Music has the power to transport us to different places and evoke a range of emotions.
One of the most captivating instruments that have stood the test of time is the trumpet.
Its distinct sound has been featured in a wide range of musical genres, from jazz to pop, rock, and everything in between.
Over the years, some of the most iconic songs ever recorded have incorporated the trumpet into their melodies, creating an unforgettable listening experience.
In this article, we will explore 30 of the best songs with trumpets in them of all time, delving into the stories behind these timeless classics and celebrating the enduring appeal of this captivating instrument.
1. “Postcards From Italy” by Beirut
“Postcards from Italy” is a song by the indie folk band Beirut, which was released on their debut album Gulag Orkestar in 2006.
The trumpets are a big part of the song’s arrangement, which gives it a bright and uplifting sound.
The trumpet parts in “Postcards From Italy” are performed by Zach Condon, the lead singer, and songwriter of Beirut, who is also a skilled multi-instrumentalist.
The trumpet melodies in the song are layered over a backdrop of accordion, ukulele, and percussion, creating a rich and dynamic sound that is both nostalgic and joyful.
The song’s lyrics were influenced by Condon’s travels through Italy and by the feelings of wanderlust and longing he had there.
2. “Trumpets” by Jason Derulo
“Trumpets” was co-written by Jason Derulo, Jon Bellion, Lindy Robbins, Jason Evigan, and Marcus Lomax.
The song is an upbeat pop track with a catchy trumpet hook that runs throughout the chorus.
The lyrics describe the feeling of being in love and how everything around the singer seems to be amplified and brighter because of his feelings.
“Trumpets” was a commercial success, reaching the top ten in several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
3. “The National Anthem” by Radiohead
“The National Anthem” features a prominent bassline played by Colin Greenwood, which is accompanied by dissonant brass and electronic sounds.
The song’s brass section is made up of trombones, trumpets, and a tuba.
Together, they make a dissonant, chaotic sound that goes well with the political lyrics and experimental sound of the song.
The lyrics of the song criticize nationalism and the use of military force.
4. “Kevin Carter” by Manic Street Preachers
“Kevin Carter” is a guitar-driven track with a memorable trumpet hook that runs throughout the chorus.
The trumpet, played by a session musician named Mark Feltham, adds a melancholy and reflective quality to the song, underscoring the emotional weight of the lyric.
The song’s lyrics talk about the life and death of Kevin Carter, who took a famous picture of a starving child in Sudan being followed by a vulture.
The song explores the guilt and internal struggles that Carter may have experienced as a result of his career as a photojournalist.
5. “Knights of Cydonia” by Muse
“Knights of Cydonia” is a fusion of various musical genres, including rock, space rock, and progressive rock.
The song features a prominent trumpet melody that adds a powerful and epic quality to the already grandiose sound of the band.
The trumpet part in “Knights of Cydonia” is played by the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist, Matt Bellamy.
The trumpet melody is introduced early in the song and is used throughout to create a sense of urgency and intensity.
“Knights of Cydonia” is a science fiction-themed song that tells the story of a group of knights on a mission to save humanity from an alien invasion on the planet Mars.
6. “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder
“Sir Duke” is a tribute to Duke Ellington, a renowned jazz musician, and composer who was an influence on Wonder’s music.
The song features an upbeat tempo with a trumpet section that emulates Ellington’s big band sound.
The lyrics celebrate the joy of music and the impact that Ellington had on the genre.
“Sir Duke” was a commercial success, reaching the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earning Wonder a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
7. “The Distance” by Cake
“The Distance” was released in 1996 as the lead single from Cake’s third studio album, Fashion Nugget.
The song features a unique sound that blends elements of rock, funk, and country music.
The lyrics tell the story of a man who is determined to win a race, no matter the cost or the obstacles in his way.
“The Distance” was a commercial success, peaking at number five on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and number 28 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
It has since become one of Cake’s most popular and recognizable songs and has been featured in numerous films, TV shows, and video games.
8. “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)” by US3
“Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)” features a sample of Herbie Hancock’s jazz standard “Cantaloupe Island,” which is combined with rap vocals and a hip-hop beat.
The title “Cantaloop” is a play on words, combining “Cantaloupe” from the original sample with “loop” to create a new word.
The title “Flip Fantasia” refers to the fact that the song and jazz music are both based on improvisation.
9. “Cheerleader” by OMI
“Cheerleader” was first released in 2012 as a reggae-pop song.
After German DJ Felix Jaehn remixed it in 2014, it became known around the world.
The song features a catchy melody and upbeat lyrics that celebrate the role of a supportive partner in a relationship.
“Cheerleader” was a commercial success, topping the charts in more than 20 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
10. “You Can Call Me Al” by Paul Simon
The lyrics of “You Can Call Me Al” are known for their playful use of wordplay and imagery.
The song was released as the lead single from Paul Simon’s seventh studio album, Graceland.
It features a prominent trumpet solo by jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela, who was a key collaborator on the Graceland album.
The verses describe a middle-aged man who is feeling unfulfilled in his life and decides to take a trip to Africa to find some sense of purpose.
11. “Born of Frustration” by James
“Born of Frustration” has a driving rhythm section and high-pitched vocals, and the lyrics talk about being frustrated and disappointed with the world.
The song is driven by the lead trumpet line, which gives it an upbeat, energetic sound.
The horns are used to great effect, as they provide a counterpoint to the guitars and give the song an added level of energy.
12. “Check the Meaning” by Richard Ashcroft
“Check the Meaning” is driven by a funk-influenced bass line and a catchy horn section.
The song is characterized by its mellow, laid-back sound and Ashcroft’s distinctive vocals.
Ashcroft’s lyrics are self-reflective and make you think.
He talks about finding yourself and looking for meaning in life.
“Check the Meaning” is a song that encourages people to think about themselves and look for deeper meaning in their lives.
13. “Wake Up Boo!” by The Boo Radleys
“Wake Up Boo!” was written by guitarist and vocalist Martin Carr and produced by the band along with Stephen Street.
The song is known for its upbeat, catchy melody and jangly guitar riffs and features a prominent trumpet section in the instrumental break.
The lyrics are optimistic and upbeat, telling people to enjoy the beauty of the world and live in the moment.
It was by far their biggest hit both in the UK and the US, reaching number three on the UK Singles Chart and number two on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart.
14. “Going Out” by Supergrass
“Going Out” was written by the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist, Gaz Coombes, and produced by the band along with John Cornfield.
The song is known for its driving rhythm, distorted guitar riffs, and Coombes’s unique voice.
The lyrics describe the excitement and energy of a night out on the town, with the band celebrating the joys of live music, dancing, and socializing.
“Going Out” is a great example of how trumpets and other brass instruments can be used to add depth, texture, and excitement to rock and pop music.
15. “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba
The song’s title, “Tubthumping,” is a British slang term that refers to the act of promoting a cause or idea in a loud and persistent manner.
It can also be interpreted as getting attention through the noise and making a lot of commotion.
The lyrics of “Tubthumping” are about getting knocked down in life and then getting back up again.
“Tubthumping” was used in the soundtrack for the 1998 film “There’s Something About Mary” and has since been featured in numerous television shows, commercials, and movies.
16. “All You Need is Love” by The Beatles
“All You Need is Love” was written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon-McCartney.
The song was written for the Our World live television broadcast, which was the first global satellite broadcast in history and was seen by over 400 million people in 25 countries.
The Beatles were asked to perform a song that would be understood by everyone, and so they chose “All You Need is Love” as the perfect message.
The song features a simple, catchy melody and optimistic lyrics that promote love and unity, with the chorus repeating the message, “All you need is love, love, love is all you need.”
17. “The Sidewinder” by Lee Morgan
“The Sidewinder” is a jazz song written by trumpeter Lee Morgan. It was first recorded and released in 1963 on an album with the same name.
The song is a 24-bar blues with a distinctive Latin groove and a catchy melody that has made it one of the most famous jazz tunes of the 1960s.
Morgan plays the trumpet on the track, Joe Henderson plays the tenor saxophone, Barry Harris plays the piano, Bob Cranshaw plays the bass, and Billy Higgins plays the drums.
18. “Con Alma” By Dizzy Gillespie
The song title translates to “With Soul” in Spanish, and the piece is known for its fusion of bebop and Afro-Cuban rhythms.
Gillespie plays a catchy melody on the trumpet, and the piano, bass, drums, and congas back him up.
The rhythm section makes a lively, danceable beat, and Gillespie’s solos show off his skill and ability to make up music on the spot.
“Con Alma” has become a jazz standard and has been covered by many other artists over the years.
19. “The Rascal King” by The Mighty Bosstones
“The Rascal King” is a lively tribute to the late mayor of Boston, James Michael Curley, who was known for his populist and sometimes shady style of politics.
The lyrics of the song describe Curley’s life and his rise to power, as well as his controversial and often corrupt actions as mayor of Boston.
The chorus of the song repeats the phrase “the Rascal King” over and over again, celebrating Curley’s reputation as a lovable rogue.
The song also features a catchy horn riff and driving guitar and bass lines, which are typical of the Mighty Bosstones’ ska punk sound.
20. “The Hustle” by Van McCoy
“The Hustle” is a disco instrumental song that was released in 1975 as a single and later included in McCoy’s album Disco Baby.
It is named after the popular dance craze of the same name, which was a simplified form of disco dancing that was easy for anyone to learn.
The song has a catchy melody, a driving beat, and a fast tempo, which made it a favorite on the dance floor during the height of the disco era.
The trumpet section makes the rhythm section sound punchy and lively, and the guitar and keyboards add a funky groove.
21. “Rise” by Herb Alpert
“Rise” is an instrumental written by Andy Armer and Randy “Badazz” Alpert and recorded by trumpeter Herb Alpert in 1979.
The song has a catchy bassline and drum groove, and Alpert’s trumpet plays a soulful, melodic lead.
It was a major hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and earning Alpert a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
22. “Feels So Good” by Chuck Mangione
“Feels So Good” is an instrumental composition by the American flugelhorn player Chuck Mangione, released in 1977 as part of his album of the same name.
The song is characterized by its smooth melody and catchy hook, which is played on Mangione’s flugelhorn.
The arrangement includes a lush string section, a funky bassline, and a lively percussion track, which all contribute to the song’s upbeat and feel-good vibe.
It became a major hit, reaching number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and earning Mangione a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
23. “On Green Dolphin Street” by Miles Davis
“On Green Dolphin Street” was originally written for the 1947 film “Green Dolphin Street” and has since become a jazz classic with countless recordings by various artists.
Miles Davis recorded his version of “On Green Dolphin Street” for his 1958 album Milestones.
The track features Davis on trumpet, Cannonball Adderley on alto saxophone, John Coltrane on tenor saxophone, Red Garland on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Philly Joe Jones on drums.
24. “Hello Dolly!” by Louis Armstrong
“Hello, Dolly!” is a popular song originally recorded by Jerry Herman for the 1964 Broadway musical of the same name.
Armstrong’s version of “Hello, Dolly!” was released in 1964, and it became an instant success, reaching the top of the charts and remaining there for several weeks.
Armstrong’s gravelly voice and his trademark trumpet playing, as well as a lively big band arrangement, are all parts of this song.
The song’s lyrics describe a character named Dolly Gallagher Levi, who is a matchmaker and a force of nature in her community.
25. “I Remember Clifford” by Freddie Hubbard
“I Remember Clifford” is a jazz ballad that was first recorded by Benny Golson in 1957 as a tribute to Clifford Brown, a famous jazz trumpeter who died at the age of 25 in a tragic car accident.
Over the years, many jazz musicians have recorded this song, including Freddie Hubbard, who made a notable version in 1991.
Hubbard plays trumpet on the recording of “I Remember Clifford,” which also features Javon Jackson on tenor saxophone, Cedar Walton on piano, David Williams on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums, among other stars.
The song is a tribute to Brown from the heart, and Hubbard’s lyrical playing gives off a deep sense of loss and sadness.
26. “I Fall in Love Too Easily” by Chet Baker
“I Fall in Love Too Easily” is a song composed by Jule Styne with lyrics by Sammy Cahn and first released by Frank Sinatra in 1945.
It was later recorded by jazz trumpeter and vocalist Chet Baker, who released it on his classic vocal debut album, Chet Baker Sings.
The song has since become a jazz standard, with Chet’s rendition being particularly memorable.
The song is a ballad about the singer’s fear of being too easily smitten by love.
27. “A Night in Tunisia” by Dizzy Gillespie
“A Night in Tunisia,” also known as “Interlude,” has been recorded many times by Gillespie, including his first recording with the Charlie Parker Quintet in 1945.
It is known as a jazz standard, and a lot of jazz musicians have played and recorded it.
It is based on a combination of Cuban rhythms and African melodies.
Dizzy Gillespie’s original version featured a trumpet solo, but it has since been adapted for other instruments as well.
28. “Mambo Caliente” by Arturo Sandoval
“Mambo Caliente” is a track from the 1992 album of the same name by jazz trumpeter, composer, and arranger Arturo Sandoval.
The song has become a Latin jazz classic, with Sandoval’s rendition being one of the most well-known versions.
It has been covered by many artists since its original release, including Tito Puente, Quincy Jones, and more.
The song is characterized by a bright, uptempo mambo beat with a melodic solo section featuring Sandoval’s trumpet.
29. “The Love in Me” by Lisa Stansfield
“The Love in Me” is a mid-tempo pop-soul ballad with lyrics that express the singer’s vulnerability and the strength of her faith in her self-love.
The song was co-written by Stansfield, Ian Devaney, and Andy Morris and produced by Devaney and Morris.
It peaked at number 11 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Stansfield’s fourth Top 20 hit in the UK.
30. “The Dreamer” by Jose James
“The Dreamer” features James’ smooth and soulful vocals, backed by a band that blends elements of jazz, hip-hop, and R&B.
The lyrics of “The Dreamer” explore the idea of chasing after dreams and the challenges that come with them.
James sings about the ups and downs of following your dreams, but in the end, he expresses hope and a desire to keep going.
Songs With Trumpets in Them – Final Thoughts
The 30 best songs with trumpets in them of all time showcase the versatility and beauty of the trumpet as a musical instrument.
From jazz standards to pop hits, the trumpet has played a pivotal role in shaping the sound of some of the most beloved songs in music history.
The trumpet has a way of adding a unique and memorable element to any song it appears in.
These 30 songs show how the trumpet has always been popular and how it can take a song to new heights.
Want to learn to play trumpet like in these songs? Check out my guide on the best online trumpet lessons.