These People Inspired Some Of The Most Beautiful Songs Ever Written
Most of the written songs are inspired by real people and events that inspired them. The most popular songs ever are inspired by true stories and real people. Sometimes that ‘real’ person was someone the musician loved or lost.
Sometimes it’s just based on pure fantasy. Whatever the inspiration behind these songs is, we have to admit that all these masterpieces have a completely new level that we couldn’t see before. Read on and discover who and how inspired the most popular songs we still listen to today.
20. “Donna” by Ritchie Valens (1958)
Ritchie Valens knew one thing for sure – how to get a crowd on their feet on the first beat of song ‘La Bamba’. But, his highest-charting hit ‘Donna’ was the song that made a big fuzz. This song is dedicated to his true high school sweetheart Donna Ludwig.
Valens and Ludwig stayed in contact while he was on the road performing, until his sudden death in 1959. Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly were tragically killed in a plane crash on February 3th. Yet, Ludwig stayed in touch with Valens family even after Ritchie’s death.
19. “She’s Always a Woman” by Billy Joel (1977)
Billy Joel brought again magic on stage with his big hit “She’s Always a Woman”, in 1977. The song addresses modern women whom Joel loves to the bone for just being what she is – perfect, with all her flaws. The woman is his ex-wife Elizabeth Weber Small, whom he married in 1973.
Weber helped Billy to re-build his career after some bad contracts and bad moments overall. The song talks about her amazing negotiation skills that people found too masculine for that period. However, to Joel, it was what made her extremely feminine, and more of a woman. Unfortunately, the pair divorced in 1982.
18.“Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney (1970)
“Maybe I’m Amazed” is simply said – an incredible love song. This song is one of the most significant and meaningful love songs that McCartney wrote and performed as a solo artist. “Maybe I’m Amazed” is dedicated to his wife, Linda McCartney, as gratitude and appreciation for being who she is.
Linda was a strong support to Paul when The Beatles split up. This song is a tribute to her enormous support in that period. This is one of many songs that Paul dedicated to his wife, who unfortunately died in 1998 of breast cancer.
17.“Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel (1983)
“Uptown Girl” was dedicated to Joel’s girlfriend Elle MacPherson, Australian supermodel. She was 19-years-old at the time. Their relationship ended, and Billy Joel started dating another supermodel, Christie Brinkley. “Uptown Girl” was released just two years before this powerful pair got married. It seems that Elle and Christie equally inspired the lyrics of this hit.
This song is about an average man, Joel, who is ‘downtown’ person that falls for ‘uptown’ women. Uptown woman is extremely beautiful and highly sophisticated. ‘Uptown Girl’ got its name from Joel’s surrounding of the ’80s. During that period he was surrounded by the most beautiful women. Billy said that Four Seasons and Frankie Vallie inspired the melody.
16.“Woman” by John Lennon (1981)
John Lennon and Ono worked together on the album before his sudden and violent death on December 8, 1980. This song was the first posthumous single, from the Double Fantasy album. Album’s song ‘Woman’ was created ad an ode to his wife Yoko Ono.
John dedicated this song to his loved wife, Ono, ho stood for all women globally. Three days before he was shot to death, in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, John stated that this song was a “grown-up version” of his song “Girl.” Mao Zedong, a Chinese communist revolutionary, once quoted a Chinese proverb saying, “For the other half of the sky …,” and this track opens with Lenom murmuring it.
15. “Brown Sugar” by The Rolling Stones (1971)
Mick Jagger dated a model-singer Marsha Hunt secretly and for a short period of time, but long enough for them to have a child together. The crown of their secret relationship was a baby girl, Karis Jagger. This iconic song is the triumph of that period. Masha was on the original poster for movie Hair, that stood for the ’70s.
Number of women during the years claimed that they were the inspiration for this iconic song. One of many was singer Claudia Lennear. She told in the show on BBC’s Radio 4 that the song was written in a time when she was hanging out with Jagger and that it was created for her. But, Hunt kept on saying that the song was more likely written about her.
14.“Candle in the Wind” by Elton John (1997)
The world was shocked by news of a car crash on August 31, 1997, when the world’s most famous princess ended her life. Princess Diana left the world in shock. Sir Elton John had the honor of performing the song at her funeral and he chooses the song “Candle in the Wind,” that was a tribute song to Marilyn Monroe. This song was originally released in 1973.
Bernie Taupin, the lyricist at the time, altered the words of the song to fit Diana’s end so that John can play it at the funeral. This 1997 version of the song was far more popular than 1973 original. Furthermore, 1997 single remains the second best-selling single of all time.
13.“Lady in Red” by Chris de Burgh (1986)
This song is a perfect example of how a man can actually remember what their wives were wearing when they first met. Chris de Burgh uses “Lady in Red” to describe vividly his first meeting with lovely Diane Davison, his future wife.
The song doesn’t mention Davison directly. However, it does refer to her and the night they first met. “Lady in Red” was a second single from the album, Into the Light. The music video follows on the name of the song and features a woman with curly hair wearing red.
12.“And I Love Her” by The Beatles (1964)
We can say for sure that if one can write a love song it is Paul McCartney. Even more, he knows how to write a perfect love song. “And I Love Her” is here to serve as evidence. Jane Asher, the English actress, was the inspiration for this song. They were engaged at the time.
Asher was an iconic figure during the ’60s and her influence of artwork and culture, in general, was enormous. Together with Paul, they were well known and powerful stage couple. One year after the song was released, the couple split and she married Gerald Scarfe, while Paul married Linda Eastman.
11.“Our House” by Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (1970)
Joni Mitchell and her two cats welcomed in their home singer and songwriter, Graham Nash, in December 1968. They choose a cute and adorable little house in the area of L.A. “Our House” is the song that reminisces domestic events from the period when Nash was living with Mitchell.
The couple went out one morning for regular breakfast and bought a vase for a very good price. Right on Ventura Boulevard. Graham used this ordinary moment to highlight the simple beauty of real, and peaceful domestic life. Graham wrote this song on a piano within one hour, while Mitchell went to pick up flower and place in the vase.
10.“I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton (1973)
Dolly Parton was discovered by Porter Wagoner, a country singer. He offered her a permanent spot on his TV show in 1967. This move sky-rocked Parton’s career. Parton and Porter had numerous duets for this TV show and with time they went beyond just a colleagues relationship.
This love-work story lasted for seven years until Parton decided to fly solo. Wagoner was firmly against this step, especially due to the strong musical relationship that they have built during the years. However, Parton decided to use the language that her partner understood the best – music. So, she decided to dedicate a song to him and to express her appreciation and above all platonic love.
9.“Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder (1976)
“Isn’t She Lovely” celebrates the birth of Wonder ’s daughter, named Aisha Morris. This song was a part of Stevie’s album Songs in the Key of Life. The song ends with the phrase “isn’t she lovely, made from love” and “so very lovely.”
Wonder wanted so much to show love toward his lovely angel that the album version of the song (B-side, to be exact) features Aisha crying. Radio version (on the A –side) edited baby sounds and created a shorter introduction.
8.“American Pie” by Don McLean (1971)
This song is all time favorite that was an instant hit. The song “American Pie” was played first time in 1971, on Don McLean’s album of the same name. Not too many people know that this globally-popular song refers to the plane crash that killed rock and roll performers in 1959. The performers were Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly and Perry Richardson Jr. (The Big Bopper).
The song has its own tribute in the verse “The day the music died”. It was meant to show the impact of the late artists. Interestingly, McLean never revealed the meaning of the lyrics for decades, which talk about the end of an era. Those icons took with them innocence of the early rock and roll generation.
7.“Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton (1991)
Eric Clapton went through some rough years in the early ’90s. The first tragedy was a helicopter accident that killed Clapton’s manager, musician Stevie Ray Vaughan, his friend and two of his roadies. After that, his four-year-old son died after falling from the 53rd-floor in New York.
After his son died, Clapton isolated himself for some period and he was left to grieve on his own. After isolation time, he started working on a soundtrack for the movie Rush. He co-wrote with Will Jennings a song named “Tears in Heaven”. Clapton told everyone that the song served as a healing son because he pulls much happiness and pleasure from it.
6.“Sweetest Thing” by U2 (1987)
Bono, the leading man of the Irish group U2, wrote “Sweetest Thing” for his wife as an apology. Bono was feeling that he was neglecting his wife, Ali Hewson while recording the album The Joshua Tree. He even missed her birthday. U2 supported this action by donating all the profits from the single to his wife’s charity of choice.
Ali decided to give all the money to the Chernobyl Children’s Project International. In October of 1998, “Sweetest Thing” was re-recorded and re-released as a part of compilation album The Best of U2 1980-1990.
5.“Rosanna” by Toto (1982)
Rossana was a hit from the first release, in 1982, by pop-rock band Toto. The song talks about finding love and losing it. Rossana reached the No.2 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100. The band joked, during the recording process, that the song was about actress Rosanna Arquette.
At the time, Rosanna was dating Steve Porcaro, Toto’s keyboardist. David Paich wrote the song and he denied any claims that the song was anyhow related to Rosanna Arquette. However, in 2016 he finally admitted it by saying that “She was cuter than ever and I had a crush on her, and as she walked out I just finished the line with ‘Rosanna.’”
4.“Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper (1983)
Cyndi Lauper made a big buzz with her debut album She’s So Unusual. That album gave the world one of the biggest hits, “Time After Time”. It was clear to everyone that it was a love song, but no one knew if it was inspired by someone directly involved in her music world.
Lauper was dating her managed David Wolff. According to her, the line about the clock ticking in the song is a reference to a very loud clock he gave her as a gift. David is seen in Lauper’s music video for the same song.
3.“God Save The Queen” by The Sex Pistols (1977)
Punk was just taking off when The Sex Pistols released this epic song. However, although the song title reminisces of the British national anthem, the song was nothing but a regular tribute to their queen or their country, with a strong message.
Controversial cover art together with the song shows that the queen in question is none by Queen Elizabeth II. It some way song criticizes the bad position of the working class in England in the ’70s.
2.“Oh Sherrie” by Steve Perry (1984)
Yes. This song is about Sherrie. Steve Perry dedicated this song to the women that he loved at the time, Sherrie Swafford. She even made a big appearance in the music video. However, the relationship didn’t last and they broke up, leaving Perry unmarried forever.
“Oh Sherrie” survived every further relationship of each lover and it went on to become one of the best ’80s anthems. The same year “Oh Sherrie” reached number one on the rock chart and even number three on the pop chart on the U.S. ground. MTV played it 24/7.
1.“Sweet Child o’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses (1987)
This is without any doubt one of the most popular songs of all time. What is really interesting about this song is the way how it was created. Steven and Slash were warming up for a jam session when Izzy joined spontaneously with some chords and Duff McKagan joined in with a bass-line. Axl Rose, the band’s lead singer heard it all and just became inspired to add some lyrics.
At the moment Axl’s true muse was Erin Everly, model, and his girlfriend at the time. He was so inspired at the moment that he completed the lyrics following afternoon. Erin had so beautiful hair that it reminded Axl of a “warm safe place.”