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The color gold—often bright and sparkly—symbolizes wealth, success, and high value. Celebrate the prestigious and inspirational color gold with a playlist of pop, rock, country, and R&B songs.

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A Little Gold Goes a Long Way

If the color gold were a person, it would be that needy, attention-seeking relative who is always interjecting, "Hey, look at me! What about me?" The best color of trophies and medals, gold is a dazzling metallic hue that signifies prosperity. It boldly announces success and sophistication. Think about how a gold Rolex watch or cuff links says what you don't need to: "I'm important."

But a little gold goes a long way. There's no need to overdo it and fall into the realm of the gaudy, as with a gold toilet seat or gold lamé hot pants. (If you're doing that, you're either a show-off, a wanna-be, or way out of style.) The color gold can also lose its flashiness and take on humbler tones in nature, such as those found in the earthier hues of grain, sand, or leaves.

Associated with the sun, gold conveys a strong, luxurious meaning. Symbolically, the color is aligned with spiritual enlightenment, perfection, health, achievement, and wealth. Whatever gold means to you, celebrate all things gold and golden with a playlist of pop, rock, country, R&B, songs. We have a long list to start you off.

1. "Silver Threads and Golden Needles" by Linda Ronstadt

All of the precious metal in the world can't make a person as feel warm and valued as a partner's knowing embrace. Gold is a hollow substitute for the love this wife earnestly seeks in her marriage. (Sigh).

The wealthy woman in this 1974 country-pop ditty complains to her cheating husband that he cannot buy her love or happiness. Instead, she asks him to deliver on the loving promises he once made to her.

2. "Golden" by Harry Styles

Former One Directioner Harry Styles has a major crush in this 2019 pop song, although his love interest feels reluctant about taking a risk on him. He, therefore, wears his heart on his sleeve and confesses how hopelessly enamored he is with her.

By calling the young woman "golden" and placing her upon a proverbial pedestal, the narrator attempts to convince her to overcome her fear of heartbreak. Their relationship may end up to be golden. Who knows?

3. "Gold Digger" by Kanye West (Featuring Jamie Foxx)

Should you marry for love or for money? A gold digger is a person (traditionally a female) who engages in a transactional relationship—usually sex and companionship for financial gain, as opposed to genuine love.

Kanye West originally wrote this 2005 rap-pop crossover hit from a female's point of view. When rapper Shawna turned it down, however, he revamped the song for himself. The Grammy Award-winning track describes a man's relationship with his gold-digging shorty. VH1 recognized "Gold Digger" as #20 on their list of the "100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs Ever."

4. "Gold Rush" by Death Cab for Cutie

Mega-corporations like Amazon have completely transformed Seattle's skyline since the mid-1990s. These rapid and often unwelcome changes prompted this 2018 alternative rock tune.

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In "Gold Rush," the narrator recalls how condos have replaced the neighborhood bar and record store of yesteryear. Old familiar places are now unrecognizable, having been supplanted by construction sites. As cranes bring wreckage, rubble, and change, the former resident mourns all that used to be, and the view of the city provides token remembrances of what is no more.

5. "Golden" by Lady A

The woman in this tender 2014 love ballad holds thoughts of her partner close at heart, even as the two are separated by many miles. Extraordinarily grateful for having her sweetheart in her life, she closes her eyes, recalling many of the features that she loves about him:

You are goldenPrecious as a prayer flying up through the airWhile the rain is fallingGolden—timeless as a kiss.

6. "Gold" by Imagine Dragons

You might think it fortunate to possess the Midas touch, the remarkable ability to discover money and success at every turn. Note that the talent is named after the Greek King Midas, who according to myth was granted the gift of turning everything he touched to gold.

Just as the legendary king suffered starvation on account of his golden touch, the guy in this 2014 rock song finds that wealth can be a curse when you don't know who you can trust. A mighty hollow feeling lingers when you can't tell who is being authentic with you.

7. "Golden" by Kylie Minogue

Australian singer Kylie Minogue celebrates those who are enjoying the prime, active era of their lives right now. Neither in their dawn nor sunset years, they feel the warm radiance of sunshine on their faces in her 2018 pop self-empowerment anthem, "Golden." In the golden age of life, they are hopeful, forward-looking, and full of both agility and confidence. What could be better?

8. "The Golden Age" by Beck

A "golden age" refers to a time of peak happiness, accomplishment, and success. Thus, at first blush, this seems to be an odd title for this soothing, low-key alternative rock song from 2002. The narrator drives all night with a headache in the desolated desert with the windows down. He feels the weight of the world and is trying to escape a conflict situation (perhaps a broken relationship).

Driving is his therapy. There is no reference to the golden age because it hasn't happened yet. That's his destination, and he'll get there eventually. He'll drive through the desolate desert night into the morning light.

9. "House of Gold" by Twenty One Pilots

Jamming with his ukulele, a grateful narrator pays tribute to his mom in this 2011 pop song. In a conversation between a man and his mother, the son promises to take care of his mom in her old age. He agrees to make her queen of everything she sees and to buy her a symbolic house of gold, meaning that he will make her feel contented and joyful. What a dutiful, dedicated son!

10. "Gold" by Owl City

This bittersweet 2012 electronica track reminds me of sending a loved one off to college. The narrator is addressing someone he holds dear who inspires him. He believes in their potential and calls them "gold." Then he unselfishly encourages them to move on and reach for their own dreams because they'll never be far from him emotionally.

11. "Sister Golden Hair" by America

Fear of commitment stands in the way of happiness for the man in this chart-topping 1975 soft rock song. Although he is in love with a golden-haired beauty, there's something in him that prevents him from taking a trip down the aisle with her. He asks for her understanding. (Sooner or later, I imagine she's going to get tired of the commitment-phobic man's indecisiveness. Been there!)

12. "Golden Ring" by George Jones & Tammy Wynette

Just a year following George Jones' and Tammy Wynette's divorce, this chart-topping country favorite was released, in 1976. Despite the breakup of their roller coaster six-year marriage, the musical couple continued to record hit duets together.

"Gold Ring" is the story of two young lovebirds who shop for a wedding ring in a pawn shop in Chicago. The groom is unable to afford a more elaborate ring, so he purchases the used golden ring, and they marry in a chapel that afternoon.

Fast forward several years, and the marriage is at a breaking point. The lovers argue, the wife throws her ring at her husband, and she walks out on their marriage. The recycled wedding ring ends up right back where it started, in the pawnshop, ready to be purchased by another couple.

The refrain of the song points out that

By itself, it's just a cold metallic thingOnly love can make a golden wedding ring.

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13. "We Are Golden" by Mika

Offering up an anti-bullying message, this 2009 pop number refers to the teen years as a "circus." Mika recalls being bullied as a youth, and in this song he empathizes with the difficulty of being maligned by peers.