Flower Songs

Posted on September 2, 2010

For as long as mankind has existed, flowers have provided endless opportunities for referencing in literature, poetry, film, and song.  Most often used in lyrics as a metaphor, flowers songs range from popular love ballads to rock and pop tunes.  The influence of flowers on music is vast, from songs with flowers in the title, songs about flowers, to one line mentions of flowers in the song lyrics.

List of Songs about Flowers

Flowers appear in songs dating back to early recordings of mountain music and blues.  Among the most popular reference is of course, the most popular flower, the rose.  There are hundreds of songs referring to the rose either in title or in lyrics.  Other common flower references include orchids, daises, lilacs, lilies and marigolds.

Album cover for Flowers songs like the foundations build me up buttercup features white flower over a young womans face

Here is a list of some popular songs about flowers: Edelweiss – Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer (1959) One of the most memorable Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, this Sound of Music number gets its name from the white flower found high in the Alps of Switzerland.  This song about flowers was sung as both a rebellious move for the von Trapp family and as a rediscovery of their passion for music. Roses are Red My Love – Bobby Vinton (1962) This flower song was discovered by Bobby in a pile of rejected demo tapes.  It became a huge hit that sent him well on his way to a long journey in the music industry.  Featured in the movie Goodfellas, the lyrics ring out "Roses are red, my love.  Violets are blue. Sugar is sweet, my love.  But not as sweet as you. “ You Are My Flower – Flatt & Scruggs (1964) This finger picking, bluegrass duo are listed in the top 40 Greatest Men of Country History and were played tribute to in the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?.  This flower song ditty says “you are my flower that’s blooming there for me, so wear a happy smile and life will be worthwhile”. San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) – Scott McKenzie (1967) Songs like this one defined a generation.  Wearing flowers in your hair was a common trend for the San Francisco hippie culture.  Flower children, as they were often referred to, used flowers to symbolize peace and love and would hand them out to people walking in the streets.  This iconic flower song is a reference to the 1960’s cultural and politicalal movement. Build Me Up Buttercup – The Foundations (1969) Well known on its first released, this flower song hit success a second time around when it was featured in the movie There’s Something About Mary.  A fun and catchy tune that sings, “why do you build me up (build me up), buttercup, baby, just to let me down (let me down) and mess me around”.   Buttercups are delicate and bright flowers that are poisonous.  The flower song alludes to leading someone on and telling them what they want to hear, making the buttercup flower an appropriate reference. Sugar Magnolia – Grateful Dead (1970) One of the most well-known songs by the famous touring band, it mentions magnolias, violets, blossoms blooming, bluebells, and roses.  It opens with “Sugar Magnolia, blossoms blooming, heads all empty and I don’t care” and is a flower song about perfect love and enjoying life. You Don’t Bring Me Flowers – Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond (1978) This song about flowers by a powerhouse duet was originally recorded separately by the artists.  Since bringing one flowers is typically considered an act of love, no longer bringing one flowers signifies the ending or hardships of a relationship.  “You don’t bring me flowers. You don’t sing me love songs” is the ultimate heartbreak. The Rose – Bette Milder (1980) The Rose was a movie based on the life of Janis Joplin and this flower song became the title tune.  A tear jerker that uses the roses beautiful transformation from seed to bloom as an analogy for what love is, Midler sings, “I say love it is a flower and you it's only seed”.

The Rose album cover features Bette Milder singing her songs with flowers in the title holding a guitar and a big red rose in the background

Every Rose Has Its Thorn – Poison (1988) This classic 80’s rock ballad uses flower metaphor to describe a broken love affair.  The rose symbolizes the bands successful career in bloom, while the thorn is the cost of that success on their relationships. Kiss from a Rose – Seal (1994) A tribute to the band Crosby, Stills and Nash, this song about flowers became a smash hit on the Batman Forever soundtrack.  This waltz alludes to ups and downs of love.  The petals of the rose symbolize the delicacy, sweetness and beauty of love, while the thorns of the rose can torment you.

This white and pink close-up of a sugar magnolia is references in songs about flowers like Sugar Magnolia by the Grateful Dead

Songs with Flowers in the Title

What could be better than the gift of flowers accompanied by music?  So throw a flower songs theme party for your next entertainment endeavor or put together a playlist of songs with flowers in the title that you can share with friends.   While you’re finding your favorite flower songs, preorder flowers online from Big Apple and we will help make that event memorable.  Remember to share you playlist with us, we love to know what your favorite songs about flowers are.

Posted in Manhattan Florist Shop