46 Songs About Wishes
Wishing Takes You One Step Closer
Some may say that wishing is a waste of time. While wishing in itself doesn't make it so, at least it does take you a step closer to where you want to be. With all the chaos in our world right now, it's easy to find oneself yearning to turn back time, connect with others, undo mistakes, or live more authentically. Whatever you wish for, make a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs about wishes and wishing, then go make your dreams a reality.
1. "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts
The narrator in this 2006 country tune fervently wishes a loved one the very best that life has to offer. The song crossed over to both the mainstream pop chart and adult contemporary chart. The man hopes that they will live their best life by making all the right choices, never feeling bogged down by regret:
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish (my wish, for you).
2. "I Wish You Were Here" by Incubus
The guy in this 2001 rock song is soaking up the present moment, wishing he had someone there with him who could take it all in with him. He first enjoys a scenic ocean view and later is mesmerized by the dark canopy of a star-strewn sky. Who wouldn't want to share that with someone else?
3. "I Hope" by Gabby Barrett
What goes around, comes around. At least that's what the dark-hearted lady in this country hit from 2019 wishes. The sassy gal is still nursing a broken heart after her ex-boyfriend cheated on her, shredding her trust.
Now she's in full vengeance mode, malevolently wishing that he finds someone really special to share his life with—a girl who fulfills every dream and makes him spend his last dime on a diamond ring. And then this sinister sista hopes he gets what's coming to him—a broken heart.
4. "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" by Sophie B. Hawkins
Back in the 1990s, several years before Melissa Etheridge's plucky declarations of lesbian love in "Come to My Window," almost all songs were about heterosexual couples. Many people totally missed it at the time, but the female narrator in this internationally rock hit addresses another woman who is trapped in an abusive relationship. (I know it flew over my head.) The narrator in this 1992 number wishes she could rescue her love interest then she vividly describes what she wishes they could do together romantically.
5. "I Wish Grandpas Never Died" by Riley Green
The guy in this heartfelt 2020 country song paints an idealized version of the world as he makes a wide variety of wishes, both large and small. He imagines how sweet life would be if his wishes about relationships and everyday life came true. Some of the changes he'd like to see will leave a lump in your throat while others are merely fun:
I wish honkytonks didn't have no closing time
And I wish grandpas never died.
If you could make ONE wish, what would it be for (other than more wishes)?
6. "Airplanes" by B.o.B. (featuring Hayley Williams)
Can we pretend that airplanes
In the night sky are like shooting stars?
I could really use a wish right now
Wish right now, wish right now
Many of us wish that we could dial back the clock and return to an era before life became so complicated. This 2010 R&B crossover hit was so popular that it made the decade-end Billboard 100 chart. The narrator describes a yearning to return to a simpler time when he rapped for the fun of it, before the soul-sucking pressure of the industry, the high-profile parties, and the glitz.
7. "Brave" by Sara Bareilles
Noting that words can either wound or heal, the woman in this 2013 power pop song encourages a friend to see their own strength. She wishes the following for them:
Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave.
The narrator explains that when personal truth fails to see the sunlight, there is festering from the inside. We are overly worried about disapproval and speaking truth to power, and the narrator wants her friend to speak up and be brave.
8. "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack
Considered Lee Ann Womack's signature song, this 2000 country crossover ditty conveys a tender message to a loved one in wishing them the very best that life has to offer. The narrator encourages them to fully participate in life and wishes for them to be blessed with a bounty of goodness:
- a child's wonder
- gratitude and abundance
- faith and hope
- personal authenticity and
- the courage and confidence to tackle difficult challenges.
9. "Don't Cha" by The Pussycat Dolls (featuring Busta Rymes)
The seductress in this 2005 worldwide smash hit wishes she could have another woman's man, and she knows he feels the attraction too. In spite of his pleas to leave his happy home alone, the vamp teases him about how hot, freaky, raw, and fun she is. With rhetorical questions like this, she makes him wish he could upgrade his choice of mates: "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?"
10. "I Wish It Would Rain" by The Temptations
This 1967 Motown song is one of desolation. The narrator's sweetheart has betrayed him with infidelity, leaving the heartbroken man to mourn their broken relationship by hiding in his room. He wishes for rain to conceal his tears because he doesn't want to explain why he's in such emotional anguish.
Sadly, the lyrics were written by a man who in real life had just discovered that his wife was being unfaithful. He wrote a trilogy of 1967 songs for The Temptations about his sorrowful experience: 1) "You're My Everything, 2) "I Wish It Would Rain" and 3) "I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You)." Only a week after "I Wish It Would Rain" was released, the songwriter died by suicide. Or perhaps, you might say, of a broken heart.
11. "Wish I Knew You" by The Revitalists
This thumpin' alternative rock song from 2016 features an older man who is enchanted with a beautiful, confident woman whom he places upon a pedestal. Although they weren't together when they were younger, he wishes they could have been.
Quotes About Wishes and Wishing
"We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving, and we all have the power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing." - Louisa May Alcott, American writer
"My best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake." - Aristotle, Greek philosopher
"All a man's affairs become diseased when he wishes to cure evils by evils." - Sophocles, ancient Greek tragedian
"Love wishes to perpetuate itself. Love wishes for immortality." - Mortimer Adler, American philosopher
"If a man could have half of his wishes, he would double his troubles." - Benjamin Franklin, American Founding Father
"An enemy generally says and believes what he wishes." - Thomas Jefferson, third U.S. President
"Exercise is done against one's wishes and maintained only because the alternative is worse." - George Sheehan, American physician
"It's so hard to know what to do when one wishes earnestly to do right." - George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright
"No matter how happily a woman may be married, it always pleases her to discover that there is a nice man who wishes that she were not." - H.L. Mencken, American writer
"We would often be sorry if our wishes were gratified." - Aesop, Greek fabulist
12. "Be Careful What You Wish For" by Luke Combs
Like anyone who grew up in a small town, all the guy in this 2017 country song ever wished to do was to escape the stifling confines of where he grew up. At age 18, he left behind all that was familiar, including his hometown honey. Out in the real world, however, he developed a bad case of the grass-is-greener phenomenon and recalled what he gave up. Maybe that hometown wasn't so bad after all:
Sometimes what you think you'll find
It ain't quite what real life has in store
So be careful what you wish for.
13. "Cool Kids" by Echosmith
In high school, were you part of the "in" crowd or instead relegated to the status of "wannabe"? If you've ever envied someone else, wishing you could swap places with them, then you can no doubt identify with the narrators in this alternative rock song, a worldwide hit in 2013.
A guy and girl each hover invisibly in the social background, wishing they could be more popular. They are involuntarily segregated from the cool kids who seem to be living the good life, driving fast cars, and enjoying fast lane life. No one quite knows how to cross the social divide or cares enough to try so they'll remain strangers, probably like your high school crowd chose to operate. Am I right?
14. "I Wish You Would" by Taylor Swift
In classic Taylor Swift fashion, this 2014 expresses regret over a relationship-ending argument, and like many of her songs, it refers to a former beau. The song's narrator laments that her lover always knew how to push her buttons. However, this time when words flew, she hung up the phone, and somehow she found herself stuck in this sad place, staring out of her window at 2 a.m. She realizes he's never coming back.
As the lovelorn young woman watches her ex's car drive past her house, all she does is wish that he would turn around. Pride keeps them apart, and she is resigned to the reality that she'll miss him for the rest of her life. "I Wish You Would" was allegedly inspired by One Directioner Harry Styles who lived just two blocks away. Was he the one that got away?
15. "Hold Me While You Wait" by Lewis Capaldi
The guy in this doleful love song from 2019 is waiting for his sweetheart to make up her mind. Unsure about what she wants, the woman has pressed the pause button on their relationship and left the narrator dangling midair, feeling demoralized and wishing she cared more about him. Her indecision also prompts a crisis of confidence in him as he questions his self-worth: "I wish that I was good enough." The poor guy. This is not emotionally healthy for him.
16. "Wish I Didn't Know Now" by Toby Keith
The overly trusting man in this 1994 country song was okay with playing the fool as long as he could maintain his relationship. Scared of losing the woman he loved, he refrained from asking her questions or verifying her story because. Instead, he preferred to remain blissfully unaware of her ongoing infidelity. Now that the truth has become painfully obvious, he regrets finding out:
I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then
I wish I could start this whole thing over again
I'm not sayin' it's you,
You could never be true
I just don't want to know how it ends.
17. "Wishin' and Hopin'" by Dusty Springfield
Thinkin' and a-prayin', wishin' and a-hopin' that the guy she's in love with will feel the same way, the girl in this campy, upbeat pop ditty hatches a plan for winning his heart. She's a-gonna spiffy her hair up because that always helps, then she will express sweet affection towards him. Mwah! The 1964 hit saw a resurgence in popularity when it was featured in the Austin Powers films and the 1997 motion picture My Best Friend's Wedding.
18. "Wishing on a Star" by The Cover Girls
Many artists have covered Rose Royce's 1978 R&B tune, including Jay-Z, Beyoncé, and Seal. However, it was Latin freestyle and pop group The Cover Girls who made it a Top 10 Billboard hit, in 1992. The song describes a woman's yearning to reunite with her former flame. Expressing regret over hurting him, the narrator wishes on stars and rainbows that her ex would let bygones be bygones and resume their affair.
19. "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free" by Nina Simone
During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, this stirring gospel-jazz tune became a freedom anthem. You can hear the struggle in songstress Nina Simone's earnest voice as she yearns to break the collective chains that bind. She wishes to be truly free, rise to her full potential and share her love with the world.
An activist and one-time neighbor of Malcolm X, Simone released a number of civil rights songs. Rolling Stone magazine applauded the artist by naming her to their 100 Greatest Singers of All Time list.
20. "I Wish You Were Gay" by Billie Eilish
Knowing that your love interest is just not that into you is such a desperate, helpless feeling. Ever been there? The disheartened girl in this clever 2019 pop song is struggling with rejection after a partner cheated on her and stung her with the rationale that she just wasn't his type. (Ouch, Did he also say he still wanted to be friends?) Heartbroken and emotionally insecure, the poor gal wishes he were gay so she could attribute the rejection to his sexual orientation or something that doesn't reflect back on her.
Even More Songs About Wishes and Wishing
21. I Wish You Well
Sigala (featuring Becky Hill)
22. Wish You Were Here
23. Don't You Wish It Was True
24. Wish You Were Here
25. I Wish You Well
26. I Wish You Heaven
27. I Wish I Were a Princess
Little Peggy March
28. I Wish
29. Blown a Wish
My Bloody Valentine
30. I Wish
Cher Lloyd (featuring T.I.)
32. My Only Wish (This Year)
33. I Wish It Would Rain Down
34. Wish I Didn't Miss You
35. I Wish
Jo Dee Messina
36. We Wish You a Merry Christmas
37. Careful What You Wish For
38. Bet U Wish U Had Me Back
39. I Wish You Could Have Turned My Head (And Left My Heart Alone)
The Oak Ridge Boys
40. I Wish I Could Break Your Heart
5 Seconds of Summer
43. If I Could Turn Back Time
44. If I Knew Then
45. Lost Boy
46. When You Wish Upon a Star
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