20 Songs About Strangers - Musical Mum (2023)

Strangers – they’re the mysterious, the long-lost, the just-met. Kick back and tune in to these 20 tracks, turning the enigma of strangers into your next favorite playlist.

Whether it’s someone you knew intimately or just a random passerby from the bar; many artists have chosen to write songs about strangers. This article will explore twenty different songs of this variety, and take a closer look at what inspired the various artists to write their lyrics.

Contents

  • 1. “The Kindness Of Strangers” by Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds
  • 2. “Hello Stranger” by Yvonne Elliman
  • 3. “The Stranger Song” by Leonard Cohen
  • 4. “Less Than Strangers” by Tracy Chapman
  • 5. “Strangers in the Night” by Frank Sinatra
  • 6. “Wayfaring Stranger” by Emmylou Harris
  • 7. “People Are Strange” by The Doors
  • 8. “Stranger In The House” by Elvis Costello
  • 9. “Looking for a Stranger” by Pat Benatar
  • 10. “Love Song To A Stranger” by Joan Baez
  • 11. “Stranger In a Strange Land (Somewhere In Time)” by Iron Maiden
  • 12. “Stranger In My House” by Ronnie Milsap
  • 13. “Perfect Strangers” by INXS
  • 14. “Stranger” by Fastway
  • 15. “Strangers In Space” by Procol Harum
  • 16. “Hello Stranger” by Barbara Lewis
  • 17. “Strangers” by The Kinks
  • 18. “Feel Like A Stranger” by Bob Weir / Grateful Dead
  • 19. “Goodbye Stranger” by Supertramp
  • 20. “Perfect Strangers” by Deep Purple
  • Final Thoughts
    • Related Posts:

1. “The Kindness Of Strangers” by Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds

20 Songs About Strangers - Musical Mum (1)Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – The Kindness of Strangers

Grab a blanket for this chilling story-song by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. “The Kindness of Strangers” warns us about the unexpected perils of the unknown, spun around Mary, a small-town Arkansas girl with big dreams. An encounter with a stranger at the beach spirals into a dark tale, leaving a haunting reminder of the price of trust.

2. “Hello Stranger” by Yvonne Elliman

20 Songs About Strangers - Musical Mum (2)YVONNE ELLIMAN Hello Stranger

Elliman’s version of “Hello Stranger” is a mesmerizing dive into the murky waters of rekindling with an old flame. This 1976 rendition of the original by Barabara Lewis encapsulates the strange nostalgia of seeing a former lover as a stranger – a poignant testament to time and lost connections.

3. “The Stranger Song” by Leonard Cohen

20 Songs About Strangers - Musical Mum (3)Leonard Cohen – The Stranger Song (Official Audio)

“The Stranger Song” is a raw exploration of commitment struggles, wrapped in Cohen’s timeless lyricism. Inspired by the 1955 film, ‘The Man with the Golden Arm,’ the song uses automobiles and trains as metaphors, etching a melancholic image of love’s complexities.

4. “Less Than Strangers” by Tracy Chapman

Tracy Chapman’s “Less Than Strangers” tunes into the awkward tension of running into an ex-lover. The song serves as an emotional mirror reflecting the discomfort of seeing a person you once intimately knew but now, you can’t even say hello to. Chapman’s voice carries the confusion, making this a track you’ll vibe with, especially on those introspective nights.

5. “Strangers in the Night” by Frank Sinatra

20 Songs About Strangers - Musical Mum (5)Frank Sinatra – Strangers In The Night

Step into the world of classic romance with Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night”. This 1966 hit croons the tale of two strangers meeting and instantly clicking – a quintessential ode to love at first sight. It’s such a timeless tune that it even graced the 1967 movie scene as a theme, ensuring it’ll hit the right nostalgic note for any listener.

6. “Wayfaring Stranger” by Emmylou Harris

20 Songs About Strangers - Musical Mum (6)Emmylou-Harris Wayfaring Stranger ( Stereo )

Emmylou Harris takes us on a journey through life’s poignant realities with her cover of “Wayfaring Stranger”, a folk classic from the early 19th century. This soul-stirring song has been reimagined by many artists including Johnny Cash, Craig Leon & Jos Slovick, but Harris adds her unique flavor, painting a picture of a mournful traveler navigating life’s ups and downs.

7. “People Are Strange” by The Doors

20 Songs About Strangers - Musical Mum (7)The Doors – People Are Strange

Ever felt like an alien in your own skin? The Doors’ iconic “People Are Strange” speaks to that very sentiment. Inspired by Jim Morrison’s personal struggle with alienation and depression, this song takes shape from a revelation during a sunset canyon visit with guitarist, Robby Krieger. Morrison’s introspection gifted us this timeless anthem for the oddballs and outsiders.

8. “Stranger In The House” by Elvis Costello

20 Songs About Strangers - Musical Mum (8)Elvis Costello – Stranger in the House

Elvis Costello hits a raw nerve with “Stranger In The House,” a heartbreaking ballad about a man who feels out of place in his own home due to a strained relationship with his wife. With lyrics steeped in melancholy, this song beautifully articulates the bitter feeling of estrangement that sometimes creeps into long-term relationships.

9. “Looking for a Stranger” by Pat Benatar

20 Songs About Strangers - Musical Mum (9)Pat Benatar – Looking For A Stranger

“Looking for a Stranger” was a hit single on Pat Benatar’s 1982 album, ‘Get Nervous’. This song was very popular and quickly climbed the US Billboard Top 40 in 1983! Benatar sings about a woman who’s tired of the same old boring partners and is on the lookout for a night of excitement and fun.

10. “Love Song To A Stranger” by Joan Baez

20 Songs About Strangers - Musical Mum (10)Joan Baez -Love song to a stranger

Joan Baez weaves a deeply personal narrative into “Love Song To A Stranger,” inspired by a brief romantic encounter with her then-manager. This tender 1972 ballad, from the album ‘Come from the Shadows’, resonates with fans around the globe and remains a fan favorite during her live performances, proving that sometimes, love found in stranger places can leave the deepest impressions.

11. “Stranger In a Strange Land (Somewhere In Time)” by Iron Maiden

20 Songs About Strangers - Musical Mum (11)Iron Maiden – Stranger In A Strange Land (Official Video)

While sharing a title with a popular Robert Heinlein novel, Iron Maiden’s “Stranger In a Strange Land” has a different origin story, with roots in a real-life Arctic expedition. This fact adds an intriguing layer to the song, which was penned by Adrian Smith, the band’s guitarist, after he got in touch with one of the survivors—who later became an ardent Iron Maiden fan.

12. “Stranger In My House” by Ronnie Milsap

20 Songs About Strangers - Musical Mum (12)Ronnie Milsap – Stranger In My House (Official Video)

Ronnie Milsap’s “Stranger In My House” gives voice to the suspicions of a man convinced there’s an invisible third party in his relationship. Noting his wife’s growing distance and disinterest, he concludes that another man has wedged himself between them, echoing his fears in the lyrics, “When I’m holding her, I swear I feel the presence of another man…”

13. “Perfect Strangers” by INXS

20 Songs About Strangers - Musical Mum (13)INXS – PERFECT STRANGERS

“Perfect Strangers” by INXS is all about the one-night stand. It’s about quick flings and even quicker goodbyes, with no need for names or details. Basically, it’s the soundtrack to “no strings attached.”

14. “Stranger” by Fastway

20 Songs About Strangers - Musical Mum (14)Fastway – Stranger

Fastway’s “Stranger” gives us a darker vibe. Created by two rock ‘n’ roll veterans, the song might be about one-night stands or maybe even prostitution. The key takeaway is a sense of sadness and longing for a better life.

15. “Strangers In Space” by Procol Harum

20 Songs About Strangers - Musical Mum (15)Strangers In Space (2020 Remaster)

“Strangers in Space” by Procol Harum is a trip. Released in 1977, the lead singer, Gary Brooker, explained that it’s all about exploring space, making us the “strangers” in the endless universe. So, strap in and prepare for lift-off.

16. “Hello Stranger” by Barbara Lewis

20 Songs About Strangers - Musical Mum (16)Barbara Lewis — Hello Stranger

“Hello Stranger” by Barbara Lewis is that classic hit that got covered by so many artists down the line. Back in ’63, it made waves on the Billboard R&B charts for two weeks straight. The song is all about the bittersweet moment when you cross paths with an old flame, and you’re nothing but strangers now.

17. “Strangers” by The Kinks

20 Songs About Strangers - Musical Mum (17)The Kinks – Strangers (Official Audio)

“Strangers” by The Kinks redefines what it means to be strangers. Back in a 1990 interview, Dave Davies shared the real inspiration behind the song – a heartbreaking story about his friend George Harris. They were planning on starting a band, but George got heavily into drugs, which ultimately led to his early death. In a way, “Strangers” is a tribute to him.

18. “Feel Like A Stranger” by Bob Weir / Grateful Dead

20 Songs About Strangers - Musical Mum (18)Grateful Dead – Feel Like A Stranger (Washington, DC 6/26/93)

Bob Weir/Grateful Dead’s “Feel Like a Stranger” is a tune with a lot of spice. It’s about the intoxicating rush of a one-night stand with someone you’ve just met. It captures the thrill and the mystery of not knowing who the other person really is.

19. “Goodbye Stranger” by Supertramp

20 Songs About Strangers - Musical Mum (19)Goodbye Stranger (2010 Remastered)

Supertramp’s “Goodbye Stranger” is another tune that celebrates the liberty that comes with a no-strings-attached fling. Released in ’79, this catchy number was a bit of a shocker for fans, considering it strayed from Supertramp’s typical style.

20. “Perfect Strangers” by Deep Purple

20 Songs About Strangers - Musical Mum (20)Deep Purple – Perfect Strangers (Official Video)

Deep Purple’s “Perfect Strangers” is all about reuniting and facing the uncertainty it brings. Written after the band regrouped from a break-up, lead singer Ian Gillan explained that the song was inspired by their reunion session in an old house in Vermont.

Final Thoughts

And that wraps up our journey through some of the most intriguing songs about strangers. These tunes take us from fleeting encounters to tragic friendships, from awkward run-ins with ex-lovers to surprising reunions. No doubt, there’s something mysteriously appealing about the unknown, and these songs capture just that. So next time you meet a stranger, who knows? It might just inspire the next big hit.

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FAQs

What 70s song has a train in the title? ›

Long Train Runnin'” by The Doobie Brothers (1973)

The Doobie Brothers' harmony into harmonica on this track has the ultimate '70s groove.

What 70s song has a train whistle? ›

"Express" is an 1974 instrumental written and performed by B. T. Express. It features the sounds of train whistles, which are heard in several sections of the instrumental track. Only the words: "Here comes the Express/ The Express/ Chug, Chug, Chug, Chug, Chug, UGH"/ are said.

What musician was hit by a train? ›

Two members of the funk-rock band Tower of Power are recovering after being hit by a train, the group's representative said. “In an unfortunate accident… drummer David Garibaldi and current bassist Marc van Wageningen were struck by a train in California,” said their PR agent Jeremy Westby in a statement to CNN.

What is a great family song? ›

We Are Family by Sister Sledge

The best songs about family are usually written by families. We Are Family by Sister Sledge is one of the most iconic songs about family.

What is a song that is about family? ›

“We Are Family” By Sister Sledge

A song with “family” in the title is the most obvious when it comes to our topic. Sister Sledge released “We are Family” at the peak of the disco era to celebrate family to a catchy '80s beat. The chorus of the song is the most familiar to most singers.

What is the most popular music family? ›

The Jackson's are undoubtedly one of the most famous family singing groups in history. Starting out in 1964 - with youngest member Michael being just five years old at the time - and rapidly rising to astronomical success, the five siblings were soon knocking more number one hits out than any other artist on the scene.

Did Johnny Cash sing a song about a train? ›

Johnny Cash sang about trains from the start. His first record for Sam Phillips at Sun Records was “Hey Porter,” in 1955, a song Cash wrote about a train headed south.

When was the A train song made? ›

The signature tune of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, “Take the 'A' Train” was composed by Billy Strayhorn in 1939 and first recorded in January 1941 as a standard transcription for radio broadcast.

What was the country song about trains in the 80s? ›

"Trains Make Me Lonesome," George Strait

George Strait helped popularized this late '80s deep cut by Merle's son, Marty Haggard.

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