20 Best Songs Celebrating Rainbows

Rainbows are nature’s dazzling display of vibrant colors, often seen as a symbol of hope and promise. These mesmerizing meteorological phenomena occur when sunlight interacts with water droplets in the atmosphere, creating a breathtaking optical illusion. While rainbows have captivated humanity for centuries, they hold a special place in our hearts as a sign of new beginnings and optimism.

Throughout the history of music, artists have been inspired by the beauty and symbolism of rainbows, crafting songs that celebrate their vivid allure. In this compilation, we explore 20 of the most enchanting songs that pay homage to rainbows, each offering a unique perspective and emotional resonance. From timeless classics to contemporary hits, these songs capture the essence of rainbows in their melodies and lyrics.

1. “Over The Rainbow” By Judy Garland

Year Released: 1939

Movie: The Wizard of Oz

One of the most iconic songs about rainbows is Judy Garland’s rendition of “Over The Rainbow” from the timeless film, The Wizard of Oz. In this enchanting melody, Dorothy, portrayed by Judy Garland, dreams of a world beyond the rainbow. The technique of “text painting” is masterfully employed, where the melody mirrors the lyrical meaning, creating a sense of ascending over the rainbow. This song embodies a powerful message of hope, encouraging us to believe that anything is possible when we dare to dream.

Judy Garland’s rendition of “Over The Rainbow” transcends generations, resonating with audiences young and old. The song’s enduring popularity is a testament to its timeless message of hope and the pursuit of dreams. As Judy Garland’s voice soars over the rainbow, listeners are transported to a world where troubles melt away, and the promise of new beginnings shimmers in the distance.

2. “Rainbow Connection” By Kermit The Frog

Year Released: 1979

Movie: The Muppet Movie

Kermit The Frog’s “Rainbow Connection” is a folk-inspired gem that reflects on the profound longing for meaning and connection in life. Despite being sung by a puppet, the song’s simplicity and heartfelt lyrics shine through. Kermit contemplates the elusive nature of rainbows and the hope of discovering the “rainbow connection.” This charming tune became a surprise hit, winning prestigious awards and securing its place as a beloved classic.

“Rainbow Connection” serves as a reminder that profound wisdom can emerge from unexpected sources. Kermit’s plaintive plea for a deeper understanding of life resonates with listeners, urging them to seek their own “rainbow connection” amidst the complexities of existence.

3. “Rainbow Country” By Bob Marley & The Wailers

Year Released: 1971

Bob Marley & The Wailers’ “Rainbow Country” is a lesser-known yet powerful tribute to their homeland, Jamaica. In this reggae-infused melody, Marley celebrates the natural beauty of Jamaica, referring to it as a “rainbow country” symbolizing freedom and joy. The song conveys a message of unity and encourages the Jamaican people to work together for a brighter future. Though not a commercial single, its significance in Marley’s repertoire cannot be understated.

“Rainbow Country” embodies the spirit of Jamaica and the optimism of its people. Through Bob Marley’s music, the vibrant culture and landscape of Jamaica come to life, painting a vivid picture of a nation striving for harmony and progress.

4. “Rainbow In The Dark” By Dio

Year Released: 1983

Dio’s “Rainbow in the Dark” is a heavy metal anthem that soars with electrifying guitar work. Despite frontman Ronnie Dio’s personal reservations about the song, it became a fan favorite and a standard in the heavy metal genre. The lyrics delve into feelings of loneliness and isolation, with the rainbow serving as a symbol of hope amid the darkness. This song demonstrates the enduring power of music to inspire and uplift even in the face of adversity.

“Rainbow in the Dark” encapsulates the essence of heavy metal, with its powerful riffs and Dio’s emotive vocals. The juxtaposition of darkness and the radiant rainbow serves as a potent metaphor for the human experience, where hope can be found even in the bleakest moments.

5. “Rainbowland” By Miley Cyrus And Dolly Parton

Year Released: 2017

Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton joined forces for “Rainbowland,” a heartwarming duet that celebrates unity and diversity. The song opens with a touching voicemail from Dolly Parton, setting a delightful tone. “Rainbowland” envisions a harmonious world where differences are embraced, transcending barriers of race, class, and gender. It is a powerful call for peace and acceptance in a world often divided.

“Rainbowland” is a testament to the enduring power of music to bridge generational and cultural gaps. Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton’s collaboration highlights the importance of embracing diversity and fostering unity in our communities.

6. “She’s A Rainbow” By The Rolling Stones

Year Released: 1967

The Rolling Stones depart from their blues-rock roots in “She’s a Rainbow,” a testament to the band’s versatility. The song exalts a vibrant, joyful woman who brings color and life wherever she goes. To liken someone to a rainbow is to extol their inner and outer beauty, reflecting a zest for life that radiates positivity.

“She’s a Rainbow” showcases The Rolling Stones’ ability to explore diverse musical styles while maintaining their signature rock sound. The song’s jubilant tone and vivid imagery make it a celebration of life’s vibrancy.

7. “Rainbow” By Kacey Musgraves

Year Released: 2018

Kacey Musgraves’ “Rainbow” is a poignant ballad from her album Golden Hour, offering a message of hope during challenging times. The song reminds us that amidst life’s storms, we often overlook the beauty that surrounds us. Musgraves encourages us to put away our metaphorical umbrellas and embrace life’s beauty, emphasizing the enduring presence of a rainbow even in the darkest moments.

“Rainbow” by Kacey Musgraves serves as a reminder that optimism and hope can carry us through adversity. The song’s gentle melody and heartfelt lyrics invite listeners to appreciate the simple joys and the promise of brighter days.

8. “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” By Judy Garland

Year Released: 1941

“I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” is another heartfelt rendition by Judy Garland, recorded for the film Ziegfeld Girl. This melancholic song explores the perpetual pursuit of happiness and fulfillment symbolized by a rainbow. Garland’s emotive performance adds depth to the song’s poignant reflection on the elusiveness of contentment.

Judy Garland’s interpretation of “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” conveys a sense of longing and introspection. The song’s introspective lyrics invite listeners to contemplate the nature of their own desires and the elusive rainbows they may be chasing in their lives.

9. “What A Wonderful World” By Louis Armstrong

Year Released: 1967

Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” celebrates the sheer beauty of the world and the human experience. Although rainbows are briefly mentioned, the focus is on appreciating the world’s natural wonders, from green trees to people’s smiling faces. The song encourages us to find joy in life’s simple pleasures and to view the world through a lens of wonder and gratitude.

“What A Wonderful World” invites us to see the world as a place filled with beauty and positivity. Louis Armstrong’s soulful rendition conveys a profound message of optimism and appreciation for the world around us.

10. “Rainbow High” By Madonna

Year Released: 1996

Madonna’s performance of “Rainbow High” from the film adaptation of Evita showcases her vocal prowess and theatrical presence. In this song, Eva Perón prepares for her journey to Europe, using her position to benefit her country. “Rainbow High” delves into Perón’s obsession with her public image, emphasizing the importance of appearing dazzling and surpassing the expectations of others.

“Rainbow High” by Madonna offers a glimpse into the complexities of Eva Perón’s character and her determination to make a lasting impression. The song’s dramatic flair and Madonna’s commanding vocals make it a memorable moment in the film.

11. “Rainbow” By Kesha

Year Released: 2017

Kesha’s “Rainbow” is a powerful anthem of resilience and self-empowerment. The song reflects Kesha’s personal journey through challenging times and her emergence as a stronger, more colorful individual. The rainbow becomes a symbol of hope and strength amid darkness, signifying a commitment to embracing life’s vibrancy.

“Rainbow” by Kesha resonates with those who have faced adversity and emerged with newfound determination. The song’s impassioned vocals and uplifting lyrics inspire listeners to overcome obstacles and embrace their inner light.

12. “Rainbow” By Sia

Year Released: 2017

Sia’s “Rainbow” serves as a soundtrack for the film My Little Pony: The Movie. The song addresses an individual who appears to have lost hope, with the singer recognizing their inner strength and resilience. Even in their tears, a rainbow emerges, symbolizing the promise of better days and the enduring belief that hardships are temporary.

“Rainbow” by Sia is a heartfelt reminder that even in our darkest moments, we possess the inner strength to overcome challenges. The song’s emotive lyrics and Sia’s distinctive vocals convey a message of hope and perseverance.

13. “Rainbow Veins” By Owl City

Year Released: 2008

Owl City’s “Rainbow Veins” is a whimsical and uplifting song that offers comfort and support to a loved one during difficult times. The lyrics depict a caring individual who wishes to bring color and positivity to someone’s life, using the metaphor of blending a rainbow into their veins. The song exudes a sense of care and optimism, emphasizing the importance of being there for others.

“Rainbow Veins” by Owl City conveys the idea that we can be a source of strength and positivity for those we care about. The song’s tender lyrics and dreamy melodies create a soothing and encouraging atmosphere.

14. “Rainbow Stew” By Merle Haggard

Year Released: 1981

Merle Haggard’s “Rainbow Stew” playfully envisions a world where “Rainbow stew” is the dish of choice in a utopian society. The song begins by describing the world’s dire state, only to transition into a vision of a world devoid of conflict and filled with peace. The concept of “Rainbow stew” represents the type of sustenance that nourishes a population in a harmonious world.

“Rainbow Stew” by Merle Haggard is a lighthearted exploration of an idealistic world where peace and abundance prevail. The song’s whimsical lyrics invite listeners to imagine a society where harmony and unity reign supreme.

15. “The Rainbow” By Talk Talk

In 1988, the British band Talk Talk ventured into experimental territory with their track “The Rainbow.” Clocking in at nearly ten minutes, this song is a departure from the conventional. At first listen, the lyrics may appear enigmatic, but a closer examination reveals a deeper meaning – a commentary on the judicial system.

The song commences with the assertion that “the world’s turned upside down.” This could be interpreted as a reflection on a miscarriage of justice, where someone who deserved conviction escaped it. Interestingly, the singer acknowledges their own misdeeds, claiming to have “repented” and “changed.” Yet, they find themselves in a situation where their “time has run out.” The title of the song, “The Rainbow,” remains somewhat cryptic, leaving listeners to ponder its connection to the lyrical content.

16. “Rainbow’s Cadillac” By Bruce Hornsby

Bruce Hornsby, in his 1993 release “Rainbow’s Cadillac” from the album “Harbor Lights,” takes a different approach to the word “rainbow.” Here, it isn’t a metaphor but the name of a man. The song adopts a funkier tone compared to Hornsby’s other works.

The narrative of the song revolves around a character named Rainbow, who drives a Cadillac. The townspeople eagerly gather each night at a quarter to ten to catch a glimpse of this eccentric figure. Rainbow is described as someone with a penchant for “fancy shirts and shorts of plaid,” and his coat boasts “more colors than Joseph had.” This vivid imagery explains why he has been bestowed with the name “Rainbow.”

17. “Make Me Rainbows” By Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald’s rendition of “Make Me Rainbows” is a classic jazz standard that adds depth to our exploration of rainbow-themed songs. In the lyrics, the singer implores her beloved to usher good days into her life. She yearns for “spring in the snow” and “music wherever [she] goes,” expressing her desire for happiness and love.

Of particular significance is her plea for her loved one to “make [her] some rainbows.” In this context, rainbows symbolize color and beauty, serving as a source of profound joy in her life. The song encapsulates the idea that the sight of rainbows fills her heart with happiness.

18. “Pocketful Of Rainbows” By Elvis Presley

In 1960, Elvis Presley delivered a sweet message through his single “Pocketful of Rainbows.” Despite life’s inherent challenges, Presley reassures his listeners that he harbors no worries. Why? Because he carries with him a “pocketful of rainbows” and a “heart full of love” wherever he goes, regardless of the season.

The source of these rainbows and love is a person who deeply cares for him. Their kisses and embraces provide solace during lonely nights. The song underscores the idea that true love can dispel gray skies, worries, and the sorrows of a broken heart.

19. “Rainbow In Your Eyes” By Al Jarreau

Al Jarreau, in his 1976 album’s title track, “Rainbow in Your Eyes,” uses the rainbow as a symbol of love. This romantic jazz ballad conveys the narrator’s unwavering commitment to his beloved. Having found true love, he vows to hold onto it steadfastly. He compares the love he shares with his partner to a “rainbow” in her eyes, emphasizing its irreplaceable beauty.

The emotions expressed by the singer resonate with anyone who has experienced the transformative power of love. When you are with someone who means the world to you, challenges become surmountable, and you’re willing to go to great lengths to preserve that love.

20. “Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows” By Lesley Gore

Lesley Gore’s 1965 hit “Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows” radiates with happiness and positivity. This song encapsulates the sheer joy of being in love. When the singer is with her beloved, the rain dissipates, and gray skies are replaced by the brilliance of sunshine and the sweetness of lollipops.

The presence of her loved one fills her with an overwhelming sense of contentment and happiness. This delightful track reminds us that love has the power to brighten even the gloomiest of days, just like a rainbow after a storm.

In conclusion, these 20 songs about rainbows capture the myriad emotions and themes associated with these mesmerizing natural phenomena. From hope and resilience to love and unity, each song offers a unique perspective on the enduring allure of rainbows. As we listen to these melodies, we are reminded of the beauty and positivity that rainbows symbolize in our lives, making them a timeless source of inspiration and wonder.

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Adam Oakley
Events Reporter

Adam has covered the likes of Sundown Music Festival for us on 3 occassions.

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