52 Songs About Searching and Seeking
We Are All Looking for Something
Right now you're probably searching for something. Maybe you don't even know what it is.
The young among us seek independence while the aged look for peace and sometimes their keys. (It's never a good sign if they're in the freezer.)
The disenfranchised among us look for justice, expression of their voice, and for rights to be recognized. The powerful seek to hold on to what they have. The uncoupled look for love or a convenient substitute. We all seek acceptance and a purpose in life.
Whatever you're looking for in life, I hope you find it. While you search, why not make a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B tunes about searching and seeking? We have a long list to start you off.
What are you seeking?
1. "Search Party" by Sam Bruno
In this 2015 pop song, one lover beckons another to meet her in exotic locations—the Eiffel Tower, Jamaica, or perhaps the desert. She imagines that they'll become so lost together that there will be massive search parties formed that look in vain for them. The song was part of the soundtrack for the movie Paper Towns about a high school student who looks for a missing girl he is in love with, using mysterious clues she left behind regarding her disappearance.
2. "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" by U2
If you're on a quest, you need to know what you're looking for in order to find it. While that may seem obvious, the narrator in this iconic 1987 rock song still feels unsatisfied, empty, and lost in spite of his life altering experiences and travels. He admits:
... I still haven't found
What I'm looking for.
Perhaps it's within him instead.
3. "Find What You're Looking for" by Olivia O'Brien
Tired of playing the victim in her relationship, the narrator in this pop song from 2016 seeks to cut her losses and move on. Although her partner lies and is unfaithful, she cannot seem to let him go. She eventually decides to end their affair by telling him she hopes that he finds what he's looking for.
4. "Looking for Love" by Johnny Lee
Once you've found the love of your life, it's a welcome feeling to call off the search. If you're like the cowboy in this 1980 theme from the movie Urban Cowboy, your love quest probably lead you to singles bars. There are lots of players there. Few bar hoppers are searching for long-term romance. These days, the best chances of meeting a long-term mate is through a friend, colleague, or family member or even making a love connection on-line.
5. "The Search Is Over" by Survivor
The guy in this 1985 rock song has searched the world over for lasting love only to discover that it's been right beside him all along. He looks at his faithful friend with fresh eyes after having taken her for granted and tries to convince her that his love is genuine:
Now I look into your eyes
I can see forever,
The search is over
You were with me all the while.
6. "Say (All I Need)" by One Republic
The world can be a stark and lonely place. All we really need is air to breathe, a place to rest our heads, and of course, each other.
In this 2008 rock song, a narrator asks the listener some searching questions that reflect the essence of loneliness. In a world of materialism, he wonders whether you know where your heart and love are: "Do you think you can find it, or did you trade it for something?"
7. "Searching for a Feeling" by Thirdstory
There's nothing like brutal honesty to dissuade a potential lover. The guy in this 2016 pop song tries to warn off a girl who is smitten with him by confessing he has a cold heart. He cautions her not to waste her time on someone who is mean, shallow, and messed up like him.
He's been searching for himself and feels incapable of feeling love for anyone. Sadly, that includes returning love that is given to him. (Take people like this at their word!)
8. "Call Off the Search" by Katie Melua
Once you've finally found lasting love, you can call off the search. In this international hit from 2003, the narrator is happy to no longer be waiting and wondering whether she'd be spending her life alone. Love has found her and won't pass her by.
9. "Have You Seen Her" by the Chi-lites
In this catchy 1971 rock classic, a man has been left by his lover. His honey is as good as gone, but the despondent fella is still looking. Unable to accept that it's over, he searches for her in all the usual places and asks everyone he knows whether they've seen her.
10. "Have You Seen My Love" by Rosie Thomas
You simply must listen to this 2001 pop song. The pain of waiting for love is almost palpable in the singer's lovely voice. The narrator has been searching for the love of her life, and she wonders whether he is far away. She is lonely and prays for him to come find her.
11. "Where Have You Been" by Rihanna
No one could accuse Rihanna of getting philosophically deep or sentimental with this 2011 pop hit. She asks her lover where he's been all of her life, as he has the ability to love her right all night long. While his stamina is admirable, should she also be searching for someone who will treat her with respect?
12. "Searching for Love" by Akon
In this 2011 R&B song, Akon confesses that despite the fame, fortune, and beautiful women in his life, he feels empty inside. He's learned that the most valuable and elusive things in life truly aren't things after all:
I got everything in this world a man could ever want
If you search deeper inside me all I really need is love from you
Searching for love, I'm just searching for love.
13. "Searching" by Roy Ayers
The message in this jazz-influenced 1976 number should resonate with listeners of today as much as it did then. The narrator bemoans a lack of unity in the world, a discord that causes people to turn against one another. He instead seeks peace and a better way:
I don't ever wanna be stressed out
I just wanna live my life
The way I feel that I should be
'Cause I wanna be happy, happy
What about you and me?
14. "Looking for an Answer" by Mike Shinoda/Linkin Park
When a friend or loved ones dies by suicide, survivors are often haunted with the question, "Why?" Fellow bandmate and friend Mike Shinoda wrote this song after the the death by suicide of Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington.
This 2017 ballad asks questions about what the narrator could have done to help and whether his friend is now at peace. Sadly, he'll never quite get the answers he's searching for. He'll always carry this tragic burden.
15. "Lookin' for a Good Time" by Lady Antebellum
After a long week at work, the guy in this country song from 2008 is out looking for a good time in the local bar, and he'll promise just about anything in order to get it. He sets eyes on a good looking woman and after a short conversation with her suggests that they move it on back to his place. Little does this fella know that a one night stand will leave him feeling lonely, empty, and still searching.
16. "Learn to Fly" by Foo Fighters
We're all looking for purpose in life. Have you found yours? The guy in this 1999 rock song is looking for a source of inspiration in his life to energize him and make him feel that life is worth living.
17. "Where Have You Been" by Kathy Matthea
I love this country song from 1989. It brings multiple meanings to searching for someone. The tune features a young woman named Claire who searched for years for true love and nearly gave up when suddenly she met the man who would become her husband.
The years passed happily for the couple, with Claire becoming a salesman's wife. One stormy night, however, her husband is late returning from work, and she becomes worried. Her mind searches the possibilities.
Then, fast forward to the waning years of this couple's love story, as they live in different wings of an assisted care unit. Claire experiences dementia and doesn't speak much.
When her husband is wheeled in for a visit, she successfully searches her memory for him:
Where've you been?
I've looked for you forever and a day.
Where've you been?
I'm just not myself when you're away.
18. "Searchin'" by The Coasters
Instantly recognizable, this 1957 rock classic features a man who is determined to find the woman he loves, regardless of where she's hiding. He plans to use detective work in order to locate her, thus he references law enforcement figures in popular culture, including Sherlock Holmes, Charlie Chan, Joe Friday, Sam Spade, the Mounties, and others.
Today, we'd wonder whether the is behaving like a stalker. (Perhaps she doesn't want to be found.) While this is one of the earliest songs about stalkers and obsessive love, there are many more, if you're interested.
19. "Cigarette Daydreams" by Cage the Elephant
Have you ever had a relationship fall apart and you didn't know why? This 2013 rock song spotlights a couple in a fragmenting love affair. Although they search for answers and a way to make things right, some broken relationships are unfixable and should have never happened in the first place.
20. "Chasing Pavements" by Adele
Seeking love from someone who doesn't love you back is heart wrenching. If you've ever been there, then you understand how desperate the situation can make you feel.
Adele's 2008 pop song is one of unrequited love. A woman searches for a decision as to whether she should confess her love and face potential rejection or instead continue to stay in the background and wonder "what if?"
Even More Songs About Searching or Seeking
21. Looking for You Again
Matthew Perryman Jones
22. Looking for You
Justin Bieber (featuring Migos)
24. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You
25. You're What I'm Looking for
26. Needle in a Haystack
27. Looking for Angels
28. Searching for Love
29. In Search Of
30. The Love That You've Been Looking for
31. My Beautiful Reward
32. I Didn't Know I Was Looking for Love
33. Looking for an Angel
34. Looking for the Magic
Dwight Twilley Band
35. Keep Searchin'
36. Looking 4 Myself
37. Looking for Love
38. So Am I
Ty Dolla $ign (featuring Damian Marley & Skrillex)
39. Love Is Looking for You
40. I've Been Waiting for a Girl Like You
41. El Cerrito Place
42. We Are One
43. I've Never Been to Me
44. The Most Beautiful Girl
45. Lookin' for a Love
46. Something Just Like This
The Chainsmokers & Coldplay
47. The River of Dreams
48. Sweet Dreams
49. Keep Searchin'
50. I'll Never Find Another You
52. I Need You Now
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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