I have been known to pick really random themes and make music playlists around them. One of my favorites is a playlist of songs about rain. Fire, sleep, and “bang bang” are a few other themes. It’s easy to find songs about nature. However, what about songs that are specifically about gardens? Here are the songs that I would put on a garden songs playlist:
“Garden Song” or “Inch by Inch”
This is a folk song written by David Mallett. It’s been covered by many famous folk singers. However, the most popular version is John Denver’s. It really is just about life in a garden … and how that’s a metaphor for all working together to make the Earth a better place.
“The Garden Song” has become an anthem for gardeners and nature lovers alike, inspiring a sense of connection to the Earth and a desire to cultivate and nurture life. Its positive message and engaging melody have made it a beloved and enduring song in the realm of gardening and environmental awareness.
“Pullin’ weeds and pickin’ stonesMan is made of dreams and bones Feel the need to grow my own”
“The Garden Rules” by Snow Patrol
This song is about childhood and innocence and first love, reflected in storytelling about playing games in the garden as kids.
“You would call the garden rules out like commands
And we would all obey
But you’d stifle giddy laughter as you spoke
And puncture the pretend
Then we would chase our tails, until the sun forgot to shine
And our parents called our names, ’til just you and I were left”
Van Morrison’s “In The Garden”
“In the Garden” is a track from Van Morrison’s 1986 album, “No Guru, No Method, No Teacher.” The song is a contemplative and spiritual piece that reflects Morrison’s interest in mystical themes. The lyrics evoke a sense of personal transformation and the desire to find solace and connection in a garden setting. It’s about finding meaning in life and reflects that tuning in to nature, and to oneself through connection to nature, is part of that process.
“No guru, no method, no teacher
Just you and I and nature
And the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost
In the garden wet with rain”
“Garden” by Nahko and Medicine for the People
This is another song reflecting the spiritual essence and power of nature. The singer describes the song in an interview:
“When I’m alone, I am surrounded…by nature, my ancestors, and Creation. We are never truly alone. Look deep within, above and below. That’s what gets addressed in this song. It takes time, nurturing, and patience to turn the stones, or even the soil, that has been there since we were children. It takes courage to tend the garden of your body, mind, and soul.”
“Safe in My Garden” by The Mamas and The Papas
This song contrasts the safety of a bucolic peaceful garden with the turmoil of the 1960’s wartime and civil unrest. On the one hand, the singer is “safe in my garden” where “an ancient flower blooms.” On the other hand:
“When you go out in the streetSo many hassles with the heat No one there can fill your desire Cops out with the megaphones Telling people stay inside their home Man, can’t they see the world’s on fire”
It makes you want to find the peace of the garden again. But also safety is a privilege and activism is important, so there’s this contrast of what to do.
“The Garden” by Rush
This song uses the metaphor of a garden to convey its deeper philosophical message. The garden represents life itself, with all its complexities, choices, and experiences. Like a garden that requires nurturing, tending, and cultivation, the song suggests that life is a journey of personal growth and self-discovery. It encourages individuals to embrace the challenges and opportunities that come their way, much like tending a garden and watching it flourish.
Gardens can be tranquil spaces for reflection and contemplation, and the song evokes a sense of introspection. It prompts listeners to reflect on the meaning of their own lives, the choices they’ve made, and the lessons they’ve learned. It’s a song that is driven by the melody, and this lends itself well to that sense of introspection.
“Garden Kisses” by Giveon
There are several songs that use the garden as a metaphor for love/sexuality. There are a lot of garden metaphors about women’s sexuality. This incorporates some of those. Think “forbidden fruit” references. It’s a sensual song.
“Please sprout up for me
Your tulips are my fate.”
“Secret Garden” by Madonna
This is another sensual song, in which the secret garden refers to the singer’s sexuality and pleasure. I include it because it has some great garden metaphors. Additionally, it’s one of my favorite songs on the list. It comes from her Erotica album. The chorus is:
“A petal that isn’t tornA heart that will not harden A place that I can be born In my secret garden A rose without a thorn A lover without scorn”
“Garden Party” by Ricky Nelson
This isn’t really about gardening. It’s about Nelson’s musical career and the people he encountered with it. However, it is set in a “garden party.” This actually references Madison Square Garden. The song is based on a 1970’s concert there. However, I love picturing it as a party in an actual garden with Yoko and Dylan and Mary Lou. It’s just a fun fantasy. And a catchy little song.
“People came from miles aroundEveryone was there Yoko brought her walrus There was magic in the air And over in the corner Much to my surprise Mr Hughes hid in Dylan’s shoes Wearing his disguise”
What are your favorite garden songs? Tell me the ones I don’t know about yet!
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Kathryn Vercillo is a long time writer, crafter and author of several books. A resident of San Francisco, she is committed to helping others explore, articulate and share their own individuals stories. When she’s not evaluating investing opportunities Kathryn is an avid knitter, researcher, and blogger.