Top 10 Songs About UFOs

By Bryan Wawzenek,, Thanks to Woo Woo Media

Given that the space race and rock and roll launched at the same time, it perhaps no surprise musicians have looked to the skies for inspiration – something we’re celebrating with the Top 10 Songs About UFOs.

While some tunes have focused on rocket men and space cowboys, others have ruminated on the idea of extraterrestrial beings invading earth’s orbit.

Early rock hits went the route of the novelty song (“Flying Saucers Rock and Roll” and “Purple People Eater”), while classic rock artists wrote about UFOs in a grander context (or even named themselves after these unexplained spacecraft). Check out these Top 10 Songs About UFOs …

(see WooWoo Media’s addendum at the bottom of the article!)


“It Came Out of the Sky”

Creedence Clearwater Revival
From: ‘Willy and the Poor Boys’ (1969)

John Fogerty employed a B-movie plot (even the song’s name sounds like a schlocky sci-fi flick) for this Creedence Clearwater Revival track. “It” is never revealed to be anything; we just hear about what everyone else sees in the UFO that landed “a little south of Moline.” In the chooglin’ rocker, which begins our list of the Top 10 Songs About UFOs, Fogerty explains that scientists seek a natural explanation. The Vatican sees a sign from God, conspiracy theorists blame the Communists, Hollywood turns it into a big-budget film and then-Vice President Spiro Agnew looks to profit from “It.”


“Arriving UFO”

From: ‘Tormato’ (1978)

Yes often sounded otherworldly, but they push their progressive rock to the stratosphere on this track from Tormato.“Arriving UFO” finds the band welcoming a race of superior beings to the planet, with the hope that they will inspire “a bolder empire of energy.” Rick Wakeman’s mechanical synthesizers make “Arriving UFO” sound like it takes place in outer space. Although, after this album, Wakeman would decide that he and Yes needed their own space; he wouldn’t return to the fold until the ’90s.


“Silver Lights”

Sammy Hagar
From: ‘Nine on a Ten Scale’ (1976)

Going back decades, Sammy Hagar has been obsessed with unexplained phenomena, writing multiple songs (such as this one, from his solo debut) about the universe and the other life forms that may exist in it. “Silver Lights” describes a group of alien beings that visited Earth, then whisked some of the population away while the rest “fought for the broken bits” that remained. In his autobiography, Hagar describes a dream he had about having his thoughts uploaded by aliens – something he later claimed wasn’t just a dream, but actually happened to him. If he gets abducted again, it better be in a fast flying saucer. After all, Sammy can’t fly 55.


“Zero Zero UFO”

The Ramones
From: ‘Brain Drain’ (1989)

For his last Ramones album, Dee Dee Ramone co-wrote a couple of paranormal punk tunes: “Pet Semetary” (written in concert with the movie’s release) and “Zero Zero UFO.” Joey Ramone growls the lyrics about a man in Idaho who witnesses the landing of an alien spacecraft that “did not look like it came from Japan.” A strange man approaches him, but we’re not told much about what happens after that, except that the general public isn’t likely to believe tall tales told by potato farmers.


“Children of the Sun”

Billy Thorpe
From: ‘Children of the Sun’ (1979)

This makes our list for Thorpe’s out-of-this world intro alone, one which begins with a series of ominous, heavily processed rhythms before exploding into wave after thunderous wave of streaming spaceships. They descend upon our fair planet, surrounded by a silvery light (and a monstrous riff), then open the door to a new world of sights and sounds – but only after a weightless middle eight that finds the earthlings experiencing zero gravity for the first time. Cool!


“I’ve Seen the Saucers”

Elton John
 From: ‘Caribou’ (1974)

Elton John and his co-conspirator Bernie Taupin are no strangers to space-based songs. On the mid-tempo rocker that opens Side 2 of Caribou, John sings about the excitement of a true believer who’s taken aboard a UFO. Facing the enormous scope of the universe, the space traveler quickly gets homesick (just like the “Rocket Man”) and prays to return to earth soon: “Maybe if I promise not to say a word / They can get me back before the morning light.”


“Come Sail Away”

From: ‘The Grand Illusion’ (1977)

This classic rock radio staple from Styx is neatly split into two parts. There’s the baroque, piano-ballad portion, which presents a lonely ship captain on the open sea, and there’s the guitar-fueled finale, which is where the UFO comes in. Angels, who are really aliens, rescue the depressed captain and crew and take them on a journey into the final frontier – filled with spacey synthesizer and keyboard effects. Singer Dennis DeYoung said he wrote this song because he was sad about his band’s lack of success at the time. Like the extraterrestrials in the song, “Come Sail Away” rescued Styx and became one of the band’s biggest hits.


“Hangar 18″

 From: ‘Rust in Peace’ (1990)

In creating this metal classic, Megadeth was inspired by the UFO conspiracy theories suggesting that Hangar 18 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio is where the U.S. government hides aliens and their spaceships – such as the infamous craft said to have landed in Roswell, N.M. Although then-drummer Nick Menza was credited as the band’s alien believer, the lyrics also tie into frontman Dave Mustaine’s anti-authoritarian stance: “Military intelligence / Two words combined that can’t make sense.”


“Mr. Spaceman”

The Byrds
From: ‘Fifth Dimension’ (1966)

This hit single – along with “5D (Fifth Dimension)” – brought about the first use of the term “space rock.” The country-rock jangle of “Mr. Spaceman,” of course, bears no resemblance to the progressive rock epics that would be associated with that term in the ’70s but the subject matter of this two-minute Byrds tune is nevertheless right at home with those later works. Roger McGuinn wrote the light-hearted tale about a man who is visited by UFOs every night, but is disappointed when they refuse to bring him aboard and take him for a spin around the universe. McGuinn hoped that extraterrestrials might be encouraged to contact Earth if they heard the song on AM radio; unfortunately, AM signals dissipate quickly in outer space. Thanks for trying, Roger.



David Bowie
From: ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust’ (1972)

You couldn’t have a Top 10 Songs About UFOs without David Bowie. From “Space Oddity” to “Loving the Alien,” the Thin White Duke has written and performed a fair share of sci-fi material – including Bowie’s most famous album.

Contrary to what many think, the character of Ziggy Stardust isn’t an alien, but merely an earthbound messenger who speaks for otherworldly beings that could rescue Earth in the last five years of humanity’s existence.

“Starman” tells the story of teenagers who hear Ziggy’s message about the alien beings “waiting in the sky” and ready to land their ships if the young people can “sparkle” for them. The song is a key moment in the story of Ziggy, but also in Bowie’s career. “Starman” was his first British hit in the three years that followed the release of “Space Oddity.”


WooWoo Media addendum by Michelle Walling, Editor:

Gregg Prescott and I remember some of these songs back in the day,  and I asked Gregg if he even noticed that they were about UFO’s. Like myself, he said no. As we began to notice just how many songs reference UFO’s, we thought we would share a few of our personal favorites with you.

I don’t know how many times I heard the song “Come Sail Away” in the 80’s, and it recently has been sent to me many times in my thoughts by my star family. This song inspired this article. The lyrics are amazing:

I’m sailing away, set an open course for the virgin sea
I’ve got to be free, free to face the life that’s ahead of me
On board, I’m the captain, so climb aboard
We’ll search for tomorrow on every shore
And I’ll try, oh Lord, I’ll try to carry onI look to the sea, reflections in the waves spark my memory
Some happy, some sad
I think of childhood friends and the dreams we had
We live happily forever, so the story goes
But somehow we missed out on that pot of gold
But we’ll try best that we can to carry onA gathering of angels appeared above my head
They sang to me this song of hope, and this is what they said
They said come sail away, come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away, come sail away
Come sail away with me

I thought that they were angels, but to my surprise
They climbed aboard their starship and headed for the skies
Singing come sail away, come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away, come sail away
Come sail away with me

Gregg has been a long time fan of Sammy Hagar. We even named our German Shepherd Sammy after him! We were surprised to find a 1976 song from Sammy on this list!

The lyrics to “Love Walks In” by Hagar in Van Halen are very cool as well:

Contact is all it takes
To change your life to lose your place in time
Contact! Asleep or awake
Coming around you may wake up to find
Questions deep within your eyes,
Things you’ve never realized [Chorus:]
So when you sense a change
Nothing feels the same
All your dreams are strange, love comes walkin’ in
Some kind of alien
Wait for the opening
Then simply pulls a string
Another world, some other time
You lay your sanity on the line
Familiar faces familiar sights
Reach back remember with all your might
Ohh there she stands in a silken gown
Silver lights shining down [Chorus]

Love comes walkin’ in


Sleep and dream is all I crave
I travel far across the Milky Way
To my master I become a slave
Til we meet again some other day
Where silence speaks as loud as war
And the earth returns to what it was before


Love comes walkin’ in

Another classic song by David Bowie that is obviously about aliens is “Ziggy Stardust”:

Ziggy played guitar, jamming good with Wierd and Gilly,
And The Spiders from Mars.
He played it left hand, but made it too far,
Became the special man,
Then we were Ziggy’s Band.

Ziggy really sang, screwed up eyes and screwed down hairdo
Like some cat from Japan, he could lick ’em by smiling
He could leave ’em to hang
Here came on so loaded man, well hung and snow white tan.

So where were the spiders while the fly tried to break our balls?
Just the beer light to guide us.
So we bitched about his fans and should we crush his sweet hands?

Ziggy played for time, jiving us that we were Voodoo
The kids was just crass,
He was the naz
With God given ass
He took it all too far
But boy could he play guitar.

Making love with his ego Ziggy sucked up into his mind
Like a leper messiah
When the kids had killed the man
I had to break up the band

Ziggy played guitar

Well, if you were ever trying to pinpoint what an alien would look like that walked right off a ship, David Bowie was a good candidate!

What are some of your favorite UFO songs? Comment below~

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