Songs The Best Songs About History  

Ranker Music
868 votes 262 voters 11.3k views 78 items

History is a fascinating subject, so it's no shock it has been explored in song. Enjoy this list about the best songs about history, ranked by your votes. Some of the best songs about history are about specific historical events and others are about famous people who had an impact on history. Many of the top history songs specifically reference history in their titles.

On “We Didn't Start the Fire,” Billy Joel recalls dozens of historic headlines that occurred from 1949 to 1989. “Rosenbergs, H-bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom/Brando, 'The King and I' and 'The Catcher in the Rye,” are a few examples of the references Joel makes throughout this song. Sublime wrote “April 29, 1992” about the L.A. Riots, which is a great song about a specific historical event.

The historic significance of the 9-11 attacks propelled Bruce Springsteen to write an entire album about the time and feelings surrounding the event. His song “The Rising,” which is also the album's title made this list of the best songs about history. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's hit, “Ohio,” is also a good history song.

Do you have a favorite song about history? Let us know in the comments and vote it to the top of this list.

1
55 15
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2
37 13
Hotel California is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Songs About History
slaft added Hotel California Eagles

3
29 7
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4
35 12
The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzge... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Songs About History
slaft added The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald Gordon Lightfoot

5
29 8
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Amy Boal added American Pie Don McLean

6
20 8
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Zombie Cranberries

7
12 2
Sympathy for the Devil is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Songs About History
slaft added Sympathy for the Devil The Rolling Stones

8
16 6
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slaft added Smoke on the Water Deep Purple, Flashback!, Joe Satriani

9
13 5
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Spanish Bombs The Clash

10
12 5
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The Rising Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

11
15 8
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Ohio Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

12
12 6
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slaft added 99 Luftballons Nena, Nena

13
13 7
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slaft added When the Levee Breaks Led Zeppelin

14
13 8
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Istanbul (Not Constantinople) They Might Be Giants

15
10 5
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RobLein added The Battle of New Orleans Johnny Horton

16
9 5
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April 29, 1992 Sublime

17
7 3
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Moai added Ghost Division Sabaton

18
6 3
Biko is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Songs About History
slaft added Biko Peter Gabriel

19
5 2
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Vietnow Rage Against the Machine

20
8 6
Hurricane is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Songs About History
slaft added Hurricane Bob Dylan

21
7 5
Indian Reservation is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Songs About History
slaft added Indian Reservation Paul Revere and The Raiders

22
7 5
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Cortez the Killer Neil Young, Neil Young & Crazy Horse

23
6 4
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slaft added White Riot The Clash

24
8 7
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slaft added The Longest Day Iron Maiden

25
6 5
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Desolation Row Bob Dylan

26
5 4
Black Friday is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Songs About History
slaft added Black Friday Steely Dan

27
4 3
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slaft added Scarborough Fair Simon and Garfunkel

28
4 3
Misty Mountain Hop is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Songs About History
slaft added Misty Mountain Hop Led Zeppelin

29
4 4
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Joan Of Arc Arcade Fire

30
4 4
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Ludlow Massacre Woody Guthrie

31
4 4
Empty Garden is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Songs About History
slaft added Empty Garden Elton John

32
4 4
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slaft added Suite Madame Blue Styx

33
3 3
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Ancient History Johnny Cash

34
3 3
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slaft added Jefferson Jericho Blues Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

35
2 2
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36
2 2
She's Leaving Home is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Songs About History
slaft added She's Leaving Home The Beatles

37
2 2
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slaft added Waiting for the Worms Pink Floyd

38
2 2
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slaft added Tupelo Blues John Lee Hooker

39
1 1
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Moai added Paschendale Iron Maiden

40
1 1
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Moai added Gyuana (Cult of the Damned) Manowar

41
8 9
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Woodstock Joni Mitchell

42
5 6
Little Wing is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Songs About History
slaft added Little Wing The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Jimi Hendrix

43
4 5
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Heresy Rush

44
3 4
Casey Jones is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Songs About History
slaft added Casey Jones Grateful Dead

45
3 4
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slaft added Atlantis Donovan

46
3 4
The Greatest Pac-Man Victory i... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Songs About History

47
3 4
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slaft added The Way It Is Bruce Hornsby & The Range, Bruce Hornsby

48
3 4
Abraham, Martin and John is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Songs About History
Marty Hill added Abraham, Martin and John Marvin Gaye

49
3 4
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slaft added Memory of a Free Festival David Bowie

50
3 4
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History Chimes Echo & the Bunnymen