31 Songs Starting With R

R is one of the more common letters of the alphabet, and if you’re making a playlist with tracks that begin with this letter, there are multiple options that span many genres. Keep reading as we go over 31 songs starting with R to add to your playlist. 

1. Roxanne – The Police 

The Police - Roxanne (Official Music Video)

Up first is The Police with their hit song Roxanne, which was released in 1978 right before their album Outlandos D’Amour came out. Sting had said that this was inspired by prostitutes that were hanging near the hotel the band was staying at while in Paris, France.

It was put into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008 and is often on lists of the Greatest Songs Of All Time by the magazine The Rolling Stone. It reached number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was featured in The Office, Community, How I Met Your Mother, and Just Go With It.

Recommended: Songs about Paris

2. Rhiannon – Fleetwood Mac 

Fleetwood Mac had a huge hit with Rhiannon, which was on their 1975 album, and it was released the next year as a single. The song peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 33 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It is thought to be one of the best tracks of all time, and Stevie Nicks would often say that this song was about a witch. This track can be found in the movie Sound City. 

3. Ramblin’ Man – Hank Williams 

Ramblin' Man (Hd Remastered Version)

Calling all country fans, you may know the song Ramblin’ Man by Hank Williams, which came out in 1953, and it’s a track he sings instead of speaking like he used to do with a lot of other songs he wrote and recorded. This track is featured in True West, which was a play that was popular in 1980. 

4. R*pe Me – Nirvana 

R*pe Me by Nirvana was released in 1993 on the album In Utero, and this track was controversial since some people believed it was encouraging rape. MTV banned them from performing this at the VMA’s in 1992. However, lead singer Kurt Cobain was adamant that it was an anti-rape song, and given how he was a feminist, this is easy to believe. Walmart and K-Mart would not sell the CD because of this track regardless.

5. Red – Taylor Swift 

Taylor Swift - Red (Taylor's Version) (Lyric Video)

Up next is Red by Taylor Swift, which was released in 2012 on the album Red. You’ll find this song mixes pop, country, and soft rock into an epic tune. It is a track that utilizes colors to describe the feelings and emotions found in an up-and-down relationship. It reached number five on the Hot Country Songs chart and 25 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

6. Respect – Aretha Franklin 

Aretha Franklin - Respect (Official Lyric Video)

Attention all feminists, we’re putting Aretha Franklin’s song Respect on our list. This was released originally by Otis Redding in 1965, although the lyrics were a little different. Her version is the one most people know and sing, and it’s known as her signature track. This song quickly became an anthem for women, and it’s known as one of the best tracks of its time. It hit number one on the Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles chart and Billboard Hot 100 chart.

7. Ring Of Fire – Johnny Cash 

Next is Johnny Cash with the track Ring Of Fire, which is one of his most well-known songs and is thought to be one of the best tracks of all time. It was released in 1963, and in 2010, the RIAA certified the song Gold. It peaked at 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number one on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. You can find this track in The Simpsons, Derry Girls, The Masked Singer, Playing With Fire, and Westworld. 

8. Rock and Roll All Nite – Kiss 

Rock And Roll All Nite

Rock band Kiss had a big hit with the tune Rock And Roll All Nite, which was released in 1975 on the album Dressed To Kill. This song ended up being their signature track, and when it was released as a single, it hit 12 on the charts. The studio version of this song landed on the Billboard Singles chart at 68.

9. Rocky Mountain High – John Denver 

John Denver - Rocky Mountain High (Official Audio)

Next is Rocky Mountain High by John Denver, which was released in 1972 on the album of the same name. This song is one of the state tracks for Colorado, and the album was certified Gold by the RIAA in 2017. It peaked at number three on the Adult Contemporary chart and hit nine on the Billboard Hot 100. This song has been featured in Final Destination and The Carrie Diaries

10. Rebel Yell – Billy Idol 

Billy Idol - Rebel Yell

Rock singer Billy Idol had a massive hit with his song Rebel Yell, which was released in 1983 on the album of the same name. The track reached 46 on the Billboard Hot 100 and landed at 29 on the Cashbox Top 100 chart. It has been in several movies and television shows including Sixteen Candles, Big, Look Who’s Talking Too, Coyote Ugly, American Horror Story, Riding In Cars With Boys, Wicked City, and The Carrie Diaries

11. Red Red Wine – UB40 

UB40 - Red Red Wine (Official Video HD Remastered)

UB40 released their cover of Red Red Wine in 1983 on their album Labour Of Love, and the band didn’t know Neil Diamond was the original singer since they had heard the Tony Tribe version only. Their version is a lot more reggae and lighter than Diamond’s version, and it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart

12. Return To Sender – Elvis Presley 

Elvis Presley - Return To Sender (Official Audio)

Next on our list is Elvis Presley with his hit song Return To Sender, which came out in 1962, and reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It is about a man who keeps mailing love letters to a woman, but they keep coming back unopened with that phrase on the envelope. The RIAA certified the song platinum, and it managed to hit number five on the R&B charts. 

13. Rhythm Nation – Janet Jackson 

Janet Jackson - Rhythm Nation

Janet Jackson had a huge hit with Rhythm Nation, and this song was released in 1989 on her album Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814. The track earned her a Billboard Music Award for the Top Dance/Club Play Single. It hit number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and two on the Dance Singles Sales chart. You can hear this in the television show Scandal. 

14. Ride Wit Me – Nelly Feat. St. Lunatics

Nelly - Ride Wit Me (Official Music Video) ft. St. Lunatics

Next up is Nelly with Ride Wit Me, which was released in 2001 on the album Country Grammar. This song hit number one on the Billboard Rhythmic chart, three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and three on the Mainstream Top 40 chart. It’s a catchy track that helped give him even more popularity during the early 2000s. 

15. Right Here Waiting – Richard Marx

Richard Marx - Right Here Waiting (Official Music Video)

Richard Marx is up next with the popular song Right Here Waiting, which was released in 1989 on the album Repeat Offender. This is one of the biggest love tracks of all time, so it’s no surprise that it hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts. You can find this song in The Goldbergs, Family Guy, Chuck, Love Island, and Good Deeds

16. Ring Them Bells – Heart 

Calling all Seattle music fans, Ring Them Bells by Heart featuring Layne Staley makes our list as it’s a great song with a powerful message. Staley was the lead singer of the grunge band Alice In Chains and Heart is also from Seattle. This track was released on the album Desire Walks On in 1993. The album landed at 48 on the Billboard Hot 200.

17. Road To Nowhere – Ozzy Osbourne 

OZZY OSBOURNE - "Road to Nowhere" (Official Video)

Attention all Ozzy Osbourne fans, we’re bringing up Road To Nowhere, which was released in 1991 on the No More Tears album. This song was his reflection on his life and on his drug and alcohol use, looking at how it could have destroyed him. Sharon Osbourne has been credited by him for keeping him alive, and she was both his wife and manager at the time.

18. Rocket Man – Elton John 

Elton John - Rocket Man (Official Music Video)

Elton John is next with the song Rocket Man, which was released in 1972 on Honky Chateau, and it was one of his biggest tracks ever. It hit number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and 39 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It can be found in movies and television shows such as Life On Mars, Big Bang Theory, The Offer, Battle Of The Sexes, Futurama, The Rock, The Goldbergs, and Six Feet Under, to name a few.  

19. Radio Ga Ga – Queen 

Queen - Radio Ga Ga (Official Video)

Up next is the Queen song Radio Ga Ga, which is all about defending the format of radio, and was released in 1984 on The Works. This track was a fairly big success and it hit 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 28 on the Dance Club Songs chart. You can find this track in movies and television shows such as T2 Trainspotting and Casual. 

20. Rhinestone Cowboy – Glen Campbell 

Glen Campbell - Rhinestone Cowboy

Calling all country fans, Rhinestone Cowboy by Glen Campbell makes our list, and this song came out in 1975 on the album of the same name. Both pop and country fans love this track, and it hit number one on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks, Billboard Hot 100, and Hot Country Singles chart. You can find this song in Family Guy, Daddy Day Care, War On Everyone, Irresistible, Father Stu, and Power.  

21. Rock The Boat – Aaliyah 

Aaliyah - Rock The Boat (Original Video)

Rock The Boat by Aaliyah was released in 2001, and it was her final album before she passed away in a plane crash. This track hit number two on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and 14 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is all about how a man can please a woman sexually by following the instructions in the track. 

22. Riders On The Storm – The Doors 

The Doors - Riders on the Storm (Official Audio)

Next is The Doors with their smash hit Riders On The Storm, which was released in 1971 on L.A. Woman. The song hit 11 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart and 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. This would be the last album with frontman Jim Morrison before his untimely death. This track can be found in movies and television shows such as Family Guy, Fringe, Sharp Objects, Deliver Us From Evil, The Basketball Diaries, and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. 

23. Roll Me Away – Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band - Roll Me Away

Next is Roll Me Away, which was released in 1982 on the album The Distance, and the inspiration comes from a trip that Bob Seger took to Wyoming on his motorcycle. It hit 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and 13 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. You can find the song in the film The Mask, Reckless, and Armageddon

24. Romeo And Juliet – Dire Straits 

Dire Straits - Romeo And Juliet (Official Music Video)

Dire Straits released Romeo And Juliet in their album Making Movies in 1980, but it was released several times after that on various greatest hits albums. You can hear this song on The Goldbergs, This is Us, Set It Up, Goliath, and Empire Records. They received a lot of positive attention for this track, and it was praised as being a mix of Shakespear and Bob Dylan.

Recommended: Songs about Romeo and Juliet

25. Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town – Kenny Rogers 

Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town

Calling all fans of the movie Dallas Buyers Club, you might remember hearing the song Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town by Kenny Rogers in the film. This track is about a veteran who is paralyzed and his wife is going out on the town every night without him. He talks about how he would have killed her already had he had the ability to grab his gun, and he is pleading with her to stay home and not go out searching for love. It reached number nine on the Hot Country Singles chart. 

26. Release Me – Wilson Phillips 

Release Me (Radio Edit)

Up next is the song Release Me by Wilson Phillips, which was released in 1990 on their self-titled debut album. The track hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary chart and even went to number one in Canada. This song is found on television shows and movies such as Better Call Saul

27. Run To The Hills – Iron Maiden 

Iron Maiden - Run To The Hills (Official Video)

If you like metal then you’ll love Run To The Hills by Iron Maiden, which came out in 1982 on the album The Number Of The Beast. This is one of their most well-known and loved songs and is often referred to as one of the best metal tracks of all time. 

28. Ride Captain Ride – Blues Image 

Ride Captain Ride (Single)

Next is Blues Image with Ride Captain Ride, and this song was released in 1970 on the album Open. It hit number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and 5 on the Cash Box Top 100 chart. It gets its inspiration from how many piano keys were on Mike Pinera’s piano, which was a Rhodes piano. He said 73 popped into his head first, and he just went with it, and the rest of the lyrics quickly followed. This is one of their most well-known tracks and is still popular today. 

29. Runaway Train – Soul Asylum 

Soul Asylum - Runaway Train (Official HD Video)

Soul Asylum released the song Runaway Train in 1992 on the album Grave Dancers Union, and it was one of the most successful tracks from that era. The video features images of missing men, women, and children, and it was a worldwide hit because of these images. It placed five on the Billboard Hot 100, three on the Mainstream Rock chart, 15 on the Adult Contemporary, and 13 on the Alternative Airplay chart. 

30. Runaway – Linkin Park 

Runaway - Linkin Park (Hybrid Theory)

Next is the rock band Linkin Park with their 2000 hit Runaway from the album Hybrid Theory, and this song was written by Mark Wakefield, who was the original lead singer for the band. The track reached 37 on the Mainstream Rock chart and 40 on the Alternative Airplay chart. 

31. Round and Round – Ratt 

RATT - Round And Round (Official Music Video)

Last on our list is Ratt with the 1984 song Round And Round from their album Out Of the Cellar. The glam metal band had a lot of success with this track since it reached 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and four on the Mainstream Rock chart. It is featured on television shows and movies including The Wrestler, Cobra Kai, Supernatural, Stranger Things, and Billy & Mandy Save Christmas. It is also in video games including Rock Band, GTA Vice City Stories, and Guitar Hero.

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Songs starting with the letter S

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