As the world continues to be plagued by conflicts and wars, we need songs that can help us express our desire for peace. There have been a lot of great songs written about peace and anti-war over the last century. Here is our list of the 25 best songs about peace and anti-war. They are potent statements against war and violence, and they will leave you feeling inspired and hopeful for the future. We hope you enjoy listening to these songs as much as we enjoyed putting this list together!
R&B/Soul Songs About World Peace
R&B/Soul is a softer genre of music that touches the emotions of billions of people. This genre has always been a powerful tool to spread messages of love and peace. Listening to these songs may take us off the ledge stop us from jumping into a nuclear war.
1. “Heal the World” by Michael Jackson
According to Michael Jackson, “Heal the World” was his most outstanding achievement as a songwriter. The song is a plea for world peace and features a children’s choir. In 1992, Jackson founded the Heal the World Foundation, a charity organization that aimed to improve children’s quality of life.
2. “A Change is Gonna” Come by Sam Cooke
The song “A Change is Gonna” was released in 1964, during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. The lyrics express hope for a better future and talk about the struggles that black Americans were facing at the time. It is said that Sam Cooke was inspired to write the song after hearing Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.”
3. “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye wrote this classic soul song during the Vietnam War to protest against violence and injustice. The lyrics to “What’s Going On” talk about the struggles that people were facing during that time.
Marvin Gaye’s record label was initially hesitant to release the song because they thought it was too political, but it went on to become one of Gaye’s biggest hits was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.
The song has been used to protest police violence and other social injustices in recent years and could be the greatest protest song of all time.
4. “We Are Here” by Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys released the “We Are Here” song in 2016 as a call for peace and love. The lyrics talk about the need for us to come together and make a change in the world. “We Are Here” was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests against police violence.
Keys performed the song on several live shows and was widely praised for helping to raise awareness about the issue.
5. “From A Distance” by Bette Midler
This song was written by singer-songwriter Julie Gold in 1985 and later recorded by Bette Midler. “From A Distance” talks about how, from a distance, we can see the world as a beautiful place. The lyrics promote the idea of peace and unity among all people.
The song became an instant classic and has been covered by many artists over the years. It was even used as the theme song for the 1996 Summer Olympics.
6. “Love Train” by The O’Jays
“Love Train” is a soul song that was released in 1972 by The O’Jays. The lyrics talk about how love can overcome hate and how we need to come together as one world. It has also been used in various movies and television shows. In 2006, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Alternative Songs for Anti-War
The Alternative genre is known for its edgy and unique sound. These anti-war songs have a more alternative edge to them, but they are just as powerful in their message of hope and love.
7. “Imagine” by John Lennon
John Lennon was a legendary singer/songwriter who was a massive advocate for peace. “Imagine” is one of his most famous songs, and it talks about how we can all live in a world of peace and harmony. This song is one of his most famous and was even inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2004, “Imagine” was named the third greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone.
8. “Zombie” by The Cranberries
“Zombie” is a song by The Cranberries that was released in 1994. It talks about the violence in Northern Ireland and how it was affecting the people there. This song became one of the band’s biggest hits and helped to raise awareness about the issue.
9. “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man
The lyrics for “Feel It Still” talks about how we need to come together and make a change in the world. This song became a huge hit and won a Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. In 2018, the band performed the song at the March for Our Lives rally in support of gun control.
10. “Up & Up” by Coldplay
“Up & Up” is a song by Coldplay that was released in 2016. The lyrics talk about how we need to keep our heads up and fight for what’s right. This song was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests against police violence.
Coldplay performed the song at the 2016 Global Citizen Festival, and the lyrics were changed to support the cause.
11. “Violet Hill” by Coldplay
Coldplay doesn’t stop there! This song is about a war between two forces; one side stands for peace and the other for war. “Violet Hill.” It deals with concepts like love and the power of nature to heal. It was released on May 5, 2008, through Parlophone / Capitol Label as a single from their fourth album “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends.”
12. “Waiting On the World to Change” by John Mayer
Released in 2006, “Waiting On the World to Change” talks about how we need to stop waiting for a world that will never change and instead start making a difference now. John Mayer also talks about how we should be more aware of what’s happening around us and not just focus on our own lives.
In 2010, the song won a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
Pop Songs About Peace
Pop music is one of the most popular genres in the world, and there are plenty of songs within the genre about peace that has become hits. These songs usually have a more positive and upbeat vibe, but they are just as effective in their ability to deliver a message of hope and love.
13. “What the World Needs Now Is Love” by Jackie DeShannon
“What the World Needs Now Is Love” was released in 1965 and talks about how we need to love each other to make the world a better place. It was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. In 2014, the song was used in a commercial for Coca-Cola, and it helped to raise awareness about the company’s campaign to end violence.
14. “Give Peace a Chance” by John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band
“Give Peace a Chance” is an anti-war song that was released in July of 1969 and became one of the most prominent protest songs during the Vietnam War. It is an iconic anti-war anthem that has been chanted and sung by protesters worldwide. The lyrics tell us to give peace a chance and be aware of what’s happening in the world around us. In 1971, the song won a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
15. “I Don’t Want to Be a Hero” by Johnny Hates Jazz
“I Don’t Want to Be a Hero” is a powerful ballad about the horrors of war. The lyrics are sung from the perspective of a soldier who has had enough of the violence and wants to return home to his family. The song is a reminder that war is not glamorous or heroic, and that the people who fight in them are just regular people. It has been used in various movies and television shows about war, including HBO’s “Band of Brothers.”
16. “We’ve Had Enough” by Michael Jackson
“We’ve Had Enough” is an angry anthem song against war, poverty, and injustice. Jackson wrote the lyrics after watching news reports about the Gulf War.
We’ve had enough/Of your guns and bombs/And your tanks and planes, he sings.
We’ve had enough/Of this crap! The message of the song is clear: it’s time for peace.
17. “Peace Train” by Cat Stevens
“Peace Train” is a song about, you guessed it, peace! The song is about how we need to come together and ride the peace train instead of the “hate train.” The song was written in 1971 during the height of the Vietnam War.
18. “Cease Fire” by Christina Aguilera
The song “Cease Fire” is about the hope for world peace. Aguilera has said that the song is about “the idea of everybody coming together and having a cease-fire all over the world; just for that one day we could all get along.” The lyrics imply that there would be peace if everyone could just lay down their weapons.
Hip-Hop/Rap Songs that Represents Peace
Hip-Hop and rap music has always been a powerful tool for protest and social justice. In a time when the world seems to be constantly embroiled in conflict, these songs provide an important counterbalance, spreading hope for peace and unity against war.
19. “Where Is The Love?” by The Black Eyed Peas
“Where Is The Love?” is a song by The Black Eyed Peas that talks about the state of the world and how much violence and hate there is among us. The lyrics “Where is the love?” ask and talk about how we need to come together to make the world a better place.
20. “Changes” by 2Pac ft. Talent
“Changes” is a song about the struggles of life and how we need to come together to make positive change. The lyrics talk about the problems of racism, violence, and poverty, and how we need to work together to solve them.
It’s time for us as a people to start making some changes, Tupac sings.
21. “One Tribe” by The Black Eyed Peas
The Black Eyed Peas’ song “One Tribe” is a powerful anthem about coming together to end war and violence. “One Tribe” was released in 2009. It speaks of the need for everyone to come together in solidarity for peace. The lyrics talk about how we are all connected and need to work together to make the world a better place.
Reggae Songs That Advocate for Peace
The reggae music genre has always been about more than just partying and having a good time. Reggae songs have a history of being about important topics like love, peace, and justice. Here are some songs that give us the blueprint for avoiding the next world war.
22. “One Love” by Bob Marley
“One Love” by Bob Marley is probably the most well-known reggae song in the world. And it’s also one of the most iconic songs about peace. The lyrics talk about how we should all come together as one, regardless of race or religion.
23. “One Day” by Matisyahu
“One Day” is a song about hope and peace. The song lyrics speak about how the world will be united one day, and there will be no more violence or war.
One day this all will change/Treat people the same, Matisyahu sings.
Stop with the violence/Down with the hate.
24. “War/No More Trouble” by Bob Marley
Bob Marley’s “War” is one of the most influential anti-war songs ever written. The song was released in 1976, during the height of the Cold War. “War” is a powerful and emotional song that calls for an end to all wars. Bob Marley talks about how war is only going to bring more trouble. He sings about how we need to come together and end the cycle of violence.
25. “One Blood” by Junior Reid
Junior Reid’s song “One Blood” is about the unifying power of music. Reid sings about the need for all people to come together as one, regardless of race or nationality. The song is a reminder that we are all human beings first and foremost, and we should all be treated with respect and dignity.
26. “Revolution” by Dennis Brown
“Revolution” is a plea for peace and against war. This song is about peace and how we should all come together to achieve it. Dennis Brown’s lyrics are as relevant today as they were when he first recorded them in the 1970s and a powerful reminder of the importance of unity.
Country Songs About Anti-War
The country music genre has always been about more than just drinking beer and driving trucks. Country songs have a history of being about important topics like love, peace, and patriotism.
27. “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” by Alan Jackson
Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” is a song about unity and peace. The lyrics talk about how we should all come together in times of trouble and not let the world divide us. Jackson sings about how we need to support each other and stand united against violence and terrorism.
28. “When We Stand Together” by Nickelback
“When We Stand Together” is a song by Nickelback that was released in 2011. The song is about coming together and standing up for what you believe in. It is a protest song for everyone to stand together.
29. “Get Along” by Kenny Chesney
“Get Along” is a song by Kenny Chesney that was released in 2018. The song is about coming together and getting along, despite our differences. This is a feel-good song that will make you want to dance and sing along. It is a great addition to any playlist of songs about getting along with your neighbors while we can.
30. “Bleed Red” by Ronnie Dunn
This song is about the blood that has been shed throughout history in the name of war. It asks the question of whether or not all this bloodshed was worth it and concludes that it wasn’t. “Bleed Red” is a strong anti-war song that really makes you think about the cost of war.
31. “Til The Last Shot’s Fired” by Trace Adkins
“Til The Last Shot’s Fired” is about the Civil War and how it divided families. Trace Adkins tells the story of a brother who fought for the Confederacy and the other brother who fought for the Union. Despite being on different sides, they both loved each other and were willing to fight and die for what they believed in. “Til The Last Shot’s Fired” is an emotional song that really brings home the loss on both sides in a war.
32. “Pray For Peace” by Reba McEntire
Rock n Roll War Protest Songs
Rock music has always had an anti-establishment message. There are a variety of Rock n Roll songs with an anti-war theme that has been sung by musicians from around the world. These artists used their music to protest the Cold War, Iraq War, World War, and other wars.
33. “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
“Fortunate Son” is a song by Creedence Clearwater Revival that was released in 1969. The song is about how the rich and powerful start wars and the poor and working-class are the ones who have to fight them. It is a call to arms for the working class to stand up and fight against war.
34. “Dreamer” by Ozzy Osbourne
The song “Dreamer” by Ozzy Osbourne was released in 2001 as a single from the album “Down to Earth.” The song is about how a person can have a dream and fight for it. Ozzy talks about how peace is the answer and how we need to wage war against the negativity in the world. The lyrics talk about how we all have the power to make our dreams come true.
35. “If I Can Dream” by Elvis Presley
While we are on the topic of dreaming, the song “If I Can Dream” by Elvis Presley was released in 1968 and was written by Walter Earl Brown. The song is about how we can all make our dreams come true if we believe in ourselves. Elvis Presley talks about how we should never give up on our dreams and how we can achieve anything we set our minds to.
36. “Under the Same Sun” by Scorpions
The song “Under the Same Sun” by Scorpions is about how we are all under the same sun and we should all be treated equally. The lyrics talk about how no one is better than anyone else and how we should all love each other. The song was released in 1993 and was a huge hit in many countries around the world.
37. “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles
The song “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles was released in 1967 and is one of the most iconic and well-known songs advocating for love. The lyrics talk about how love is all we need in the world and how it can solve all our problems. The song has been covered by many artists over the years and is still popular today.
38. “When the Children Cry” by White Lion
The song “When the Children Cry” talks about how war affects children. Children should never have to experience the horrors of battle. White Lion talks about how innocent children are killed in wars and how we should all do everything we can to make sure it never happens again.
39. “What’s So Funny, ‘Bout (Peace, Love, and Understanding)” by Nick Lowe
The song “What’s So Funny, ‘Bout (Peace, Love, and Understanding)” by Nick Lowe was released in 1979 but was made popular in the 90s when it was covered by Elvis Costello. The lyrics talk about how we should all just get along and how we can make the world a better place if we would just have peace, love, and understanding for each other.
Heavy Metal Anti-War Songs
Even though Heavy Metal may appear to be an aggressive style of music, there are many Heavy Metal songs protesting against violence and abuse of power. Here are some of the best songs in this genre that have an anti-war message.
40. “Disposable Heroes” by Metallica
With lyrics like
die for government lies, it’s no wonder that this song is one of the most popular anti-war anthems in the Heavy Metal genre. The song is about soldiers who are used as “disposable heroes” and how they’re treated when they come home from war.
41. “Killing In The Name” by Rage Against the Machine
“Killing In The Name” is about the abuse of power and how people in positions of authority often use violence to get what they want. The lyrics to “Killing In The Name” are about how we should never let anyone tell us what to do and that we should stand up against oppression.
42. “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath
This song “War Pigs” is about how war is nothing but a “game” for those in power. The lyrics talk about how innocent people are killed in wars and how the only people who benefit from them are the rich and powerful.
43. “Civil War” by Guns N Roses
“Civil War” by Guns N Roses is a powerful anti-war song. The lyrics are dark but powerful, and they speak to the heart of the anger and frustration that many people feel about war. The song is a protest against the division, violence, and destruction that war brings, and it is a call for peace.
44. “Boom!” by System of a Down
System of a Down is known for their political lyrics and their anti-war songs. “Boom!” is one of their most popular and most influential songs against war and the devastation it causes. Boom! was featured on their 2002 self-titled debut album “Steal This Album!”. The lyrics are written by Serj Tankian and focus on the first Gulf War.
45. “No More” by Disturbed
“No More” is a song by the American heavy metal band Disturbed. The song was written by David Draiman and Mike Wengren as a response to the mass shootings that had occurred in the United States prior to the album’s release. The song peaked at #1 on the US Mainstream Rock chart, making it Disturbed’s second number one on that chart
46. “Peace Sells” by Megadeth
“Peace Sells” is about the hypocrisy of the world and how people say one thing but do another. The title comes from the phrase “peace sells, but who’s buying?” which is repeated throughout the song. The song was released in 1986 as the first single from Megadeth’s first major-label album, “Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying?”.
Did You Enjoyed Our Playlist of Peace and Anti-War Songs?
There you have it, we’ve compiled a list of the 46 best songs about peace and anti-war. These tunes will help you find your inner voice on what it means to oppose violence in all forms. So whether you want lyrics that give hope or songs for protesting injustice, there is something here for everyone.
We hope you enjoyed this list we’ve made for you and maybe even found a new favorite song. If you liked this article, be sure to share it with your friends and family!
Thank you for reading! 🙂