23 Best Viennese Waltz Songs That Will Sweep You Off Your Feet

Updated on June 13, 2024

Are you looking for the perfect Viennese waltz playlist? Look no further! We've compiled a list of the 23 greatest Viennese waltz songs that are guaranteed to get you dancing.

Originating in refined 19th century Vienna ballrooms, the Viennese waltz enchanted Europe with its elegant rotational steps set to sweeping classical music. In a classic waltz, dancers progress clockwise as they turn in sync around the floor. 

Crafting a Viennese waltz playlist lets you bring home the grace and romance of ballroom dancing, even if you're just twirling alone in your living room. 

This collection of 23 tracks draws from classical composers like Johann Strauss II and Tchaikovsky as well as modern pop ballads to provide diverse musical accompaniment for Viennese waltzing. Immerse yourself in the nostalgia and emotion of these timeless tunes.

1. "Blue Danube" by Johann Strauss II

We begin with the "Blue Danube Waltz" by Johann Strauss II, the genre's most iconic composition. First performed in 1867, this lavish orchestral standard never fails to make dancers feel like royalty twirling under chandeliers.

The gentle lilting rhythm establishes the signature 3/4 time of the Viennese waltz. Meanwhile, the ornate instrumentation evokes the splendor of old-world Vienna ballrooms with flourishing strings, woodwinds, and harp. The melody flows in rippling waves that seem to carry couples across the dance floor.

While it has an air of nostalgic romance, "Blue Danube" also has an effervescent energy perfect for sweeping turns and promenades. For any Viennese waltz playlist, this immortal Strauss work is essential to capture the spirit and history of the dance. 

2. "Once Upon a December" by Christy Altomare, Mary Beth Peil

Evoking a princess' fading memories of dancing at the czar's palace before the revolution, the melancholy ballad "Once Upon a December" from the 1997 animated picture Anastasia soars with violins and lyrical romanticism.

This song's music is a waltz, slow and filled with melancholy, evoking feelings of grief and desire. The song follows a 3/4 time signature, characteristic of waltzes, and is in the key of B-flat major. Its descending chord progression imparts a sense of sadness, and its simplicity and repetition enhance the emotional impact.

The song's lyrics and melody combine to create a beautiful and poignant sense of sorrow and longing. It's a stunning and touching song that deserves a place on any playlist of Viennese Waltzes.

3. "Emperor Waltz" by Johann Strauss II

Strauss returns with the dramatic sweeps and cascades of his 1889 masterpiece the "Emperor Waltz." Written to honor Emperor Franz Joseph, this stately anthem evokes the majesty of the Hapsburg court in old Vienna. 

The sweeping orchestral melody has a grand, regal quality evoking the nobility of the Imperial Court in old Vienna. However, Strauss also weaves in folk elements giving it a warm, romantic spirit. The lilting 3/4 rhythm smoothly carries couples around the ballroom.

Both bold and delicate, this piece epitomizes the Viennese waltz at its finest. The gorgeous melodies and fluid rhythms make "Emperor Waltz" a ballroom dance classic, bringing elegance and romance to any waltz playlist. 

4. "Hijo de la Luna" by Mecano

In 1987, the Spanish pop group Mecano released the ballad "Hijo de la Luna," which blends romantic violins with a baroque harpsichord. Its smooth and ethereal melody lends itself well to a Viennese waltz.

The time signature of the song is 3/4, the same as that of a Viennese waltz, indicating three beats in each measure, with each beat represented by a quarter note.

Numerous Viennese waltz music lists and playlists, curated by ballroom dance enthusiasts and experienced DJs, include "Hijo de la Luna."

5. "Tenerife Sea" by Ed Sheeran

The 2014 love ballad "Tenerife Sea" by Ed Sheeran starts with a minimalistic approach before building into an intense pop crescendo. Sheeran's piano accompaniment and sentimental lyrics make it a perfect choice for a sweet couples' waltz.

Its dreamy and romantic quality aligns well with the elegance of the dance. "Tenerife Sea" is a suitable tune for the Viennese waltz since it is also danced in 3/4 time.

While the song isn't explicitly about the Viennese waltz, its romantic and poetic lyrics are in harmony with the overall mood of the dance.

6. "Tales from the Vienna Woods" by Johann Strauss II

We revisit Strauss for the dreamy melodies of "Tales from the Vienna Woods," transporting dancers to idyllic woodland vistas just outside Vienna. Originally performed in 1868, this timeless tone poem inspires graceful reverie.

The sweeping string melodies conjure tranquil images of golden sunlight filtering through forest trees and babbling brooks. However, the brisk tempo keeps the 3/4 waltz pulsing with forward motion and danceability. As the full orchestra joins, Strauss builds to triumphant crescendos.

The melody is pleading and melancholic at times, capturing sentimental longing for the past. However, woodwind and horn ornamentation add playful accents while the propulsive rhythms remain cheerful. 

For any waltz playlist, this masterwork evokes the culture and landscapes so central to this city's identity and musical traditions.

7. "Let Go" by Avril Lavigne

Avril Lavigne's poignant 2002 pop ballad "Let Go" beautifully conveys the struggle of leaving a failed relationship behind. Her raw vocals paired with simple piano make it ideal for a mournful but empowering solo waltz.

While originally a pulsing pop-punk track, "Let Go" flourishes when adapted to a graceful 3/4 time waltz rhythm. The addition of piano, violins, and orchestra creates fluid, rippling textures. Lavigne's vocals become gentler and more introspective as she sings of closure and optimism.

Though an early 2000s teen anthem, the melancholic nostalgia of "Let Go" pairs well with the Viennese waltz's sentimental grace. Waltz versions emphasize the tenderness hidden within Lavigne's typically raspy, rock delivery.

The crescendos and subtle rhythmic lilt give "Let Go" a cinematic, danceable fluidity. Waltzing to this song unlocks its hidden romanticism. The emotional release it portrays deserves a spot on eclectic Viennese waltz playlists, adding modern diversity. This refresh adds power and elegance to a beloved angsty ballad.

8. "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz

In 2012, Jason Mraz released the bouncy folk-pop song "I Won't Give Up," which carries a charming romantic undertone. Mraz's passionate lyrics encourage tenacity in the face of difficulties. Make this your upbeat waltz anthem.

The moderate pace of the song allows for Viennese waltz performances, enabling dancers to maintain control despite swift movements. Additionally, its 3/4 time signature suits it perfectly for a Viennese waltz.

As a favorite among Viennese waltz dancers, this song is often played at weddings and other formal occasions.

9. "Alice's Theme (Alice in Wonderland)" by Starlite Unlimited

The ominous whimsy of "Alice's Theme" from Tim Burton's 2010 Alice in Wonderland adaptation pairs harpsichord and strings to conjure the surreal spirit of Wonderland. 

This track possesses a haunting, ethereal quality that captures the surreal and fantastical atmosphere of the film. The melody flows slowly and dreamlike, evoking a sense of wonder and mystery. It features a graceful and flowing melody that is well-suited for Viennese waltz.

Several Viennese waltz song lists, including one on Reddit specifically dedicated to Viennese waltz songs, have included this track.

10. "Roses from the South" by Johann Strauss II

Johann Strauss II strikes waltz gold once more with the shimmering 1880 composition "Roses from the South." This effervescent Viennese waltz brims with the composer's trademark exuberance and charm.

The song opens gently with harp arpeggios before the full orchestra launches into an exuberant, danceable melody led by strings, flute, and horns. Strauss crafts ornamental textures and trills that evoke swirling gowns and lighthearted fun.

The buoyant melody and lively rhythm capture a joyful, romantic spirit perfect for sweeping across a ballroom floor. Strauss's lilting three-quarter time signature floats gracefully while the brisk tempo adds an effervescent energy. This ebullient tune deserves a spot on any waltz playlist.

11. "Tous les secrets de ton coeur" by Céline Dion

International superstar Céline Dion showcases her powerhouse vocals in the soaring French ballad "Tous les secrets de ton cœur" from 2005. Backed by symphonic grandeur, the song builds beautifully to a romantic sweeping crescendo.

The lyrics express the desire to unravel the secrets of a lover's heart. Celine's voice soars over the steady 3/4 time signature, which pairs nicely with the triple steps of a Viennese waltz.

Celine Dion's signature heartfelt vocals and the song's timeless, romantic feel would add the perfect dramatic touch to accompany the graceful turns of the dance. For any dancer aiming to convey a story of passion through their waltz, this song sets the ideal tone.

12. "Dulce Locura" by La Oreja de Van Gogh

La Oreja de Van Gogh's emotionally charged Spanish pop-rock ballad "Dulce Locura" undergoes magnificent transformation into a sweeping Viennese waltz.

Although "Dulce Locura" originally found success as a modern Spanish-language pop hit, its emotive poetry and orchestral potential harmonize beautifully with the Viennese waltz's lyricism and fluidity. This style amplifies the passion and evocative tension present in this well-known ballad.

This unexpected Spanish-language addition injects contemporary diversity into waltz playlists.

13. "Stone Cold" by Demi Lovato

"Stone Cold" is a stirring pop ballad performed by Demi Lovato that takes on new elegance and fluidity when arranged as a Viennese waltz. Released in 2015, the emotional song combines Lovato's powerful vocals with piano, strings, and thoughtful lyrics about hiding one's true hurt feelings after a breakup.

The melancholic string arrangements build dramatically through each verse, adding cinematic texture. Meanwhile, the vocals retain the raw and vulnerable tone of Lovato lamenting lost love and fading hope. There's bittersweet nostalgia woven throughout.

Though a contemporary pop song, "Stone Cold" contains timeless, poetic sentiments that pair wonderfully with the Viennese waltz's emotional grace. The waltz interpretation unlocks the romanticism at the heart of this ballad, making it deserve a spot on any varied waltz playlist.

14. "Wiener Blut" by Johann Strauss II

We return to the Waltz King for his masterful 1873 composition "Wiener Blut" (Viennese Blood), which conjures the passion and pride of old Vienna with operatic abandon. 

Strauss builds the energy and tension throughout the waltz to electrifying heights. The driving rhythms and fierce crescendos release in a dizzying culmination, evoking romantic euphoria on the dance floor. But moments of lyrical tenderness balance the drama.

This quintessential piece deserves a spot on any Viennese waltz playlist seeking to encapsulate the pure romantic spirit and passion of 1800s Vienna. The waltz transports dancers right to an elegant candlelit ballroom in the age of Strauss.

15. "Famous" by Nathan Sykes

Nathan Sykes, an English pop singer, exudes nostalgic charm in his brassy, soulful 2016 single "Famous." Let Sykes' seductive crooning and the funky waltz tempo transport you to a Gatsby-era ballroom extravaganza.

The song's tempo and rhythm are perfectly suited for a Viennese waltz. It boasts a quick pace and a 3/4 time signature, which are characteristic of Vienna ballroom dancing.

Although "Famous" by Nathan Sykes may not be a traditional Viennese waltz song, it is recognized as such by ballroom dance enthusiasts because it aligns with the appropriate tempo and rhythm for the dance.

16. "When I Look at You" by Miley Cyrus

Disney star Miley Cyrus pours heartfelt emotion into her soaring 2009 ballad "When I Look at You." This sweeping pop tribute to a devoted partner is perfect for romantic pirouettes.

The song features a primarily piano-based instrumentation, and its lyrics express admiration for a dream partner. Its melody is slow and emotive, highlighted by a powerful chorus that showcases Cyrus's vocal range.

With a tempo of 138 beats per minute, it falls within the range suitable for a Viennese waltz. Reddit users have noted that this song is thematically fitting for weddings and can be danced as either a slow smooth Viennese waltz or a fast smooth waltz.

17. "Je viens du sud" by Chimene Badi

Singer Chimène Badi delivers the sweeping, romantic French-language pop ballad "Je viens du sud," which ascends to new emotional heights when arranged as a Viennese waltz. This song, released in 2004, narrates the story of someone from the sunny south of France who falls in love upon arriving in Paris.

Although originally a contemporary French pop song, the poetic storytelling and wistful tone of "Je viens du sud" harmonize beautifully with the elegant rise and fall of the Viennese waltz. The waltz's instrumentation amplifies the romance and cinematic drama inherent in this understated ballad.

Transforming modern pop hits into waltzes can reveal hidden grace and fluidity. "Je viens du sud" proves that a song doesn't have to be a traditional waltz to inspire meaningful dancing when given that rhythmic lift. This stylistic crossover breathes refreshing new life into this modern French ballad.

18. "Fall for You" by Leela James

"Fall for You" is a neo-soul ballad released by American R&B singer Leela James in 2014. With its midtempo groove, lush strings, and Leela's smooth, sultry vocals, the song has a romantic, vintage vibe reminiscent of old jazz ballads. 

The steady beat and emotional melody would pair nicely with the sweeping turns of a Viennese waltz routine. The 3/4 time signature matches the triple step pattern of the dance.

Lyrically, this song captures the spirit of an unexpected romance blossoming, making it a fitting choice for a Viennese waltz, which tells a story through its graceful motions. 

19. "Creep" by PostModern Jukebox, Haley Reinhart

Postmodern Jukebox apply their vintage jazz style to Radiohead's iconic ballad "Creep." Released in 2014, their vintage rearrangement recasts the song into a sweeping orchestral style perfect for Viennese waltzing.

Originally a melancholic guitar-driven ballad by Radiohead, Postmodern Jukebox slows "Creep" down to a lilting 3/4 tempo. They add piano, strings, and jazz bass to create fluidity and cinematic atmosphere. Haley Reinhart's soaring vocals give the lyrics renewed emotional potency over the waltz rhythms.

Breathing new life into modern hits through vintage styles is the mission of Postmodern Jukebox. Their reimagining unlocks this 90s alt-rock staple as a sweeping, dramatic ballroom waltz. The unlikely conversion showcases both the timelessness of "Creep" and the malleability of the waltz itself.

20. "I Have Nothing" by Whitney Houston

The incomparable Whitney Houston delivers passion with every note of her iconic 1992 ballad "I Have Nothing." Backed by grand orchestral flourishes, let Whitney's jaw-dropping vocals inspire you to pour out your own heart as you waltz.

Although originally created as a modern pop power ballad, the raw emotion and orchestral potential of "I Have Nothing" align perfectly with the romantic musicality of the Viennese waltz. This dance style enhances the inherently majestic, fluid quality of Houston's flawless delivery.

For any Viennese waltz playlist seeking dramatic contemporary flair, this modern staple arranged in a classical dance style serves as an elegant bridge between musical eras. 

21. Que Sera, sera (Whatever Will Be), by Doris Day

Despite being written during the pop era of the 1950s, "Que Sera, Sera" carries an ageless message and features a straightforward melody that seamlessly integrates with the graceful Viennese waltz style. The lyrical essence of the song's calm wisdom and romance is amplified by the fluid arrangement.

Older tunes with simpler structures can still exude romantic charm and wisdom when transformed into waltzes. 

22. "Gracias" by Despistaos

The energetic Spanish rock band Despistaos inspire optimism and persistence with their stomping 2010 folk-punk track "Gracias." Let its driving waltz tempo and rousing chorus keep you pushing through life's challenges.

Though originally a soulful contemporary rock song, "Gracias" flourishes when transformed into a sweeping 3/4 time waltz. The addition of lilting piano, tender strings, and smooth percussion provides fluidity suitable for dancing. The vocals retain a raw, earnest quality.

While modern, the earnest vulnerability and timeless sentiments of "Gracias" meld beautifully with the Viennese waltz's emotional musicality. The waltz interpretation amplifies the romance and grace of this beloved ballad, earning it a spot on diverse waltz playlists seeking international flair.

23. "Waltz of the Flowers" by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

We conclude our Viennese waltz ball with Tchaikovsky's sublime flowers-themed segment "Waltz of the Flowers" from the 1892 ballet The Nutcracker. 

Tchaikovsky’s melody soars to emotional heights with strong crescendos then returns to sweet delicacy. The constant rise and fall captures the spinning and sweeping essence of a proper Viennese waltz.

This Nutcracker highlight remains a Viennese waltz staple, delivering gracious romance and fluid rhythms. The piece deserves a spot on any waltz playlist seeking to mix classical melodrama with danceable energy.

In conclusion, the Viennese waltz is a beautiful and elegant dance style that requires the perfect music to create the ideal experience. Whether you have a preference for traditional waltzes or modern hits, there's a Viennese waltz song for everyone. We've listed the 23 best Viennese waltz songs for your playlist here, and we hope they've inspired you to step onto the dance floor and start waltzing!