With the world getting louder and louder over time, you probably desire some quiet time to help you do some mindful reflection. Since music is present in many aspects of our lives, I thought it would do you good to listen to these songs about silence to inspire you on your reflection journey.
While talking about silence in music full of sound may seem hypocritical, it’s a good way to uncover the mysteriousness of silence that aids us in living a fulfilling life.
|Sound of Silence
|Mary of Silence
|When I Go Deaf
|Marshmello & Khalid
|Enjoy The Silence
|Susanna and The Magical Orchestra
|Our Lips Are Sealed
|A Quiet Place
|Sons Of The Silent Age
|The Quiet One
|I Better Be Quiet Now
|Charlie Haden & Chet Baker
|Silence in Your Head
|The String Cheese Incident
The Best Songs About Silence
I will take you through multiple songs that cover the theme of silence from numerous composers’ perspectives. They’ll make you think about various aspects of your life.
1. Sound of Silence – Disturbed
This Track by Disturbed is one of the most popular songs in this compilation, as it has over 870 million views since it was released on YouTube.
The song is a rendition of a popular song of the same name by Simon & Garfunkel. David Draiman’s vocals and the instrumental bring forth a haunting experience, just as the original composers intended.
2. Silence Kid – Pavement
Silence Kid lyrics talk about someone trying to get the silent child to open up. It also explores the themes of childhood innocence as the vocalists try to get the child to explore life despite his troubled past.
The song was released in 1994, and the publisher misspelled it from what the composer originally intended the title to be. You see versions like “Silence Kit” or “Silent Kit”.
3. Silence – PJ Harvey
While facing various life experiences, we might lack the right words to describe what we go through. While most songs are a great medium for expression, very few tracks in this compilation can help you embark on a journey of reflection better than “Silence” by PJ Harvey.
The artist’s vocals and lyrics have the right amount of tenderness and fragility to help you express yourself.
4. Hush – Deep Purple
Hush was originally written in 1967 by Joe South for Billy Joe Royal, and the record became so popular that it inspired several covers. Deep Purple’s rendition managed to get a spot in several top charts in both America and Europe.
The pop-rock piece is a heartbreaking love song about the singer longing for the one who broke his heart. He still considers her the best partner he ever had, and still wants her. “Hush” refers to the singer telling the girl to shut up and let him do his thing.
5. Voices Carry – ‘Til Tuesday
Most songs about silence mainly feature the theme of love in one way or another. This one shows the process of falling in love and its problems.
The song’s lyrics are about a girl falling in love hard with a guy, but he wants to take it slow and tells her to tone down her emotions, hence “hush, keep it down now”. The piece has a haunting feeling that might leave you wondering if the relationship was thriving.
6. Mary of Silence – Mazzy Star
Mazzy Star captured what was often less overlooked music of the 90’s perfectly in this piece. The instrumental combined with the vocals of the singer give a depressive vibe.
It seems to be about the singer reflecting on memories of someone special to her who passed away, however you may have your own interpretation.
7. When I Go Deaf – Low
“When I Go Deaf” has an unusual music arrangement to show the uniqueness of the band’s song composition. The first half of the song features slow acoustics accompanied by melodic vocals; then, we are suddenly introduced to a loud instrumental.
Outwardly the lyrics talk about the inevitability of being deaf, getting used to the silence, and finding joy in life.
8. Silent Shout – The Knife
While the title might seem to contradict itself, it should deceive you as the song covers an array of issues, such as love and fear, that require mindful reflection.
The song was written by an artistic sibling duo to highlight how we sometimes create noise just to draw out silence. I found the music video quite bizarre the first time I watched it, but I have come to appreciate the brilliant darkness of the electric piece.
9. Silence – Marshmello & Khalid
This track is one most popular songs about silence in this compilation, as it has almost 500 million views on YouTube.
The song became popular because it was relatable to those who faced abuse from various relationships. The lyrics are about awareness of people’s struggles and learning to overcome fears so that you can develop healthy relationships.
Sometimes we’ve been quiet for too long and need to step up to face our problems.
10. Enjoy The Silence – Susanna and The Magical Orchestra
Initially composed by Depeche Mode in 1990. This rendition, which was released in 2006, is significantly slower. The intention of Susanna and The Magical Orchestra to create a ballad type of cover was successful.
The result was magical vocals infused with melodic piano instrumentals that are exemplary. Sometimes words can be unnecessary or even harmful, so it’s better to enjoy the relationship in silence.
11. Funeral Blues – Benjamin Britten
Voices Carry has a haunting and captivating vibe that you can only feel at certain funerals. The song is about a singer who is mourning someone important to her and wants everyone around her to grieve the same way as she does, in silence.
Her isolation during the time of her loss is relatable to many who lost the ones they love.
12. Our Lips Are Sealed – The Go-Go’s
This magnificent track was released in 1981 and was one of the first major hits for The Go-Go’s. Upon its release, the song made a slow climb on the charts, but it is now considered one of the best songs of the classic era.
Out of all songs about silence in this compilation, this piece stands as it is incorporated as part of the soundtrack of several movies and TV shows.
13. A Quiet Place – Garnet Mimms
Most city residents can relate to this song about silence as the composer laments living in a noisy area. He lists the things that make it impossible for him to find the silence to express his feelings.
The song’s lyrics show he is fed up with the noisy environment and wants to move to a quiet place.
14. Sons Of The Silent Age – David Bowie
While most of David Bowie’s fans thought that his piece was a reference to Nazi Germany, the artist, in an interview, said it was about ignorance and laziness.
Specifically, it’s a critique of the Silent Generation (the mid-1920s – early 1940s) and what they don’t do right.
15. The Quiet One – The Who
I will always regard this piece as the official anthem for introverts. The song talks about not misinterpreting a person who you seldom hear talking to be a fool.
Though you might rarely hear him speak probably because he is not a great conversationalist, they may have other great attributes.
16. I Better Be Quiet Now – Elliott Smith
Though it is a beautiful song, it contains a tragic story about a man who is struggling to forget his lost lover. The lyrics show the composer wishes to hear his past lover’s voice one more time to explain why she had to leave.
Now there’s nothing left but for him to stay in silence as he’s wasting his own breath.
17. Silence – Matisyahu
Next in our list of songs about silence is about a person who is dreaming of a perfect world but is ultimately let down by the reality of the situation.
In the end, there is no such thing as a perfect thing. He is still holding out hope that a “true leader” will appear in order to bring about change in this world and break the silence.
18. No Surprises – Radiohead
Radiohead’s “No Surprises” is about a person who has had it with our current society and just wants to be left alone to sleep without the interruption of an “alarm clock.”
The singer has made the decision to remain silent on the matter, citing the fact that there is nothing he can do to significantly alter the current state of affairs. “Silent” could also be interpreted as the phone mode when you don’t want to receive calls, silent mode.
19. Silence – Charlie Haden & Chet Baker
Baker’s prowess on the trumpet made Charlie’s vision come alive in this jazz piece. It has a warm undertone and rich harmonies that create the perfect environment for you to reflect deeply.
20. Silence in Your Head – The String Cheese Incident
This is a song from one cool band. Though it is about silence in your head, the band crammed a lot of instrumentals into it. The drums and tambourines bring a variety of sounds.
21. 4:33 – John Cage
4:33 is a song that perfectly fits the theme of this list, as it is four and a half minutes of silence. There has been a debate as to whether this piece can be considered music, but over time it has been widely accepted due to John’s defense of his composition.
Some of these songs about silence are complex and have many layers, which can be difficult to comprehend for some. Perhaps listening to them in a quiet place and doing a mindful reflection on the lyrics can help you be more in touch with the composer’s intentions when writing the song.
The song covers different topics in our lives and can touch you differently. Understandably, you might interpret each song differently depending on your need, but by understanding the effect of silence, you might learn to have a healthy balance.