20 Songs About the Woods

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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.

Ever feel as if you’re lost in a forest? Do you want your relationship to be out of the woods? The woods and forests have long been used to help people describe their feelings — especially if those feelings have anything to do with the doom and gloom of feeling alone and lost.

Below, we’ve listed 20 songs about the woods. The songs here sometimes deal with truly walking in the woods, while others are more metaphorical!

1. “A Forest” by The Cure

The Cure’s 1980 song “A Forest”, which appears on the band’s album Seventeen Seconds, can be interpreted in many ways. While the band initially said it was inspired by being lost in the woods when they were young, many believe the song evokes the feeling of being lost in a forest metaphorically.

The band sings about trying to find a girl in the woods and then racing into the trees. However, upon entering the forest, they realize there was never a girl there, to begin with — and now they’re lost and all alone.

The band sings, “Suddenly I stop / But I know it’s too late / I’m lost in a forest / All alone.”

2. “Out of the Woods” by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift sings about the woods with the common phrase “Out of the Woods”. Here, Swift describes a romantic relationship that has struggled from the get-go. But Swift remains optimistic and hopes that they’ll soon be out in the clear — and “Out of the Woods”.

Unfortunately, Swift sings about this relationship in the past tense, hinting that the duo never truly got out of the woods and instead their romance failed.

3. “Man of the Woods” by Justin Timberlake

“Man of the Woods” by Justin Timberlake follows the singer as he sings to the woman he loves. Even though he wants to be with her, and even though he always brags about her to everyone else, Timberlake does clarify that he’s still a man from his roots. So, he’s still a “Man of the Woods” — whether she likes it or not.

He sings, “I brag about you to anyone outside / But I’m a man of the woods, it’s my pride / I’m sorry, baby, you know I try.”

4. “Mer Girl” by Madonna

1998’s “Mer Girl” by Madonna, which appears on her album Ray of Light, follows the singer as she deals with her own personal struggles. She sings that she goes out for a run, as she just needs to momentarily get away from her family and her life.

As a result, she ends up going to the forest and woods. All the while, she’s searching for herself — but she can’t find what she’s looking for.

So, she sings the lyrics, “I ran to the forest, I ran to the trees / I ran and I ran, I was looking for me.”

5. “Annie’s Song” by John Denver

“Annie’s Song” by John Denver, first released in 1974, is a love song! Denver wrote this for his wife after they went through some hard times. He compares his love to the natural world, and to the woods and trees!

The song opens with the lyrics, “You fill up my senses, like a night in a forest / Like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain / Like a storm in the desert, like a sleepy blue ocean / You fill up my senses, come fill me again.”

6. “Seventh Seal” by Scott Walker

Scott Walker’s 1969 track “Seventh Seal” was inspired by the 1957 classic film of the same name. Therefore, the song describes the movie’s plot and overall story, following Death, a knight, and more characters. Walker also sings about the woods when he describes this story.

He sings, “They met within the woods, the knight, his squire, and friends / And Death said, ‘Now, the game shall end’ / The final move was made, the knight hung his head / And said, ‘You’ve won, I’ve nothing left to play…’”

7. “Miles From Nowhere” by Cat Stevens

1970’s “Miles From Nowhere” by Cat Stevens, which appears on the album Tea For the Tillerman, is about the singer’s quest for religion and spirituality. He couldn’t find one faith to truly follow and struggled as a result. However, he stayed positive that he would one day find something that connected with him.

He sings about traveling through the woods and forest on his quest for faith, saying, “I creep through the valleys / And I grope through the woods / ’Cause I know when I find it my honey / It’s gonna make me feel good, yes.”

8. “Wonderland” by Natalia Kills

“Wonderland” by Natalia Kills follows the singer as she sings about her romance. She explains that she’s not a fairy book character, and she doesn’t believe in fairy tales. However, she does feel as if she’s lost in the woods as so many characters are. She also wants to run off to Wonderland with the one she loves!

So, she sings the lyrics, “I’m not Snow White, but I’m lost inside this forest / I’m not Red Riding Hood, but I think the wolves have got me.”

9. “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran

The classic hit song “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran was inspired by the classic fairy tale of Red Riding Hood! The singer sings from the point of view of a man who is the wolf of the story, hunting someone down. He sings, “Stalked in the forest, too close to hide / I’ll be upon you by the moonlight side.”

10. “Islands” by Bonnie Tyler & Mike Oldfield

“Islands” by Bonnie Tyler and Mike Oldfield follows the duo as they sing about their relationship. They compare themselves to islands near each other, never quite as close as they can be but leaning on each other in support anyways.

They also explain that they were lost in the woods — and never even knew it. So, the duo sings, “We found just today I was lost in the forest and you / Showed me the way.”

11. “Playing Possum” by Carly Simon

1975’s “Playing Possum” by Carly Simon explores a romantic relationship that has failed. Simon sings about all the radical things she and her ex used to do. But then things fell apart and her partner moved away and eventually moved on. Now, he’s quite different from her — and she wonders if he realizes that there’s more to life than the life he leads.

She also talks about their emotions and state of mind by discussing the woods. She sings, “But the wells they do run dry / And the speeches turn to words / And the woods are full of tigers / And freedom’s for the birds.”

12. “Wandering Alone” by Belle & Sebastian

In “Wandering Alone”, Belle & Sebastian sings about a man who has become lost to the world. The only person who truly knows him and sees him now is his lover. He worries that he will lose her, as a result.

The duo sings about how lost this man is and talks about him walking in the woods. They sing, “Passing along and sleepy as night / Warm in the woods that conceal him from light / He is accustomed to hiding from people.”

13. “Sweetheart Tree” by Henry Mancini

“Sweetheart Tree” by Henry Mancini opens with the lyrics, “They say there’s a tree in the forest / A tree that will give you a sign / Come along with me to the Sweetheart Tree / Come and carve your name next to mine.”

This old sweet song continues to explain that if you bring your one true love into this forest to see this tree, you will instantly know that they are the one for you!

14. “In the Woods Somewhere” by Hozier

A list of songs about the woods would not be complete without a track from Hozier. “In the Woods Somewhere” follows Hozier as he sings about a man who is lost in the woods. He meets beasts and cries for help, yet no help ever comes.

He sings, “How many years / I know I’ll bear / I found something in the woods somewhere.”

15. “Call Me Mellow” by Tears For Fears

“Call Me Mellow” by Tears For Fears explores two very different people in a relationship. The singer describes a young woman he loves, explaining that she’s always howling at the moon. She’s a real wild child — while he’s nothing like this.

So, the band sings, “Last time I saw her she was howling at the moon / Roaming the forest, lupine and rabid.”

16. “Mountain Sound” by Of Monsters and Men

In “Mountain Sound”, Of Monsters and Men sing about becoming tired after traveling for a long time. So, they decide to join a group of wanderers that are in the forests and woods! At the beginning of the song, the singers hint that they are running away from their own mistakes and problems that they have caused.

So, the band sings, “Hold your horses now / (We sleep until the sun goes down) / Through the woods, we ran / (Deep into the mountain sound).”

17. “Out of the Woods” by Foals

“Out of the Woods” by Foals begins with the lyrics, “It’s times like these when I’m on my way out of the woods / Never felt better than when I’m on my way out for good.” As the rock song progresses, we learn more about the singer and why he wants to fully be out of the woods — and into the clear.

18. “Mud Slide Slim” by James Taylor

“Mud Slide Slim” by James Taylor, which appears on his 1971 album Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, explores feeling fed up with the world. Taylor wants to escape from the world and all the bad things in it — until things start to finally change for the better.

So, he decides that he’ll just buy a nice little house in the woods! He sings, “I’m going to cash in my hand / And pick upon a piece of land / And build myself a cabin back in the woods.”

19. “Dirty Paws” by Of Monsters and Men

“Dirty Paws” by Of Monsters and Men tells a story of various characters and animals. Listeners can find many interpretations and meanings of this song. Instead, let’s pay attention to what the group says about the woods!

The band sings, “Her dirty paws and furry coat / She ran down the forest slopes / The forest of talking trees / They used to sing about the birds and the bees.”

20. “Trees” by Rush

“Trees” by Rush, the last song on our list, describes an ongoing feud and war between two trees: the oaks and the maples. The band opens the song with the lyrics, “There is unrest in the forest / There is trouble with the trees / For the maples want more sunlight / And the oaks ignore their pleas.”