FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.
Take a Stand or Have a Seat
In a world filled with personal and economic uncertainty, political strife, and cultural transformation, people rely upon their voices, values, and own two feet to make a statement. They attempt to control the turbulence around them, standing up for their beliefs, standing their ground, and standing by friends who need their support. We demonstrate our values every day in ways large and small, so take a stand or have a seat.
Make yourself a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs about standing. We have a long list to start you off!
1. "Stand by You" by Rachel Platten
We all needs a friend like this to help us through the dips and valleys in life's wild rollercoaster ride. The narrator in this mood-boosting 2016 pop song is a whirlwind of positive energy. She grabs the hand of her dear friend and offers to be their cheerleader, walking alongside them through hell and back, and shouldering their burden when they are unable.
Both empathic and inspirational, this strong lady has the worldliness to know what her BFF needs in their hours of loneliness and weakness. Perhaps they are suffering illness or a personal crisis. Regardless, the narrator reassures her friend that they do not stand alone.
2. "Don't Stand So Close to Me" by the Police
In 1980, people blindly sang along to this new wave hit without paying attention to its lyrics. Holy moly! The song describes an illicit affair between a young teacher and his pupil, a schoolgirl half his age. They try to keep their relationship clandestine, but it becomes the focus of harsh gossip around the school, and the teacher receives rebuke from disapproving faculty members. (These days, he'd be arrested.)
Feeling a mix of lust, temptation, and frustration, the teacher tells his young lover not to stand too close to him. In retrospect, this Grammy Award-winning, very catchy song is actually quite cringy.
3. "I'm Still Standing" by Elton John
Aided by heavy rotation on the nascent MTV channel, this snappy diss track from 1983 was a big hit for Elton John. The song's narrator informs his ex-lover that he has survived their breakup (thank you very much), picked up the pieces of his life, and moved on.
While expressing bitterness for his former flame, the man mostly wants his ex to know that he's doing even better without them. He's still standing after all this time. Who hasn't rub success in an ex's face like this?
4. "Standing Outside the Fire" by Garth Brooks
In not only love but also other aspects of life, you must take risks to reap the largest rewards. Sometimes you only get one opportunity.
Offering sage life advice, this 1993 country tune advocates going after what you want, even if it means getting hurt or making a fool out of yourself. You can either safely stand back, outside of the action or choose to take a risk because
Read More From Spinditty
Life is not tried, it is merely survived
If you're standing outside the fire.
5. "I'll Stand by You" by The Pretenders
You want someone like this standing by your side for the tough times. In this tender 1994 rock ballad, a woman encourages her loved one to open up and share their pain. She provides gentle reassurance that she loves them unconditionally and will help them through their most difficult times ahead. Providing protection and emotional support, the narrator will be there for their journey and vows to stand by them, come what may.
6. "Stand by Me" by Ben E. King
Darkness can befall the world, but the guy in this classic R&B ditty will have no fear as long as he and his sweetheart are standing together. With its gospel roots, this mellow song upholds the sweet pledge of steadfast love against external forces. "Stand by Me" is one of the most played of all songs of the 20th century.
Twice it reached the Top 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100—in 1961 when it was initially released and again in 1986, when it appeared on the soundtrack of the major motion picture by the same name.
Rolling Stone recognized the tune as one of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time," and the Songwriters Hall of Fame lauded it with the Towering Song Award, an honor bestowed upon an individual song that has been culturally influential in a unique way over many years.
7. "Stand By Your Man" by Tammy Wynette
Oh, Tammy! Where are your personal boundaries?
In this classic 1968 country song, The First Lady Of Country Music confuses being a honorable and dutiful wife for overlooking her husband's marital indiscretions. She advocates giving one's hubby a warm embrace to come home to, showing the world you're proud of him, and forgiving mistakes "'Cause after all, he's just a man."
In contrast to this signature song of hers, when it came to her personal life Wynette sang a different tune. She divorced country music legend George Jones after six years of marriage. Jones was an abusive alcoholic at the time of their disastrous marriage, and Wynette refused to tolerate his behavior. It was the third marriage for them both.
Wynette and Jones got along better post-divorce and continued to perform together for several years. They were friends until Wynette's death in 1998.
8. "Won't Stand Down" by Muse
A bully gets what's coming to him in this 2022 heavy rock song about vengeance as a narrator finally opens his eyes and becomes wary of the bully's tricks. The narrator reveals his opponent as a user, abuser, and gaslighter who has strung him along.
The narrator is no longer tolerating the bully's lies and malignant behavior. Growing stronger, he's turning the tables on the mean guy. Look out! Whether at school, work, or in your personal life, stand your ground against people who look to defeat you.
9. "Love the Way You Lie" by Eminem (Featuring Rihanna)
Lovers in toxic relationships often engage in a savage cycle of tearing one another apart. Then they passively stand by, bearing witness to their partner's astonished reaction:
Just gonna stand there and watch me burn?
Well, that's alright, because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry?
Well, that's alright, because I love the way you lie.
In this 2010 hip-hop and pop ballad, two artists with real-life domestic violence experience portray a poisonous, high stakes affair that includes physical abuse, excuses, and reconciliation. There are lies and threats of violence if one partner leaves, and they mislabel the cycle of violence as "love."
While it may be obsession, this isn't love. Love doesn't hurt like this. These two spell trouble together.
10. "Won't Back Down" by Tom Petty
In what has become an anthem of defiance, this 1989 hit rock song describes a lone narrator struggling against forces attempting to defeat him. Based on his deeply held convictions, he has made a choice to take a strong stand on an important, undisclosed issue.
He makes his position clear, with no waffling. You can stand him up against the gates of hell, but this dude in the fight for the long haul:
Well, I know what's right
I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin' me around
But I'll stand my ground
And I won't back down.
Petty's song became popular again after 9/11 and has been used by sports teams as well as both Republican and Democratic politicans. This included George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden. Because the singer was a progressive and didn't want his song used to promote Republican values, his representatives issued cease and desist orders to those who co-opted the tune for unauthorized purposes.
11. "Can You Stand the Rain" by New Edition
Although the guy in this 1988 R&B song tells his girlfriend that there is "no pressure, no pressure," he's asking some pretty tough questions about what kind of situations she'll support him through.
Specifically, he's not looking for a fair-weather gal but also someone who will hang in there when times are difficult. He wants a partner who will stand by him and be right there during life's storms. The narrator puts a little pressure on her by asking directly, "Can you stand the rain? Will you be there, girl?" Then he lays it on even thicker by telling her that he plays on being right there for her.
I'm thinking this guy has a secret storm brewing right now, and this is his way of breaking the news to her. Is another girl having his baby? Did he lose his job? Did he wreck her car? We don't know.
12. "Standing on the Edge of Goodbye" by John Berry
Goodbyes can be exceptionally difficult, even as love fades into remorseful memories of happier moments and what-ifs. Actually leaving, however, is often a decision that takes some working up to.
The couple in this 1995 hit country tune about the dying days of a love relationship is ready call it quits. They no longer embrace or feel the passion they once did. Is it too late?
Standing on the edge of goodbye, they each teeter on the decision to go their separate ways. As they do so, both partners experience trouble sleeping and eating and are gripped by fits of crying. Just make the decision and get on with your lives.
13. "Stand Back" by Stevie Nicks
Rock legend Stevie Nicks famously based this hit on the melody of Prince's 1983 song, "Little Red Corvette." She wrote it on her honeymoon to Kim Anderson (a guy). Theirs was a three-month marriage, as Nicks wedded the husband of her recently deceased best friend because she wanted to help raise the couple's newborn child. She called that decision "beyond insane."
Prince helped the songstress to complete "Stand Back," and although he didn't get any songwriting credit for his efforts, they did agree to an even split of royalties. Nicks refers to the song as "belonging" to Prince and reports that it is her favorite song to sing on stage.
The 1983 rock ditty refers cryptically to two men. The first man walked away from the narrator, leaving her rejected. She was left standing in a line of other lovers or priorities in his life. Meanwhile, the other man pursued her, and although she repeatedly rebuffed him, he asked just for her love. Now he's the one standing in line in her life, behind the other man the narrator alludes to.
Nicks had a famously turbulent relationship with Fleetwood Mac male lead singer and lead guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. In 1994, she suggested to Rolling Stone that perhaps she had good reason to stand back:
"We're really not friends. We're really not anything. We did not break up friends, and we have never been friends since. He is not really able to have any kind of a relationship with me. I just bug him to death. Everything I do is abrasive to him. He's scary when he gets mad."
14. "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" by Phil Collins
Well isn't someone being over-the-top dramatic in this song? Collins wrote it during his first divorce.
As the narrator's lover is walking out the door, leaving him bereft, the man in this 1984 love ballad histrionically declares to her that he will stand in place and wait for her to return. How clingy. He claims that she is the only person who has ever known him. (Perhaps his lack of emotional self-control is why she's walking away?)
Her leaving triggers memories of their lives together through the years—laughing, crying, and sharing. How could she do this to him? The narrator feels "busleft" and empty and wants her to turn around and come right back. However, there's virtually no chance that she will do so. If against all odds she does return, then he'll certainly be standing there waiting.
15. "Standing in the Shadows of Love" by Four Tops
The loverboy in this 1966 Motown hit is feeling glum as he waits for his girlfriend to dump him. He senses a change in their relationship and realizes that it's just a matter of time before he's unwillingly single again. The dreadful anticipation that "it's the beginning of the end" of their love relationship has him feeling sorry for himself as the guy attempts to make sense of his honey's change of heart and even entertains thoughts of dying.
The song is a recrafted version of The Supremes' B-side song, "Standing at the Crossroads of Love" (1963). Rolling Stone magazine added "Standing in the Shadows of Love" to its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
16. "Take It Easy" by Eagles
This country rock song from 1972 about living in the moment is one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. It famously references standing:
Well, I'm a-standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona
And such a fine sight to see
It's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford
Slowin' down to take a look at me.
Winslow is a city of about 9,000 people located in central-eastern Arizona on the historic US Route 66. The city has commemorated their song mention with a statue of Eagles songwriter and frontman Glenn Frey and a public park named Standin' on the Corner Park that has become a popular tourist spot.
17. "Hall of Fame" by The Script (Featuring will.i.am)
Don't let the naysayers keep you down, hold you back, or cause you to question yourself. This pop song took the world by storm in 2012, inspiring people to reach the edge of their limits and chase their dreams.
Using many examples, The Script's message in this song is that if you believe in yourself and work hard towards your goal, anything is possible. The tune encourages the listener: the world will know your name when you stand in the Hall of Fame. This is a song to listen to when you're feeling depressed because it's bound to pump you up!
18. "Stand" by Rascal Flatts
If you've ever heard the Japanese proverb, “Fall down seven times, stand up eight,” then you know the value of resilience. This 2007 country single has a similar message. You cannot always direct what obstacles life throws your way, but you can control how you respond.
The song's narrator advises that when when you're feeling alone, helpless and lost, take a breath. Rather than giving up, that's the time to get mad, get strong, and stand back up. Show the world what you're made of when you've been knocked down. You've got this!
19. "Stand Tall" by Childish Gambino
Musician Donald Glover typically performs under the name "Childish Gambino," a name he acquired from a fun computer name generating app, "The Wu-Tang Name Generator."
In this 2016 neo-funk song, he recounts advice given to him by his parents regarding chasing after his dreams, standing tall (or believing in himself), and being positive. They also conveyed a loving knowledge that the world had much to offer and that someone cared for him. With a foundation like that it's hard to go wrong!
20. "I Stand Alone" by Godsmack
Seething and defiant, the man in this hard rock ditty from 2002 is standing up to forces in this corrupt, malignant world that want to control him. He stands isolated and determined to go shoulder to shoulder with the darkness. He is committed to extricating any trace of its poison from within him. It's time for this guy to rise and dream and stand on his own, victorious.
Even More Songs About Standing
21. Stand Beside Me
Jo Dee Messina
22. Stand Inside Your Love
The Smashing Pumpkins
23. You've Got to Stand for Something
24. Next to You
Chris Brown (Featuring Justin Bieber)
25. Stand Here with Me
26. You'll Never Stand Alone
27. Stand Alone
29. When We Stand Together
31. Standing in the Storm
32. Stand Down
33. Stand and Deliver
Adam and the Ants
34. Stand Up
35. Truly Madly Deeply
36. Where I Stood
37. (I'm a) Stand by My Woman Man
38. Stand Back Up
39. Stand By Your Side
40. Standing on the Promises
41. Standing O
42. Standing Right in Front of You
43. Stand on My Own Ground
44. Standing in Front of You
The Jackson 5
47. Stand in Your Love
Bethel Music and Josh Baldwin
48. Stand By Me
49. Standing on the Shore
Empire of the Sun
50. Stand Up
Five for Fighting
51. Standing at the Crossroads of Love
52. Standing Tall
The Righteous Brothers
54. Standing on a Rock
56. Stand & Deliver
57. I Can Only Imagine
58. Stand in the Light
59. Stand Up and Sing
Kool & The Gang
60. Standing Knee Deep in a River (Dying of Thirst)
61. Just Stand Up!
Artists Stand Up to Cancer
62. Somebody Stand By Me
63. Honey Would You Stand By Me
64. Still Standing
Monica (Featuring Ludacris)
65. Stand Up
66. Stand by My Woman
69. Stand by Love
70. Standing Still
71. Pretty Heart
72. Stand Your Ground
73. Peaceful Easy Feeling
74. Last One Standing
75. Last One Standing
Skylar (Featuring Pollo G, Mozzy & Eminem)
76. She Looks So Perfect
5 Seconds of Summer
77. You Belong with Me
78. Take a Bow
79. Love Will Keep Us Alive
80. The Winner Takes It All
81. I Saw Her Standing There
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