Can You Name the Rock Ballad If We Give You a Few Lyrics?



By: Lauren Lubas

7 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons by Kevin Nixon

About This Quiz

When the monsters of rock are tamed, the masses are delivered the most beautiful rock ballads that have ever made their way to the top of the charts. These ballads tell stories of heartache, loss, love and attempting to understand death. Even the heaviest of metal fans can't turn their ears away from the poetic and symphonic melodies they hear. 

What makes a rock ballad so important is that it's a chance for the band to show their range. They aren't limited to just screaming into the microphone; they aren't bound to creating loud noises with electronic instruments. They are given the opportunity to prove themselves, and the result defines them as more than just hardcore rockers.

If you're a lover of all things rock, then you definitely know a thing or two about the ballads that have been released over the years. This quiz is going to take you back to the original smooth sounds that people were surprised to hear from their favorite bands. It's also going to take you on a journey through the evolution of rock ballads as a whole. If you're ready to take a step back in time, see if you can name all 35 of these ballads from the lyrics alone.

Do you recognize this ballad from the '90s: "I could spend my life in this sweet surrender"?

"I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith was written for the "Armageddon" soundtrack in 1998. While the song hints toward desperation for love, it also has a true romance undertone throughout.


"I'm alone, yeah, I don't know if I can face the night" are the opening lyrics to which rock ballad?

While Aerosmith has given us nearly 50 years worth of music, there are certain songs that we will never forget from them. "Angel" is at the top of the list of their all-time greatest ballads.


Can you name the rock ballad that has the lyrics "I tell myself that I can't hold out forever," in it?

Even REO Speedwagon had a ballad (or two) that hit the charts. This one follows '80s teen dramas pretty nicely, as it's about a man who has fallen in love with a friend and can't help but tell her.


Which ballad includes the lyrics, "How my poor heart aches with every step you take"?

Though many note the power of this song (especially when Puffy sampled it on "I'll Be Missing You"), when you read through the lyrics, it can be a little creepy. It covers everything from love to obsession.


"Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?" is a question asked in which rock ballad from the 1970s?

In a song about pain and loss, we see Pink Floyd give one of the most unexpected ballads a band could produce. This is one of those songs that people often listen to when they want to reminisce about a lost friend or loved one.


"Goodbye, Norma Jean" are the first lyrics in which ballad that was written about Marilyn Monroe?

Though Elton John may be one of the few who can rock out on a piano, his ballads are what everyone really looks for. He released "Candle in the Wind" in 1973, and it remains one of his most popular songs.


A popular '80s rock band starts their ballad with these lyrics: "You know I'm a dreamer, but my heart's of gold." Can you name the song?

Motley Crue is notorious for being one of the dirtiest bands to ever go on tour. However, their song lyrics speak to a generation of lower-income rebels who have to fight to survive. That is why "Home Sweet Home" was such a shock to their fans. It's intense but in a different way from the rest of their music.


Do you know which ballad included the lyrics, "Well I see him on the TV, preachin' 'bout the promised land"?

Brett Michaels noted that this was one of the most difficult songs he ever wrote because it is about the death of his friend and bodyguard, Kimo. Upon hearing about his friend's death, he locked himself in a room and wrote this song.


The video for this ballad includes a wedding and a funeral. Can you name it by these lyrics: "We've been through this such a long long time, Just tryin' to kill the pain"?

While Guns N' Roses has a few memorable ballads, it's difficult to deny that "November Rain" as one of the most powerful ballads of the early 1990s. The band had such powerful anti-establishment songs that this ballad shocked audiences (who loved it).


Can you name the song that begins with these lyrics: "We walked the loneliest mile. We smile without any style"?

You may have heard "Only The Lonely" by The Motels in several different movies. However, The Motels are the type of band that worked hard before their stardom, mostly covering the Los Angeles music scene.


"Where you goin', what you lookin' for" are lyrics in which ballad from 1983?

Not all rock ballads have to be about love or loss or death. As a matter of fact, "Sister Christian" was about the lead singer's sister growing up too fast. The song ended up being the band's biggest hit.


"There's a place I like to hide, a doorway that I run through in the night," are lyrics to which ballad?

If you're looking for song lyrics that are pure poetry, you will find it in "Silent Lucidity" (1990). Though the song is about lucid dreaming, listeners who have experienced loss and grief apply the lyrics to the fact that the dead never leave, so long as we remember them.


This song begins with the lyrics, "Sometimes I wonder how I'd ever make it through." Do you know which ballad it is?

"When I See You Smile" is a cross between a love song and a song of appreciation. It's all about gaining confidence through love and understanding while it still delivers the jams that Bad English is known for.


Which Beatles ballad has these lyrics: "When the broken-hearted people living in the world agree, there will be an answer"?

Telling bands to "slow it down" to attract more audiences was a common thing in the 1960s. The Beatles were the type of band that liked to explore music in every way, so they actually have quite a few ballads that are popular.


Can you name the alternative rock ballad that ends with the line, "You are not alone"?

Though R.E.M. is most well known for its innovative alternative style of the 1990s, the band was actually formed in 1980 and had sounds that most people weren't familiar with at the time. In the 1980s, they were placed in the pop music category, even though their songs were faster and a little more difficult to dance to.


This ballad from a popular '70s rock band starts like this: "Measuring a summer's day, I only find it slips away to grey." Do you know the song?

Led Zeppelin wasn't necessarily known for its simple songs or simple music. This ballad is rather basic when boiled down to the lyrics. However, the method in which it was sung as well as the 12-string guitar play brings it up to Zep level.


Which ballad by Poison starts with, "We both lie silently still in the dead of the night"?

Poison has an exceptional and unique sound to their music. They sample from blues, country and rock all at the same time. It wasn't necessarily a new concept, but for some reason, this band brings these three sounds together in a way that audiences can hear them distinctly and seamlessly all at the same time.


These lyrics come from the vibrant rocker, Elton John. Can you name the song? "Jesus freaks out in the street, handing tickets out for God."

Not all love songs have to be about first loves or the perfect, most unattainable person. As a matter of fact, they can simply be about the seamstress for the band. "Tiny Dancer" was written about Elton John's writing partner Bernie Taupin's girlfriend at the time, and the song became a huge hit.


Do you know which rock ballad includes these lyrics: "I know a thing or two, I learned from you"?

The 1976 ballad "Love Hurts" by Nazareth doesn't pull any punches. It blatantly destroys the concept of love and how people always talk about how great that concept is. This song gives us the hard truth.


Do you recognize this song that is often played at weddings of '80s rock fans? "With you I never wonder, will you be there for me. With you I never wonder, you're the right one for me."

Though Firehouse was considered a hard rock band in the early 1990s, they did produce a couple of very intense ballads that flipped genres and undoubtedly revealed the band's true talent.


Which rock ballad starts with these lyrics: "And I'd give up forever to touch you, 'cause I know that you feel me somehow"?

The Goo Goo Dolls began as a punk band. When their music went mainstream, they actually lost quite a few fans. The song "Iris" was created for the movie "City of Angels" (1998), making the band skyrocket into popularity.


What ballad includes the lyrics "Time can bring you down. Time can bend your knees"?

Eric Clapton is a well-known rocker in many circles. His work throughout the years has made him an icon in the rock world. However, when his son tragically died, he penned "Tears In Heaven" to help him cope with the grief.


Journey was known for its singable songs; do you remember what this one is called: "Restless hearts sleep alone tonight. Sending all my love along the wire"?

While Journey is often considered one of the best rock bands of all time, they do have quite a few ballads under their belt. Journey's ballads are mostly love songs or songs about love on the rocks.


Foreigner sings "Now this mountain I must climb, feels likethe world upon my shoulders," in which ballad?

Foreigner was a rock band that might be considered a little soft for the 1980s, but the music was approachable, and they had several jams that people followed religiously. However, this ballad truly showed their range.


Do you recognize this ballad? "Turning and returning to some secret place to hide."

Any fan of the movie "Top Gun" (1986) knows this song like the back of their hand. It's a true love song that has been given a lot of attention lately, as the second installment of the "Top Gun" series is set to be released in 2020.


"Time is sure to mend your broken heart" are lyrics in which ballad?

Tesla's "Love Song" is not a remake of "Love Song" by The Cure. As a matter of fact, this song is about overcoming love and moving on. It's less about falling in love and more about how to get over the fact that your love has ended.


Which ballad about loss has includes these lyrics: "I can't clear my heart of your love, it falls like rain"?

Cinderella sings "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)" in a way that changes the band's entire persona for just a few minutes. The song talks about the loss of love and the terrible regret that follows.


This '80s rock ballad has the lyrics, "I'd stare a lifetime into your eyes so that I knew that you were there for me." Can you name it?

Sebastian Bach (lead singer of Skid Row) has a unique voice, and when the band's ballads are played, that voice comes through in an even more unique way. He hits notes no one thought he could hit, and he sings of heartache like no other '80s rocker could.


Can you name the ballad that has these lyrics: "The more you care, the more you fall"?

Def Leppard was incredibly popular in the 1980s, and their fame came at a young age (some members weren't even old enough to sign their own contracts when the band formed in 1977). They blew up in popularity with the "Hysteria" album that was released in 1987.


Can you name this ballad by INXS? "But if I hurt you, I'd make wine from your tears."

Though many love songs talk about how falling in love isn't always easy, "Never Tear Us Apart" was all about what happens when you find someone and instantly know that you are going to spend the rest of your life with them.


The mid-1990s gave us an alternative rock boom that we loved. Do you remember this song from the time period? "The angel opens her eyes, pale blue colored iris."

In the 1990s, music changed quite a bit. However, alternative rock emerged and gave us songs we could jam to and cry to all at the same time. Live was one of those bands that gave us multiple songs that were radio-friendly while being revolutionary at the same time.


"Promised myself I wouldn't weep, one more promise I couldn't keep" are lyrics in which song?

In one of the most memorable music videos ever made, Soul Asylum including images of missing persons (especially younger ones) throughout the intense visuals of children being stolen and running away.


Metallica might be metal, but can you name their ballad that goes like this: "New blood joins this earth and quickly he's subdued"?

"Unforgiven" by Metallica has both a clear surface message as well as underlying hints into the lead singer's life. The song is about being held back as a child, and that loss of freedom seeping into adulthood.


The Rolling Stones are a rock band through and through. Can you name the ballad that goes like this: "I watched you suffer a dull aching pin, now you've decided to show me the same"?

Though The Rolling Stones have quite a few ballads under their belt (with a five-decade career, it's expected), "Wild Horses" seems to be the one people always go back to. It has been remade by several artists over the years.


"Now I can't sing a love song, like the way it's meant to be. Well, I guess I'm not that good anymore, but baby, that's just me." Do you know which Bon Jovi song has these lyrics?

Though Bon Jovi is considered an '80s rocker, he has more ballads than the rest of the big metal bands put together. His lyrics focus on everything from star-crossed love to heartache in full.


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