Yesterday is gone, but the beautiful melodies and lyrics inspired by yesterday’s life experiences live on no matter how far in time or distance we may drift. Because music has the power to transport us back in time and evoke powerful memories.
Whether you’re looking to reminisce on days gone by, celebrate a long-cherished memory, or just take a moment to reflect, here are 25 of the best songs about yesterday to add to your personal music playlist.
1. Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday by Stevie Wonder
Starting the list off, we’ve got “Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday” by the legendary Stevie Wonder himself. It’s an incredibly timeless tune, about the passage of time and the sense of loss and nostalgia that can come with it.
With Stevie’s incredible singing spearheading things, “Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday” is a fantastic song to punctuate this list of nostalgic singles, and we’re sure you’ll find yourself singing it over and over again.
2. Yesterday’s Gone by Chad & Jeremy
Bringing things to a more upbeat tune, Chad and Jeremy’s classic “Yesterday’s Gone” isn’t a tale of longing, but instead one that’s focused on moving past yesterday.
While the duo spend a good bit reminiscing on the pleasant past days they’ve had, they also understand that it’s in the past now, and they’re continuing forward.
3. Something Happened to Me Yesterday by The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are an institution of music, and any song by them is bound to be a memorable one.
“Something Happened to Me Yesterday” is an ambiguous song, but in reality, it’s actually about Mick Jagger and Keith Richards recounting a hallucinogen trip they had the day prior.
Musically, it’s a total music hall homage, and it lands perfectly, giving the song a nostalgic feel overall.
4. It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday by Boyz II Men
Things take a far more melancholic tone with “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” by the soulful R&B group Boyz II Men.
A cover of G.C. Cameron’s 1975 hit, the song is a sad, tearful cry of longing and sadness as the singer bemoans the loss of someone close to them, only taking forward with them the memories left. Definitely, one that will pull at your heartstrings.
5. That Girl Belongs to Yesterday by Gene Pitney
Gene Pitney sings about longing for a past lover in “That Girl Belongs to Yesterday,” where he bemoans his own feelings.
Despite how well he treated his own lover, she’d leave him anyway, leading him to regret all the time that he wasted on her and his feelings for her.
But, he keeps an open mind, looking forward to a day when he can move past it, a sentiment we’re sure many can relate to.
6. Yesterday by The Beatles
“Yesterday” by The Beatles is a legendary tune, one that embodies the sense of nostalgia and longing for days gone by incredibly well.
It tackles themes of regret, loss, and looking back to better times, resulting in one of the saddest songs in The Beatles’ entire catalog. There’s a reason this song has withstood the test of time, and it’s incredibly deserving of its spot on this list.
7. Yesterday by Toni Braxton ft. Trey Songz
Continuing our stretch of sadder songs, “Yesterday” by the phenomenal Toni Braxton is a song about a cheating lover.
As Toni wails about lost, wasted time spent on her lover, she proclaims that he’s in the past now, and he no longer loves her.
Trey Songz serves as her duet partner, asking for her to reconsider taking him back, but she stays steadfast, claiming he is “so yesterday,” triumphantly.
8. So Yesterday by Hilary Duff
“So Yesterday” by Hilary Duff carries similar themes to the previous song on this list, serving as a different approach to the same idea.
Hilary Duff confronts her thoughts on her cheating lover, choosing to instead leave him in the past and simply laugh it off, claiming it’ll feel “so yesterday,” and that she will be okay.
It’s well-written and shows how different approaches can work for the same idea.
9. Yesterday Once More by Carpenters
Calm, nostalgic, and sad, “Yesterday Once More” by the Carpenters is a song all about looking back on the past, and wondering where the times have gone.
Despite how much time has passed, lead singer Karen still finds solace in the music she used to listen to, feeling the same feelings she used to feel listening to them, almost reliving her past through them.
A beautiful song, and a great addition to the list.
10. Only Yesterday by Carpenters
Speaking of the Carpenters, they’re featuring back-to-back with “Only Yesterday,” a similarly calming, but more hopeful and happy ballad.
“Only Yesterday” tells the story of someone who brightens up the lead singer’s day, bringing her joy despite the feelings of sadness she felt the day prior.
Unlike the last song, this one looks to the future, hoping for a better tomorrow with a loved one to make things brighter.
11. Yesterday’s Song by Hunter Hayes
A more recent song, Hunter Hayes’ “Yesterday’s Song” is a catchy tune about moving on from a past lover, calling them nothing but yesterday’s song.
While Hunter still does acknowledge that the moments they shared were still sweet and important to him as a person, he’s also moved on from it all and is now ready to keep moving forward into the future.
12. Yesterday’s Dreams by Four Tops
Stepping back from the upbeat songwriting, “Yesterday’s Dreams” by the Four Tops is a sorrowful song in remembrance of a lover, leaving the lead singer.
While he desperately wants to find some way to make her stay because he loves her, he can’t muster anything other than “don’t go.” She becomes yesterday’s dream to him, now only bringing him pain and sadness as she leaves.
13. Holdin’ on to Yesterday by Ambrosia
“Holdin’ on to Yesterday” by Ambrosia takes a markedly different approach to nostalgic songwriting.
The narrator of the song has been left by their lover, and after a period of reflection, he finds that he was wrong to let her go.
Now, he holds on dearly to those memories to keep him going, while acknowledging that it’s not healthy or good for him to do so.
14. Yesterday When I Was Young by Matt Monro
A true tearjerker, “Yesterday When I Was Young” is a song about life, as the flow of time pushes it forward.
Things would seem much brighter in the past to Matt Monro, and only in retrospect can he truly see how he wasted so much time in his younger years.
It’s a common sentiment for many, and it’s a sad one, but it makes for extremely compelling songwriting.
15. Yesterday’s Hero by John Paul Young
“Closing out our list is John Paul Young’s hit song “Yesterday’s Hero,” which reflects on the bittersweet feeling of once being in the spotlight and now being known only for past accomplishments.
Once more, it’s a common sentiment for many, but it’s still a fantastic song, and an incredible one to close this list off with.
70s Songs about Yesterday
The 70s was a time of musical revolution and the songs of that era still have us nostalgic for days gone by. From folk-rock to disco, 70’s songs about yesterday have become an integral part of music history. But what is it about these tunes from four decades ago that continues to captivate us?
These timeless classics often tell stories of lost love and broken dreams, but there’s more than meets the eye. The lyrics often evoke a sense of longing in their listeners, while simultaneously providing comfort and solace through their familiar melodies.
There’s something special about the way these 70s songs capture the spirit and emotions of our past; they don’t just bring back memories, but also help us come to terms with them too.
- More Today Than Yesterday – Spiral Starecase
- Yesterday’s Wine – Willie Nelson
- Yesterday Man – Chris Andrews
- Seems Like Only Yesterday – Jesse Winchester
- Yester Love – The Miracles
80s Songs about Yesterday
In contrast to the 70s, the 80s was a time of synthesizers and drum machines. It’s no wonder then why so many of our favorite songs about yesterday take us back to this golden era.
The lyrics in these tunes often tell stories of unrequited love, missed opportunities, and lost innocence – sentiments that still resonate with listeners today.
But it’s the music from this decade that really captures our hearts and minds. Whether you’re looking to relive your childhood memories or just have a good time dancing the night away, 80s songs about yesterday make for the perfect soundtrack.
- Yesterday’s Songs – Neil Diamond
- That Was Yesterday – Foreigner
- I Wasn’t Born Yesterday – Daryl Hall
- The Girl From Yesterday – Eagles
- Bring Back the Love of Yesterday – The Dells
In conclusion, yesterday may be gone, but its treasured memories remain. And as we move forward, it’s important to hold onto the lessons and experiences of the past, while also looking toward the future with hope and determination.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed our selection of the 25 songs about yesterday to help you celebrate and reflect on life’s precious moments. Thanks for reading and happy Listening!