Top Songs About Failure

Failure is an inevitable part of life, so it’s no wonder it’s a common theme in music. From struggling to find your place in the world, to being unable to find love, here are the best songs about failure ever.

“In The End” by Linkin Park

“In The End” by Linkin Park

Song Year: 2001

“In The End” remains one of Linkin Park’s most iconic hits decades after its release. While the song’s lyrics allude to a man failing to start a relationship with a woman, you can relate them to any scenario. The narrator feels empty inside but accepts how this failure can help him learn from his mistakes.

The dynamic piano that opens and closes the piece and accompanying rap verses by Mike Shinoda solidify its catchiness.

“Dammit” by Blink-182

Song Year: 1997

Blink-182 is one of the most influential 90s rock bands, and one of their best-known hits is “Dammit,” featured on their platinum album Dude Ranch.This song tells the tale of a young man who recently went through a breakup. He feels his world’s falling apart, but he accepts that failure is a part of growing up.

The song’s fast tempo and guitar instrumentation give it an iconic late 1990s sound that old and new Blink-182 fans can enjoy.

“Failure” by Breaking Benjamin

Song Year: 2015

Breaking Benjamin’s “Failure” is a rock track featured on their chart-topping album Dark Before Dawn. It incorporates hard rock and metal elements to give the song a rough, loud sound.

The song’s lyrics depict the narrator struggling to accept failure. The world continues to move on, regardless of how often he fails, which the narrator eventually does.

The lyrics use light imagery to emphasize the lingering hope that encourages people to overcome their failures, no matter how often they encounter them.

“Failing In Love” by Mary J. Blige

Song Year: 2022

Featured on Mary J. Blige’s Grammy-nominated album Good Morning Gorgeous, “Failing In Love” tells the story of a woman in a romantic relationship that’s falling apart. She can’t let go of her failures, letting them linger in her mind while wondering what she’s doing wrong.

Blige’s soulful, harmonizing vocals help give this track a unique identity that resonates with any listener who experiences failure when finding or experiencing love.

“I Fought the Law” by The Clash

Song Year: 1979

The Clash’s punk-rock rendition of “I Fought the Law” tells the tale of a man who attempted to rob a bank. The price of his failure lands him in jail, away from the girl he loves. The song has catchy, repetitive lyrics and dynamic guitar riffs incorporating the band’s signature sound.

This song’s message encourages listeners to stay out of unlawful trouble, reiterating that a life of crime leads to failure.

“Worthless” by Eli

Song Year: 2018

One song that many can relate to whenever they feel like a failure is Eli’s “Worthless.” The lyrics describe the narrator feeling lost because he doesn’t know his place in the world, envious of the people who have successful lives while his friendships fail. He wonders if his life has any meaning and if his existence matters.

Despite being a slow, sad song, its piano accompaniment and R&B-inspired beats enhance the piece. It’s the type of song worth listening to during a cold, rainy night.

“I Don’t Belong Here” by I Prevail

Song Year: 2019

Initially featured on rock band I Prevail’s Grammy-nominated album Trauma, “I Don’t Belong Here,” is a slow, emotional song with a pop-inspired sound. In this song, the narrator feels like an outsider, wondering how his life has fallen apart because of failures out of his control. This song might resonate with anyone who doesn’t know what to do after giving up.

“Failure’s Not Flattering” by New Found Glory

Song Year: 2004

Another one of the best songs about failure is New Found Glory’s pop-punk hit “Failure’s Not Flattering.” It was a featured track on the band’s album Catalyst, which peaked at the third spot on the Billboard 200 Chart.

This song’s about a person prone to making mistakes and failing. The narrator and his friends want this person to learn from their mistakes, giving the song a unique perspective about someone pointing out someone else’s flaws. The upbeat guitar and drum accompaniment enhance the song’s early-2000s vibe.

“Lonesome Loser” by Little River Band

“Lonesome Loser” by Little River Band

Song Year: 1979

Are you looking for songs from the 20th century? Little River Band’s “Lonesome Loser” is an old-school, soft rock single full of energy and outstanding harmonizing vocals. The song tells the tale of a man who keeps trying at life, despite his failures. The lyrics reference the man’s gambling habits and unsuccessful love search.

This song was the band’s third top-ten single, ranking sixth on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart. Its energetic guitar accompaniment and bassline add extra character to this classic hit.

“Surrender to Failure” by Korn

Song Year: 2019

When tragedy strikes, we often blame ourselves for failing to do something to prevent it. Korn’s frontman Johnathan Davis wrote “Surrender to Failure” after losing his wife to an overdose. The lyrics emphasize his internal turmoil about how he failed her when she needed him, wishing to turn back time.

The song’s slower pace and Davis’ vocals near the end emphasize his grief. It was featured on the album The Nothing, which topped several weekly music charts in the United States.

“Failure By Design” by Brand New

Song Year: 2001

Do you like pop-punk music? Brand New’s “Failure By Design,” featured on their debut studio album Your Favorite Weapon, is a catchy song perfect for any playlist. The song’s lyrics reflect the effects of burnout when recording music and wasting time without getting anything done.

The narrator states he has a lot of pressure on his shoulders, calling himself a failure as one day becomes the next. The group initially wrote this song as an apology to their record producer.

“Success Has Made a Failure of Our Home” by Sinead O’Connor

Song Year: 1992

Sinead O’Connor’s “Success Has Made a Failure of Our House” showcases an interesting take on failure through its lyrics. The lyrics describe a woman remembering how she and her man used to be close. Their relationship began to waver once he focused on his music career. The contrast between success and failure makes this piece stand out from others.

Initially recorded by country icon Loretta Lynn, O’Connor’s rendition incorporates bold string and brass accompaniment to enhance its bittersweet tone.

“Failing” by Staind

Song Year: 2010

Rock band Staind’s “Failing” is another track about the failure of love. The narrator attempts to reach out to the one he loves, but she’s too full of herself to notice him or show him that she cares about him. If you’ve ever felt invisible in a relationship, this song might strike a chord with you.

This song was featured on Staind’s seventh album, which remained on the Billboard 200 Chart for eight weeks. The metal-inspired guitar solos near the song’s halfway point and ending emphasize the band’s signature edgy sound.

“Fails” by Jynx

Song Year: 2019

Jynx is a notable metal band from New York, and one of their best tracks is “Fails.” Despite only releasing a few years ago, the instrumentation and vocals replicate the metal music you’d hear during the early 2000s.

The narrator states that his failures inspire him to work harder to achieve his goals, pushing against any odds that go against him. He tells the audience that while it’s okay to push past failure to achieve your dreams, they shouldn’t be reckless when making choices that can potentially lead them back to failure.

“Failure” by Swans

Song Year: 1991

“Failure” by Swans is a haunting song encapsulating the lowest point a person can feel when experiencing failure. The vocalist’s inflection doesn’t indicate hope, making the piece’s tone extra somber.

The lyrics describe the narrator’s hardships in life, from failing to build his social life and earning little money to becoming depressed as he ages. The song incorporates imagery of drowning and being in an inescapable pit, reiterating the narrator’s feelings about how his demise is the only way he can escape eternal failure.

“Wake Me Up” by Fickle Friends

Song Year: 2018

Although “Wake Me Up” has an uptempo beat and electronic sound, its subject matter is bittersweet. The central theme depicted in this song is about two people struggling to make their relationship work. No matter how hard they try, they know they’re failing and must accept it.

“Wholesale Failure” by Days N’ Daze

Song Year: 2017

If you’re looking for songs about failure that don’t fit the mold of mainstream music, Days N’ Daze’s “Wholesale Failure” definitely fits the description. The lyrics depict the narrator feeling like a failure in a world worsening by the day, making him question if anything he does matters and why people focus their entire lives on success and failure.

The rapid acoustic guitar accompaniment and rough, almost unintelligible vocals give this song a minimalist vibe that isn’t overpowered by synthesized beats, embodying the narrator’s frustrations.

“A Suicidal Failure” by Cage

“A Suicidal Failure” by Cage

Song Year: 2002

Cage’s “A Suicidal Failure’ is about a man whose life falls apart after the girl he loves leaves him. Feeling empty inside, he attempts to take his life many times but fails. He feels as if he’s a failure at life and death. Despite its dark content, the song has a catchy beat and excellent rap vocals that embody the speaker’s inner turmoil.

“Failure” by Laura Marling

Song Year: 2008

Laura Marling’s “Failure” is a song featured on her debut album Alas, I Cannot Swim. The narrator describes a musician she once admired, whose success and happiness eventually dwindle, turning him into a failure. Years later, she takes a risk for nothing and experiences failure.

Marling’s uplifting vocals and the soothing guitar backing track give the song a down-to-earth vibe.

“Failure” by Blood Youth

Song Year: 2015

Do you prefer songs with a hardcore punk edge? Blood Youth’s debut single, “Failure,” is about wanting to start over after encountering countless failures. The rough yet cathartic vocals during the chorus sections enhance the song’s relatability. This song reminds us that although failure can be hard to overcome, it’s not impossible to escape it.

“A Song For A Failure” by The Boys You Know

Song Year: 2018

Are you looking for an uplifting song for your indie rock playlist? The Boys You Know might be a relatively unknown music group to some, but their song “A Song For A Failure” is a hidden gem among other failure-centric hits.

In this song, the speaker motivates the listener to move on in life, despite encountering failures and hardships.

“Failure” by The Staves

Song Year: 2021

The Staves’ “Failure” is a mid-tempo folk ballad about a woman who believes she’s a failure. She mentions that nobody wants to hang out with her. Although the reason why everyone makes her believe she’s a failure is ambiguous, the feelings reflected through the lyrics are relatable to many music lovers.

“El Niño Considers His Failures” by Spanish Love Songs

Song Year: 2018

The lyrics behind “El Niño Considers His Failures” tells the tale of a young man who hasn’t found success after his teenage years. The narrator states he’s had trouble finding love, becoming depressed and overweight over time. He wonders if he can overcome these obstacles or continue wallowing in self-pity.

Despite highlighting topics of failure and questioning your place in the world, this single from Spanish Love Songs’ album Schmaltz has an upbeat tempo that gets any music lover banging their head to its rhythm.

“Failures” by Eva Under Fire

Song Year: 2015

Eva Under Fire’s heartfelt ballad “Failures” takes the perspective of a woman who has encountered many failures and mistakes. Her memories are proof of her failures, but she ultimately tries to move forward, giving the song a glimmer of hope that inspires others to reevaluate themselves whenever their failures bring them down.

Amanda Lyberg’s vocals and the acoustic guitar instrumentation give the song a subdued yet intimate vibe.

“The Burden of Our Failures” by Ingested

“The Burden of Our Failures” by Ingested

Song Year: 2020

Ingested’s “The Burden of Our Failures” encapsulates the despair and hopelessness many people experience when failure enters their lives. The speaker’s failures have significantly impacted their well-being, making him feel trapped and unable to learn from the mistakes of his failures.

Like many death metal songs, this single has harsh vocals and an intense instrumental backing track. The next time you want to vent about your failures, consider playing this song at home.

“Failing on Purpose” by Arrows In Action

Song Year: 2020

The one thing many people fear is watching their relationships fail. Arrows In Action’s “Failing On Purpose” takes the perspective of a man worried about screwing up his relationship with someone he cares about. He doesn’t know which actions will benefit him and which ones he’ll regret, adding a layer of dimension to the lyrics.

Despite being a recent song, the way its vocals and guitar accompaniment blend together makes it sound like an early-2000s hit.

“I Feel Like A Failure” by Shy Kids

Song Year: 2018

Despite its addictive indie pop beats, Shy Kids’ “I Feel Like A Failure” has themes of burnout and emptiness resulting from failure. The lyrics incorporate imagery of being tied down in different scenarios with the same expected failures, from building relationships to finding the perfect job. The song’s harmonizing vocals represent the endless loop of failure many struggle to escape.

“I See Failure” by Antarctigo Vespucci

Song Year: 2015

Antarctigo Vespucci isn’t a rock band many people know about, but this hit from their debut album, Leavin’ La Vida Loca, is one of the most energizing songs you should consider listening to during your free time.

In this song, the man believes his life is destined for failure, asking his love what she sees when she looks at him. His love’s presence symbolizes the hope that contrasts with his self-doubt.

“Failing Is Not Just For Failures” by Listener

Song Year: 2010

“Failing Is Not For Failures” by Listener is one of the top songs about failure that empowers people dealing with failure and helps them move forward. The song’s narrator remembers his old friend’s words before his death, stating that everyone isn’t immune to failure and those who fail have more experience than those blessed with luck.

The song incorporates a spoken-word style perfectly executed by vocalist Dan Smith’s performance, making the piece stand out from other rock songs.

“Failure Isn’t Forever” by Nickel Creek

Song Year: 2023

Not all failure-themed songs have a depressing tone. Nickel Creek‘s “Failure Isn’t Forever” is a song with a straightforward yet inspirational message about using failure to improve yourself. Failure won’t last unless you give up, reiterating that you must take control of your life’s direction, no matter how bad things seem.

The bluegrass song’s guitar, mandolin, and violin accompaniment enhance its soft, acoustic nature. It was a featured track on Nickel Creek’s album Celebrants, which topped Billboard’s Top Bluegrass Albums Chart.

“The Elevator Song” by Tie-Rex

Song Year: 2018

Failure can make our lives feel out of control. Tie-Rex’s “The Elevator Song” is about a man who believes his failures bring down himself and others. He feels pressured whenever trying to accomplish his long-term and short-term goals. The song has a catchy guitar hook that pleases any music lover’s ears.

“Romantic Failure” by Hinterwood

Song Year: 2020

Indie rock band Hinterwood’s “Romantic Failure” has an upbeat tone that contrasts significantly with many of the songs on this list. This song’s about a woman admitting she’s a failure when seeking love, asking potential lovers to tell her about her flaws that she should change before prematurely ending their relationship.

This song resonates with anyone who hasn’t been successful in finding love, making it a great song to add to listen to wherever you go.

“FAILURE GIRL” by Karikibear

“FAILURE GIRL” by Karikibear

Song Year: 2015

Note: This song is not in English. Despite its upbeat, electronic sound, “FAILURE GIRL” is a tune with a relatable, serious theme. This song takes the perspective of a girl looking for love and appreciation. Everyone she knows considers her a failure and a loser, damaging her self-esteem. She’s lost count of how many mistakes she’s made, emphasizing her infinite life of suffering.

Top Songs About Failure, Final Thoughts

Although many songs about failure take a negative perspective, they inspire others to reevaluate themselves and move forward. Some people might have trouble overcoming failure, but it isn’t impossible. Regardless of what music genres you love, you’re bound to find a song that resonates with you if you feel like life is against you.

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