20 Songs About Ambition

An ambitious person is someone who always works hard to achieve their goals. They don’t give up; they keep pushing forward with dedication and perseverance. Ambition and success aren’t the same, but ambitious people strive for more success, motivating them to work harder and be better.

Music often reflects the spirit of ambition, painting vibrant pictures of dreams pursued. From uplifting anthems that inspire us to achieve greater heights to heartfelt ballads that celebrate small victories, these songs capture the many sides of ambition.

Ambition in music is seen across genres like pop, rock, hip-hop, and classical. Some songs celebrate the pursuit of success, while others explore the challenges associated with ambitious pursuits.

In this playlist, we have listed 20 beloved tracks that embody the essence of ambition.

20 Songs About Ambition

1. “Touch the Sky” by Julie Fowlis

“Touch the Sky,” performed by Julie Fowlis in the movie Brave, is a captivating anthem of ambition and self-discovery. The song perfectly reflects the unwavering spirit of the protagonist Merida as she goes beyond her castle’s walls, pursuing her dreams with determination.

The lyrics resonate with the call of adventure and the longing to break free from societal limits, as seen in lines such as “I will ride, I will fly, Chase the wind and touch the sky.”

Set against a backdrop of misty mountains and deep waters, the song beautifully captures Merida’s journey, illustrating the courage needed to face the unknown and strive for personal aspirations.

2. “Dream on” by Aerosmith

“Dream On” by Aerosmith is all about chasing dreams despite challenges. Steven Tyler’s lyrics talk about keeping your ambitions alive, even when life gets tough.

Lines like “Dream on, dream until your dreams come true” encourage staying strong when things are uncertain. The song’s melody and Tyler’s passionate singing really drive home the idea of never giving up on your goals, even when life throws curveballs.

The repeated phrase, “Sing with me, sing for the year, sing for the laughter, and sing for the tear,” sums up the ups and downs of pursuing dreams.

3. “May it Be” by Enya

“May It Be” by Enya is a moving anthem that delves into the universal theme of ambition and the pursuit of aspirations. Enya’s celestial voice, coupled with Roma Ryan’s lyrical prowess, paints a picture of perseverance and hope.

The song’s poignant lines, such as “You walk a lonely road, oh, how far you are from home,” reflect the challenges inherent in chasing dreams. The incorporation of Tolkien’s Quenya language adds a mythical dimension, underscoring the quest for light amid darkness.

Lyrics like “Believe, and you will find your way” and “A promise lives within you now” embody the resilient spirit required to surmount obstacles.

4. “Rise” by Katy Perry

Katy Perry’s “Rise” is all about strength and ambition. This song, released as a single in 2016, is like an anthem for overcoming tough times. It’s got these cool electronic beats and lyrics that talk about staying strong and not giving up.

When Perry sings lines like “Victory is in my veins, I know it, I know it” and “This is no mistake, no accident, Don’t be surprised, I will still rise,” you feel the determination and power in her voice. It’s a song that really captures the spirit of someone who’s unstoppable when it comes to chasing their dreams.

5. “Shake it off” by Taylor Swift

“Shake It Off,” Taylor Swift’s empowering anthem from her 2014 album “1989,” radiates resilience and ambition in the face of criticism.

The song reflects Swift’s proactive response to media scrutiny, conveying her determination to rise above negativity and pursue personal ambitions with confidence. With infectious optimism, Swift dismisses detractors, singing, “It’s like I got this music in my mind, sayin’ it’s gonna be alright.”

The chorus delivers a powerful message of overcoming obstacles: “And the players gonna play, play, play, play, play, and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake. I shake it off, I shake it off.”

6. “We Are The Champions” by Queen

“We Are the Champions” by Queen is an epic rock ballad that embodies the essence of ambition and conquering challenges. Written by Freddie Mercury, the lyrics narrate a journey filled with obstacles, mistakes, and the determination to push through.

Lines such as “I’ve paid my dues, time after time” vividly portray the resilience needed to overcome hurdles. The chorus boldly declares, “We are the champions, my friends, and we’ll keep on fighting till the end,” making it a powerful anthem for those fueled by ambition.

This song’s widespread appeal lies in its capacity to resonate with anyone on a path to achieve their goals.

7. “I Have a Dream” by Abba

“I Have a Dream,” an iconic ABBA anthem from 1979, is all about hope and ambition. Sung by Anni-Frid Lyngstad, the song tells a story of dreams, resilience, and striving for a better tomorrow.

Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus crafted lyrics that champion the idea that dreams have the power to transform lives, showing how to overcome hurdles.

The chorus, “I believe in angels, something good in everything I see,” captures an enduring optimism that connects deeply with audiences. The verses show the singer’s determination to keep going despite challenges, using lines like “I’ll cross the stream, I have a dream” as a strong metaphor for pushing forward.

8. “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey

“Don’t Stop Believin’,” the iconic rock anthem by Journey, debuted in 1981, tells the story of a small-town girl and a city boy chasing their dreams. Its enduring appeal is found in the powerful chorus urging listeners to “hold on to that feeling.”

With a memorable piano riff and Steve Perry’s emotive vocals, the song encapsulates the universal themes of ambition and perseverance.

Lines such as “Strangers waiting, up and down the boulevard,” vividly portray the relentless pursuit of dreams, while “Workin’ hard to get my fill, everybody wants a thrill,” underscores the determination and yearning for success.

9. “This is The Moment” by Anthony Warlow

“This is The Moment” is a powerful and moving song from the musical “Jekyll & Hyde,” sung by the talented Australian musical theatre icon, Anthony Warlow.

With his exceptional character acting and impressive vocal range, Warlow brings the song to life. The lyrics beautifully capture a crucial moment in the life of the protagonist, Dr. Jekyll, as he grapples with his ambitions and faces the ultimate test of distinguishing between good and evil.

The song perfectly conveys the essence of ambition, featuring lines such as “Every endeavor I have made, ever, is coming into play” and “This is the moment, my final test, destiny beckoned, I never reckoned second best.”

10. “A Million Dreams” by The Greatest Showman Cast

“A Million Dreams,” from The Greatest Showman (2017), is a captivating anthem about ambition and imagination. Sung by Ziv Zaifman, Hugh Jackman, and Michelle Williams, the song explores the main character’s longing for a uniquely crafted world in his mind.

With eyes closed, he envisions an extraordinary life, defying skeptics and expressing a determination to break free from conventional norms.

Lines like “I think of what the world could be, a vision of the one I see, a million dreams is all it’s gonna take” capture the essence of relentless aspiration.

11. “Handlebars” by Flobots

“Handlebars” by Flobots portrays a shift from innocence to ambition.

It begins with simple boasts such as “I can ride my bike with no handlebars” and advances to more audacious claims like “I can make anybody go to prison” or “I can end the planet in a holocaust.” These lyrics signify a transformation from a carefree state to an awareness of the dark implications of boundless potential.

The song serves as a cautionary tale about the perils of unrestrained ambition. It underscores the need for responsible and ethical decision-making in a world where capabilities have no bounds.

12. “Hall Of Fame” by The Script

“Hall of Fame” by The Script featuring will.i.am is a powerful and uplifting song that blends pop rock and rap to inspire ambition and greatness.

The lyrics, such as “You could be the greatest, you can be the best” and “You can move a mountain, you can break rocks,” encourage perseverance in the face of challenges.

The song’s central theme revolves around achieving success, leaving a lasting impact, and earning a place in the metaphorical “hall of fame.” 

13. “I Will Buy You a New Life” by Everclear

“Touch the Sky” is an energetic song by Kanye West featuring Lupe Fiasco, known for exploring themes of ambition and triumph. It was released in 2005 as part of West’s album “Late Registration.”

The track reflects a relentless pursuit of success and the desire to achieve great things. The music, with its pulsating beats and triumphant brass, perfectly complements the ambitious tone of the lyrics.

In West’s words, “I gotta testify, come up in the spot looking extra fly,” he expresses confidence and determination. Lupe Fiasco’s verse adds to the theme with the line, “And you know where I’m at, with the beats that’s so phat.”

14. “Ambitionz Az a Ridah” by Tupac Shakur

“Ambitionz Az a Ridah” by 2Pac is a powerful anthem from his album “All Eyez On Me.”

The song vividly captures 2Pac’s unwavering ambition with a gritty thug persona, reflecting his resilience in the face of life’s challenges. The opening line, “I won’t deny it, I’m a straight ridah,” sets the tone for a narrative exploring the hardships he confronts.

The lyrics, “My ambitions as a ridah, so many battlefield scars,” paint a vivid picture of the struggles faced by a rap star on a tumultuous path.

15. “Whatever It Takes” by Imagine Dragons

“Whatever It Takes” by Imagine Dragons is a pumped-up anthem from their album “Evolve.” It’s all about ambition and not giving up. The lyrics, like “I wanna be the slip, slip, word upon your lip, lip,” show the drive to make a lasting impression.

The catchy “Whatever it takes” chorus hammers home the message of staying committed to success. It’s a powerful song for anyone with big dreams.

16. “Somethin’ Else” by Eddie Cochran

“Somethin’ Else” by Eddie Cochran, a 1959 rockabilly anthem, captures the timeless theme of ambition. Co-written by Cochran’s girlfriend Sharon Sheeley and his brother Bob Cochran, the song follows a determined protagonist with dreams beyond his means.

The lyrics vividly portray unrequited love and aspirations of owning a coveted car. Despite economic challenges, the singer expresses unwavering resolve to work hard and save for the future.

Lines like “I’ll buy that car that I’ve been wanting so” and “When it all comes true, man, Wow, that’s somethin’ else!” embody the spirit of youthful determination and the triumph of ambition against all odds.

17. “Lose Yourself” by Eminem

“Lose Yourself” by Eminem is a compelling exploration of ambition. It is a powerful look at chasing dreams, even when the odds are stacked. It’s all about never giving up, just like in the movie “8 Mile.”

Eminem paints a vivid picture of struggle and determination, drawing from his own experiences in the tough world of rap. The lyrics capture the fear of failing and the burning desire to grab hold of every chance.

Lines like “You better lose yourself in the music, the moment, you own it” stress the need to fully dive into your goals. And when Eminem raps, “Success is my only motherfuckin’ option, failure’s not,” it shows his absolute determination to overcome anything.

18. “Ambition” by Wale

In “Ambition” by Wale featuring Meek Mill and Rick Ross, the song vividly captures the unyielding pursuit of success in the face of challenges.

Wale’s powerful lyrics, “Ambition is priceless, it’s something that’s in your veins,” highlight the inherent nature of ambition. The track explores personal hardships and the unwavering determination to overcome obstacles. Meek Mill’s verse, “Easy to dream a dream, though it’s harder to live it,” reflects the difficulties of turning dreams into reality.

With compelling storytelling and impactful rhymes, the song not only defines ambition but also applauds the resilience needed to chase one’s dreams against all odds.

19. “Juke Box Hero” by Foreigner

If you’re a fan of classic rock, you’ve likely jammed to Foreigner’s “Juke Box Hero,” a legendary anthem released in 1981. This guitar-driven track embodies the sheer impact of music, inspiring and bringing people together.

The song’s lyrics paint a picture of a young man who, upon hearing a jukebox, is motivated to become a rock star himself. Its catchy chorus and upbeat rhythm have solidified its place on classic rock playlists, satisfying fans of the genre.

The lyrics vividly detail his life, from acquiring a secondhand guitar to rising in the world of rock music. The line “He heard one guitar, just blew him away” captures that pivotal moment, and “Gotta keep on rockin’, someday gonna make it to the top” sums up the unwavering ambition for success.

20. “My Way” by Frank Sinatra

“My Way,” a timeless song made famous by Frank Sinatra in 1969, serves as a musical anthem of ambition and individualism. Penned by Paul Anka, the lyrics vividly portray a life lived boldly—confronting challenges, making unapologetic choices.

The opening lines, “And now the end is here, And so I face that final curtain,” set a powerful tone. Sinatra’s rendition tells a story of determination, resilience, and the pursuit of personal goals. The lyrics express both triumphs and regrets, proclaiming, “I’ve lived a life that’s full, I traveled each and every highway.”

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