The AMBQ playlist—50+ “question” songs

When I was writing A More Beautiful Question, or, more accurately when I was procrastinating from writing the book, I began compiling the below list of songs that have to do with questions (often in the title) AND that I like (for the most part).

Then four years later, I once again turned to this playlist while researching and writing my follow-up book, The Book of Beautiful Questions. That book features powerful questions you can ask of yourself or others to get better results in these 4 key areas: decision-making, leadership, creativity, and interpersonal connections. The fun thing is, judging by my Google analytics, more than 500,000 folks around the world have also enjoyed this playlist over the years—in fact, it’s long been one of the top three visited pages on this website.

Thanks to all who’ve added on to the list by leaving more great question song titles in the comments.

Enjoy! (Related: My Reading List)

My annotated list

  • “What’s so funny ’bout Peace, Love & Understanding?” (Elvis Costello – personal favorite)
  • “Does anybody really know what time it is?”  (Chicago)
  • “Where have all the flowers gone?” (in honor of the man, Pete Seeger)
  • Moody Blues – these guys were big-time questioners – “Are you sitting comfortably?” & “Isn’t life strange?” (and the all-time great question song, “Question”—though technically, it doesn’t have a question title).
  • Creedence Clearwater – believe it or not, they did 2 question songs BOTH about rain!  “Who’ll stop the rain?” & “Have you ever seen the rain?”
  • “Should I stay or should I go?” (Clash)
  • “What’s the frequency Kenneth?” (REM)
  • “What’s your name?” – (Skynyrd)
  •  “Are you experienced?” (Jimi Hendrix)
  • “Who will save your soul?”  (Jewell)
  • “How can you mend a broken heart?” & “How deep is your love?” (Bee Gees)
  • “Have you seen your mother baby?” & “Doncha wanna live with me?” (Stones)
  • “Tell me why?”  (Neil Young)
  • “When will I be loved?”  (Linda Ronstadt)
  • “What is life?” & “Isn’t it a pity?” (George Harrison)
  • “Where is the love?” (two different songs – Roberta Flack; Black Eyed Peas)
  • “Where did our love go?” & “Do you know where you’re going to?” (Diana Ross)
  • “Who let the dogs out?” (by who knows who, and who cares)
  • “Have you ever loved a woman?”  (Clapton)
  • “Why does it hurt when I pee?” (Zappa)
  • “Why do fools fall in love?” (Frankie Lymon)
  •  “Do you love me?” (two different songs – Dave Clark Five; Guster)
  • “Will you still love me tomorrow?” (Shirelles)
  • “Do you feel like we do?” (Frampton)
  • “Do you know what I mean?” (Lee Michaels)
  • “What’s goin on?” (Marvin Gaye)
  • “Can I get a witness?” (Marvin Gaye)
  • “Ain’t that peculiar?” (Marvin Gaye. Yes, he sang a lot of question songs!)
  • “How long has this been going on?” (Ace)
  • “War – (what is it good for?)”
  • “Is she really going out with him?”  (Joe Jackson)
  • “Where to now, St. Peter?” (Elton John)
  • “Where’s the orchestra?” (Billy Joel)
  • “Do you want to know a secret?” & “Why don’t we do it in the road?” (Beatles) those versions not available on the Spotify playlist
  • “Why don’t you love me like you used to do?” (Hank Williams)
  • “Doesn’t anybody stay together anymore?” (Phil Collins)
  •  “Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore?” (from “So Far Away” by Carole King)
  • “Isn’t she lovely?” (Stevie Wonder)
  • “Wouldn’t it be nice?” (Beach Boys)
  • “How will I know?” (Whitney Houston)
  • “How can I be sure?” (Young Rascals)
  • “Who wrote the book of love?” (The Monotones)
  • Special question-songwriting honors to Hal David – “What’s It All About Alfie?” & “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” & “What’s New Pussycat?”

Latest additions to the list (from readers & me):

  • “When can I see you again?” (Owl City)
  • “When will I see you again?” (The Three Degrees)
  • “Is this it?” (The Strokes)
  • “Why?” (Annie Lennox)
  • “How soon is now?” (The Smiths)
  • “Are you gonna go my way?” (Lenny Kravitz)
  • “Is that all there is?” (Peggy Lee)
  • “What becomes of the broken hearted?” (Jimmy Ruffin)
  • “Wouldn’t it be good?” (Nik Kershaw)
  • “Are you lonesome tonight?” (Elvis Prestley)
  • “Now that we’ve found love (what are we going to do with it?)” (Heavy D & The Boyzz)
  • “Who knows where the time goes?” (Fairport Convention)
  • “Do you believe in magic?” (The Lovin’ Spoonful)
  • “Who’s zoomin’ who?” (Aretha Franklin)
  • “Could you be loved?” (Bob Marley)
  • “Am I wrong?” (Nico & Vinz)
  • “Why does love got to be so sad?” (Derek & The Dominos)
  • “Is you is or is you ain’t my baby?” (Louis Jordan)
  • “Why can’t we be friends?” (War)
  • “Do you wanna dance?” (Bobby Freeman/Beach Boys)
  • “Do you really want to hurt me?” (Culture Club)
  • “Where do the children play?” (Cat Stevens)
  • “What’s love got to do with it?” (Tina Turner)
  • “Who wants to live forever?” (Queen)
  • “(Can anybody find me) someone to love?” (Queen)
  • “Did you ever have to make up your mind?” (The Lovin’ Spoonful)
  • “Why Part2” (Collective Soul)
  • “Why can’t this be love?” (Van Halen)

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About the Author

Innovation expert and questionologist Warren Berger has studied hundreds of the world’s foremost innovators, entrepreneurs, and creative thinkers to learn how they ask questions, generate original ideas, and solve problems. He is the author or co-author of 12 books, including his three books on questioning: A MORE BEAUTIFUL QUESTION: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas; its follow-up THE BOOK OF BEAUTIFUL QUESTIONS: The Powerful Questions That Will Help You Decide, Create, Connect, and Lead; and BEAUTIFUL QUESTIONS IN THE CLASSROOM: Transforming Classrooms Into Cultures of Curiosity and Inquiry. Warren’s writing has appeared in Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, and The New York Times, and he writes the “Questionologist” blog for Psychology Today. He lives in Mount Kisco, New York. Follow him on Twitter at @GlimmerGuy and subscribe to his blog posts

45 Beautiful Comments

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  1. Jarod Ricci says:

    Why Part2 – Collective Soul
    Why Can’t This Be Love – Van Halen

  2. I play a lot of these songs at shows and weddings and such. And actually there’s a bunch of great tunes here that I’d totally forgotten about. thanks!

  3. Dr. Dawn says:

    Great idea of making up such a playlist! I can contribute with the song ‘Is This It?’ by the Strokes.

  4. Ken Doran says:

    The title is not a question, but the (pre-Rod Stewart) Small Faces hit “Itchykoo Park” contains the following unusual sequence of three questions and answers:

    [(What did you do there?)] I got high
    [(What did you feel there?)] Well, I cried
    [(But why the tears there?)] Tell you why
    It’s all too beautiful

    The sequence recurs in a slightly different form.

  5. Vinay says:

    Thanks Warren,

    You have perfectly assembled the “question” songs and playlist. “Who will save your soul?” (Jewell) is great addition in list.

  6. Ken Doran says:

    Did you ever have to make up your mind?
    And pick up on one and leave the other behind?
    It’s not often easy and not often kind.
    Did you ever have to make up your mind?
    Did you ever have to finally decide?
    And say yes to one and let the other one ride?
    There’s so many changes and tears you must hide.
    Did you ever have to finally decide?

    Soooo many questions.

    • Warren Berger
      Twitter: GlimmerGuy

      Great little song by the Lovin’ Spoonful, Ken. Now I have two questions songs by them, suggested by readers, which puts Lovin’ Spoonful up there with Creedence Clearwater Revival (who have two question songs, both about rain). Thanks!


    What about “Who wants to live forever?” by Queen?

  8. Syed Iqbal says:

    When will I see you again

  9. Candice says:

    Awesome list, thanks!

    You have “Have you ever loved a woman?” by (Clapton), but wasn’t it Bryan Adams?

  10. Kell says:

    Does Your Mother Know? ABBA

  11. Bo says:

    Who left the cake out in the rain?

    Was EVERYBODY kung fu fighting?

  12. Nancy Eaves says:

    If we’re talking ” quirky” questions one simply MUST include, ” who put the bomp ?” By Barry Mann and ” Does you chewing gum lose its flavor ? By Lonnie Donegan !

    Enjoyed your list!


  13. Glenny says:

    I have a song to add to the list: “Where’s the love?” –Blackeyed Peas

  14. Heidi Winant says:

    Where Do the Children Play?
    -Cat Stevens

  15. Yvonne says:

    Amazing list! I am using it to teach question words for ESL speakers. I would love to see a list like this of the grammar of Beatles songs for my students. Thanks for creating this!

    • Barbara says:

      Yvonne, do you mean something like the following?


      All Together Now
      Ask Me Why
      Carry That Weight
      Come Together
      Don’t Bother Me
      Don’t Let Me Down
      Don’t Pass Me By
      Get Back
      Hold Me Tight
      Honey Don’t
      Let It Be
      Love Me Do
      Slow Down
      Tell Me What You See
      Tell Me Why
      Think for Yourself

      (There are a few other imperative titles, but they are used in another sense in the body of the songs themselves.)

      Complete Sentences:

      All You Need Is Love
      Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey
      Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby
      Happiness Is a Warm Gun
      Here Comes the Sun
      I Am the Walrus (and virtually every song that begins with “I,” “I’m,” and “I’ve”)
      It Won’t Be Long
      It’s All Too Much
      It’s Only Love
      She Came in Through the Bathroom Window
      She Loves You
      She’s a Woman
      She’s Leaving Home
      There’s a Place
      Tomorrow Never Knows
      We Can Work It Out
      You Can’t Do That [and virtually every song that begins with “You,” “You’re,” and “You’ve”)

      Songs that are missing a subject:

      Can’t Buy Me Love
      Dig a Pony
      Fixing a Hole
      Getting Better
      Only a Northern Song

      Songs that need punctuation:

      Roll Over Beethoven
      Baby It’s You
      Cry Baby Cry
      Here There and Everywhere
      Hey Bulldog
      Hey Jude
      Honey Don’t
      I Me Mine
      Please Mr. Postman
      Rock and Roll Music
      Thank You Girl
      Yes It Is

      🙂 What fun!

  16. Sam Diener says:

    Fascinating list. I love that you mentioned the Black Eyed Peas song, “Where is the Love?” both because it’s a superb song and because the video (at (now at over 180 million views!)) features people plastering question mark logos around a city.

    The first song not yet on your list that came to my mind is Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” with the repeatedly heartbreaking line, “You got a fast car. Is it fast enough so you can fly away?”

    The second song that came to my mind is Ferron’s too-little-known song imagining global nonviolent revolution, “It Won’t Take Long” which centers around a series of questions, concluding with, “Don’t you want to see yourself that strong?” There’s an audio version at

    Ferron’s song reminded me of another revolution song, from the 4 Non-Blondes, “What’s Up” which features the question, “What’s going on?” as a refrain. The video is at

    Ani DiFranco’s song linking domestic violence to wars and other kinds of oppression, “Out of Range,” asks a similar, though harshly phrased, question,
    “If you’re not angry
    you’re just stupid
    or you don’t care
    how else can you react
    when you know
    something’s so unfair”
    (audio at

    One more from Ani DiFranco, because she rewrote the 1930s union anthem, “Which Side Are You On?” (see

    Another song that critiques the lack of questioning is Judy Small’s feminist anti-war anthem, “Mothers, Daughters, Wives,” with the chorus:
    “The first time it was fathers,
    The last time it was sons
    In between your husbands
    Marched away with drums and guns.
    But you never thought to question.
    You just went on wi’ your lives.
    Cause all they taught you who to be,
    Was mothers, daughters, wives.”
    (slideshow to audio at

    Roger Waters of Pink Floyd lost his father in WWII, and wrote an album in tribute to him, “The Final Cut.” In the title song, he asks:
    “if i show you my dark side
    will you still hold me tonight
    and if i open my heart to you
    and show you my weak side
    what would you do”

    On the subject of fathers, I think of Billy Bragg mostly as a protest singer, but his mournful song written in memory of his father, “Tank Park Salute,” asks plaintive questions about mortality:
    “Daddy is it true that we all have to die?” and “You were so tall. How could you fall?”

    One thing I’ve noticed about many of these songs. They ask BIG questions. Along these lines, see Supertramp’s “Logical Song,” with the conclusion:
    “The questions run so deep
    For such a simple man.
    Won’t you please, please tell me what we’ve learned
    I know it sounds absurd
    But please tell me who I am.”

    Two more ideas (not my own, but from the person I live with and love):
    “Mother,” by Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” which includes many questions, including, “Mother should I trust the government?” (though it has some lyrics that might not be appropriate for school classrooms)
    and Bob Dylan’s “Blowing in the Wind,” which is almost entirely questions, including:
    “how many years can some people exist
    Before they’re allowed to be free?
    Yes, and how many times can a man (sic) turn his head
    And pretend that he just doesn’t see?”

    And those lyrics reminded me of one more song, K’Naan’s “Waving Flag” which has been recorded in many different versions, including the incredibly catchy but depoliticized version for the men’s soccer World Cup in South Africa, but was written originally about his experiences growing up during civil wars in Somalia. It contains the statement:
    “We’re wondering, if we’ll be free…”
    (video of the Young Artists For Haiti version at:

    Okay, I’ll stop here before another song comes to mind. Thanks for asking!

    • Warren Berger
      Twitter: GlimmerGuy

      Great additions to the list, Sam. I had tried to limit it my list to songs with questions in the titles, but it’s hard to ignore how many great songs touch on the power of big questions in their lyrics. Thanks for all the quotes.

    • John Paul Killinger says:

      “16 questions, each one an endless hole.” This was an early rock era song as I recall, pre-Beatles, likely from the time of original Dylan. Don’t know who wrote or performed it, but it did receive considerable airtime.

  17. Mike Zlotnick says:

    How about :. “Where are you, little star?” by The Elegants (1958)

  18. D Sandon says:

    Who Are You? – The Who

  19. Warren Berger
    Twitter: GlimmerGuy

    Someone just mentioned the great song “Why?” by Annie Lennox – that definitely should make the list

  20. Bill Zima says:

    Love this idea. Any time I can mix music with my job, I love it. What about “Imagine” by John Lennon. While the title is not a question, the song is all about “what if’s”

    • Warren Berger
      Twitter: GlimmerGuy

      Great add on with “Imagine”—so full of beautiful questions and ideas. It reminds me of that other Beatles’ tune “A Little Help from My Friends,” which is also filled with questions.

  21. Jimmy says:

    Two quick additions, one which will fit in well with the list, and another that might clash: “Do You Believe in Magic?” – The Lovin’ Spoonful (I had to check several times to make sure this was not already on the list; it feels like it should!), and “The Questions” – Common (an excellent song composed entirely of questions thinking outside the box).


  22. lorraine doo says:

    hello warren. still taking additions for your music roster? this one includes the word “school!” How about Bob Marley’s song (1979) “Could You Be Loved?” – impossible not to like once you hear the beat and non stop guitar beat, and the famous opener… “Don’t let them fool ya! Or even try to school ya!”

    lots of meaning here too… internal and external questions about fit, that are applying to cities everywhere today.

  23. Daisy Azer says:

    In addition to “Who’s Zoomin’ Who” above, ” Am I wrong”? by Nico & Vinz.

    Why? Because I like the idea of always be willing to not only question the status quo but to question yourself. I think it requires confidence balanced by humility. I do think that questioning leads us to what we cannot see (as in the song). I also like the commentary on “feeling” because I do think that while we can bamboozle ourselves, there is also often wisdom in those faint signals that we receive intuitively but, unfortunately, often ignore.

    A few lyrics from “Am I wrong” by Nico & Vinz
    Am I wrong for thinking out the box from where I stay?
    Am I wrong for saying that I choose another way?

    I ain’t tryin’ do what everybody else doing
    Just cause everybody doing what they all do
    If one thing I know, I’ll fall but I’ll grow
    I’m walking down this road of mine, this road that I call home

    So am I wrong
    For thinking that we could be something for real?
    Now am I wrong
    For trying to reach the things that I can’t see?

    But that’s just how I feel,
    That’s just how I feel
    That’s just how I feel
    Trying to reach the things that I can’t see

    Happy Questioning & balancing of tensions …

  24. Barbara says:

    Let’s not forget “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?” (popularized by Patti Page) and “Who do you think you are?” (a question that appears in a lot of songs, but I was thinking of the unforgettable refrain in “Mr. Big Stuff” by Jean Knight)

  25. Warren Berger
    Twitter: GlimmerGuy

    In honor of Joe Cocker, who passed away on Dec. 22, 2014, reader Gil Kelly suggested that these 2 famous melodic questions —“What would you think if I sang out of tune?” and “Would you believe in a love at first sight?,” unforgettable in Joe’s unique voice—deserve a mention. Agreed.

  26. Daisy says:

    “Who’s Zoomin Who?” by Aretha Franklin. 1. You gotta love an Aretha Franklin song. Well, you don’t but I do. 2. I think it is a good question. 3. It is a fun song. Think about it the next time you feel you are being bamboozled or you may be trying to bamboozle someone! Enjoy!