Best Songs About The Sea & Ocean (34 Most Popular Hits)

I have a complicated relationship with the sea. I love to go to the beach on a hot summer day with my family, but I’m equally intrigued and terrified of the deep ocean. The depth of the sea is also an effective metaphor for a range of emotions and situations in life, making it a popular lyrical component in songwriting.

This list explores a range of songs that feature the ocean and sea as a part of their title and lyrics. This list has something for everyone, from modern pop hits to haunting indie pop gems.

Table of Contents

“Ocean Drive” by Duke Dumont

Album: Blasé Boys Club Part 1
Genre: Indie Dance / Nu-Disco
Released: 2015

English DJ Duke Dumont has several hits under his belt, but this ultra-smooth nu-disco track is among his best. His keen ear for fresh and engaging sounds has landed him multiple remix gigs for the likes of Lily Allen and the Mystery Jets.

This awesome song was part of his seventh EP and hit number 1 on the US Dance Club Songs chart. It also reached number 5 in Australia and was a success throughout Europe. A nostalgia-infused song that is perfect for driving by the ocean.

Similar Playlist: Songs About Water

“Cake By The Ocean” by DNCE

Album: Swaay
Genre: Pop / Dance / R&B / Disco-Funk
Released: 2015

Cake By The Ocean is another superb and infectious song released in 2015. American band DNCE doesn’t stick to just one genre, but there is always an underlying pop element to their songs. The result is often chart success, and this song is no exception.

It reached number 9 on the Billboard charts and sold over 1.6 million copies. It was also a smash hit in the UK, Australia, and many European countries. A fun and boppy song that gets the hips moving.

Similar Playlist: Songs About Rivers

“Ocean Eyes” by Billie Eilish

Album: Don’t Smile at Me
Genre: Pop / Indie Pop
Released: 2016

American singer-songwriter Billie Eilish is among the best young stars to emerge from the mid-2010s. In a short time, she has already won seven Grammy Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, and a Golden Globe and an Academy award, but it all started with this dreamy song.

Released as the debut single from her Don’t Smile At Me EP, it sold 3 million copies in the United States. Interestingly, Billie’s brother wrote and produced the song for his band before handing it to her. What a great brother!

Similar Playlist: Songs About Mountains

“Running To The Sea” by Röyksopp

Album: The Inevitable End
Genre: Dance / Electronic
Released: 2013

Innovative electronic music duo Röyksopp makes the list with this haunting song from their The Inevitable End album. Working in partnership with Norwegian artist Susanne Sundfør this song has gone on to have over 15 million views on YouTube.

It is no surprise that it has gathered so many views thanks to the superb music video. The duo put out an open invitation for filmmakers to make a video for the song. After combing through over 200 submissions, they found the perfect music video to accompany the haunting melodies and powerful vocals.

Similar Playlist: Songs About Trees

“The Sea” by HAEVN

Album: Eyes Closed
Genre: Indie / Ambient
Released: 2018

From Norway, let’s travel to another European country. This time it’s the Netherlands and this drifting track from indie-pop ambient band HAEVN. Its striking guitar melody and gentle electronic elements make it a perfect song to listen to by the sea.

Their initial releases’ success saw them eventually signing to Warner Music Group, establishing themselves as a defining act in the Indie and Ambient music scenes. One of the best songs with the word sea in the lyrics and a song that is sure to mellow you out.

Similar Playlist: Songs About Islands

“Oceanic Feeling” by Lorde

Album: Solar Power
Genre: Indie Pop / Art Pop
Released: 2021

Let’s continue our worldwide tour with a stop in New Zealand, the home of the uber-talented Lorde. Her haunting lyrical style and introspective lyrics marry perfectly with the indie sound. Perfect for a lazy evening by the ocean.

This is the last song from her third studio album and is a fitting conclusion to an exceptional album filled with outstanding music. The music video also takes full advantage of the ocean vibes, with most of the video set on a floating platform.

Similar Playlist: Songs About The Desert

“Beyond The Sea” by Bobby Darin

Album: That’s All
Genre: Big Band
Released: 1959

We’ll travel back in time from modern hits to this all-time classic from Bobby Darin. It was a smash hit in the United States, reaching number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. A smooth big band song that still holds relevance today.

Since its release, it has been covered by many artists, including George Benson and Robbie Williams. My first experience of this song was via the 90s hit show The X-Files from the episode with the same title, and it has stuck with me ever since.

“Oceans” by Seafret

Album: Tell Me It’s Real
Genre: Pop
Released: 2016

I love a talented duo that stays true to their convictions and style, and the British duo Seafret fits the bill perfectly. Their debut album, Tell Me It’s Real, features this moving song with ocean in the lyrics as a metaphor for the vast emotional distance between two people. 

The music video features Masie Williams, which most people will know from her role on Game of Thrones as Arya Stark. It’s an emotional music video that perfectly fits the song’s vibe. It’s also racked up nearly 100 million views on YouTube.

“Across The Sea” by Weezer

Album: Pinkerton
Genre: Alternative / Indie
Released: 1996

American rock band Weezer has a career spanning decades. Formed in the early 90s, they were part of the Alternative Rock revolution of the time. After the success of their debut album, songwriter Rivers Cuomo went home to develop the lyrics for the band’s second album.

It was a difficult time for Rivers, who struggled with the rock lifestyle and fame. While studying classical composition at Harvard University, he penned this great song that explored his darker side and his feelings of loneliness.

“Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)” by Enya

Album: Watermark
Genre: New Age
Released: 1988

This song is forever ingrained in my mind as a child of the late 80s and early 90s. It was a hit worldwide, reaching the number 1 position in the UK and number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also reached the top 10 in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and many European countries.

This song is the most memorable of all of the new-age music that Enya has released over the years. It rolls forward with plenty of dramatic tension and invokes the feeling of energy that the sea can produce.

“The Sea is Calling” by The Temper Trap

Album: The Temper Trap
Genre: Alternative / Indie
Released: 2012

The Temper Trap is best known for its smash hit single Sweet Disposition from 2008. But they have continued to produce outstanding alternative rock and indie rock songs over the last few decades.

This exceptional track comes from their second studio album, which topped the charts in their home country of Australia. A melodic and enchanting song with excellent lyrical depth and an underappreciated song that deserves more attention.

“Sirens Of The Sea” by Above & Beyond pres. OceanLab

Album: Acoustic
Genre: Downtempo
Released: 2014

British trance group Above & Beyond are one of the pioneers of the vocal trance sound throughout their 20+ year career. But the trio, composed of Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness, and Paavo Siljamäki, also have a solid musical background to explore different genres.

Under their OceanLab name with vocalist Justine Suissa, they released an album in 2008 that featured this track that became a trance classic. But I want to highlight this tender and beautiful acoustic version from 2014. With a 15-piece band, it reimagined a trance tune by transforming it into an acoustic masterpiece. 

“Pure Shores” by All Saints

Album: Saints & Sinners
Genre: Dream Pop
Released: 2000

The 90s saw a massive surge of British girl groups, including The Spice Girls, Sugababes, and Girls Aloud. One such group was All Saints, and this group of four singers hit superstardom with this song from their second studio album.

A breezy dream pop tune with excellent musical composition and infectious lyrics that builds to a satisfying crescendo. It’s also notable as the lead single from the motion picture The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

“Tenerife Sea” by Ed Sheeran

Album: x
Genre: Folk Pop
Released: 2014

Megastar singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has sold over 150 million records worldwide. He is a household name thanks to a string of popular singles and albums. His trophy cabinet is quite stacked, too, with multiple awards from around the world.

This song comes from his second studio album. It wasn’t a huge commercial success, but it has become a favorite amongst his fans. It’s also a popular song on Spotify as part of their sleep category and is a popular choice as a first dance song at weddings.

“Under The Sea” by Samuel E. Wright from “The Little Mermaid”

Album: The Little Mermaid: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack
Genre: Pop / Calypso / Reggae
Released: 1989

At the start of Disney’s animated renaissance of the late 80s and 90s, The Little Mermaid took the world by storm and made over $84 million at the North American Box Office. One of the most popular songs from the movie is this playful and fun song written by Alan Menken.

It sold two million copies of the single and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. It is an ingenious combination of genres and is one of the movie’s most memorable songs. Plus, who doesn’t want to see a singing crab?

“Seaside” by The Kooks

Album: Inside In/Inside Out
Genre: Alternative / Indie
Released: 2006

British Indie Rock band, The Kooks, has been making music since the early 2000s and, along the way, explored several genres. This song from their debut album is an excellent representation of their versatility in the post-Britpop era.

The album was a hit in the UK and reached number 2 on the album charts but experienced minimal success in the United States. I love the lyrics and delivery of this song that explores love, and it’s worth a listen if you’ve never heard it before.

“Only The Ocean” by Jack Johnson

Album: To the Sea
Genre: Alternative / Indie / Folk
Released: 2010

Jack Johnson is an American singer-songwriter who also had a professional surfing career. Talk about a change of direction. I’m thankful for the change, as he has delivered a wonderfully deep catalog of amazing music.

This song from his sixth album closes out the album perfectly. Jack wrote the song as a tribute to his late father, a well-known surfer. A wonderful song about the ocean and another example of Jack Johnson’s talent as a singer-songwriter.

17 Bonus Songs About The Sea and Ocean

“Wipeout” by By Surfaris
“Don’t Fight The Seas” by The Beach Boys
“Sail On Sailor” by The Beach Boys
“Yellow Submarine” by The Beatles
“Sea Within a Sea” by The Horrors
“The Sea” by Morcheeba
“Sea of Love” by Cat Power
“Wading in the Velvet Seas” by Phish
“The Sea” by Sierra Ferrel
“Sinner In The Sea” by Calexico
“This is the Sea” by The Waterboys
“Come Sail Away” by Styx
“To The Sea” by Jack Johnson
“Binary Sea” by Deah Cab for Cutie
“On The Sea” by Beach House
“Sea of Love” by The National

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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