Karma, as we all know, is the universal force that acts to compensate for our every action good and bad. Throughout the years, songs about karma had been sung to spin out all the possibilities and zones of both good and bad karma.
These songs had become a fundamental driving force that governs the actions and decisions of people, whether be it in love, life, and business. From haunting pop tunes to emotional ballads, there’s no dearth of musical interpretations of the eternal concept of karma.
Table of Contents
- 21. “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club
- 20. “Karma” by Summer Walker
- 19. “Karma” by Lloyd Banks
- 18. “Happy Karma Christmas” by Sufjan Stevens
- 17. “Karma” by Queen Naija
- 16. “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift
- 15. “What Goes Around…Comes Around” by Justin Timberlake
- 14. “Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)” by INXS
- 13. “Hero Takes a Fall” by The Bangles
- 12. “Karma” by AJR
- 11. “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood
- 10. “Forgive Them Father” by Lauryn Hill
- 9. “Lightning Crashes” by Live
- 8. “When the Good Guys Win” by Granger Smith
- 7. “Karma’s Payment” by Modest Mouse
- 6. “You Get What You Give” by New Radicals
- 5. “Karma” by Taylor Swift
- 4. “Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)” by John Lennon
- 3. “Outrunning Karma” by Alec Benjamin
- 2. “Karma Police” by Radiohead
- 1. “Karma” by Alicia Keys
21. “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club
Album: Colour by Numbers (1983) | Style: New Wave, Pop
The song has a very poetic way of describing how karma reflects one’s actions. The song talks about the fear of being alienated and the cowardice to stand up for something. It is said to be the song of self-expression of its lead singer himself as he tackles a complicated alleged relationship with his group’s drummer. In totality though, the song is a call for the authenticity of oneself.
20. “Karma” by Summer Walker
Album: Over It (2019) | Style: R&B, Soul
This song is inspired by the singer’s own life story, where she used to be a stripper in a club. However, she doesn’t feel guilt nor shame over this as she regards herself as karma to these men whom she believed have done wrong to their own wives and lovers. In the song, she is also warning men of the karma mantra which is “what comes around, goes around”.
19. “Karma” by Lloyd Banks
Album: Rotten Apple (2006) | Style: Hip-hop
Karma really rocks in the lyrical narrative of this song. It talks about a man played out by a girl, and when she comes back, he doesn’t want her anymore. The man then becomes the woman’s karma. This song has become popular among love stories that somehow fit the same storyline.
18. “Happy Karma Christmas” by Sufjan Stevens
Album: Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Vols. 6-10 (2012) | Style: Indie Folk, Christmas Music
The bitterness and pain of the persona in this song are very much felt as he wishes someone a very happy karma Christmas. The song’s attempt to balance the vibe of positivity and karma amidst the joy of the Christmas season is very ironic in nature. However, anyone who would come to the realization that someone is your karma for all the bad you have done would find this song very much truthful.
17. “Karma” by Queen Naija
Album: Queen Naija (2018) | Style: R&B, Soul
This song focuses on the theme of reaping what has been sown which is the core idea of karma. The singer, due to her broken heart, wishes for bad things to happen to her ex-lover. A lot of listeners can relate to the song because sometimes we feel vengeful when someone breaks our heart and we wish that someone breaks theirs, too.
16. “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift
Album: 1989 (2014) | Style: Pop
Taylor Swift explored the areas of betrayal and vengeance through this song. It talks about her personal experience of being betrayed by a trusted friend and she emphasizes that such actions cannot be fixed by band-aids. Through this song, she was able to warn his friend of the possible consequences of her actions and the karma that might come her way.
15. “What Goes Around…Comes Around” by Justin Timberlake
Album: FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006) | Style: Pop, R&B
According to Justin Timberlake himself, this song is inspired by the experience of one of his best friends which involves being cheated on by a lover and friend. The song’s title and its lyrics emphasize how karma works. This song hopes to serve its purpose – a statement of warning to a third party before ruining a relationship.
14. “Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)” by INXS
Album: “Listen Like Thieves” (1985) | Style: Rock, Pop-Rock
Kiss the Dirt is a metaphor for falling in love, where you have the tendency to stumble and fall during the relationship. But this song suggests that despite the possibility of kissing the dirt when loving someone, you still must live and love to the fullest and never be afraid.
13. “Hero Takes a Fall” by The Bangles
Album: “All Over the Place” (1984) | Style: Pop
Released in 1984, this song describes how pride and arrogance could be a downfall when it comes to love. It has a clever lyric since the hero being referred to in the song is someone who loses, not someone who wins. With its fabulous and incredible guitar riffs, this song unsurprisingly made a hit in the 80s.
12. “Karma” by AJR
Album: “The Click” (2017) | Style: Indie Pop
This song represents immense frustrations so well. It talks describes how someone feels so empty despite doing all the best he can. It questions the essence of doing good when despite being good, bad things still happen. You can feel the anguish of the singer while listening to the song.
11. “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood
Album: “Some Hearts” (2005) | Style: Country Pop
Revenge could be the first thing that would come to your mind when you get cheated on. And when you cannot make yourself hurt the person himself, you opt to destroy the things he loves instead, in this song, his four-wheel drive. A lot of girls could relate to this song because of its vengeful message. In the end, you would also find solace in the means of revenge done by the girl in the song. This song is an understatement of how karma really rocks!
10. “Forgive Them Father” by Lauryn Hill
Album: “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” (1998) | Style: Hip-Hop
Unlike most songs about karma, this song is a dose of good karma. It talks about the realization that some people tend to use others for their own gain and self-interest. However, it is also in this song that forgiveness and compassion is being emphasized and called out for. The singer is urging its listeners to learn to forgive, not to seek vengeance.
9. “Lightning Crashes” by Live
Album: “Throwing Copper” (1994) | Style: Alternative Rock
A sense of depression could be felt at the beginning of the song. But, as you go along listening to it, it becomes clear that this song is talking about an unstoppable transference of life. One body dies, but one soul is born. This song is frequently thought to be an interpretation of the vulnerability and aesthetics of life.
8. “When the Good Guys Win” by Granger Smith
Album: When the Good Guys Win (2017) | Style: Country
Listeners and fans would lift their beers up in the air while singing along to this song. The idea of a good guy winning a battle, in whatever form, is quite something ecstatic to celebrate. This song becomes one of the best songs in the music industry both for its rhythm and bold message. It echoes an encouragement for everyone to be true to themselves and decide to be good every day.
7. “Karma’s Payment” by Modest Mouse
Album: No One’s First and You’re Next (2009) | Style: Alternative Rock
The song’s message revolves around the idea of bad karma as it happened in the persona’s experience. The poetic lyrics remind us of the consequences of our actions. It also pushes us to hold ourselves responsible for our actions and be wary of our manners. This song will make you believe that you have the control to transform your destiny based on the preferences of actions you make.
6. “You Get What You Give” by New Radicals
Album: Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too (1998) | Style: Pop Rock
By the title itself, it could be asserted that there is a positive correlation between the actions you perform to the good karma that you obtain. It should be remembered though that the act of genuine giving is doing it without expecting something in return. This song will make you introspect on what it really means to give.
5. “Karma” by Taylor Swift
Album: Reputation (2017) | Style: Pop
As karma is a universal force, Taylor Swift made it clear in this song that karma comes to everyone who deserves it. Inspired by her personal experience of betrayal, she made this song a clear expression of how pissed off she is with what happened and she wishes karma to take its toll.
4. “Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)” by John Lennon
Album: Single Release (1970) | Style: Pop Rock
This song gives a new perspective on karma as the singer regarded it as something that is instant. Although it affects the future, there is an underlying notion that karma happens the moment you do good or bad. This is why, the core message of the song is to live life to its fullest, at the same time, to do good while living so.
3. “Outrunning Karma” by Alec Benjamin
Album: Narrated for You (2018) | Style: Folk-Pop
Karma is inevitable, and this song speaks of it as something that will chase you down no matter where you hide. In fact, it is implied in the song also that no one can hide from karma no matter how much you fight against it. And since no one can outrun it, the song gives a futuristic heads-up to do good and better to avoid being chased by karma.
2. “Karma Police” by Radiohead
Album: OK Computer (1997) | Style: Alternative Rock
As it is generally known, the police are an entity that serves the law and enforces it. The mention of karma police in this song depicts the notion that there is a powerful universal force that serves and enforces “karma law” as well. The persona of the song cries out to deliver negative consequences to someone who did wrong. Since its release in 1997, this song had become one of the most commended songs in history.
1. “Karma” by Alicia Keys
Album: The Diary of Alicia Keys (2003) | Style: R&B, Soul
This soulful music denotes the common cases of love affairs and breakups where reconciliation is never an option anymore. It describes how the persona in the song hand been hurt and disrespected by the man he loves. After a while of breaking up, the man eventually comes back and wants to return to her life; but of course, karma has been served because she never let him be. The song will make you think of the same liberation from your ex.