20 Songs About Sand

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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.

There are many songs about sand that have been written, thanks to the many different phrases and metaphors songwriters have created over the years about sand.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best songs that mention sand, in all its different varieties!

1. “Castles Made of Sand” by Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix’s “Castles Made of Sand” is perhaps one of the best songs about sand. This 1967 song can often be interpreted as a biographical song about Hendrix’s childhood. However, the different verses do discuss different characters, all of whom have found themselves disappointed by life.

After each verse, Hendrix sings a version of, “And so castles made of sand / Fall in the sea eventually”. This could mean that life is so short. Everybody dies.

However, this phrase could also mean that even the greatest of dreams eventually “fall in the sea”.

2. “Fish On the Sand” by George Harrison

George Harrison released “Fish On the Sand”, another great song about sand, on his 1987 album Cloud Nine. In this love song, Harrison sings to his romantic partner. Throughout the song, he details how much he loves her — and how much he needs her.

In the chorus, he sings the lyrics, “You know I love you / If I’m not with you / I’m not so much of a man / I’m like a fish on the sand”. Here, he explains that he is nothing without her. He feels helpless when they are not together!

3. “Love Letters in the Sand” by Patsy Cline

“Love Letters in the Sand” was first published in 1931. Many artists have covered this song over the years, including Pat Boone and Andy Williams. However, many consider Patsy Cline’s version to be one of the very best!

Cline released her version of “Love Letters in the Sand” on her 1964 album That’s How a Heartache Begins. In this song, Cline sings about how her romantic relationship has ended.

They wrote love letters in the sand together and vowed to be true. However, he wasn’t faithful and he left her — and now, all she can do is cry over the love letters in the sand that they wrote together. She also has to watch the ocean tide erase these love letters. 

4. “Remember (Walking In the Sand)” by The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys’ 1992 song “Remember (Walking In the Sand)” also details the end of a romantic relationship. In this song, the band reminisces on their past love. This woman said she would be true… but now, they are over.

However, the band remembers walking in the sand with her on the beach. Back when he thought he had her, things were better.

5. “Circle in the Sand” by Belinda Carlisle

Now, let’s discuss a happier romantic tune. Belinda Carlisle released “Circle in the Sand” as the third single off her 1988 album Heaven on Earth. This song details a romance that will go on forever.

Carlisle sings the lyrics, “Circle in the sand, round and round / Never ending love is what we’ve found / And you complete the heart of me / Our love is all we need”.

In this way, the “Circle in the Sand” resembles the ongoing, eternal love Carlisle will have with her romantic partner. The tide or ocean can never erase this ongoing circle. It will always continue, as will their love!

6. “Pictures in the Sand” by The Kinks

The Kinks’ 1973 song “Pictures in the Sand” also deals with a romantic relationship. However, this song could be seen as detailing a thriving romance — or a failing one. In “Pictures in the Sand”, the band discusses a romantic relationship and how much they love a woman.

The singer sings the lyrics, “Every single day / I waste my time away / Drawing pictures in the sand / And writing messages to you”.

In this way, we see a positive romance and how the singer spends so much time dedicating pictures and messages to their loved ones. However, the singer is also wasting time away — and potentially risking the ocean tide to erase everything he’s ever done for his love.

Therefore, this song details a rather complicated romantic relationship. Take from it what you will!

7. “I’ve Got Sand in My Shoes” by The Drifters

“I’ve Got Sand in My Shoes” by The Drifters discusses memories of a night with a romantic partner. The singer sees the sand in his shoes and remembers a night on the boardwalk when he and his loved one went down to the beach.

Even though these days are gone, the sand in his shoes is always there to remind him of this night!

8. “Footprints” by Sia

Sia released “Footprints” on her 2016 album This Is Acting. The song’s meaning can change, depending on every individual listener. For the most part, Sia talks about how a romantic relationship and how she thought her romantic partner left her.

However, in reality, in her time of need, her partner helped lift her up. This can be seen in these lyrics: “Only two footprints in the sand / Thought you’d abandoned me and let go of my hand / But you were carrying me, carrying me to safety / Two footprints, your footprints in the sand”.

This can also be seen as a religious song. As a result, many have interpreted it to be a song about the relationship between a person and God.

9. “Sand and Sea” by Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra released his version of “Sand and Sea” on his 1966 album That’s Life. In this song, Sinatra sings about his memory of his loved one. They were down on the beach, looking at the sand and the sea.

This song is a simple, positive love song that has stood the test of time — and is also one of the best songs about sand!

10. “Sand in My Shoes” by Dido

Dido’s 2003 song “Sand in My Shoes” also deals with the breakdown of a romantic relationship, just as so many songs on this list do. In this song, Dido compares her new single life to returning from a vacation.

She knows she must go back to work — or go back to being single, as she was before. However, even if her life is changing now that she’s single, she can’t forget her ex. She sings, “I’ve still got sand in my shoes / And I can’t shake the thought of you”.

11. “Sand and Foam” by Donovan

Donovan released “Sand and Foam” on his 1967 album Mellow Yellow. In this 60s song, Donovan talks about many experiences he had while on vacation in Mexico. He wrote this song based on a real vacation he took when he thought his music career was over.

While the song doesn’t actually mention the word “sand” (though the title does!), the entire song is full of descriptions of the sea and the beach!

12. “Cowgirl in the Sand” by Neil Young

Neil Young’s 1969 song “Cowgirl in the Sand” follows Young as he sings to a woman that he loves. He calls this woman “Cowgirl in the Sand” at the beginning of the song, then proceeds to discuss more of their relationship and how he feels about her!

13. “Happiness Is You” by Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash released “Happiness Is You” on his 1966 album of the same name. In this romantic song, Cash details his love for his partner by explaining what he used to do. He used to chase moonbeams and build sand castles on the beach.

However, now he doesn’t waste time doing this anymore. He’s realized that happiness is with his partner. Therefore, he won’t be caught running off to chase rainbows or build sand castles anymore!

14. “Sandcastles” by Beyonce

In Beyonce’s 2016 song “Sandcastles”, she sings about a failed relationship that she can’t seem to stop coming back to. Even though her relationship is facing a breaking point, there is hope in this song that she can somehow make it all work. She can’t seem to completely leave him, even though she promised him she would.

At the very beginning of the song, she sings, “We built sandcastles that washed away”. This line sets up the story in the rest of the song. It also perfectly details the song’s meaning and how Beyonce feels.

15. “House of Sand” by Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley released “House of Sand” on his 1966 album Paradise, Hawaiian Style. In this song, Presley talks about how you can work hard to build something up, only for it to all come crashing down with no effort.

He compares this situation to making sandcastles on the beach. He sings, “One little slip and it tumbles down / One wrong step and it crumbles all around / Like a house without love, that’s sure to fall apart / A house of sand is an empty work of art”.

16. “Sands of Time” by Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac’s 1971 song “Sands of Time” is also another great song that references sand. However, this song talks about the “Sands of Time”, rather than sand on the beach. Throughout the song, which can be interpreted in many ways, the band sings about the falling “Sands of Time”, the beach, and “the magic of a blackened night”.

17. “Footprints in the Sand” by Leona Lewis

Leona Lewis released her song “Footprints in the Sand” on her 2008 album Spirit. There are many ways listeners can interpret this song. Firstly, Lewis could be singing about a loved one or friend who is always by her side — and always there to lift her up when she’s down.

Lewis sings, “You walked with me, footprints in the sand / And helped me understand where I’m going”. Many people often associate the phrase “footprints in the sand” with religion. Therefore, many listeners have also believed in this song that Lewis is singing about her faith in God or spirituality.

18. “Clay” by Echo & the Bunnymen

Echo & the Bunnymen’s 1983 song “Clay” discusses the feeling of not being whole, or not being enough. Throughout the song, the band repeats the lyrics, “When I came apart / I wasn’t made of sand / When you fell apart / Clay crumbled in my hands”.

In this way, the band is using sand to try to describe how they feel inside. They feel lost and don’t quite know who they are, especially when compared to others.

19. “Marker in the Sand” by Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam released their song “Marker in the Sand” on their 2006 album Pearl Jam. This song deals with delusions, misinterpretations, and how so many people are lost or ignorant and they don’t even know it.

At the beginning of the song, the band sings, “There is a marker, no one sees it ’cause the sand / Has covered over all the messages it kept / Misunderstanding what original truth was”. The band also says this message is of “faith”, but “not in love”.

Therefore, sand covers the original message of the marker. Throughout the rest of the song, the band sings about the modern world and how many are misinformed and experience delusion as a result.

20. “Wet Sand” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ 2006 song “Wet Sand” was created during a band jam session when their guitarist mumbled the phrase “Wet Sand”. Anthony Kiedis, the band’s singer, then modeled the rest of the song off of this mumbled phrase!

There are many different meanings listeners can find in this song. The band’s bassist Flea has said that the song is about loving someone completely, even their dark side.

The band sings, “You don’t form in the wet sand / I do”. This part of the song could mean that other people give up in tough times, which they compare to trying to a sand building trying to stay together after a tide comes in. However, the singer says that he doesn’t give up in these tough times and powers through!

Listen to the full playlist on YouTube here!