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100 Best Nostalgic Songs That Bring Back Memories

I have been an online writer for over six years. I am passionate about books, philosophy, music, and the music industry.

best-nostalgic-songs

Special memories of our growing years come alive when we listen to certain songs. These songs rekindle nostalgic times of the past in a vivid manner. Be it our childhood years or teenage years, its memories of music that bring back that joyful smile. The lyrics in certain songs take us on a nostalgic trip down memory lane. The simple pleasures of life and the beautiful moments of the past are poetically sketched in songs about nostalgia.

The list below showcases a collection of rock songs, pop songs, country songs, R&B songs, folk songs, indie songs, alternative songs, hip hop songs, reggae songs, jazz songs, blues songs, and dance songs of the ‘60s,’ 70s, ‘80s, ‘90s, 2000s, 2010s, and songs post 2020 that are truly nostalgic. If you have a view, opinion, or song suggestion, let us know in the comments section.

Top 10 Best Nostalgic Songs That Bring Back Memories

  1. “Perfect”—Ed Sheeran
  2. “All of Me”—John Legend
  3. “Take on Me”—a-ha
  4. “Summer of 69”—Bryan Adams
  5. “Better Together”—Jack Johnson
  6. “Seven”—Taylor Swift
  7. “In My Life”—The Beatles
  8. “Just the Way You Are”—Bruno Mars
  9. “Sweet Child O’ Mine”—Guns N’ Roses
  10. “I’m Yours”—Jason Mraz

What Is Nostalgic Music?

Nostalgic music relates to an identity or association of sentimental longing or wistful affection belonging to a period in the past. With nostalgia portrayed in songs, listeners experience a yearning to return to the past by remembering instances of pleasure or sadness. The craving to go back in time to relive moments is often augmented with a strong emotional feeling. Beautiful moments of the past are remembered and cherished when lyrics of songs reference the simple pleasures of life. The best nostalgic songs are the ones that evoke enjoyable feelings with a recollection of past events. The emotional journey triggered by nostalgia in songs is known to affect our present state of mind positively.

Nostalgic music gives a brand new perspective to memories of the past. Songs about nostalgia evoke a momentary emotional connect of happenings in the past. It’s the lyrical content in these songs that takes listeners on a memorable journey of thoughts and memories. Aesthetic forms of nostalgia are showcased in songs from different decades. The emotions and feelings in reflective love songs connect in a relatable manner with instances in our life. In songs from different genres musicians exhibit the feeling associated with nostalgia poetically.

#11—20

11. “Dancing in the Dark”—Bruce Springsteen

12. “Comfortably Numb”—Pink Floyd

13. “No Time to Die”—Billie Eilish

14. “Rolling in the Deep”—Adele

15. “7 Years”—Lukas Graham

16. “Complicated”—Avril Lavigne

17. “Heaven”—Bryan Adams

18. “Yellow”—Coldplay

19. “In the End”—Linkin Park

20. “Brown Eyed Girl”—Van Morrison

best-nostalgic-songs

Memories and Nostalgia in Songs

Songs about memories and nostalgia exhibit a wide spectrum of emotions. A number of singers and songwriters paint a picture about heartwarming moments from the past. Years gone by are revisited with lyrics that communicate endearing warmth. Certain songs describe the fun-filled adventures of teenage years in retrospect with present times. The peaceful easy feeling of yesteryears is often portrayed with experiences of childhood years. Romantic moments from the past are uniquely expressed through lyrics in songs about love and life.

#21—40

21. “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”—Starship

22. “With Or Without You”—U2

23. “Thinking Out Loud”—Ed Sheeran

24. “Photograph”—Nickelback

25. “All About That Bass”—Meghan Trainor

26. “Crazy”—Gnarls Barkley

27. “Yesterday”—The Beatles

28. “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”—Katy Perry

29. “Beat It”—Michael Jackson

30. “Despacito”—Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber

31. “Levitating”—Dua Lipa featuring Dababy

32. “Call Me Maybe”—Carly Rae Jepsen

33. “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing”—Aerosmith

34. “Love You Like a Love Song”—Selena Gomez & the Scene

35. “Dancing Queen”—ABBA

36. “My Heart Will Go On”—Celine Dion

37. “Truly Madly Deeply”—Savage Garden

38. “Wannabe”—Spice Girls

39. “I Wanna Know What Love Is”—Foreigner

40. “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”—Cyndi Lauper

Nostalgic Themes in Songs

A wide-genre of nostalgic themes in songs is creatively showcased to explain a concept or idea. Certain singers and songwriters convey the sentiments of love and sadness with nostalgic events in their past. Dream themes showcased in songs often express joy and happiness associated with memorable instances from the past. In different genres, singers and songwriters recall past happenings with myriad themes that connect with the heart.

A number of music videos capture the essence of cherished moments with highly stylized emotional concepts and ideas. In songs from different genres, musicians narrate the beautiful feeling of leading a carefree life in their younger days. Moments spent with family and friends are highlighted in a thoughtful manner with emotions being the centrifugal element. Although contrasting attributes are associated with nostalgia, in songs the different themes often portrayed are

  • Childhood
  • Friendship
  • Freedom
  • Happiness
  • Remembrance
  • Teenage
  • Love
  • Innocence
  • Memories
  • Thoughts
  • School
  • College
  • Regret
  • Dating
  • Romance
  • Homesickness
  • Forgiveness

#41—60

41. “Wonderwall”—Oasis

42. “I Want to Break Free”—Queen

43. “Party Rock Anthem”—LMFAO

44. “Eye of the Tiger”—Survivor

45. “Boom Boom Pow”—The Black Eyed Peas

46. “More Than Words”—Extreme

47. “Sound of Silence”—Simon & Garfunkel

48. “Oops!...I Did It Again”—Britney Spears

49. “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You”—Elvis Presley

50. “Pour Some Sugar on Me”—Def Leppard

51. “Wake Me Up before You Go-Go”—Wham!

52. “Is This Love”—Whitesnake

53. “How Deep is Your Love”—Bee Gees

54. “Hey Ya!”—OutKast

55. “Royals”—Lorde

56. “What a Wonderful World”—Louis Armstrong

57. “Born to Be Wild”—Steppenwolf

58. “(I Just) Died in Your Arms”—Cutting Crew

59. “Total Eclipse of the Heart”—Bonnie Tyler

60. “Smells Like Teen Spirit”—Nirvana

best-nostalgic-songs

#61—80

61. “We are the World”—USA for Africa

62. “Faithfully”—Journey

63. “Shape of You”—Ed Sheeran

64. “Fancy”—Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX

65. “What’s Love Got to Do Without It”—Tina Turner

66. “Hello”—Lionel Richie

67. “I Just Called to Say I Love You”—Stevie Wonder

68. “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”—Eurythmics

69. “Africa”—Toto

70. “Losing My Religion”—R.E.M.

71. “Bohemian Rhapsody”—Queen

72. “Never Gonna Give You Up”—Rick Astley

73. “Funkytown”—Lipps. Inc.

74. “Uptown Funk”—Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars

75. “Someone Like You”—Adele

76. “Endless Love”—Lionel Richie and Diana Ross

77. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”—Bobby McFerrin

78. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”—Whitney Houston

79. “Careless Whisper”—Wham!

80. “Hips Don’t Lie”—Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean

#81—100

81. “Closer”—The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey

82. “The Look”—Roxette

83. “Up Where We Belong”—Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes

84. “Karma Chameleon”—Culture Club

85. “We Found Love”—Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris

86. “Unchained Melody”—The Righteous Brothers

87. “What Makes You Beautiful”—One Direction

88. “Somebody That I Used to Know”—Gotye featuring Kimbra

89. “With Arms Wide Open”—Creed

90. “Tik Tok”—Kesha

91. “Every Breath You Take”—The Police

92. “Temperature”—Sean Paul

93. “Cheri, Cheri Lady”—Modern Talking

94. “Build Me Up Buttercup”—The Foundations

95. “SexyBack”—Justin Timberlake

96. “Love the Way You Lie”—Eminem featuring Rihanna

97. “God’s Plan”—Drake

98. “Take Me Home, Country Roads”—John Denver

99. “Girls Like You”—Maroon 5 featuring Cardi B

100. “Wrecking Ball”—Miley Cyrus

Other Notable Nostalgic Songs That Bring Back Memories

  • “Summer Holiday”—Cliff Richard
  • “We Are Young”—Fun featuring Janelle Monae
  • “I Remember You”—Skid Row
  • “Baby”—Justin Bieber featuring Ludacris
  • “Remember When”—Alan Jackson
  • “Umbrella”—Rihanna
  • “Radio Ga Ga”—Queen
  • “Zombie”—The Cranberries
  • “We Belong Together”—Mariah Carey
  • “Toxic”—Britney Spears
  • “Everytime You Go Away”—Paul Simon
  • “In My Feelings”—Drake
  • “Sweet Home Alabama”—Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • “You Give Love a Bad Name”—Bon Jovi
  • “I Want it That Way”—Backstreet Boys
  • “You’re Beautiful”—James Blunt
  • “I’m Like a Bird”—Nelly Furtado
  • “She Drives Me Crazy”—Fine Young Cannibals
  • “Take My Breath Away”—Berlin
  • “Cry Me a River”—Justin Timberlake
  • “Sunflower”—Post Malone and Swae Lee
  • “Rhinestone Cowboy”—Glen Campbell
  • “Don’t Cha”—The Pussycat Dolls
  • “Say So”—Doja Cat featuring Nicki Minaj
  • “Flashdance…What a feeling”—Irene Cara
  • “Roddy Rich”—The Box
  • “I Can See Clearly Now”—Johnny Nash
  • “Truth Hurts”—Lizzo
  • “Bring Me to Life”—Evanesence
  • “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”—Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
  • “Say My Name”—Destiny’s Child
  • “Little Lies”—Fleetwood Mac
  • “I Gotta Feeling”—Black Eyed Peas
  • “Beautiful”—Christina Aguilera
  • “All the Small Things”—Blink-182
  • “Free Fallin’”—Tom Petty
  • “Livin’ La Vida Loca”—Ricky Martin
  • “Without Me”—Halsey
  • “Sailing”—Christopher Cross
  • “I Won’t Give Up”—Jason Mraz
  • “You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul”—Modern Talking
  • “Semi-Charmed Life”—Third Eye Blind
  • “Angie”—The Rolling Stones
  • “Lyin’ Eyes”—Eagles
  • “Hero”—Enrique Iglesias
  • “Rain on Me”—Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande
  • “When Doves Cry”—Prince
  • “I Heard it Through the Grapevine”—Marvin Gaye
  • “Not Afraid”—Eminem
  • “You’re So Vain”—Carly Simon
  • “From Me To You”—The Beatles
  • “Circles”—Post Malone
  • “Alone Again (Naturally)”—Gilbert O’Sullivan
  • “Release Me”—Engelbert Humperdinck
  • “Like a Virgin”—Madonna
  • “Teenage Dream”—Katy Perry
  • “Bad”—Michael Jackson
  • “Hard to Say I’m Sorry”—Chicago
  • “Under Pressure”—Queen
  • “Amazed”—Lonestar
  • “Give Me Everything”—Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer
  • “Father Figure”—George Michael
  • “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You”—Bryan Adams
  • “The Flame”—Cheap Trick
  • “Stuck With U”—Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber
  • “Dynamite”—BTS
  • “A Horse with No Name”—America
  • “Can’t Fight This Feeling”—REO Speedwagon
  • “Torn”—Natalie Imbruglia
  • “Heaven is a Place on Earth”—Belinda Carlisle
  • “Macarena”—Los Del Rio
  • “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head”—B.J. Thomas
  • “Broken Wings”—Mr. Mister
  • “A Whiter Shade of Pale”—Procol Harum
  • “Waiting For a Girl Like You”—Foreigner
  • “End of the Road”—Boyz 2 Men
  • “Papa Don’t Preach”—Madonna
  • “Saturday Night”—Bay City Rollers
  • “A Moment Like This”—Kelly Clarkson
  • “Killing Me Softly with His Song”—Roberta Flack
  • “Bad Guy”—Billie Eilish
  • “Proud Mary”—Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • “Firework”—Katy Perry
  • “You’ve Got a Friend”—James Taylor
  • “Thank U, Next”—Ariana Grande
  • “When I Need You”—Leo Sayer
  • “Here I Go Again”—Whitesnake
  • “Top of the World”—The Carpenters
  • “Lose You to Love Me”—Selena Gomez
  • “Baby Got Back”—Sir Mix-a-Lot
  • “It Must Have Been Love”—Roxette
  • “Woman in Love”—Barbra Streisand
  • “Hotel California”—Eagles
  • “I’m a Believer”—The Monkees
  • “She Loves You”—The Beatles
  • “O.M.G.”—Usher featuring will.i.am
  • “The Young Ones”—Cliff Richard and the Shadows
  • “Hey There Delilah”—Plain White T’s
  • “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”—Elton John and Kiki Dee
  • “The Way You Were”—Barbra Streisand
  • “Roar”—Katy Perry
  • “Walk Like an Egyptian”—The Bangles
  • “Nothing Compares 2 U”—Sinead O’ Connor
  • “Mood”—24k Goldn featuring Iann Dior
  • “Poker Face”—Lady Gaga
  • “Bridge over Troubled Water”—Simon & Garfunkel
  • “Eternal Flame”—The Bangles
  • “It’s Now or Never”—Elvis Presley
  • “One Dance”—Drake featuring Wizkid and Kyla
  • “Senorita”—Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello
  • “The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face”—Roberta Flack
  • “Islands in the Stream”—Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton
  • “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?”—Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • “Let Your Love Flow”—The Bellamy Brothers
  • “Whistle”—Flo Rida
  • “Night Fever”—Bee Gees
  • “Long Train Runnin’”—The Doobie Brothers
  • “Can’t Stop the Feeling”—Justin Timberlake
  • “We Will Rock You”—Queen
  • “Kung Fu Fighting”—Carl Douglas
  • “Let It Be”—The Beatles
  • “American Pie”—Don McLean
  • “Shallow”—Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
  • “Jump”—Van Halen
  • “Annie’s Song”—John Denver
  • “Stay”—The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber
  • “Pillowtalk”—Zyan
  • “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”—Paul Simon
  • “Take Me Home Tonight”—Eddie Money
  • “Kiss Me”—Sixpence None the Richer
  • “Love Will Keep Us Together”—Captain & Tennille
  • “Green Green Grass of Home”—Tom Jones
  • “Where is the Love?”—The Black Eyed Peas
  • “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree”—Tony Orlando and Dawn
  • “Ice Ice Baby”—Vanilla Ice
  • “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)”—Rod Stewart
  • “Mony Mony”—Billy Idol
  • “When I Was Your Man”—Bruno Mars
  • “You Light Up My Life”—Debby Boone
  • “Be With You”—Enrique Iglesias
  • “Listen to the Music”—The Doobie Brothers
  • “Stayin’ Alive”—Bee Gees
  • “Down Under”—Men At Work
  • “Right Here Waiting”—Richard Marx
  • “Wind Beneath My Wings”—Bette Midler
  • “Uptown Girl”—Billy Joel
  • “Tell Laura I Love Her”—Ricky Valance
  • “Play That Funky Music”—Wild Cherry
  • “Make It with You”—Bread
  • “Hot in Herre”—Nelly
  • “Wooden Heart”—Elvis Presley
  • “Bad Moon Rising”—Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • “Another Day in Paradise”—Phil Collins
  • “Rude”—Magic!
  • “Walk of Life”—Dire Straits
  • “Lean On Me”—Bill Withers
  • “I Like It”—Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin
  • “Bad Romance”—Lady Gaga
  • “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn”—Poison
  • “You Really Got Me”—The Kinks
  • “Dreams”—Fleetwood Mac
  • “Watermelon Sugar”—Harry Styles
  • “The Last Waltz”—Engelbert Humperdinck
  • “Blank Space”—Taylor Swift
  • “Go Away Little Girl”—Danny Osmond
  • “Love Yourself”—Justin Bieber
  • “The Tide is High”—Blondie
  • “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing”—Leo Sayer
  • “Disco Lady”—Johnnie Taylor
  • “I Honestly Love You”—Olivia Newton-John
  • “Sicko Mode”—Travis Scott
  • “Before the Next Teardrop Falls”—Freddy Fender
  • “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)”—Phil Collins
  • “West End Girls”—Pet Shop Boys
  • “Grenade”—Bruno Mars
  • “My Love”—Paul McCartney and Wings
  • “I Knew I Loved You”—Savage Garden
  • “Cryin’”—Aerosmith
  • “New Kid in Town”—Eagles
  • “Butter”—BTS
  • “Silly Love Songs”—Wings
  • “Together Forever”—Rick Astley
  • “I Want To Hold Your Hand”—The Beatles
  • “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”—Tears for Fears
  • “Time After Time”—Cyndi Lauper
  • “Rich Girl”—Daryl Hall and John Oates
  • “Bodak Yellow”—Cardi B
  • “Keep On Loving You”—REO Speedwagon
  • “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)”—Backstreet Boys
  • “Angel”—Shaggy featuring Rayvon
  • “Without You”—Nilsson
  • “Just Give Me a Reason”—Pink featuring Nate Ruess
  • “Part-Time Lover”—Stevie Wonder
  • “Baby Come Back”—Player
  • “I Feel Fine”—The Beatles
  • “Can’t Feel My Face”—The Weeknd
  • “The Way You Make Me Feel”—Michael Jackson
  • “When I See you Smile”—Bad English
  • “I Just Want to Be Your Everything”—Andy Gibb
  • “Live Your Life”—T.I. featuring Rihanna

© 2021 Ansel Pereira

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