20 Songs About Tinnitus Or Ringing In The Ears

Think you are the only one with tinnitus or ringing in your ears? Think again.

Tinnitus is common, especially among musicians. Musicians frequently subject their ears to loud sounds over many hours. This may eventually cause hearing damage and tinnitus. While tinnitus can sometimes be detrimental to a musician’s career, some musicians have taking inspiration from their tinnitus and expressed the tinnitus sound in songs.

Here are 20 songs which give special mentions to tinnitus.

1. Suzanne Vega’s “Blood Makes Noise”

Notable Lyrics

“But the din in my head
It’s too much and it’s no good
I’m standing in a windy tunnel
Shouting through the roar

But blood makes noise
It’s a ringing in my ear
Blood makes noise
And I can’t really hear you”

What the song is about: Contrary to the morbid title, the song is about a scenario where a patient is talking to her doctor. The patient is experiencing a pulsatile type of tinnitus whereby bloodflow makes the tinnitus more audible.  The tinnitus is described as loud and roaring which affecting his/her ability to hear the doctor.

2. Bob Seger’s “Turn The Page”

Notable Lyrics

“as you lie awake in bed
With the echoes from the amplifiers
ringin’ in your head”

What the song is about: The song is about the emotional ups and downs of a travelling rock musician. Halfway through the song, the rock musician describes his tinnitus as “ringing” coming from the head after hearing loud sounds from amplifiers.

3. The Raconteurs “Consoler of the Lonely”

Notable Lyrics

“Conversations getting dull
There’s a constant buzzing in my ears”

What the song is about: In this song, a man describes his boredom and loneliness as well as the constant “buzzing” in his ears, presumed to be tinnitus.

4. Peter Frampton’s “Show Me The Way”

Notable Lyrics

“I wonder how you’re feeling
There’s ringing in my ears
And no one to relate to except the sea”

What the song is about: The song is about a man who is overwhelmed and he is singing to the woman he loves. He also reveals that he has tinnitus, describing it as like hearing sounds from the sea.

5. U2’s “Staring at the Sun”

Notable Lyrics

“There’s an insect in your ear if you scratch it won’t disappear
It’s gonna itch and burn and sting
Do you want to see what the scratching brings
Waves that leave me out of reach
Breaking on your back like a beach
Will we ever live in peace?
Cause those that can’t do often have to
Those that can’t do often to have to…preach”

What the song is about: There are many interpretations about the meaning of the song from enjoying a lazy afternoon to materialistic culture in our time. As members of U2 are said to suffer from tinnitus, the tinnitus community have always theorized that ‘Staring at the Sun’ is about the annoyance of having tinnitus.

6. Slovo’s “Come down”

Notable Lyrics

“It’s raining and it’s morning
My tinnitus is singing”

What the song is about: A calming and positive song where the singer concludes that he/she is blessed. The song describes the tinnitus as “singing”, one of the more positive descriptions of tinnitus.

7. Chuck Reagan’s “Don’t Say A Word”

Notable Lyrics

“Wake to sound again,
still tinnitus reigns.”

What the song is about: The song is about a man suffering from heartache. Upon hearing his tinnitus in the morning, he talks about how his tinnitus still “reigns”, suggesting his helplessness over not being able to control his tinnitus.

8. Veruca Salt’s “Earthcrosser”

Notable Lyrics

“And the ringing in my ears
from playing too loud.”

What the song is about: This song is about musician and her thoughts. The musician hears a constant “ringing in [the] ears” which she thinks is caused by loud music.

9. Lamb’s “What Sound?”

Notable Lyrics

“What is that sound
Ringing in my ears
The strangest sound
I’ve heard for years and years”

What the song is about: Love? Tinnitus? Mid-way through the soundtrack you can hear a high-pitched ring mixed into the music suggesting that the song may be about tinnitus after all.

10. Phil Orc’s “What’s That I Hear”

Notable Lyrics

“What’s that I hear now ringing in my ear
I’ve heard that sound before
What’s that I hear now ringing in my ear
I hear it more and more”

What the song is about: The song is written about freedom, but members of the tinnitus community can’t help but wonder if the songwriter was actually describing his tinnitus.

11. Status Quo’s “Burning Bridges (On and Off Again)”

Notable Lyrics

“Even though I fooled myself for years
I can’t escape this ringing in my ears”

What the song is about: Catchy song on burning bridges and an inescapable “ringing in [the] ears”.

12. Jerry Jeff Walker’s “It’s a Good Night for Singing”

Notable Lyrics

“It’s a good night for singing,
I got too drunk and my ears are still ringing
It’s so good to be here, it’s a brand new day”

What the song is about: Feel-good song about a person enjoying his night. He hears ringing in his ears, possibly the after effects from being in a noisy place and drinking alcohol (increased blood flow to the ears can cause tinnitus) but he doesn’t mind it and is enjoying himself.

13. Jason Isbell’s “Try”

Notable Lyrics

“You can’t stop that ringing in your ear
You can’t stop that ringing in your ear
And you can’t make the highway disappear
You can’t make her love you out of fear”

What the song is about: In the song, a man sings about a woman who loves him and how he cannot do anything to change her just like how he cannot stop the “ringing” in his ears. Not a bad analogy.

14. Pet Shop Boys’ “Radiophonic”

Notable Lyrics

“I can’t get to sleep
There’s ringing in my ears
Like a radiophonic workshop

With the pounding in my head
Like a dub sub-sonic beat-box
Booming bass under the bed”

What the song is about: In this electronic-pop song, the singer’s ringing in the ears are described as “radiophonic”, “pounding” and “booming” which affects his ability to sleep.

15. Bracket’s “I Won’t Mind”

Notable Lyrics

“I won’t mind the ringing in my ears”

What the song is about: The singer sings about choosing not to mind things that usually bother him, including the “ringing in [his] ears”.

16. Wilco’s “Heavy Metal Drummer”

Notable Lyrics

“Classical music blasting masks the ringing in my ears”

What the song is about: Alternative rock song about a person who misses heavy metal band music. He offers a solution to overcome the “ringing in [his] ears”: blast classical music. (We advise readers against doing the same as blasting music at high volumes can lead to more hearing damage and aggravate tinnitus.)

17. Marc Copely’s “Backslide”

Notable Lyrics

“The temptation’s clear as the ringing in my ears”

What the song is about: A song about giving in to temptation. Interestingly, the singer compares the strength of the temptation to hearing his own tinnitus. Indicating that this temptation, like tinnitus (1) comes from within his body, (2) is constantly there, and (3) affects him only. Creative!

18. The Fall’s “Everything Hurtz”

Notable Lyrics

“I got the disease tinnitus
I’m speakin’ like I’ve got Tourrette’s
And everything hurts”

What the song is about: A song about how everything hurtz, with tinnitus being one of the complains. Audiology nerds love how the songwriters put in a “z” at the end of “hurt” is play on the term hertz (unit of sound frequency).

19. Admiral Fallow’s “Burn”

Notable Lyrics

“And there’s the fear that I hear
Oh, a hundred wailing sirens
The sound I’m drowned by
The tinnitus that lasts”

What the song is about: Beautiful indie-folk song where the singer meditates on his past. The singers describes his tinnitus and brings up his fear on how he worries it will not go away.

20. Frightened Rabbit’s “Death Dream” *trigger warning*

Notable Lyrics

“Apart from the ring of the tinnitus of silence
You had your ear to the ground”

What the song is about: The song is about a vivid dream where one becomes shocked by seeing the death of a loved one. In the state of shock, the singer describes experiencing tinnitus. This is quite a common phenomenon as people who are put in high-stressed scenarios have reported hearing a sudden silence and then a short period of tinnitus.

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