The letter K is not the most used in the English language. Therefore, you might think that it would be difficult coming up with some great songs that start with the letter K. But you might be surprised at just how many there are.
So, let’s have a look at what we can find and search out some songs starting with K in a variety of genres. And why not make a start with the man himself?
- Top 12 Songs That Start With The Letter K
- Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door by Bob Dylan
- Killer Queen by Queen
- Keep On Lovin’ Me Honey By Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
- Keep on Loving You by REO Speedwagon
- Kansas City by The Beatles
- Kentucky Gambler by Dolly Parton
- Knock on Wood by Eddie Floyd
- Kentucky Rain by Elvis Presley
- Keep A Knockin’ by Little Richard
- Killing Me Softly With His Song by Roberta Flack
- Keep On Running by The Spencer Davis Group
- Kashmir by Led Zeppelin
- Want More Letter or Word Specific Songs?
- Songs That Start With The Letter K – Final Thoughts
Top 12 Songs That Start With The Letter K
Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door by Bob Dylan
This is a song that Dylan wrote for the soundtrack of the film Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid. Dylan himself had a part in the film.
The single was released in 1973, two months after the release of the film. It is not a typical Bob Dylan song, in that it is, for him, quite short. But, it was written to fit a scene in the film of the death of a lawman.
It reached #14 in the UK and #12 in America and brought forth a couple of rather unfortunate efforts to cover it. Although, Randy Crawford’s version was the exception and quite good. For thirty years, it was part of Dylan’s live shows, and it’s one of the most well-known songs that start with the letter K.
Killer Queen by Queen
I am probably going to upset a few people, so I apologize in advance. But, for me, this was Queen at their best. It was taken from the 1974 album Sheer Heart Attack. This was their third album which announced their arrival amongst the best acts of the day.
It was written by Freddie and, as a single, reached #2 in the UK and was their first success in America, reaching #12. The studio version is good, but if you want to hear it at its best, listen to it live on Live Killers.
The song is typical of Freddie…
Writing about a hedonistic lifestyle, he knew only too well. This time though about a ‘Moet and Chandon’ champagne-sipping high-class call girl. Though there is a historical inaccuracy in the first few lines. The song goes, “Let Them Eat Cake’ she says – Just like Marie Antoinette.”
Marie Antoinette never said that. “Let Them Eat Cake” was an English translation of a French phrase. It was in use way before the 1789 date that the princess was supposed to have said it.
But, I digress…
As a band, Queen was developing both individually and as a unit. This song contained some elaborately crafted four-part harmonies and double-tracked lead guitar. And, if you listen closely, you can hear Johnny Deacon’s two bass lines.
As I said, a track that announced the quality of Queen and an indication of some of which was yet to come. Overall, a great song that starts with the letter K.
Keep On Lovin’ Me Honey By Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
Marvin Gaye had previously sung duets with Mary Wells and Kim Weston. But, it was with Tammi Terrell that he found his “soul mate.” She was one of the great female Motown singers of the late 60s, and the partnership produced some great tracks. This is one of them.
It was the third single taken from their excellent album, You’re All I Need, released in 1968. The song was written by husband and wife songwriting team Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson. It is an uptempo song where the two of them share feelings about their friendship.
It wasn’t as successful as their previous single, “You’re All I Need To Get By.” However, it was a modest hit by their standards and made the Top 40 in America. What looked like a fruitful partnership ended when Tammi developed a brain tumor and died suddenly in 1970 at 24.
Gaye was distraught…
He suffered severe depression and withdrew from music for a while. But, he came back with a very politically critical album, What’s Going On.
It was a themed album that recounted the American government’s treatment of returning soldiers from Vietnam. Motown boss Berry Gordy tried to block it. Didn’t want to rock any boats, I suppose.
And he was probably too busy with his girlfriend at the time. You work it out. Gaye got his way, and it became his biggest-selling album to that point.
Keep on Loving You by REO Speedwagon
Released in 1980, this REO Speedwagon track was taken from their first album to make the charts, Hi-Infidelity. The single reached #7 in the UK and hit #1 in America. It was a power ballad, albeit in a slightly softer style than most, with plenty of very good vocals. The song was written by Kevin Cronin.
“Keep on Loving You” was not popular amongst the band when it was first presented to them by Cronin. They were in the studio deciding on tracks for the album and weren’t impressed.
It was only when Gary Richrath plugged his guitar in and started to play a solo around the chords that the others took notice. Good job they did, and it became their most successful song.
Kansas City by The Beatles
Taken from their album, Beatles for Sale, released in 1964, this is one of the few covers The Beatles recorded.
“Kansas City” was never released as a single, but the album went to #1 in the UK. It was written by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, and the song is a flashback to those Hamburg days.
They often played the song whilst backing Tony Sheridan. It might have been included on the album as an afterthought if they needed something quick to complete the available tracks. It certainly wasn’t a song that you would hear them play after 1964.
Kentucky Gambler by Dolly Parton
This is Dolly in Country mode from 1974 and her album, The Bargain Store. It’s typically Dolly Parton using very specific lyrics to paint a picture. It tells the story of a miner who is dissatisfied with his Kentucky life. He leaves his wife and children to go off and try his luck by gambling in the city.
In Reno, he gets lucky and goes on a winning streak but doesn’t stop. He eventually loses it all and goes back to his family. Unfortunately for him, she found someone else and left. Who can blame her?
The message in the song is very clear to those that will listen. A simple song with easy guitar and her mellow voice telling the story. Needless to say, with her, the single went to #1 on the Country chart. As a result, it’s a great country song starting with the letter K.
Knock on Wood by Eddie Floyd
This song, written by Eddie Floyd and the great Steve Cropper, was always interesting to me. As a young teenager struggling to get to grips with the bass guitar, this song made a difference.
I was listening to The Beatles, The Yardbirds, The Who, and Fleetwood Mac. That is the real blues version of the band Mac with Peter Green. This song taught me how the bass can change and even make a song if it is played correctly.
It came out in 1966 and reached #19 in the UK and #28 in America. It had a great easy tempo and just jogged along at a comfortable pace, yet its infectious rhythm was great for the dance halls.
As a song…
It was also covered in 1967 by Otis Redding and Carla Thomas, and Wilson Pickett in a similar style. Typical of that whole 60s Stax sound. It was taken from his album of the same name.
Kentucky Rain by Elvis Presley
Possibly not his most well-known or even one of the better songs he recorded. It was released in 1970 and was written by Eddie Rabbitt and Dick Heard.
“Kentucky Rain” reached #21 in the UK and #16 in America. This classic song starting with the letter K tells a simple story of a man trying to make his way to find his girl through the Kentucky Rain.
With some of his songs…
It was noticeable that Presley had lost the imagination of the record-buying public at this time. There were plenty of bands that had rather stolen his thunder. However, many people thought this was a good song.
He sings it quite well, but it hasn’t anything that sets it apart, and sounds like it may have been released for the sake of it. Just before and after “Kentucky Rain,” he made plenty of better songs. If you like Presley, it is going to be a song you will want in your collection.
Keep A Knockin’ by Little Richard
One of the songs eternally associated with one of the greatest Rock n Rollers. “Keep A Knockin’” was one of four great Rock n Roll songs he released in 1957. The others were “Jenny, Jenny,” “Good Golly Miss Molly,” and “Lucille.”
The song is credited to Penniman, which is Little Richard’s birth name, but it had been around for a long time. The first version of the song appeared in 1928, albeit slightly different, and it was recorded by others during the 30s and 40s.
It reached #8 on the American chart and was a permanent fixture in his stage shows. A simple enough song about someone knocking on someone’s door who won’t let him in. It was never meant to be lyrically challenging. This was pure unadulterated Rock n Roll, something he was one of the best at.
Killing Me Softly With His Song by Roberta Flack
This is one of those songs that start with the letter K that just about everyone knows and loves. It was taken from her album, Killing Me Softly.
Despite stories about Jimi Hendrix…
The song was inspired by Lori Lieberman, who went to a Don McLean concert in 1971. She worked on the ideas and emotions she got from that concert with Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox to produce the song.
It was Lieberman who released the song first in 1971. Roberta Flack released the song in 1973, and it went to #6 in the UK and #1 in America, Canada, and Australia. It was Marvin Gaye who encouraged her to release it as a single after hearing her sing it at one of his shows.
A classic song and one that will always be remembered whenever Roberta Flack’s name is mentioned. There were later controversies about who had the most input into the song. That resulted in bitterness between Gimbel and Fox and Lori Lieberman.
Keep On Running by The Spencer Davis Group
“Keep On Running” started as a reggae song written by Jackie Edwards. Edwards had been a songwriter at the fledgling Island Record label based in West London. Island was one of the great UK independent labels, and Chris Blackwell, founder and owner, was one of the music industry’s nice guys.
At the time…
He wanted to set up an independent label that had its own studio and encouraged unknown artists and musicians to pursue their music.
Island was predominantly a reggae label initially, but then it expanded to include a range of well-known artists. Free and Fairport Convention were Island artists, as were The Spencer Davis group.
The studio was established in Basing Street, Notting Hill, West London, and opened in 1969. Many great number-one tracks were recorded there.
Spencer Davis was not what you would call special or an outstanding band of the time. Average musicians and a nice simple sound. But, they had something a little bit extra, and that little bit extra was Stevie Winwood.
The voice that came out of him belied his 17 years. It was clear his Soul voice would take him a long way, and it did. “Keep On Running” went to #1 in the UK and #76 in America.
It was the start of a great run of songs that included the Winwood composition “I’m a Man,” later recorded by Chicago. They turned into a very influential band of the 60s.
Kashmir by Led Zeppelin
And so, to the last and probably the best of our songs beginning with the letter K. This is a well-known track written by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page from the band’s 1975 album, Physical Graffiti.
It is an interesting song in many ways and was a fixture in their live concerts. It has gained the status as an “epic” Led Zeppelin song and is spoken of in the same breath as “Stairway To Heaven.”
For starters, the tuning on Pages’ guitar is D, A, D, G, A, and D. Or, as it is otherwise known, “DADGAD” or “Celtic Tuning.” He had used this tuning on other songs before, but it is on this track that it seems to stand out.
The timing is also interesting. The vocal is in a quadruple meter. It has a standard division of two beats in a bar that can be used in multiples. The guitar riff is in a triple meter. That is a standard division of three beats to the bar.
But, just as important are the drums. He is not doing much in the way of being “busy.” But John Bonham just drives this song along with his thundering rhythm. John Paul Jones put on orchestrations and the Mellotron.
Contrary to what many people seem to believe, it was not Kashmir. No one in Led Zeppelin had even been there, although Plant and Page did visit Mumbai in 1972. That is 1700 km from Kashmir.
The inspiration came to Plant on a drive through the south of Morocco. In turn, it was a song that established Zeppelin’s credibility as a Progressive Rock act. And, in many ways, it might be considered one of their finest works.
Want More Letter or Word Specific Songs?
Well, have a look at our detailed reviews of Songs That Start With The Letter Z, Songs with the Word Star in the Title, Songs With ‘Girl’ in The Title, Songs With “Sunday” in the Title, and Best Songs With “Love” In The Title 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 Best Headphones For Rock & Metal Music, the Most Comfortable Headphones, the Best Headphones Under $200, and the Best Wireless Bluetooth Headphones you can buy in 2023.
Songs That Start With The Letter K – Final Thoughts
When thinking about some of the songs beginning with the letter K, you realize this is quite a surprising list. There have been some memorable songs that start with K, and they cover a range of genres and styles.
We’ve had some heavy rock, through some classic ballads, pop to Country, and most points in between. Songwriters have come up with some excellent songs. All thanks to the letter K.
Until next time, happy listening.