Roots are a vital part of who we are. They are the foundation that shapes our beliefs, values, and culture. From the music we grew up listening to, to the places we call home, our roots shape our identity and influence our path in life.
In this article, we explore 13 songs about roots, each one capturing a different aspect of what it means to honor where we come from.
Whether it’s the rebellious spirit of punk rock or the soulful rhythms of reggae, these songs remind us that our roots are a source of strength and a reminder of the rich tapestry of life.
Table of Contents
- 1. “Roots” by Imagine Dragons
- 2. “Roots, Rock, Reggae” by Bob Marley
- 3. “Roots Bloody Roots” by Sepultura
- 4. “Root Down” by Beastie Boys
- 5. “The Roots of My Raising” by Merle Haggard
- 6. “Roots” by Zac Brown Band
- 7. “Roots and Wings” by Miranda Lambert
- 8. “Roots Radicals” by Rancid
- 9. “Roots and Culture” by Mikey Dread
- 10. “Roots Radicals Rockers And Reggae” by Stiff Little Fingers
- 11. “No Roots” by Alice Merton
- 12. “My Roots Are Showing” by Crystal Shawanda
- 13. “Roots in Stereo” by P.O.D.
1. “Roots” by Imagine Dragons
“Roots” by Imagine Dragons is a heartfelt tribute to one’s beginnings. This song speaks to everyone who feels the need to reconnect with their past in order to find meaning and purpose in their present life.
The band’s signature pop rock sound is present, with a driving beat and powerful vocals from lead singer Dan Reynolds. The music video, directed by Matt Eastin, captures the essence of the song perfectly, showcasing Reynolds’ journey to rediscover his roots while on tour.
The addition of home videos of Reynolds as a young child adds a touching and nostalgic element to the video. The lyrics of “Roots” are both introspective and relatable, and the overall message of the song is one of hope and self-discovery.
This non-album single is a hidden gem for Imagine Dragons fans and a testament to the band’s ability to create music that speaks to the soul.
2. “Roots, Rock, Reggae” by Bob Marley
“Roots, Rock, Reggae” by Bob Marley is a timeless masterpiece that embodies the soul of Jamaica and the spirit of its people. From the moment the rhythm begins to pulse, one can feel the earthy energy and the raw power of reggae music.
Marley’s voice carries the weight of generations, a voice that speaks to the struggles of the oppressed and the determination to rise above. The lyrics are a call to action, a rallying cry for unity and the celebration of life.
The driving beat of the drums and the deep bassline weave together to create a hypnotic soundscape that transports the listener to a place of pure joy and freedom.
It’s a song that never grows old, always inspiring and always relevant.
3. “Roots Bloody Roots” by Sepultura
“Roots Bloody Roots” is a force to be reckoned with, an anthem that has remained timeless in the metal world. This Brazilian heavy metal band, Sepultura, struck gold with this masterpiece released in 1996.
The song’s primal beats and aggressive energy instantly captivate listeners, while the guitar riffs punch through the soul, leaving an indelible mark.
The music video, directed by Thomas Mignone, captures the essence of Brazil’s culture, juxtaposing scenes of Catholic churches with traditional Afro-Brazilian practices like capoeira and Candomblé.
The video also features a tribe of percussionists, Timbalada, adding to the raw energy that resonates throughout the song.
The catacombs underneath the city of Salvador serve as the backdrop for the video, reminding us of Brazil’s painful history of slavery.
4. “Root Down” by Beastie Boys
Beastie Boys’ “Root Down” is a bold and diverse EP that showcases their skillful fusion of hip hop, punk rock, and funk. The title track, with its infectious beat and electrifying guitar riffs, sets the tone for the rest of the EP.
The three variations of “Root Down” demonstrate the group’s creative versatility and their ability to take a catchy tune and make it even more dynamic. The live tracks recorded in Europe capture the raw energy and passion of the group’s performances, with Ad-Rock and Mike D’s rap flows intertwining seamlessly with the electrifying instrumentation.
The hidden gem, a radio jingle in Hebrew, adds an unexpected touch of humor and cultural curiosity to the EP.
Overall, “Root Down” is a must-listen for any fans of Beastie Boys
5. “The Roots of My Raising” by Merle Haggard
Merle Haggard’s “The Roots of My Raising” album is a country music classic that showcases his undeniable talent and passion for the genre. The title track, written by Tommy Collins, is a heartfelt tribute to Haggard’s upbringing and the values instilled in him by his family.
The album also features Haggard’s final number one hit of the decade, “Cherokee Maiden,” which showcases his smooth vocals and ability to tell a story through song.
Haggard pays homage to his musical heroes with covers of Jimmie Rodgers and Lefty Frizzell’s work, which adds a touch of nostalgia to the album.
6. “Roots” by Zac Brown Band
“Roots” by Zac Brown Band is a soulful and reflective tribute to one’s origins and the people and places that shape us into who we are. The melody flows with a nostalgic rhythm, reminiscent of the sweet memories and fond recollections that define us.
As the lyrics weave a story of coming home, the listener is transported to a place where the roots run deep, and the sense of belonging is palpable. The vocals are rich and emotive, echoing the sentiments of the song’s message.
Overall, “Roots” is a masterful tribute to the power of our past and the beauty of the present moment, delivered with an authenticity and creativity that only Zac Brown Band can offer.
7. “Roots and Wings” by Miranda Lambert
Miranda Lambert’s “Roots and Wings” takes flight with a heartfelt ode to her upbringing and aspirations. Written for a Ram trucks commercial, the track embodies the brand’s ethos of hard work and staying true to oneself.
Lambert’s personal connection to the lyrics shines through, as she reflects on her past and future with a sense of gratitude and determination.
The song’s country backdrop adds a layer of authenticity, capturing the spirit of the American heartland. Fans resonated with the track’s message and were rewarded with a longer version and accompanying music video.
Overall, “Roots and Wings” is a soaring tribute to the power of perseverance and the importance of staying grounded.
8. “Roots Radicals” by Rancid
While “Roots Radicals” by Rancid may be a classic punk rock anthem, Miranda Lambert’s “Roots and Wings” offers a different kind of tribute.
Instead of political radicalism, Lambert’s song speaks to the importance of staying true to your roots while also embracing your individuality and potential for growth.
With a mix of country and rock influences, Lambert’s voice soars as she sings about her desire for both roots and wings, declaring “I’ve got roots and I’ve got wings, I’m just trying to find the in-between”.
The song’s imagery of a tree growing tall and strong, while still connected to the earth, captures the essence of this theme perfectly.
Lambert’s powerful vocals and thoughtful lyrics make “Roots and Wings” a standout track that inspires listeners to embrace their own journey while staying true to their roots.
9. “Roots and Culture” by Mikey Dread
“Roots and Culture” by Mikey Dread is a timeless classic that blends reggae with an irresistible beat. The track exudes a powerful message of unity and celebrates the strength of African heritage.
Mikey’s distinctive voice commands attention, drawing listeners into a state of musical bliss. The energetic drum beats and hypnotic basslines seamlessly merge with the uplifting lyrics, transporting listeners to a place of pure joy and freedom.
The track is a true testament to the power of music and its ability to bring people together. “Roots and Culture” is a masterpiece that deserves a place in every music lover’s collection.
10. “Roots Radicals Rockers And Reggae” by Stiff Little Fingers
“Roots Radicals Rockers And Reggae” by Stiff Little Fingers is a reggae-infused punk anthem that exudes raw energy and rebellion. With a driving bassline, catchy guitar riffs, and pulsing drums, this track is a nod to the powerful influence of reggae on punk music.
The lyrics pay homage to the roots of reggae and the political consciousness that it embodies, while also celebrating the radical and rebellious spirit of punk. The chorus is a call to action, urging listeners to embrace their inner radical and fight against the status quo.
With its infectious rhythm and powerful message, “Roots Radicals Rockers And Reggae” is a timeless classic that continues to inspire and energize audiences.
Stiff Little Fingers’ fusion of punk and reggae is a perfect representation of the powerful connection between music and activism, and this song remains a testament to the enduring power of both genres.
11. “No Roots” by Alice Merton
Alice Merton’s “No Roots” is a heartfelt anthem for all those who feel like they don’t quite belong. With a captivating beat and Merton’s soulful voice, the song tells the story of a life spent moving from place to place, searching for a sense of home.
Co-written with producer Nicolas Rebscher, the track is a true masterpiece of modern pop music. Merton’s personal experiences inspire the song, making it all the more authentic and relatable.
As she sings about the struggle of feeling lost and the need to create a sense of belonging for oneself, listeners can’t help but be moved. “No Roots” is a true testament to the power of music to heal and inspire.
12. “My Roots Are Showing” by Crystal Shawanda
My Roots Are Showing is not just an album by Natalie MacMaster, it’s also a sizzling country tune by the talented Crystal Shawanda. This catchy track is all about staying true to your roots and embracing your heritage, no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
With its twangy guitar riffs, foot-stomping beat, and Shawanda’s powerful vocals, this song is sure to have you singing along in no time.
13. “Roots in Stereo” by P.O.D.
“Roots in Stereo” is a fusion of P.O.D.’s signature rock and reggae beats, featuring Matisyahu’s smooth and soulful voice.
The song speaks to the importance of staying true to one’s roots and values, a message that resonates with the band’s diverse fanbase.
With a catchy chorus that encourages listeners to proudly represent themselves, the song is a celebration of individuality and authenticity. The collaboration with Matisyahu adds a unique and refreshing element to the track, highlighting the band’s willingness to experiment and push musical boundaries.
Overall, “Roots in Stereo” is a dynamic and energizing anthem that captures the essence of P.O.D.’s sound and spirit.