The Legend of Zelda has some of the best music in video game history, so good that it even inspired a traveling concert. I’m not ashamed to say that I listen to this music all the time, and with a soundtrack as fantastic as this series, why wouldn’t I? I’ve been wanting to define and share my absolute favorite songs from this beloved franchise, and I’m now happy to share with you my top five songs from The Legend of Zelda.
I don’t think I need to say this, but I will anyway: It’s totally fine to disagree with this list. It’s just my personal opinion, and I won’t be offended in the slightest if you don’t agree. These songs are near and dear to me, and this is my way of sharing those stories and perhaps introducing you to some tunes that you might not have heard of!
5) “Great Fairies Fountain/Theme” (multiple Zelda titles, debuted in A Link to the Past)
Now this piece is a Zelda classic — and to think that this song wasn’t even originally made for this series! I couldn’t imagine it any other way. If you say “Great Fairy”, this is the song that immediately pops into my head. Though this tune has been used time after time in many different stylings and arrangements, it lives on in the legend as one of its most iconic tunes.
The song itself is so mystifying and absolutely has a fantasy feeling to it — perfect for a fairy! It’s a simple melody but is given additional layers of complexity with all its different parts, making for a beautiful orchestral piece. Of all the in-game arrangements of this piece, I think my favorites would have to be the angelic choirs in The Wind Waker or the bittersweet guitar in Phantom Hourglass.
4) “Outset Island” (Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker)
This is one of the first songs from The Legend of Zelda that I ever heard and still it is one of my favorites. The Outset Island theme is such a cheery tune, it’s hard not to smile and bob your head along when listening to it. There are actually two renditions of this theme: One where Aryll is on the island, incorporating some of her theme into the mix, and one after she is taken, reminiscing the Kokiri Forest from Ocarina of Time.
What more can I say about this tune? Its cheerfulness is contagious! So much so that you forget about the darkness going on in the world. The sunny atmosphere of outside alongside this song always makes me feel like Outset is a safe haven where piggies can roam free and children can frolic without tissues.
3) “Oath to Order/Calling the Four Giants” (Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask)
This is a song that I can only describe as hauntingly beautiful. The eerie tone, the mesmerizing choir, and those strange but gorgeous chords. Everything about this piece is simply wonderful. Pair it with the otherworldly imagery of Majora’s Mask and you have yourself a masterpiece!
I first came across this tune when I was watching a friend play Majora’s Mask, and he had just beaten the first temple. A giant appeared and started wailing loudly. This baffled my friend and I joked that it was singing. As it turns out, he was singing the very same tune that I would fall in love with. I viewed clips of this game online when I got home as I didn’t have any way of playing it myself at the time and instantly fell in love. The giants catching the moon and this melody lingering in the background is such a fantastic moment in the series, I’m so glad that I could experience it one way or another.
2) “Saria’s Song/Lost Woods” (Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
This song is amazing. I have never heard a tune merrier than this! I can’t listen to this without a smile plastered on my face. It’s so bouncy and cheerful, I could listen to it for ages — just ask my mom. She’ll tell you how I drove her crazy by listening to this one on repeat. I even made an oath that when I got my own car and could take control of the radio I would blast this song out the windows and I even went through with it!
Upon my first time hearing this in Super Smash Bros. Melee, I was instantly infatuated with this song. When I later borrowed the game from my friend and found out its origins I nearly lost my mind. I would have Link sit in the Lost Woods for long periods of time just so I could rock out with my favorite Kokiri jam. I put this song on my trusty tape recorder and would keep Saria’s music session going on and on.
When I later purchased Twilight Princess and found out this song was included in a new arrangement, I was about to cry. While I absolutely prefer the upbeat rendition of this tune, I still very much enjoyed the mysterious echoes of Saria’s Song while exploring the Sacred Grove. I admit, I was very disappointed that this song didn’t appear again in Breath of the Wild, but I have hopes that we will hear this melody again in games to come.
Before I get to my final pick, you can see my entire top 10 list on YouTube as well as some honorable mentions!
1) “Zelda’s Lullaby” (multiple Zelda titles, debut; A Link to the Past)
I couldn’t possibly pick any other song for my most favorite Zelda tune. I literally have 19 different covers of this song on my phone and I’d probably have more if I didn’t already have over 900 songs already.
I was first introduced to this piece in my first Zelda game, The Wind Waker. The scene where we’re “introduced” to Princess Zelda on its own was always one that stood out to me and hearing this serene melody playing in the background stuck with me. This was a special song that helped me return to the piano. I would sit on the couch with an old clunky keyboard and pick out the notes by ear, determined to learn this beautiful piece.
Though it is my favorite song musically, it’s also my favorite for another reason. For me, this is the song that links all of the games together. Not the fairies’ theme or even the main theme — “Zelda’s Lullaby” is the song I search for in every new Zelda title. It’s always a priority for me to sit back and enjoy the latest orchestration of this iconic lullaby. Back when I played Twilight Princess I remember having to take a moment to stop and cry because of the gorgeous choir and orchestrations put to this piece when Zelda asks for Link’s courage. To this day that is my favorite rendition of this piece.
I know when I hear this music that I’m in for a cinematic treat as no scene with this song has ever left me disappointed. Of course, how can it when it always features one of my all-time favorite heroines, Princess Zelda herself! The theme perfectly suits her, so elegant and gentle. Each rendition of the theme reflects the incarnation of the princess that it is for, and I think that is amazing. There is always something new to experience when listening to this oh-so-familiar song, and I can’t wait until I get to hear it again in the next game to come!
Thank you all for reading and I would love to hear which Zelda songs are your favorites!