21 Best Songs About The Desert (Music Videos Playlist)

Like many other natural elements, a desert is a useful metaphor for a range of emotions. It could be the feeling of isolation, hostility, or even despair. Since it is so versatile, it is no surprise many musicians have used it as part of the lyrics and titles of songs.

In this list, we look at some of the best songs with a desert as a central theme, whether that is an actual desert or metaphorically. With songs from established superstars and up-and-coming musicians, you’ll surely find a new song to add to your playlist.

Table of Contents

“Desert Rose” by Sting

Album: Brand New Day
Genre: Worldbeat
Released: 2000

The first song on our list is this masterpiece from the incomparable Sting. Released at the start of the new millennium, it effortlessly blended Western pop music and Arabic elements in both the lyrics and instrumental sections.

With the talents of Algerian musician and singer-songwriter Cheb Mami, this unique song went on the feature in several charts worldwide and peaked at number 17 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. A classic that still holds up over two decades later.

Similar Playlist: Popular Songs About The Sea

“Desert Raven” by Jonathan Wilson

Album: Gentle Spirit
Genre: Folk
Released: 2011

Speaking of unique music, the next song on our list is this charming folk song from American songwriter and musician Jonathan Wilson. It’s a part of his debut studio album and stands out as one of his most captivating songs.

It’s a gentle, soothing journey with a distinctly retro feel that harkens back to mid-70s vibes. Superb guitar work and an intriguing music video ensure that this song remains in your mind long after you’ve listened to it.

Similar Playlist: Songs With Water In The Lyrics

“Desert Song” by My Chemical Romance

Album: Life on the Murder Scene
Genre: Alternative/Indie
Released: 2006

American rock group, My Chemical Romance, established themselves as a raw and engaging alternative rock group throughout the early 2000s with four popular albums. However, many might not be familiar with this song from their live/compilation album.

It was a previously unreleased song that snuck its way onto the CD and has since reached nearly 1 million views on YouTube. Gerad Way’s unique and powerful voice is the highlight of this often-overlooked song.

Similar Playlist: Songs With River In The Lyrics

“Desert” by Jameson Rodgers

Album: Bet You’re from a Small Town
Genre: Country
Released: 2021

From alternative rock and folk, let’s go on a trip and explore some more genres. This country song from American country music singer Jameson Rodgers is a perfect example of modern country music.

The song was part of his debut album but was not released as a single, with Some Girls and Cold Beer Calling My Name claiming the spotlight. But this song with Desert in the title and lyrics is a fantastic song that closes out a solid debut album.

Similar Playlist: Songs About Mountains And Valleys

“Desert Man” by Bat for Lashes

Album: Lost Girls
Genre: Synth-Pop
Released: 2019

Natasha Khan, better known as Bat For Lashes, is a talented singer and songwriter with an excellent catalog of albums. Her incredible voice and engaging pop sound spans multiple genres.

This song comes from her fifth album and continues to exemplify her talents. The album proved popular with critics and fans, reaching number 13 on the UK album chart and number 14 on the US Independent Album chart.

Similar Playlist: Songs About The Woods

“Cold Desert” by Kings of Leon

Album: Only by the Night
Genre: Alternative Rock
Released: 2008

Megastar rock band Kings of Leon already had three fantastic albums in their discography, but there was no stopping them as they instantly began working on their fourth album, Only by the Night.

This new album included the smash hit Sex on Fire, but the closing song on the album is this gentle alternative rock song. A smooth and chill end to an album that sold 3 million copies in the UK and 2 million copies in the United States.

Similar Playlist: Top Island Songs

“Desert Child” by Austin Burke

Album: Single Release Only
Genre: Country
Released: 2020

Austin Burke is a talented country music singer and songwriter that is starting to gain a significant following after making waves with a bunch of popular singles, including Whole Lot in Love, which saw him clock up 60 million streams on Spotify.

This song highlights his songwriting and singing skills and tells the tale of meeting a free-spirited woman. Excellent composition and catchy lyrics make it one of the best songs that feature a desert in the title and lyrics.

“Low Desert” by R.E.M

Album: New Adventures in Hi-Fi
Genre: Alternative Rock
Released: 1996

R.E.M. is one of the defining rock bands from the 80 and 90s, with a career that stretched all the way to 2011. But among their long list of albums is the 1996 album New Adventures in Hi-Fi which is arguably one of their best.

Included in this 14-track album is Low Desert. While the song was not released as a single, it is an integral part of this album that reached the number one position in multiple countries, including Australia, Ireland, Canada, and the UK.

“Desert Moon” by Dennis DeYoung

Album: Desert Moon
Genre: Pop Rock
Released: 1984

Dennis DeYoung has been making music for decades. In the 70s, he was a founding member of the rock band Styx, but he also released several solo albums in his trademark soft rock style.

This song from 1984 was from his first solo album and was the album’s title track. It reached number 10 in the US Billboard charts and the top 10 in Canada and Ireland, and to this day is his most successful solo release.

“Desert Song” by Def Leppard

Album: Retro Active
Genre: Pop Metal
Released: 1993

Compilation albums tend not to be the greatest, but Retro Active is one of the few that defies this trend. It featured a selection of amazing unreleased songs from a band that helped define rock music in the 80s.

Desert Song is perhaps the best song on the compilation and features some vibrant chords and powerful lyrics about a man facing death alone. If you’ve enjoyed Def Leppard’s more popular releases, you should check this one out.

“Red Desert” by 5 Seconds of Summer

Album: Calm
Genre: Pop
Released: 2020

As an Aussie, I always like to squeeze an Australian success story into these music lists, and Red Desert by 5 Seconds of Summer is about as easy as it gets. This pop-rock band has become a sensation after supporting One Direction on tour.

This song from their fourth studio album highlights their growth as a band with a more mature and well-rounded sound and with nearly 7 million views on YouTube, it seems others also agree. Keep rocking guys!

10 Bonus Songs About The Desert

“Unusual Occurrences In The Desert” by Grateful Dead
“Desert Island” by Magnetic Fields
“Lost On The Desert” by Johnny Cash
“Desert Moon” by Great White
“Beneath A Desert Moon” by Sting
“Desert Plains” by Judas Priest
“Asleep In The Desert” by ZZ Top
“Desert Prayer” by Haddaway
“Desert Star” by Shakra
“Painted Desert” by Pat Benatar

Watch The Full Playlist

The full playlist with every song in this post can be watched via the video below or directly on our YouTube channel.

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Picture of Article by Robert Calabrese
Article by Robert Calabrese

Robert has over 15 years of experience working in the digital marketing industry. From a very young age he was influenced by music theory as part of his education and played a variety of instruments. From there, his passion moved into electronic music and the equipment used to create it. Using his education and experience, Robert started his own digital marketing company and successfully operates his business in the music industry.

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