The 10 best songs about the sea

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside

There’s nothing quite like being by the sea: the sand between your toes, the salt in the air and the overbearing shrieking of seagulls. Idyllic.

And we’re not the only ones who think so – countless artists have been inspired by the huge pools of salt water. Whether it’s visiting the seaside, or adventuring across the ocean, there are more anthems about the sea than grains of sand on the beach. Maybe.

Here’s a rundown of the best musical beachcombers:

‘Somewhere Beyond The Sea’ – Bobby Darin


Robbie Williams, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby have all covered this lament of a lost love, but Bobby Darin’s version is perhaps the best known. A translation of the French ‘La Mer’ by Charles Tranet, which was his ode to the ever changing nature of the sea, the English version added a couple of extra words thus transforming it into the jazz standard we know today.

‘How Deep Is The Ocean’ – Irving Berlin

Another jazz standard, another use of the sea (or in this case, ocean) to explain how much the singer loves bae. Irving Berlin’s 1932 song was transformed into a classic by Sinatra, before being covered by everyone from Eric Clapton to Bob Dylan.

‘Seaside’ – The Kooks

The short and sweet opener to The Kooks debut record ‘Inside In/Inside Out’, ‘Seaside’ tells the simple story of love found at the beach. Less the sea and more what sits beside it, but all still in the general ocean vicinity.

‘Surfin’ U.S.A.’ – The Beach Boys


The epitome of the California Sound, ‘Surfin’ U.S.A.’ is the ultimate beach song.

‘Max Can’t Surf’ – Fidlar

Max can’t surf, he gets real stoned and tries to make it work, but God knows he’s got no balance” – in comparison to the U.S.A surfing Beach Boys, we have Fidlar, who don’t quite manage to stay on their board.

‘Dead Sea’ – The Lumineers

You told me I was like the Dead Sea, you’ll never sink when you are with me”, croons Lumineers frontman Wesley Keith Schultz. Who said romance was dead?

‘Only the Ocean’ – Jack Johnson

Lyrically it could be Johnson’s equivalent of English literature GCSE coursework: full of metaphors that don’t always make sense, but all tied to the general theme of love and the ocean. From the similarly aquatically titled album ‘To the Sea’, the soft-spoken ballad is a sweet beachside tune.

‘Into the Mystic’ – Van Morrison

Hark, now hear the sailors cry, smell the sea and feel the sky” croons Van Morrison: “let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic.” The timeless ‘Into The Mystic’ is the perfect soundtrack to any seaboard adventure.

‘King Of The Beach’ – Wavves

With an honest look at the practicalities of the beach and sunburn, Wavves would probably have had a better time on the coast with some factor 50.

‘Yellow Submarine’ – The Beatles

Let’s be honest, a yellow submarine is the only way to explore what goes on under the water – no nautical playlist would be complete without this.


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