More Songs To Teach Figurative Language

Earlier this year, I published this post about songs featuring various forms of figurative language. It has been one of my most popular posts to date, but you wouldn’t know that from looking at it.

Two people liked it, and one commented.

So why do I say it’s a popular post?

One thing I get to see as a blog admin is search terms – meaning if you type “googly eye kitchen” on Google, it might take you here and I would see the search terms – sometimes. Often it says unknown terms, I imagine due to privacy settings.

Every day since I published that figurative language post, there have been several hits from the terms “figurative language in songs” and other variations of that goal. Some days, I’ll get fifty views from the searches. Now, I can’t really tell if the post is helpful, because teachers are a strange bunch when it comes to this stuff and won’t dare offer feedback. It’s a covert operation. Consult the interwebs and don’t let anyone know you didn’t have the idea yourself. It’s okay. I get it. I judge you not. I am one of you.

american authorsAnyway, since finding figurative language in songs is apparently in high demand, I thought I’d do a round 2 post. I’ll organize by type, like I did in the first post, but I’ll spare you the definitions this time. If you need those, click on the link at the top of this post.

Side note – the bands American Authors and Fall Out Boy use lots of figurative language in their songs, so they’ll appear more than once. They were also on the original post with “Best Day Of My Life” and “Immortals”. I recommend checking out their albums for songs I might have missed, but some have bad language so pre-listen if you’re using these for younger kids.

Another side note – I chose from songs I enjoy listening to. I’m sure there are selections in the country and easy listening genres that would be great for figurative language use, but I would rather stick a fork in my eye than listen to them. If you know of good songs for this in other genres, feel free to share in the comments.

To the songs!


The Best Is Yet To Come – Sheppard (darkest before the sun, stone’s throw. Some metaphor here too.)

Shake If Off – Taylor Swift


The Nights – Avicii (nights never die)

Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran (idiom too – sweep you off your feet)

Little Do You Know – Alex & Sierra (love you til the sun dies)


The Phoenix – Fall Out Boy (kind of dark. Maybe better for older kids. Good for metaphor too)

The Maze – Michael Schulte (listen for the “like” lines)


Young Volcanoes – Fall Out Boy (I almost didn’t list this one because “assholes” is in verse two, but it’s so good for metaphors and similes. I’m listing for high school teachers and anyone else who wants to stop it before verse 2.)

Heart of Stone – American Authors

Centuries – Fall Out Boy

Believer – American Authors (good for idioms too)

I think that’s a good start. I’d like for this to be a fluid list, in that we can add to it over time. I’ll do that as I come across appropriate songs, and I’ll look at any songs you put in the comments.

11 thoughts on “More Songs To Teach Figurative Language

  1. Pingback: What Did You Like? 2016 In Review | Allison Maruska

  2. Pingback: Songs To Teach Figurative Language | Allison Maruska

  3. Some GREAT ideas here! Thank you for your songs. I always use music in my presentation of language points in my ESL classes and I haven’t found one student yet who hasn’t enjoyed the music element. Better still if you can sing and/or play it or parts of it yourself – and you are comfortable doing so. There are lots of karaoke backing tracks you can access. The students will never forget the lesson! 😀😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Every day since I published that figurative language post, there have been several hits from the terms ‘figurative language in songs’ and other variations of that goal. Some days, I’ll get fifty views from the searches.”

    Where are you looking to see this stuff?

    I’d have asked on Facebook but then you wouldn’t have this comment.

    Liked by 1 person

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