk about the White Album and Sgt. Pepper as being seminal moments in the history of the Beatles. You can’t dispute the influence of both albums. But, in my view, those albums were manifestations of the changes that began with the album Revolver. It produced some magical moments, and “Eleanor Rigby” was just one.

A Common Tale

The story itself is buried in the imagery of a certain time in Britain just after the war. And there have been so many observations made on the meaning of the song. 

But it is not such a strange and uncommon story. There are many Eleanor Rigby’s even today. And probably a lot more during the time the song was set in.

There are also plenty of Father McKenzie’s, tending their parish churches amidst dwindling attendances. Eleanor could be “waiting at the window” for a soldier son or a husband to come home. But she might just be waiting for anyone.

Where Did The Names Come From?

No one was sure or even cared much. Some thought it might be the actress Eleanor Bron who had been in the film “Help.” But then the names were both found on gravestones yards from each other. 

If you live near St. Peter’s Parish Church in Woolton, Liverpool, then pay it a visit. Eleanor and Father McKenzie are both buried there. Incidentally, that church is where John and Paul first met in 1957.

A great story with plenty of meaning to everyone who might know an Eleanor or a Father McKenzie. Maybe they just might need some friends occasionally.

Looking for Sons With Emotion?

We can help. Take a look at our articles on the Best Songs About Dreams, the Best Songs about Fighting, the Best Songs About Friendship, the Best Songs About Heroes, the Top 10 Songs About Bravery, and the Best Songs About Change for more great song selections.

Also, you need to listen to them. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Headphones for Music, the Most Comfortable Headphones, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best Noise Isolating Earbuds, the Loudest Portable Bluetooth Speakers, and the Best Smart Speakers you can buy in 2023.

Songs About Loneliness – Conclusion

Plenty here to think about and to ponder. Loneliness can show itself in many ways, and it can be the result of many circumstances. It certainly isn’t our position to judge people, although it could be our position to offer help if they need it.

Until next time, happy listening.

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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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