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Music Playlist: Songs About UFOs

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U.F.O. stands for “Unidentified Flying Object”. The majority of UFOs can be easily explained as weather balloons or flocks of birds, but each year there are many sightings of objects in the sky that cannot be explained. The legend of UFOs has developed it’s own unique legion of followers who believe that these unidentified flying objects are spacecraft from distant planets.

Dr. J. Allen Hynek penned the scientifically accepted term for UFO:

A UFO is the reported perception of an object or light seen in the sky or upon the land the appearance, trajectory, and general dynamic and luminescent behaviour of which do not suggest a logical, conventional explanation and which is not only mystifying to the original percipients but remains unidentified after close scrutiny of all available evidence by persons who are technically capable of making a common sense identification, if one is possible.”

UFO sightings appear all through recorded history, Alexander the Great saw two airborne “silver shields” in 329 BC. In 1235 the Japanese army of Oritsume saw the “mysterious lights in the sky” and the British people reported many “mystery airships” from 1909 through 1913.

The modern day fascination with UFOs can be traced to American businessman Kenneth Arnold (see photo, inset) who claimed to see nine bright objects flying at “incredible speed” on June 24, 1947, near Mount Rainier, Washington. This led to the golden age of UFO stories, books and films like The Day the Earth Stood Still and Forbidden Planet . Around this time the first UFO-related spiritual sect also appeared, The Aetherius Society. In the 1970’s and 80’s, the films Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. opened wide the mind of Americans in regards to UFOs, as did popular television series’ like Star Trek. In 2002, a Roper poll found that 56% of Americans thought UFOs were real craft and 48% believed that UFOs had visited the Earth.

Of course, musicians are among those who have been inspired by UFOs in popular culture, or may even be true believers. Below is a list of “Songs About UFOs” by a diverse group of artists. You can listen to the playlist here.

Please add songs that were missed to the comments.

Songs About UFOs Playlist:

1. Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft (The Recognized Anthem Of World Contact Day) – The Carpenters
2. My Flying Saucer – Billy Bragg & Wilco
3. After The Gold Rush – Neil Young
4. Unfunky UFO – Parliament
5. Books About UFOs – Husker Du
6. Waiting For The UFO’s – Graham Parker And The Rumour

7. U.F.O.’s Are Real – M.C. 900 Ft. Jesus/DJ Zero
8. Texas Man Abducted by Aliens for Outer Space Joy Ride – Jad Fair & Yo La Tengo
9. U.F.O. Has Landed In The Ghetto – Ry Cooder
10. Spaceship Relationship – Dr. John
11. Barker Of The UFO – The Bee Gees
12. Flying Saucer Dudes – Bela Fleck & The Flecktones
13. Arriving UFO – Yes
14. Ufo – Lonely Kings
15. Spaceship Landing – Kyuss
16. Spaceship – Sean Lennon
17. I Saw Elvis In A U.F.O. – Ray Stevens
18. Wild Signals – John Williams
19. Flyin’ Saucers Rock ‘N’ Roll – Flamin’ Groovies

Robert Burke spends much of his time lovingly crafting thematic music playlists at the Rhapsody Radish.

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  • http://stolenpony.blogspot.com jones v

    I don’t know if this quite counts as a “UFO song” but Patti Smith has a song called “Distant Fingers” about her Martian boyfriend. Definitely some UFO action going on there.

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Then there’s the Spielbergian tune, whose name I never knew. You can all sing along with me:
    boo BOO boo… boo BWAAAA

  • http://www.orionworks.com orionworks

    TITLE: Mr. Spaceman
    Artist: The Byrds

    A classic! How could that be not be included on the list!

    Lyrics:

    Woke up this morning with light in my eyes
    And then realized it was still dark outside
    It was a light coming down from the sky
    I don’t know who or why

    Must be those strangers that come every night
    Those saucer shaped lights put people uptight
    Leave blue-green footprints that glow in the dark
    I hope they get home all right

    {Refrain}
    Hey, Mr. Spaceman
    Won’t you please take me along
    I won’t do anything wrong
    Hey, Mr. Spaceman
    Won’t you please take me along for a ride

    Woke up this morning, I was feeling quite weird
    Had flies in my beard, my toothpaste was smeared
    Over my window, they’d written my name
    Said, so long, we’ll see you again

  • Jeff

    Here is one UFO song you missed:
    “A Spaceman Came Travelling” by Chris DeBurgh which can be found on his 1976 album “Spanish Train and Other Stories” as well as several Greatest Hits collections.

  • Jeff

    Here’s another one which mentions “other beings” from Space picking up our signals — from Chris DeBurgh:
    “Transmission Ends” from his 1984 “Man on the Line” album.

  • JR

    “Martian Boogie” – Brownsville Station
    “E.T.I.” – Blue Oyster Cult
    “Come Sail Away” – Styx

  • http://www.scopecreep.com/Rhapsody/ Robert

    Thanks for the great additions! Please don’t get pissed with me because I missed a song. I do my best with what I know. There are hundreds, if not thousands of UFO related songs missing and no one can know them all. That’s why I invite you to post the missing ones.

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    There’s alot of songs about UFO’s and aliens on “Bossa Nova” and “Trompe Le Monde” both of which are albums by the Pixies.

  • http://trinimansblog.blogspot.com/ Triniman

    Sufjan Stevens – Concerning the UFO Sighting near Highland, Illinois.

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/tiffleigh/ Tiffany Leigh

    I could only find one direct to UFO track; the others are extrapolated a bit, rationalized for inclusion, or at least in the same galaxy as your entries:

    1) “Unfunky UFO” from the album “Mothership Connection” by Parliament (George Clinton’s funkadelic group that all think they’re from another planet, natch);

    2) “The Happening” from the album “Bossanova” by The Pixies; where the extraterrestials plan to put their ship “right down on the Vegas strip;”

    3) “Motorway to Roswell,” and “Planet of Sound,” both from “Trompe Le Monde” by The Pixies; this band pretty much invented the outer space/punk/surf/pop sound in all their music;

    4) “Major Tom (Coming Home)” by Peter Schilling – NOT to be confused with Bowie’s hit – an 80’s jetstreamed new-wave ditty that indirectly is about UFO’s – the title character blasts off, is lost in space, then says “I’m coming home,” so if you’re being precise, then he *is* in fact an extraterrestial, so his rocketship is, in fact, an identifiable flying object. Oh dear, I’ve gotten off the track;

    5) “Another Girl, Another Planet” by the Other Ones – a terrific song, maybe it’s only obliquely space-related, or even metaphorical; but “space” runs though the narrator’s blood, so I’m sure he’s driving something out there;

  • Vern Halen

    Pretty much anything by 60’s space case Roky Erikson fits the alien/UFO theme. Vampires as well.

  • http://www.musicradish.com Robert

    Thanks for filling in the blanks all!
    I did already include “Unfunky UFO”. But keep em’ coming! Is there anything by ELO, their stage show was certainly UFO obsessed in the 70s.

  • http://www.livejournal.com/users/tiffleigh/ Tiffany Leigh

    Ooops- just saw the P-funk reference. Sorry!

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Does Kanye West‘s “Spaceship” count?

  • http://www.kalyr.com/weblog Tim Hall

    I don’t believe UFO ever did any songs *about* UFOs, but I might be wrong.

    Frank Zappa’s “Inca Roads”
    BOC’s “Take me away”
    Megadeth’s “Hangar 18″

    And you have to include GZR’s “Area 51″
    “The Aliens are Coming!”
    “The Earth is Succumbing!”
    “Flying saucers have landed on earth!”
    “The Aliens are Coming”

  • Vern Halen

    Hank Flamingo, a country act from the early 90’s did “Redneck Martians Stole My Baby.”

  • http://freewayjam.blogspot.com uao

    Jefferson Airplane: Have You Seen The Saucers?

    Blue Oyster Cult: E.T.I. (Extraterrestrial Intelligence)

    John Lennon: Nobody Told Me (has a line about UFO’s)

    Paul Kantner: Blows Against The Empire (almost any song)

  • John

    Frank Black – Parry The Wind, High Low
    Nina Hagen – UFO
    Nina Hagen – Gods of Aquarius
    Nina Hagen – Flying Saucers
    KMFDM w/ Nina Hagen – Witness
    The Ramones – Zero Zero UFO

  • Hans-Ulrich Neumann

    There is a band from El Salvador “OVNI” (Spanish for UFO) with 4 CDs (1 Live). Their lyrics are all about UFOs and Aliens. It’s prog rock like the old Genesis!

  • Robin Bird

    I like making theme cd’s for family and friends and found your site looking for alien / UFO music. Here’s a couple more:

    Loving the Alien – David Bowie
    I’ve Seen the Saucers – Elton John
    Lawyers in Love – Jackson Browne has the lines:
    “God sends his spaceships to America, the beautiful
    They land at six o’clock and there we are, the dutiful
    Eating from TV trays, tuned in to Happy Days”

  • Me

    “Come Sail Away” by Styx

    “Children of the Sun” by Billy Thorpe

  • http://kingkrool.thenoodleman.com/ Kevin Cortez

    !

    You failed to mention my friend’s UFO songs. UFO Phil is the greatest UFO song writer period!

    Heh, still, love the list.

  • http://kingkrool.thenoodleman.com/ Kevin Cortez

    Erm, also, Cannibus – Channel Zero is a pretty good UFO song. It’s a conspiracy song about grey aliens and flying crafts. He’s a pretty weird Hip-Hop artist 0.o.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Robert You have faulty research-Calling Occupants of interplanetary Craft if by Klaatu-The Carpenters covered it much later… and not very well I might add.
    Also we have this…

    From the 70s Rock Group Klaatu (famous for “Calling Occuppants of Interplanetary Craft before the Carpenters ruined it) we have this little ditty…

    Late last night
    While wishing on a star
    Down from the sky
    Came a man in a car
    He said “Get in Jackson
    Come on, let’s go for a ride”
    Outta sight

    Sitting in a cockpit
    Strapped down in a chair
    I said “Hey, tell me
    What’s that over there?”
    He said “Meet my computer
    He’s a friendly son-of-a-gun”
    And we’re having fun

    Playing cards on Venus
    In a cloudy room
    Pass a glass of ammonia
    I’ve got to get off soon
    Sunbathing on Mercury
    Or jamming on Jupiter
    Which do you prefer?

    It’s getting pretty late
    I got to go home
    Nice to have met you
    What’s your telephone?
    Maybe soon I’ll call you
    If I can afford the fare
    It’s long distance out there

    Anus of Uranus
    He’s a friend of mine
    He’s a first rate party
    And a real fine time

  • godoggo

    Birdland by Patti Smith

    Maybe Starship by Sun Ra/MC5

  • http://www.scopecreep.com Robert

    The Carpenters version is WAY better than the original. Besides, it was a hit for the Carpenters not for Klaatu.
    And no one knows who Klaatu is anyway except for oddball basement-dwellers.

  • Chuckster

    CCR It came out of the sky

  • Richard

    Does anybody know about a rock song in which the guy picks up an alien hitchiking and they boogie?

  • http://www.clevelandufo.com Aaron Clark

    Radiohead: Subterranean Homesick Alien
    Muse: Exo-Politics
    Sheryl Crow: Maybe Angels
    Dan Bern: Talkin’ Alien Abduction Blues (a very funny song!)

  • http://www.ufoboard.net Daniel

    Great Website!

    John Fogerty – Sail Away (Eye of the Zombie album)

    Daniel

  • http://www.conspiracyjournal.com Mr UFO

    At Woodstock jefferson airplane sang HAVE YOU SEEN THE SAUCERS?

  • Michael Connor

    “I’m Praying to the Aliens” by Gary Numan

  • Thomas

    does anyone remember the name of an album released in the late 70s or early 80s with the songs calling occupance and a space man came traveling and about 8 other tracks on it.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Klaatu-Title of CD is 3:47EST

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    #1 by the Carpenters is a cover of the Klaatu song.

    The best tune on the Klaatu CD is Little Neutrino

    It’s only you, It can’t be me
    For I myself refuse to be
    I am someone you’ll never know,
    I am the little neutrino

  • Thomas

    the album with calling occupance by the carpenters, and a space man came travelling by chris de burgh, also had i lost my heart to a starship trooper by hot gossip, it was a compilation album with various artists. it was around the late 70s early 80s as i recieved this for a birthday present in my younger days and would love to get it again, help please.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Klaatu’s 3:47EST was released in the early 70s and the visiting alien was Anus of Uranus…

    Late last night while wishing on a star
    Down from the sky came a man in a car
    He said “Get in, Jackson
    Come on let’s go for a ride”
    Outta sight

    Sitting in the cockpit strapped down in a chair
    I said, “Hey, tell me
    What’s that over there?”
    He said, “Meet my computer.”
    He’s a friendly son of a gun and we’re having fun

    Playing cards on Venus in a cloudy room
    Pass a glass of ammonia, I got to get off soon
    Sunbathin’ on Mercury or jammin’ on Jupiter
    Which do you prefer?

    It’s getting pretty late, I got to go home
    Nice to have met you, what’s your telephone?
    Maybe soon I’ll call you
    If I can afford the fare
    It’s long distance out there

    Anus of Uranus, he’s a friend of mine
    He’s a first-rate party and a real fine time
    Anus of Uranus, he’s a friend of mine
    He’s a first-rate party and a real fine time

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    “Anus of Uranus” is a really cool song
    click here

  • http://www.clevelandufo.com Aaron Clark

    Sneaky Sound System – UFO

    Lyrics:

    I just don’t wanna be lonely
    Cause the lights, were shining ever so bright
    In my hand there’s a pulse of my beating heart
    Biting my tongue there’s a plastic man on the telephone

    Can you see the bright light? Shining, I dont know
    can you see the bright light? Shining, shining, shining

    I saw a UFO and nobody believes me
    I was sixteen miles from home with nobody in sight
    I saw a UFO but nobody believes me
    And Whats it gonna take to get me back home tonight

    Can you see the bright light? Shining, I dont know
    Is it a reflection of anyone? The big glow
    And tell me this is all good, and you say, I dont know
    Im very very far from home

    I saw a UFO and nobody believes me
    I was sixteen miles from home with nobody in sight
    I saw a UFO but nobody believes me
    And Whats it gonna take to get me back home tonight

    (hello? hello? hello? hello?)

    I saw a UFO and nobody believes me
    I was sixteen miles from home with nobody in sight
    I saw a UFO and nobody believes me
    And whats it gonna take to get me back home tonight

    And whats it gonna take to
    And whats it gonna take to
    And whats it gonna, whats it gonna
    And whats it gonna take to
    And whats it gonna take to
    And whats it gonna take to, get me back home tonight
    (tonight, tonight, tonight, tonight)

  • mal catman clint

    you might like my song .have they landed . on my space.com

  • mikel

    the Lillingtons are a great band who have songs such as ‘Mars vs Hollywood’, ‘Invasion of the Saucermen’, ‘I got abducted by a UFO’, ‘War of the Worlds’, ‘Alien Girl’ . The Ramones have ‘Zero Zero UFO’, The Rezillos have ‘Flying saucer attack’.

    My band The Lie Detectors have a song called ‘UFO’, one called ‘They came from outer space’ and one called ‘(Take me on your) flying saucer': http://www.myspace.com/theliedetectors

  • Alicia

    The best UFO song I heard is “Weather Balloons or Satellites” by Thirsty Howell.
    …I saw a light, it wasn’t of this world..

    Also Bob Welch – “Hypnotized” is good

  • Les

    Two great ones. Jimmy Durante,an old school comedian had a “semi-hit” in the 50s called “We’re going UFO’ing”.

    Don Henley did a great tune called, “They’re Not Here, They’re Not Coming”.

  • UFO JIM

    Dancing With Aliens…CD

  • _pierre

    Let us not forget:
    “Earth Girls Are Easy” – Julie Brown
    “Is That You Mo-Dean?” – B52’s

    Ok. Technically, they are perhaps – songs about ET’s…

  • Joshua D

    Thank you for the post. This helped me very much with my Junior English paper.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001273512798&v=app_2405167945&ref=profile Philip

    A song titled “Maple Street” inspired by a Twilight Zone episode “The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street”.
    Check out Onelayne Songs on Facebook

    Bright lights in your eyes
    When you look up to the sky
    The mystery of who are we
    Comes as no surprise

    You know you can’t deny it
    You know you can’t defy it
    Are we all just prisoners
    Of the ships on the world’s edge

    The human race
    So out of place
    Fight and bloody each other’s face
    They’re so amused
    To see us confused
    And short on saving grace

    Now the ships are coming
    There be no use running
    Pray we’re not an experiment
    Just living numbered days

    Driving home all alone
    Night has got you chilled to the bone
    The certainty of our destiny
    Hits you like a stone
    You see the red lights flashing
    But all these facts are clashing
    That thing up there
    With the glassy stare
    Is not the town police

    The years have passed
    We all laughed
    At the ones who’d seen the craft
    The mystery now plain to see
    Caught our hearts understaffed
    And now we stand in line
    As they search our minds
    Hope they’ve come to live in peace
    And not to rule mankind

  • Robert

    It;s a late 70’s early 80’s I don’t know the groups name but part of the lyrics We’ are under the eyes”.

  • Renee

    It’s been a while since you posted this article, but we’ve had a couple of UFO songs since then. “Spaceman” by the Killers, and “Lights” by Ellie Goulding.

  • MIchaEL Boyd

    The producer of the cult cable access tv entitled : “Junior Christian Science Bible Lesson Show ” as well as a member of the cast of “Tim&Eric’s Awesome Show Great Job!”-David Liebe Hart-wrote a song tha he performed on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” entitled: “Did Ezekial See A UFO?. I am happy to be the publisher of that song and I will have it available on an album of the same name on CD Baby as well as Amazon Music. It’s great!

  • Joe Parkhurst

    “Majestic” by Parkhurst on iHeartRadio and Spotify – available on AmazonMP3 song is about an abduction who at first wanted to go back home, then wished to stay