20 Songs About Fear

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Written By Julia Mehalko

Julia is a music journalist with a passion for retro songs. She holds a degree in journalism from University of Nevada.

Fear is a natural emotion that so many of us have, for a variety of reasons. As a result, songwriters have often turned to writing about their fear, expressing their emotions in poetry and music.

Below, you’ll find 20 songs about fear. These songs discuss fear in a variety of different ways. For example, you’ll find songs that describe the fear of love, heartbreak, rejection, and more!

1. “Fear of the Dark” by Iron Maiden

Let’s first talk about Iron Maiden’s 1992 song “Fear of the Dark”, which appears on the heavy metal band’s album of the same name! This song, as you can tell from the title, is about being scared of the dark.

The singer describes his phobia of the dark, explaining that he always feels there’s something — or someone — there in the dark out to get him. He sings the lyrics, “Fear of the dark, fear of the dark / I have a phobia that someone’s always there.”

2. “Fear” by Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar’s 2017 song “Fear” follows Lamar as he discusses all of the things he was scared of through different periods of his life — specifically when he was seven, 17, and 27.

When Lamar was seven, he was scared growing up with his strict mother in the bad part of town. However, when he was 17, he became scared of his illegal activities, which could lead to him dying at a young age.

Once he turned 27, he also had these same fears, yet he began to fear that he wasn’t enough for his music career. He talks about being afraid of the future, as he doesn’t want to lose all the money he’s getting, or the career he’s built.

He raps, “At 27, my biggest fear was losin’ it all / Scared to spend money, had me sleepin’ from hall to hall / Scared to go back to Section 8 with my mama stressin’ / 30 shows a month and I still won’t buy me no Lexus.”

3. “I’m Scared” by Brian May

Brian May released the song “I’m Scared” on his 1992 album Back to the Light. In this song, May discusses being scared of his feelings for another person, likely detailing a romantic relationship. However, he also discusses all of the things that he’s scared of.

So, while he talks about being scared of someone, he also lets listeners know that he’s scared of quite a lot of things in his life at the moment. He sings, “I’m scared to move, I’m scared of standing still / I’m scared to change, I’m scared to stay the same / I’m so scared I want to die / I’m scared of dying.”

4. “Scared of Lonely” by Beyoncé

In Beyoncé’s 2008 song “Scared of Lonely”, Beyoncé sings about how she needs more in her romantic relationship. She’s asking her partner not to leave her alone. She sings, “I’m scared of lonely / And I’m scared of being the only / Shadow I see along the wall / And I’m scared the only heartbeat / I hear beating is my own.”

5. “Scared” by Zendaya

Zendaya’s 2013 “Scared” is also a great song that discusses fear! In this song, Zendaya details the end of a romantic relationship. However, now that her partner is gone, she realizes that she wants them back — and doesn’t care that they both did each other wrong.

She doesn’t want them to leave her, as she’s scared to be alone. She sings the lyrics, “Scared of what it feels like to miss you / Scared of what it feels like not to kiss you / Scared of what it feels like to be alone.”

6. “Scared” by Fifth Harmony

Fifth Harmony released their 2016 song “Scared” on their album 7/27. This song follows the girl group as they sing about the fear of love. The girls explain that they’ve been in love before — but it never ended well. As a result, they’re scared to get into another relationship and truly fall in love again.

They all sing, “I’m afraid of nothing, I’m afraid of no one / Used to be fearless, why am I scared of happy?”

7. “Fear” by Sia

Sia’s 2001 song “Fear” details many different people and all of the fears that they have. Sia believes these fears hold people back from becoming who they are meant to be. She drives this point home by singing, “You see fear is only holding us back.”

8. “Scared of Beautiful” by Brandy

Brandy released her song “Scared of Beautiful” on her 2012 album Two Eleven. Brandy sings about a romantic relationship and the issues she has with her partner. Rather than feeling scared of bad things and doing wrong, it seems her partner feels scared of good things and treating her right.

Therefore, Brandy is explaining how many people seem to do bad things in relationships, as they’re scared to be open, honest, loving, and truthful. She sings about her partner, “Scared of the good / More than the evil / Scared of the light / More than the dark / Scared of the truth so much more than the lie.”

9. “Crowded Places” by Banks

Banks’ 2017 song “Crowded Places” discusses the fear of falling in love, as well as the fear that can come with social anxiety. Therefore, this is one of the best songs about fear and anxiety!

Repeatedly throughout this song, Banks sings the line, “’Cause I’ve been scared of crowded places.” However, she also sings about falling in love, feeling fear of love in this relationship, and ultimately wanting to be with someone even though she’s frightened.

10. “In Fear of Fear” by Bauhaus

Bauhaus released the song “In Fear of Fear” on their 1981 album Mask. In this song, the band talks about fear and how so many people have always felt a common fear of life. They explain that even someone’s teachers and parents have felt this fear.

However, the band also encourages people to try to break free from this fear of life, or fear of the unknown. They sing, “And I say to you / When your fear is strong / When you fear your life / Then your fear is wrong.”

11. “Waves of Fear” by Lou Reed

Lou Reed’s 1982 song “Waves of Fear” follows Reed as he attempts to battle his addictions and stay clean and sober. However, he greatly struggles — and this leaves him going through “Waves of Fear”.

Reed sings, “I’m too afraid to use the phone / I’m too afraid to put the light on / I’m so afraid I’ve lost control / I’m suffocating without a word.”

12. “Fear of Sleep” by The Strokes

The Strokes’ 2006 song “Fear of Sleep” details someone who struggles to fall asleep. Likely, this person fears going to sleep because of anxiety. Many people worry about what to expect the next day. As a result, they find themselves up all night, rather than sleeping.

In this way, the singer — who repeatedly sings about their “Fear of Sleep” — could be explaining his severe anxiety.

13. “The Fear” by Lily Allen

Lily Allen’s 2008 song “The Fear” discusses how many people feel fear when it comes to their online presence on social media. She explains how so many people will do anything to become famous online — and others feel as if they have to do this too, feeling caught up in the mess.

She sings in the chorus the lyrics, “And I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore / And when do you think it will all become clear? / ‘Cause I’m being taken over by the fear.”

14. “Our God Is Here” by Phillips, Craig & Dean

“Our God Is Here” by Phillips, Craig & Dean is a great example of one of the best Christian songs about fear! Throughout this song, the band sings about their struggles and feelings in relation to their belief.

However, even though they experience these feelings, they ultimately know that they do not need to feel fear. Their belief in God helps them understand them, and they rid themselves of this fear of life and of the unknown.

15. “This Is Gospel” by Panic! At the Disco

In Panic! At the Disco’s 2013 song “This Is Gospel”, the band talks about addiction. The singer explains how it feels to battle addiction — and how many fears can arise during this struggle. As a result of these feelings, one can quickly feel as if they could fall apart.

They sing the lyrics, “’Cause these words are knives and often leave scars / The fear of falling apart.”

16. “Happy” by P!nk

P!nk’s 2019 song “Happy”, which she released on her album Hurts 2B Human, discusses her insecurities and fear. Since her youth, she explains that she always felt insecure and hated herself. Even though she tries to get better and even goes to see a therapist, she feels these struggles and terrible feelings always.

However, she doesn’t want to change. She hopes that she will — though she does worry she’s just scared of feeling happy!

17. “Fear” by OneRepublic

OneRepublic released their song “Fear” on their 2009 album Waking Up. In this song, the band details sadness, feelings of depression, and how fear can influence these emotions The song also sees the band remark that they miss their youth. After all, children don’t understand feeling fear!

18. “Fear of Bliss” by Alanis Morissette

“Fear of Bliss” by Alanis Morissette, released in 2002 on the album Feast on Scraps, Morissette explains how she “sabotages” herself. As a result, she never feels pure bliss or happiness.

She sings the lyrics in the chorus, “Fear of bliss and / Fear of joytude / Fear of bigness / And ensuing solitude.”

19. “The Fear” by The Shins

The Shins’ 2017 song “The Fear”, which appears on their album Heartworms, talks all about fear and how this can keep people from living their lives. The singer also mentions how this fear ruined his romantic relationship. As a result, he longs for his partner to return to him, though he knows this is unlikely.

20. “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult

Finally, let’s discuss “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult, one of the most iconic songs about fear! This 1976 follows the band as they sing about coming to terms with death. The band encourages people to live their lives as they see fit, rather than spend their entire lives feeling scared of eventually dying!