Missing someone is something everyone can relate to. Whether you’re longing for the presence of an old friend, dreaming of a lover far away, or coping with the loss of a loved one, we all feel that longing from time to time. Knowing what you’re going through, here is a list of 28 songs about missing someone.
Songs about missing someone you love
1. “Miss You Much” by Janet Jackson
“Miss You Much” was the lead-off single to the album Rhythm Nation 1814 by singer Janet Jackson. Here, she longs to reconnect with a lost love after a breakup. The song’s lyrics were inspired by a breakup letter her producer Jimmy Jam received from an old lover who signed it with the words that became the song title. It then became a song that resonates with millions of listeners who have found themselves pining after someone they haven’t seen in a while.
Next: Songs About Friendship
2. “Dancing On My Own” by Robyn
“Dancing On My Own” was recorded by Swedish singer-songwriter Robyn, released in 2010. It illustrates a woman’s sadness and anger after seeing her boyfriend in a club. She saw him embracing another woman and neglecting to notice her dancing alone. It was inspired by situations Robyn observed while on tour and clubbing throughout Stockholm and the dissolution of her engagement.
3. “I Try” by Macy Gray
“I Try” was the second single from her debut album, On How Life Is, released in 1999. The song is about being unable to let go of a lover you still love, even though they have expressed disinterest. The song has a catchy melody that makes the lyrics about clinging to someone sound like it could be a love song. Still, it’s a heartbreaker with personal emotions behind it.
4. “Thinkin’ Bout You” by Frank Ocean
“Thinkin Bout You” is a song recorded by American singer Frank Ocean from his debut studio album, Channel Orange (2012). This song is about a relationship just out of Frank’s reach. He expresses his confusion and regrets that the relationship dissolved but ultimately shows that he still cares deeply for his ex-lover. He has never met anyone like this person and wonders if they are thinking about him.
5. “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins
Phil Collins recorded the song in 1984 for the soundtrack to the film of the same name. It is a power ballad whose protagonist implores an ex-lover to take a look at him now. He knows that reconciliation is impossible, but he considers it worth trying. Collins wrote this song in the wake of his first divorce in 1980. It was centered mainly on him asking an estranged lover to give him another chance.
Next: Songs About Being Happy
6. “Black” by Pearl Jam
“Black” is one of Pearl Jam’s most popular songs. It’s from their 1992 album, Ten, released in 1991. Eddie Vedder says this song is about a person’s first relationship that didn’t work out. Here, the singer feels “black” and depressed because he lost the woman he loves. He holds the sad remains of his relationship, black-washed photographs that show the happiness he felt with his lover.
7. “Linger” by The Cranberries
Linger is a song by the Cranberries from their first album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? released in 1993. Dolores O’Riordan wrote the lyrics during her audition attempt after falling in love with a 17-year-old soldier who didn’t return these feelings. Essentially, the lyrics to this hit song are about O’Riordan’s first heartbreak and rejection.
8. “Miss You Like Crazy” by Natalie Cole
“Miss You Like Crazy” is a song recorded by Natalie Cole, released in 1989 from Good To Be Back. Cole describes how she misses her lover and everything they used to do when he was around. She sings that every hour and every day has been hard to get through now that he’s gone.
Next: Love Songs for Him
9. “Miss You” by The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones’ “Miss You” is a song about a man who misses the love of his life enough to think about her constantly, even when he sleeps. He can’t stand being apart from her and jumps every time the phone rings, only to be disappointed again when it’s not her. He will have to deal with missing this particular lady for some time, given that he is clearly in love.
10. “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” by Aerosmith
Aerosmith’s song “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” was the theme of the 1998 Hollywood blockbuster film Armageddon. Unlike other songs about missing someone, this hit single is a sweet love song where the narrator doesn’t want to spend a single moment apart from his lover. The lyrics were inspired by James Brolin telling his lover Barbra Streisand that he misses her when he’s sleeping.
11. “Hey There Delilah” by Plain White T’s
In 2006, Plain White T’s released “Hey There Delilah” as the third single from their album All That We Needed. In this song about a long-distance relationship, the singer tries to keep loneliness from his heart. He asks Delilah to listen to a song he has written for her. He then assures her that he will always be with her no matter how much distance comes between them.
Next: Songs About Good Times
12. “Someone You Loved” by Lewis Capaldi
“Someone You Loved” was recorded by Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi in 2018. From its emotional lyrics, Capaldi sings about missing someone he deeply loved. This person was his primary source of happiness and joy while they were together. When he suddenly lost her, nothing could fill the void left in his life. Lewis revealed at The BRIT Awards 2020 that he wrote the song about his grandmother and not an ex-lover.
13. “Lay Me Down” by Sam Smith
This song was included in the debut album “In the Lonely Hour” by English singer Sam Smith released in 2014. This album primarily deals with unrequited love as most of the tracks are about Smith’s struggles when he fell for a straight man and thus turned down his advances. The single “Lay Me Down”, in particular, is about how much he misses this person who is out of reach for the singer.
14. “I Need My Girl” by The National
“I Need My Girl” is a song by the American alternative rock band The National. The band recorded the song in 2013 for their sixth studio album, Trouble Will Find Me. According to lead vocalist Matt Berninger, the song is one of the most direct and earnest love songs The National has ever written. It is a simple love song that Berninger wrote about missing his wife and daughter.
15. “I Miss You” by blink-182
This song is one of Blink-182’s most iconic hits released in 2004. This powerful song is about the pain of being separated from the one you love. The singer is coming to grips because his relationship with the woman he loves is now over. Even though he is telling her that he does, in fact, “miss” her, he just exhibits doubt over whether they will ever reconcile.
16. “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd
In the song “Wish You Were Here,” Pink Floyd vocalist Roger Waters uses imagery and metaphor to express his feelings of alienation from other people. The inspiration for this came from his old friend Syd Barrett, who founded Pink Floyd but left the band due to mental health issues. The lyrics are part of a concept album focusing on absence and disenchantment with the music industry.
17. “Transatlanticism” by Death Cab for Cutie
A heart-wrenching song, “Transatlanticism” by Death Cab for Cutie, is the main track in the album of the same name released in 2003. Here, the songwriter sings about the loneliness he feels from longing for someone and being separated from her literally and figuratively by an ocean. He longs to be with his lover, expressing his sorrow in six simple words, “I need you so much closer.”
18. “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers
Bill Withers was inspired to write “Ain’t No Sunshine” after watching the 1962 film Days of Wine and Roses. The characters in the movie were alcoholics that were highly dependent on each other but had a volatile relationship. Withers thought how sometimes people miss things that aren’t good for them but feel so good at the moment.
19. “Someone Like You” by Adele
“Someone Like You.” is Adele’s second single off her album 21, released in 2011. The song is about Adele coming to terms with a broken relationship with her ex-lover and lyrically speaks of the pain associated with that. The song received many rave reviews for its lyrics and Adele’s vocals. In 2012, it won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance.
20. “Want You Back” by HAIM
“Want You Back” is a song by the American band Haim released in 2017. In this pop-rock single for their album Something to Tell You, Haim sings about lost love, reflecting upon a previous relationship that they took for granted. Lead vocalist Danielle Haim sings of the regret that comes when one suddenly feels the urge to want an ex-lover back after realizing the mistakes one made during that relationship.
Songs about missing a friend
Missing someone isn’t always about a romantic relationship. Plenty of them is about missing friends who are now out of reach.
21. “So Far Away” by Carole King
The song “So Far Away” was written by Carole King and appeared on her 1971 album Tapestry. In this powerful song, King talks about the loneliness of missing someone you love who is far away. It is a personal song that weaves her experience as a songwriter and a performer and the constant travelling that keeps her “so far away” from her loved ones.
22. “Wish You Were Here” by Avril Lavigne
This song was performed by Canadian recording artist Avril Lavigne from her fourth studio album, Goodbye Lullaby. The song displays Lavigne’s vulnerable side as she sings about yearning for someone. Avril Lavigne explained that this song talks about missing somebody that you’ve had a falling out with—circumstances in life during which we all feel lonely and isolated.
23. “I Lost a Friend” by FINNEAS
“I Lost a Friend” is the first song on Finneas’s debut EP, Blood Harmony. The song is based on Finn’s struggles in losing a dear friend, which he wishes he still had in his life. He uses clever wordplay and imagery to convey missing that special person from his past whom he could always depend on before.
24. “Tell Me How” by Paramore
“Tell Me How” is a slow-moving, melancholic track written by Taylor York and Hayley Williams. The lyrics tell about losing friends, including previous bandmates. Singer Hayley Williams addresses the departure of Jeremy Davis from the band in late 2015. Since the beginning of the band, they had been friends, but after he left, they were nothing more than strangers. Most notably, the song ends with the lyric “I can still believe”, which tells how she hopes to one day make peace with all those she lost.
Songs about missing someone who died
Here are some of the best songs that will touch your heart and make you feel better as you remember the loss of a loved one
25. “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men
Singer-songwriter Mariah Carey wrote Missing You about her friend David Cole who died in 1995. Cole had complications from spinal meningitis brought on by AIDS. Carey wanted to write a eulogy for him and other loved ones she and her fans had lost. The lyric “I’ll be with you that sweet day” was her way of saying that when she died, she would be with them again.
26. “Supermarket Flowers” by Ed Sheeran
“Supermarket Flowers” is a song by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, featured on his third studio album ÷ (2017). Ed Sheeran wrote this song to honor his grandmother Anne, who passed away on the day Sheeran wrote this song. Through the metaphor of a guardian angel, the lyrics focus on how much she will be missed by those who love her.
27. “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton
In 1991, Eric Clapton wrote “Tears in Heaven” about the death of his four-year-old son, Conor. Clapton said he had been away from writing and performing for six months, trying to process the terrible event that had happened. In his song, “Miss You,” Clapton wonders if his son will forgive him for not being there when he died. The song concludes on a hopeful note: although he will never see his son again, whether he deserves forgiveness or not, life must go on.
Next: Songs About Regret
28. “Candle in the Wind” by Elton John
In “Candle in the Wind,” Elton John describes Marilyn Monroe’s life from her fame to her tragic end. He shows the world how strong she was for holding herself together during her time of need. When she died at age 36, she was too young to die tragically and alone. He wants Marilyn remembered as a person who deserved better than that.
Missing someone you love is one of the most gut-wrenching feelings in the world. Whether they are a friend, family member, or lover, it’s an experience that is hard to put into words when you miss someone.
Thankfully, these 28 songs have captured the essence of missing someone with their lyrics. Maybe after listening to them, you’ll be able to find some comfort in knowing that you aren’t alone in your feelings.