Seattle is a vibrant city with a diverse culture and music scene. That’s why many musicians have written songs in honor of this amazing city. From classic rock anthems to soulful ballads, these top songs about Seattle touch on the good and bad sides of the city.
1. “Sunny in Seattle” by Blake Shelton
Song Year: 2011
Although Seattle is home to some of the most stunning sceneries, the persistent presence of clouds will stick with you forever. In this song, Blake Shelton likens these clouds to hell freezing over in this sweet love ballad.
He praises his partner while confessing his undying affection towards her. He maintains that his love will endure until it’s clear blue skies in Seattle and snowy in New Orleans. And considering the normal forecast, it’s reasonable to conclude that the lovers will have a long wait before the sun comes out.
2. “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle” by Nirvana
Song Year: 1993
A list of the best songs about Seattle would be incomplete without “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle.” The song is about Frances Farmer, a Hollywood actress from Seattle who was sent to a mental asylum. She was a rebellious girl who went against society’s expectations of a woman’s conduct.
She’s eventually given her freedom, but her experiences with the psychiatric system were traumatizing and ultimately led to her early death. She had undergone rape, starvation, and torture. The lyrics express anger and frustration towards the medical establishment for failing Farmer.
The song is a sarcastic jab at the lack of empathy towards those struggling with mental illness. Its heavy guitar riffs and raw vocals make it a standout in Nirvana’s discography and a must-listen for any Seattle sound fan.
3. “Claiming the City” by Macklemore
Song Year: 2005
Macklemore’s love for Seattle is evident in many of his songs. On this track, he describes the racial disparities in the city. He strives to demonstrate how rotten and unjust the city’s social structure has become.
The song is also a reflection of Macklemore’s personal life. He recalls growing up with his parents and how naive he was to notice social class discrimination. Now that he’s in the limelight, he points out these vices and claims there’s no progress because the whites and blacks are still divided.
4. “Welcome to Seattle” by Boom Bap Project
Song Year: 2005
Coming up first on our list of the best songs about Seattle, this track highlights the struggles of city life and the difficult decisions individuals must make for survival. The artist portrays a clear picture of their childhood in Seattle, where they did not understand the dangers surrounding them.
They recall how their friend’s mother fought to overcome economic hardship. The lyrics express an earnest wish to alleviate her suffering and improve her situation. It reflects individual choices and how they influence one’s life direction.
5. “The Shadow of Seattle” by Marcy Playground
Song Year: 1997
The song captures the darker side of Seattle, referencing its surroundings in the early 1990s. The lyrics speak of the city as a place where people come to find themselves only to get lost in the shadowy corners.
The protagonist describes Seattle as a place where liars thrive, accusing them of stealing valuable artifacts and being unwilling to call out the thieves. Although the song fails to shed light on Seattle’s positive side, it remains one of the most famous tracks with a relatable subject matter.
6. “Seattle” by Perry Como
Song Year: 1969
The soothing track describes Seattle’s beauty and charm of the Pacific Northwest. The lyrics discuss the city’s picturesque mountains, skies, scenic drives, and peaceful sounds. Como’s smooth voice adds to the song’s appeal, making it a perfect choice for anyone who wants to relax and reminisce about Seattle.
Whether you’re a native or just a visitor, this song will make you feel right in the center of Emerald City. Although there are many versions of the song, Cosmo’s rendition remains the best, earning a place on the Billboard Hot 100 top list.
7. “Hello Seattle” by Owl City
Song Year: 2009
The dreamy song captures Seattle’s stunning topography and landscapes. The track’s protagonist poses as a mountaineer, a lighthouse, an albatross, and the moon as he sends greetings to the city in turns.
Owl City is on record, stating that this track best represents his composition. Despite writing it while restless, it has become one of his most successful releases. Unlike other songs on this list, this is a triumphant and joyous anthem about the city.
8. “My Oh My” by Macklemore
Song Year: 2010
The song is Macklemore’s emotional tribute to late Seattle Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus and the city’s love for baseball. The song reminisces on the city’s golden era of baseball, with Niehaus delivering the iconic play-by-play of the team’s historic moments.
He recalls listening to him as a kid. He also pays homage to Seattle greats like Ken Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez. With its catchy chorus and heartfelt lyrics, the track appeals to everyone, regardless of whether you’re a baseball fan.
9. “Slick Watts” by Blue Scholars
Song Year: 2011
The song commemorates former Seattle SuperSonics basketball player Slick Watts while celebrating the city’s vibrant culture and diversity. The lyrics vividly depict the city’s unique neighborhoods and landmarks.
The track’s catchy beats and rhymes make it a must-listen for anyone who loves Seattle. You’ll surely enjoy the song’s lively beat as the duo recites the names of Seattle’s most notable geographical areas and sportsmen.
10. “Seattle Was a Riot” by Anti-Flag
Song Year: 2001
As the title suggests, this song is about the Seattle riots during the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in 1999. The riots were a result of anti-globalization activists protesting against WTO policies and practices. The track’s lyrics criticize police actions during the riots and question why people can’t get justice without going on the streets.
The song also addresses issues of corporate greed and workers exploitation. It’s a politically charged and thought-provoking song that speaks to the ongoing social and economic justice struggles.
11. “I Love Seattle” by Tacocat
Song Year: 2016
Tacocat, a Seattle-based punk-pop band, pays tribute to their hometown despite its shortcomings. Throughout the song, they talk about everything that makes Seattle a unique and special place. They long to be in the city when the world ends.
They reference earthquakes and tsunamis to convey that nothing would change their love for the city. Even when everyone is gone, they will co-exist with lizards and shapeshifters rather than leave their hometown. It’s the perfect anthem for anyone who calls Seattle home or loves the city for its unique vibe.
12. “Moving to Seattle” by The Material
Song Year: 2007
Seattle has always been known for its rich music scene, and this track captures the excitement and anticipation of relocating to this vibrant city. The protagonist sings about leaving behind her old life and venturing into a new city full of opportunities.
As she navigates the ups and downs of settling into a new place, she remains optimistic about making the most of her new home. The track’s upbeat melody and catchy lyrics make it a perfect anthem for anyone who dreams of starting a new life in Emerald City.
13. “Summer in Seattle” by The Laurie Lewis Quintet
Song Year: 2005
The lively track is about the sunny days in Seattle during the summer months. The song features jazzy guitar and bass lines, giving it a modern twist. It has an infectious rhythm and relatable lyrics for anyone who has spent a summer in Seattle, whether basking on the lake shore, exploring the bustling markets, or attending festivals.
The artist references an incoming rainstorm to demonstrate the importance of pursuing one’s goals to the fullest, even in the face of obstacles.
14. “Talkin’ Seattle Grunge Rock Blues” by Todd Snider
Song Year: 2003
The track is a hilarious take on the Seattle music scene of the 90s. In the lyrics, the protagonist talks about how he went to Seattle to start a grunge band, only to discover that everyone was already doing it. He makes a mockery of how music seems more about image than the music itself.
He says that to succeed in the city’s music industry, you must come up with something unfamiliar to the fans. It’s a clever commentary on a cultural phenomenon that defined an entire generation of music fans and a reminder that sometimes it’s okay not to take things too seriously.
15. “Seattle Police is Communist” by Super Adventure Club
Song Year: 2009
The song is a political commentary with relatable lyrics. The band pokes fun at the city’s reputation for liberal politics and accuses the police force of being communists. The song focuses on Seattle’s police plan for the public by referencing hippies on mountain bikes and police evading protests through coffee.
The band feels such actions are deceitful and are only meant to control people’s minds, diverting their attention from important societal issues.
16. “City of Orphans” by The Classic Crime
Song Year: 2012
The song references capitol hill, a trendy neighborhood in Seattle where the band’s members were born. The band talks about how many individuals come to the Pacific Northwest and leave behind their lives elsewhere, only to find nothing but emptiness.
The track portrays Seattle as a popular hip city filled with people whose purpose is just to have a good time, but there’s no substance behind it all. It’s a haunting and melancholy tribute to a city with its fair share of hardships but still attracts new inhabitants.
17. “The Day Seattle Died” by Cold
Song Year: 2002
The song is a haunting tribute to Seattle’s grunge scene. It references the death of Kurt Cobain and the end of an era for the city’s music scene. The lyrics speak of the mourning and emptiness the genre’s fans felt when Cobain killed himself with a shotgun.
Furthermore, the artist references drug abuse to commemorate the death of Layne Staley, who died of heroin addiction. He describes how Staley went into isolation and became a drug addict in the last years of his life.
18. “Jet City Woman” by Queensrÿche
Song Year: 1991
The progressive metal band’s track is about reuniting with loved ones after a long period. “Jet City” is a nickname for Seattle, where the band members hail from. The lyrics express the loneliness of being apart from the people you love and cherish. The protagonist is happy that they will feel their family’s warmth again.
19. “Chains” by Patty Loveless
Song Year: 1988
Patty Loveless’s “Chains” talks about a toxic relationship between a woman and a man. The woman feels that her partner doesn’t give her the treatment she deserves. She knows the only way out of it is to leave him, but her love for him keeps her trapped. She buys a ticket to Seattle but misses the flight because she can’t let go. It encourages listeners to realize when to walk away from hurtful situations.
20. “Aurora Bridge” by The Young Fresh Fellows
Song Year: 1987
The track celebrates everything there’s to love about Seattle. The lyrics pay homage to the bridge’s architecture and importance in the city’s history. The band references riding scooters and flying kites to show what would happen if the bridge were to fall. They wouldn’t have somewhere to play fun games. The song’s upbeat melody and catchy chorus make it enjoyable.
21. “Emerald City” by United State of Electronica
Song Year: 2005
The track is a tribute to Seattle’s vibrant energy. From the iconic sceneries to the bustling nightlife, the lyrics paint a picture of a city that’s always buzzing with excitement. The song’s upbeat rhythm makes it great for dancing along. It’s a must-listen for anyone who loves the Emerald City and is proud to call it home.
Songs About Seattle, Final Thoughts
Seattle serves as an inspiration for countless artists with its stunning scenery and rich musical heritage. Thus, whether you need a track celebrating the city’s culture or beautiful nature, you will find one that satisfies your needs. We hope you had fun reading our list of the best songs about Seattle.