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Top 14 Songs That Start With the Letter X

X is a super-strange letter. It sounds like K and S put together, except when it starts a word and makes a Z sound. Weird. Furthermore, hardly any real English words start with X. What, xylophone, x-ray, and xenophobia? Not many more!

X is also mysterious as the missing unknown value in science and the secret place where pirate treasure is buried. But, leave it to artists to still manage to write lots of songs that start with the letter X. As you’d expect, these songs cross all genres and styles. And the best of them really hit the mark. After all, “X marks the spot.” So, let’s take aim at our first song starting with the letter X.

Songs That Start With the Letter X

Top 14 Songs That Start With the Letter X

“X” – Chris Brown

If we’re going to look at songs that begin with the letter X, we might as well start with songs called “X.” There are two on my list, starting with the first “X” by Chris Brown. This song came out on Brown’s 6th studio album, also titled X, in 2014.

This track starts as a slow R&B groove for about the first minute. But, after that, it builds into a climax and explodes into a dance beat. That’s followed by an intense Crunk-style beat, bringing the song through lots of different styles and moods.

The whole thing, as you might have guessed, is aimed at an “ex-.“ Brown sings lyrics like, “I know just who you are – You put me on layaway – You just love to heart shop – I think that it’s over” and I think you get the message.

“X” – System of a Down

I don’t know about you, but System of a Down is my favorite late-90s Armenian-American Heavy Metal band! Their second album, Toxicity, came out back in 2001, and it was an incredible piece of work. It included hits like “Toxicity,” “Aerials,” and “Chop Suey,” but also a shorter and lesser-known track called “X.”

This song is short (under two minutes), heavy, and intense. Like many of the band’s songs, it seems to be made of a compilation of lots of little snippets that have been almost randomly thrown together. This gives it a disorienting feeling as you never know what’s going to come next.

Singer Serj Tankian sings/screams lyrics like “Ask your people what is right” and “We don’t need to multiply.” It’s not entirely clear what the song is about, but one popular interpretation is that it’s an anti-war song. Possibly referring to the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1917. All told, it’s a popular Heavy Metal song entitled X.

“XO” – Beyoncé

Need something a little lighter? Luckily, Beyoncé is here with an extra letter and a much sweeter song. “XO” comes from Beyonce’s fifth album, which she dropped back in 2013. Her self-titled album was an adventure into Rock and Electronic songs and is a huge departure from the diva’s R&B sound. But it still works, of course, because, come on, it’s Beyoncé!

This song is called “XO,” which spells nothing but kisses and hugs. It has a simple but lovely sentiment about love being a light in the darkness. She sings, “Your love is bright as ever – Even in the shadows – Baby kiss me – Before they turn the lights out.” The song has a great Pop feel. It’s bright and powerful, with deep synth sounds and a sing-along chorus that you won’t be able to resist.

“XIX” – Slipknot

Child-scaring Metal band Slipknot ups the ante by adding one more letter, bringing the total to just three. Their song “XIX” is dark and intense, but it’s not the characteristic fast and heavy fury you might be used to from this band.

XIX” came out on the band’s so-called “come-back” album in 2014, .5: The Gray Chapter. This was their first effort in six years following the tragic death of bassist Paul Gray and the firing of original drummer Joey Jordison. The band was different, so why not do something different musically?

XIX” is a slow and brutally sad-sounding song that always seems on the verge of an explosive release that it never gets to. But the message is somewhat positive – “Walk with me, walk with me – Don’t let this fucking world tear you apart.” When it comes to songs that start with the letter X, this one has a very niche sound.

 “XXX.” – Kendrick Lamar (feat. U2)

Kendrick Lamar and U2 is a pretty surprising combination. Except when you remember that progressive rapper Lamar has sampled from all over the musical landscape. So, why not a huge Pop-Rock band like U2 as well?

The track “XXX.” (pronounced “x-rated) samples both U2’s song “American Soul” (though a slowed-down, jazzed-up version) and “America” by Bekon. As usual with Lamar’s work, this song is a mish-mash of beats and styles, brought together by his internally reflective lyrics. It actually works perfectly as a study of America the country.

This track comes from his 2017 album Damn, and his lyrics are certainly damning. “Hail Mary, Jesus and Joseph – The great American flag – Is wrapped and dragged with explosives.”

“XYU” – Smashing Pumpkins

In case you didn’t notice, I’m doing these letters in alphabetical order. And the last part of the alphabet is, of course, “X.Y.U.” Wait, what? Isn’t that supposed to be XYZ? Not if you’re the Smashing Pumpkins.

This song comes from the epic 1995 album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and is one of the most intense tracks on it. Also, it’s over seven minutes long, which is another reason you never heard it on the radio.

This track is heavy and intense, with frontman Billy Corgan swapping his usual soft-loud vocal pattern for a loud-screamed one instead. The music alternates between slow and heavy and fast and heavier. The bass blasts, and the guitars screech and squeal making this track full of energy.

What’s it about?

It could be a veiled reference to XY Ursae Majoris, a star in the Big Dipper constellation. But, with lyrics all about a messed-up love affair, it’s more likely that Z is replaced by U because it’s like telling someone that U are the end of everything. Maybe?

“XYZ” – Hiromi Uehara

Clips of jazz pianist Hiromi Uehara are all over the internet these days because she’s likely the fastest, most furious pianist you’ve ever seen. So, you might be surprised to learn that she’s been stunning audiences for decades now. The song “XYZ” comes from her debut album, Another Mind, which makes sense because it never seems like a human could play piano as she does.

XYZ” is in no way an exception. This intense track sees Uehara combining elements of Jazz, Rock, and even Heavy Metal to make for one intoxicating song. It’s not Pop, and not for the faint of heart either. This song speeds through time signatures at an alarming rate and shows off this pianist’s incredible skills for your listening pleasure.

“XXXO” – M.I.A.

It’s hurting my brain – the whole thing is just letters! But, luckily M.I.A.’s track “XXXO” is a whole lot easier to swallow than “XYZ.” This is a Pop-Dance song from the British singer/rapper, which has a light and bouncy feel to it. It comes from her third album, Maya, which was released in 2010. The song is produced by DJ Blaqstarr and Rusko.

The XXXO here is just like in Beyoncé’s song – it’s talking about hugs and kisses. Or is it kisses and hugs? But this is talking about the sort of vapid way that texting things like XXXO take away from real feelings.

She sings, “And all I know is that you leave me wanting more – I don’t let it show – But I think you know” and “You want me to be somebody who I’m really not.” So, while the song sounds cute, it’s about a pretty empty, disappointing situation.

“XOXOXO” – Black Eyed Peas

Here’s one more title that’s just made of letters. “XOXOXO” comes from the Black Eyed Peas sixth album, confusingly called The Beginning. Once again, the x’s and o’s refer to hugs and kisses, although here it’s quite explicitly stated, especially in the chorus.

“Baby everywhere I go – I’m not alone – You let me know – You’re on my phone – You’re in my dreams – You’re on my screen – You send me X and O’s – X and O’s.”

This song is part of an album that represents a venture into spacey, video game-based music that the band tried for on that album. It sure sounds like game music from the early 90s, although I’m not sure why that’s what the band was going for. Oh well – at least this song is cute!

“Xanadu” – Rush

Finally – some words! “Xanadu” is the name of a place that was referred to in a poem by the famous Samuel Taylor Coleridge way back in 1816. The poem, Kubla Khan, was based on an opium-induced dream in which he fantasized about Shangdu, the summer capital of Kublai Khan’s empire. Talk about weird.

Rush, being a weird band, fits the name perfectly. This song is epic. Released on Rush’s 1977 album A Farewell to Kings, it’s nearly 11 minutes long. It’s basically a symphony!

The beginning is a swirling 5-minute instrumental introduction. This transforms into a narrative sung by Geddy Lee over rocking music that includes lots of solos and virtuosity typical of Rush. One of their best songs? I think so. And it’s one of the best songs that start with X.

“Xanadu” – Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra

Not long after Rush’s epic, a film called Xanadu was released in 1980. The title track to its soundtrack was performed by ELO and songstress Olivia Newton-John. What a weird combination! Well, this song was written for the film soundtrack and needed to have a pop appeal, even if it was still pretty bizarre.

The track starts with rollerskate tap dancing and then moves to a more pop-dance section. Olivia Newton-John sings and stars in this musical movie, also inspired by the Coleridge poem. However, in this version, the mysterious Xanadu is a roller disco.

Go figure.

“X-Static” – Foo Fighters

The self-titled debut album of the Foo Fighters came out in 1995, if you can believe it. And they’re still rocking now! Well, they had one of the songs that start with the letter x on this album – “X-Static.” This song really shows off the original Foo Fighters sound, which was slower and a lot more washed out and airy than the straight-ahead Rock they play these days.

This track still has a powerful beat to it, as you’d expect from the recently ex-Nirvana drummer’s band. Dave Grohl seems to sing about a failed relationship in this song with lyrics like, “Couldn’t find a way to you – Seems that’s all I ever do – Turning up in black and blue.” If that’s the right interpretation, maybe the X-static is about all the static left between exes.

“X-Static Process” – Madonna

Legendary Queen of Pop, Madonna also plays on the same word with her track “X-Static Process.” This track comes from her ninth studio album, American Life, which came out in 2003. This album was an experiment in sounds and topics. It focuses on American life and materialism and uses Folk, Electronic, Dance, and Euro-Pop styles all mashed together.

But this serious song is something very different for Madonna. It starts with acoustic guitars, and her voice comes in over top sounding fragile and sad. She sings about losing herself in a relationship, something I think we can all relate to. Her words, “I always wished that I could find – Someone as beautiful as you – But in the process – I forgot that I was special too,” cut pretty darned close to the bone.

“X Marks the Spot” – Coldplay

The last song on my X songs list is “X Marks the Spot” from the British band Coldplay. It was included in A Head Full of Dreams, the band’s seventh album that came out in 2015. But, it was a hidden song that snuck in on the back of “Army of One.”

This track is a slow jam with an Electro-Pop and R&B-influenced sound that’s pretty different for this Pop-Rock band. As usual, though, the lyrics are very positive and uplifting.

Frontman Chris Martin sings, “So I reach for it, I know what I’ve got – X marks the spot – So I put my hands up to the sky, feeling alright – I’ve got a rocket ship that I want to ride,” helping you find that sweet spot of positivity you might need to make your day alright.

Want More Letter or Word Specific Songs?

If so, take a look at our detailed articles on Songs That Start With The Letter KSongs with the Word Star in the TitleSongs That Start With The Letter ZSongs With ‘Girl’ in The Title, the Best Songs with Colors in The Title, and the Best Songs with Numbers in the Title for more interesting song selections.

Also, you’ll 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 Best Headphones for Hip-Hop, the Most Comfortable Headphones, and the Best Headphones Under $200 you can buy in 2023.

14 Great Songs That Start With the Letter X

If you thought I’d struggle to fill up a list of songs starting with X, I hope you’re surprised. Thanks to abbreviations and X and O representing hugs and kisses, we’ve got lots to choose from. So, these were the best, most prominent X songs I could find for you.

And they’re all over the map. From Metal to Pop to Jazz – Xs popped up everywhere. As it turns out, this mysterious letter does a lot more than almost any other letter in the alphabet. If anything, we should expect a whole lot more interesting X songs in the future.

So, until next time, happy listening.

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About Warren Barrett

Warren has spent nearly half a century (now that's a long time!) as an ink-stained wretch writing for music magazines and websites and has no plans on giving up soon.

He is curious about all types of music and instruments apart from any genre with 'Urban' in the title. He's also not so keen on Plastic Potted Plants, Reality TV, and any movies with Kevin Costner in them.

He lives in Delaware with his wife Wendy and lots of great memories...

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