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100 Best Songs About Social Issues

I have been an online writer for over six years. I am passionate about books, philosophy, music, and the music industry.

Powerful songs that talk about social issues can awaken minds and help people solve problems affecting society.

Powerful songs that talk about social issues can awaken minds and help people solve problems affecting society.

Highlighting Social Issues in Songs

Musicians play a pivotal role in igniting a thought process that paves the way for change. With thoughtfully crafted lyrics singers and songwriters are able to change preconceived mindsets and notions. Powerful songs that talk about social issues awaken minds and help tackle or solve problems that affect people in a society effectively. Although conflicting opinions are brought to life through what is perceived as morally correct or incorrect in songs about social issues, the purpose of these songs is to highlight the consequence of issues extending beyond an individual or community’s control and the ways in which they can be dealt with.

Musicians play an important role in creating awareness about different issues through their songs. Bands and artists across different genres showcase either singular issues or multiple issues through their songs. Music has the power to connect with people and bring about a constructive change. The message conveyed through songs can inspire and influence people in different ways. Certain protest songs have started a revolution of change in mindsets among people. The strong lyrical thoughts about social problems and social issues in these songs bring about a sense of realization.

Social Commentary Leads to Truth

In certain songs singers and songwriters portray dual perspectives associated with an issue or problem and let listeners decide what is morally right or wrong. The social commentary in these songs lend a philosophical tone, intellectual tone, or logical tone to augment a deep understanding of the truth. Sometimes unique and realistic ways of combating or solving social issues are mentioned in an enchanting manner. Although views, opinions, and general consensus about social problems are deeply divided among people, the message in numerous songs that highlight these issues are open to different interpretations and understanding that actually bring about change for better.

Pearl Jam in 1991, shortly after recording "Jeremy," a song about a teen suicide.

Pearl Jam in 1991, shortly after recording "Jeremy," a song about a teen suicide.

What Do Songs with a Social Message Convey?

Although a plethora of concepts and ideas are conveyed through songs with a social message, the purpose or intent of these songs is to bring about a new awakening. Different types of social issues are highlighted in songs from different genres. Topics of regional interest, national interest and global interest are brought to life with stories based on real life or through fictional accounts. How the lives of people from different sections of society are affected based on income, occupation, social status, wealth, and political power is showcased with varied aspects of social stratification.

Certain singers and songwriters raise concerns about issues that affect them at a personal level. These songs narrate a deep and insightful perspective based on real life experiences. A great number of songs try and bring about awareness associated with a social problem. These songs present a strong point of view encompassed with a sense of partisan advocacy and debate. Different aspects about social inequality are aesthetically conveyed by musicians in songs about freedom. Numerous bands and artists highlight compelling aspects about poverty in a brutally thought-provoking manner.

Social Issues and Social Problems in Song

Racism

Hate Crimes

Harassment

Prejudice

Social Anxiety

Gun Violence

Discrimination

Gender Inequality

Suicide

Bullying

Depression

Human Rights

Economic Hardships

Alcohol and Drugs

Poverty

Class Conflict

Civil Rights

Domestic Violence

Adolescent Pregnancy

Mental Illness

Crime

Songs with social messages want to bring about positive change.

Songs with social messages want to bring about positive change.

The list below showcases a collection of rock songs, pop songs, country songs, R&B songs, hip hop songs, folk songs, alternative songs, indie songs, disco songs, reggae songs, electropop songs, synthpop songs, new wave songs, jazz songs, blues songs, EDM songs and dance songs about social issues. If you have a view, opinion, or song suggestion, let us know in the comments section.

Top 10 Best Songs About Social Issues

1. “Swish Swish”—Katy Perry

2. “River”—Eminem featuring Ed Sheeran

3. “1-800-273-8255”—Logic featuring Alesia Cara and Khalid

4. “TV”—Billie Eilish

5. “Jeremy”—Pearl Jam

6. “Dark Side”—Kelly Clarkson

7. “This Is America”—Childish Gambino

8. “Fast Car”—Tracy Chapman

9. “Born This Way”—Lady Gaga

10. “Who Says”—Selena Gomez & the Scene

#11—20

11. “Blowin’ in the Wind”—Bob Dylan

12. “Papa Don’t Preach”—Madonna

13. “Brick”—Ben Folds Five

14. “The Freshmen”—The Verve Pipe

15. “Numb”—Linkin Park

16. “Stole”—Kelly Rowland

17. “Bohemian Rhapsody”—Queen

18. “In the Ghetto”—Elvis Presley

19. “Pumped Up Kicks”—Foster the People

20. “Get Your Gunn”—Marilyn Manson

#21—40

21. “Really Don’t Care”—Demi Lovato featuring Cher Lloyd

22. “Slide”—Goo Goo Dolls

23. “Red Rag Top”—Tim McGraw

24. “911”—Lady Gaga

25. “Kill Em With Kindness”—Selena Gomez

26. “Moral of the Story”—Ashe

27. “Give Peace a Chance”—John Lennon

28. “How to Love”—Lil Wayne

29. “What It’s Like”—Everlast

30. “Broken Home”—Papa Roach

31. “Where Is the Love?”—Black Eyed Peas

32. “Crawling”—Linkin Park

33. “Both of Us”—B.o.B featuring Taylor Swift

34. “We Are the World”—USA for Africa

35. “Sun Goes Down”—Lil Nas X

36. “Youth of the Nation”—P.O.D.

37. “Gangsta’s Paradise”—Coolio featuring L.V.

38. “Stay Together for the Kids”—Blink-182

39. “I Need a Dollar”—Aloe Blacc

40. “Feels Like Summer”—Childish Gambino

#41—60

41. “Another Day in Paradise”—Phil Collins

42. “The Winner Takes It All”—ABBA

43. “Mean”—Taylor Swift

44. “We Shall Be Free”—Garth Brooks

45. “Changes”—2Pac featuring Talent

46. “Bad Religion”—Godsmack

47. “Paper Planes”—M.I.A.

48. “Ebony and Ivory”—Paul McCartney featuring Stevie Wonder

49. “The Ghost of Tom Joad”—Bruce Springsteen

50. “Respect”—Aretha Franklin

51. “Say It Ain’t So”—Weezer

52. “D-I-V-O-R-C-E”—Tammy Wynette

53. “Hands”—Jewel

54. “Alright”—Kendrick Lamar

55. “The A Team”—Ed Sheeran

56. “Talkin’ ‘bout a Revolution”—Tracy Chapman

57. “Juicy”—The Notorious B.I.G.

58. “Eleanor Rigby”—The Beatles

59. “Born Free”—M.I.A.

60. “Allentown”—Billy Joel

#61—80

61. “How to Make a Stand”—Sheryl Crow

62. “Glory”—Common and John Legend

63. “Common People”—Pulp

64. “In My Blood”—Shawn Mendes

65. “All of the Lights”—Kanye West

66. “Beautiful”—Christina Aguilera

67. “Mr. Wendel”—Arrested Development

68. “Cherry Wine”—Hozier

69. “People Are Strange”—The Doors

70. “Living for the City”—Stevie Wonder

71. “Creep”—Radiohead

72. “Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves”—Cher

73. “Beds Are Burning”—Midnight Oil

74. “You Need to Calm Down”—Taylor Swift

75. “What It Feels Like for a Girl”—Madonna

76. “Til It Happens to You”—Lady Gaga

77. “Zombie”—The Cranberries

78. “Free Your Mind”—En Vogue

79. “Land of Free”—The Killers

80. “Hell No Talmbout”—Janelle Monae

#81—100

81. “She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)”—Jerry Reed

82. “Bully”—Shinedown

83. “Formation”—Beyonce

84. “Rich, White, Straight Men”—Kesha

85. “Work”—Iggy Azalea

86. “Man in the Mirror”—Michael Jackson

87. “Killing in the Name”—Rage Against the Machine

88. “Powerless (Say What You Want)”—Nelly Furtado

89. “Fight the Power”—Public Enemy

90. “Don’t Laugh At Me”—Mark Willis

91. “Unwell”—Matchbox 20

92. “Words I Never Said”—Lupe Fiasco featuring Skylar Grey

93. “Epidemic”—Polo G.

94. “Hater”—Korn

95. “There’s Got to Be a Way”—Mariah Carey

96. “People Are People”—Depeche Mode

97. “Electric Avenue”—Eddy Grant

98. “Looking for America”—Lana Del Rey

99. “99 Red Balloons”—Nena

100. “Lucy”—Skillet

Other Notable Songs About Social Issues

  • “Bellyache”—Echobelly
  • “Happy Birthday”—Flipsyde
  • “Who’s Laughing Now”—Jessie J
  • “Eyes Are the Soul”—MC Lyte
  • “Sara”—Fleetwood Mac
  • “Bodies”—Sex Pistols
  • “Nude as the News”—Cat Power
  • “Is There Anybody Out There?”—K’naan featuring Nelly Furtado
  • “Crazy Enough”—Joe Bermudez featuring Louise Carver
  • “Coat of Many Colors”—Dolly Parton
  • “Sally’s Pigeons”—Cyndi Lauper
  • “No Man’s Land”—John Michael Montgomerry
  • “Every Other Weekend”—Reba McEntire and Kenny Chesney
  • “Gangsta Gangsta”—N.W.A.
  • “The Boxer”—Simon & Garfunkel
  • “Kill Somebody”—Yungblud
  • “Just Keep Breathing”—We the Kings
  • “Peace Train”—Cat Stevens
  • “I Don’t Call Him Daddy”—Doug Supernaw
  • “You Want a Battle? (Here’s a War)”—Bullet for My Valentine
  • “Faget”—Korn
  • “18 and Life”—Skid Row
  • “Coal Miner’s Daughter”—Loretta Lynn
  • “7 Seconds”—Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry
  • “Stupify”—Disturbed
  • “Ghost Town”—The Specials
  • “Her Town Too”—James Taylor and J. D. Souther
  • “Every Friday Afternoon”—Craig Morgan
  • “Invisible”—Hunter Hayes
  • “The Message”—Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
  • “Feel No Pain”—Sade
  • “Chocolate Rain”—Tay Zonday
  • “Bang Bang”—Green Day
  • “A Change Is Gonna Come”—Sam Cooke
  • “Get Together”—Youngbloods
  • “Starting Over Again”—Donna Summer
  • “With Pen in Hand”—Johnny Darrel
  • “Goin’ Through the Big D”—Mark Chestnut
  • “Stoned Love”—The Supremes
  • “Supersonic Rocket Ship”—The Kinks
  • “The Way it Is”—Bruce Hornsby and the Range
  • “Better Man”—Pearl Jam
  • “Strange Fruit”—Billie Holiday
  • “Earth”—Lil Dicky
  • “You Better Sit Down Kids”—Cher
  • “Skip a Rope”—Henson Cargill
  • “Chickin’ Huntin”—Insane Clown Posse
  • “Peace”—Sabrina Johnston
  • “Everyday People”—Sly and the Family Stone
  • “Black Tie White Noise”—David Bowie
  • “Ain’t Got No, I Got Life”—Nina Simone
  • “Boomerang”—JoJo Siwa
  • “If That Were Me”—Melanie C
  • “Brother Louie”—Hot Chocolate
  • “Some People Change”—Montgomery Gentry
  • “Lunchbox”—Marilyn Manson
  • “Colored People”—DC Talk
  • “Animal I Have Become”—Three Days Grace
  • “Wonderful”—Everclear
  • “Straight to Hell”—The Clash
  • “Make it Stop (September’s Children)”—Rise Against
  • “I’m Tryin’”—Trace Adkins
  • “Original Sin”—INXS
  • “Black Messiah”—The Kinks
  • “Nothing to Fear”—Chris Rea
  • “Shame on You”—Indigo Girls
  • “Let A Boy Cry”—Gala
  • “Drowning”—Hootie & the Blowfish
  • “Spirit in the Sky”—Keiino
  • “Q.U.E.E.N.”—Janelle Monae featuring Erykah Badu
  • “Accidental Racism”—Brad Paisley featuring LL Cool J
  • ‘Southern Man”—Neil Young
  • “The Joke”—Brandi Carlile
  • “Mississippi Goddam”—Nina Simone
  • “God Control”—Madonna
  • “Ring Ring, I’ve Got to Sing”—Ferre Grignard
  • “Everything Is Beautiful”—Ray Stevens
  • “Crying in the Rain”—Whitesnake
  • “Love It If You Made It”—The 1975
  • “Chimes of Freedom”—Bob Dylan
  • “Monkey Gone to Heaven”—Pixies
  • “Solid Rock”—Goanna
  • “New Slaves”—Kanye West
  • “Run Like Hell”—Pink Floyd
  • “Higher Ground”—Rasmussen
  • “Sing Our Own Song”—UB40
  • “Hey, Hey Helen”—ABBA
  • “If We Make It Through December”—Merle Haggard and the Strangers
  • “Golden Ring”—George Jones and Tammy Wynette
  • “When All Is Said and Done”—ABBA
  • “Same Love”—Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert
  • “Only a Pawn in Their Game”—Bob Dylan
  • “When the Children Cry”—White Lion
  • “Hero of War”—Rise Against
  • “If You Miss Me At the Back of the Bus”—Pete Seeger
  • “Goodbye Earl”—Dixie Chicks
  • “A Dream”—Common
  • “Long Way to Go”—Gwen Stefani and Andre 3000
  • “A Legal Matter”—The Who
  • “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)”—Marvin Gaye

© 2022 Ansel Pereira