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27 Best Songs About Family

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Best Songs About Family

The world’s greatest singers and songwriters have written and sung countless songs about family that deeply resonate with listeners.

There is no shortage of music about family relationships, from silly and upbeat jams to slow and sentimental ballads!

Whether you’re celebrating your loved ones or reminiscing on times gone by, these songs will surely make you smile (and sometimes bring you to tears).

 

The 27 Best Songs About Family

We’ve played and examined tons of family-oriented tracks and compiled a list of our first-rate picks for your listening pleasure!

Here’s our playlist of the 27 best songs about family:

 

27. “Hey Brother” – Avicii

“Hey Brother” is a progressive house/dance song mixed with hints of bluegrass released from Avicii’s debut studio album, True.

The song features a man offering advice and sharing his love for his family members, specifically his brother and sister. You can also check out “Levels” by Avicii on our best songs of all time playlist.

This catchy tune hit #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and Dance Club Songs charts and in multiple countries throughout 2013 and 2014.

 

26. “Mama’s Song” – Carrie Underwood

This sentimental country tune was released as the fourth single from Carrie Underwood’s third album, Play On.

The sweet song is a real tear-jerker about a mother’s love and features a daughter reassuring her mother that she’ll be okay as she moves out and gets married.

“Mama’s Song” ranked #2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 2010 and won Female Single of the Year and Female Music Video of the Year at the 2011 American Country Awards.

 

25. “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” – The Temptations

“Papa Was A Rolling Stone” was originally recorded by the Motown band, The Undisputed Truth in 1972.

The song is sung from a child’s perspective recalling the day their father died. They describe what their mother always said about him, how he was a lazy, no-good, cheating man who wouldn’t spend time with his family.

The Temptations’ version of this classic song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and won three Grammy Awards in 1973. It also earned the #6 spot on New Zealand and South Africa charts between 1972 and 1973.

 

24. “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” – Bon Jovi ft. Jennifer Nettles

This song features a unique fusion of rock and country and was released on Bon Jovi’s ninth studio album, Have a Nice Day.

The lyrics are all about staying true to your roots no matter where you go in life, and even when you leave, you can always come back home. Specifically, Bon Jovi sings about his home in New Jersey, where he grew up.

“Who Says You Can’t Go Home” peaked at #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 and won a Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals in 2007.

 

23. “My Father’s Eyes” – Eric Clapton

“My Father’s Eyes” was released as a single from Clapton’s 1998 album, Pilgrim.

The lyrics describe how people live on through their children. Clapton, who never had a relationship with his father, felt like he knew him when he looked into his son’s eyes.

It won a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and a BMI Award for Song of the Year in 1999.

 

22. “Because Of You” – Kelly Clarkson

After reflecting on her parents ‘ divorce, American pop singer Kelly Clarkson penned this tune at 16. It was released on her second studio album, Breakaway, in 2004.

This emotional pop ballad is about the fear of losing people you love and stems from Clarkson’s own experience with broken relationships.

“Because Of You” is ranked as the seventh highest-selling pop song from the 2000s and took #1 on charts in Brazil, Denmark, Switzerland, and the Netherlands between 2005 and 2006.

 

21. “I’ll Be There” – Jackson 5

“I’ll Be There” was the first single from Jackson 5’s third studio album, making them the first black male group to have four consecutive #1 pop songs.

Throughout this soul jam, the male narrator declares his love and commitment to his lover. However, it can also be interpreted as nonromantic and describes devotion to family.

This hit took the #1 spot on the Billboard Best Selling Soul Singles chart in 1970 and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2011.

 

20. “7 Years” – Lukas Graham

This soul-pop song came from Danish artist Lukas Graham’s second self-titled studio album from 2015.

“7 Years” is a song about getting older and shares Graham’s story of growing up and achieving his goals. One of his aspirations is to become a good father like his own dad was to him.

The tune was the seventh best-selling song of 2016 and charted #1 in Denmark, Australia, Canada, Italy, Sweden, and the UK in 2015.

 

19. “Hey Jude” – The Beatles

“Hey Jude” was written by Paul McCartney to comfort John Lennon’s son, Julian, after his parents separated. It was a non-album single released in 1968.

If you’re looking for an easy karaoke tune, you may want to consider “Hey Jude,” which also appears on our best karaoke songs playlist.

The Beatles’ song earned the #1 spot in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, the UK, and the U.S. in 1968 and 1969. It was also the UK’s top-selling single in 1968 and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001.

 

18. “Father And Son” – Cat Stevens

English singer-songwriter Cat Stevens wrote and released this song in his 1970 album, Tea for the Tillerman.

“Father And Son” features two characters, a father and son, who talk about each other and address concerns over the son’s desire to leave home.

The lyrics are a heartbreaking exchange, where the dad doesn’t want the son to leave, but the son needs to explore the world and make something of himself.

The tune peaked at #23 on the Netherlands Single Top 100 in 1971 and #12 in Italy in 2014. Many other famous artists also covered this song, including Johnny Cash, Rod Stewart, and Zac Brown Band.

 

17. “Dream Brother” – Jeff Buckley

If you love Jeff Buckley’s poetic alternative rock music, then you’ll love this family song.

“Dream Brother” was written for one of Buckley’s friends, encouraging him not to leave his pregnant girlfriend. The singer pleads with him not to become an absent father like his own dad was to him growing up.

The title, “Dream Brother,” was also used for the biography and tribute album of Tim and Jeff Buckley after they passed away. Jeff Buckley currently has over 2.8 million Spotify followers.

 

16. “Papa Don’t Preach” – Madonna

“Papa Don’t Preach” is about a girl who experiences an unplanned teenage pregnancy and goes to her dad for advice and support. It features a unique mixture of classical and pop music.

You can also find another song from Madonna (“Like A Virgin”) on our best 80s songs playlist.

The dance-pop tune earned the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, the European Hot 100 Singles, the Netherlands Single Top 100, and the UK Singles chart in 1986.

Other artists have also released their song versions, including Kelly Osbourne and Weird Al Yankovic.

 

15. “Oh Mother” – Christina Aguilera

This piano ballad is a tribute to American singer Christina Aguilera’s mother, who divorced her father after years of dealing with domestic violence.

If you’re looking for more tunes from Aguilera, you’ll love “Genie In A Bottle,” which also appears on our best 90s songs playlist. Be sure to check it out!

“Oh Mother” hit #4 on the Germain Airplay charts, #21 in Slovakia, and #23 on the Austrian Top 40 between 2007 and 2008. It also made #54 in the Netherlands and #79 in Switzerland within the same period.

 

14. “Father And Daughter” – Paul Simon

This folk-rock hit from 2002 is by far one of the best family songs, especially for all the dads out there. It appears in the animated film, The Wild Thornberry’s Movie.

“Father And Daughter” is a beautiful expression of a father’s hopes for his daughter and is dedicated to Simon’s daughter, Lulu.

This sweet song peaked at #31 on the UK Singles chart in 2006 and was nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song in 2003.

 

13. “Teach Your Children” – Crosby, Stills, Nash, And Young

“Teach Your Children” is a country-rock song originally written by Graham Nash of the Hollies.

Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young released their version on their 1970 album, Déjà Vu. The lyrics talk about the problematic relationship of a son and his father, who went to prison.

The popular song peaked at #7 on the Netherlands Single Top 100, #8 in Canada, and #16 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1970.

 

12. “Family Affair” – Sly & The Family Stone

Sly & The Family Stone released this hit off their album; There’s a Riot Goin’ On.

Although some may think “Family Affair” is a celebration of family, it’s actually about the difficulties of living with family members.

The song was ranked the #79 song of 1972 and made #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Best Selling Soul Singles between 1971 and 1972.

 

11. “Mockingbird” – Eminem

“Mockingbird” gives listeners a glimpse into Eminem’s family life, wherein he addresses his daughters and tells them that he’s sorry he hasn’t been around because of touring and divorce.

If you’re searching for more Eminem, his song, “Lose Yourself,” is also featured on our best songs about winning playlist.

The hit rap song peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #4 in the UK in 2005 and received a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Solo Performance in 2006.

 

10. “Butterfly Kisses” – Bob Carlisle

“Butterfly Kisses” is an excellent song for daddies and daughters and is often played at weddings during the father and bride dance.

The gospel/country tune talks about the precious moments in parenthood and watching your children grow up.

The touching song made #1 in Canada and the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and #13 on Billboard’s Adult Top 40 in 1997.

 

9. “Isn’t She Lovely” – Stevie Wonder

If you’re looking for a sweet, soulful song about raising kids and the joys of family life, this one’s perfect for you!

“Isn’t She Lovely” is a beautiful ballad that focuses on the miracle of life. It’s a special song written to celebrate the birth of Wonder’s daughter, Aisha.

The tune took #94 on the UK Singles chart and #23 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in 1976. Notable cover versions include David Parton, Jacky Terrasson, Jimmy Higham, and Jon Walmsley.

 

8. “Dance With My Father” – Luther Vandross

“Dance With My Father” is the title track of Luther Vandross’ thirteenth studio album and is based on his own experience with his father.

The lyrics describe happy childhood memories and how Vandross wishes he could go back and relive them again. He notes the best moments when his dad would pick him up and dance with his mom.

The moving song earned the #1 spot on the Billboard Adult R&B chart and #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 2003 and 2004. It also won a Grammy Award for Song of the Year and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 2004.

 

7. “Family Portrait” – P!nk

This sad song is from P!nk’s second album from 2001, Missundaztood, and is a great song for those who have gone through familial problems such as divorce.

“Family Portrait” is sung from a child’s perspective and describes the family turmoil in the singer’s own family.

This tune earned massive success worldwide, charting at #5 in Sweden and on the U.S. Billboard Mainstream Top 40. It also made #2 in Romania and #8 in Germany in 2002 and 2003.

 

6. “Family Man” – Fleetwood Mac

“Family Man” is from Fleetwood Mac’s album, Tango in the Night, and also rightfully makes the list of the best songs about family.

The synth-pop/rock hit focuses on the unconditional love of family and how important it is to foster good relationships with your loved ones, especially during difficult times.

The song charted #29 in Germany, #23 in the Netherlands, #54 in the UK, and #23 on the U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in 1987.

 

5. “Daughters” – John Mayer

Here’s a beautiful acoustic rock song from John Mayer’s 2004 album, Heavier Things.

“Daughters” features a male narrator telling fathers to nurture their daughters as they’re growing up because that will impact their relationships with men when they’re older.

The tune won a Grammy Award in 2005 for Song of the Year and charted #1 on the Billboard Adult Top 40. It also made #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart between 2004 and 2005.

 

4. “Keep The Family Close” – Drake

This song talks about Drake’s trust issues with people in his inner circle. He focuses on the fact that everyone stays around when things are good, but they leave the second things go wrong.

You’ll see more from Drake on our best songs about home playlist, featuring his track, “Hold On, We’re Going Home.”

“Keep The Family Close” was released from the album, Views, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and made #1 on the UK Albums chart in 2016.

 

3. “Dear Mama” – 2Pac

“Dear Mama” is the lead single from Tupac’s third studio album, Me Against The World.

Throughout the hip hop song, the rapper talks about his love and respect for his mother, even though she struggled with drug addiction and they lived in poverty.

In 2009, the track became the first solo hip hop recording preserved in the National Recording Registry. It also made #1 on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs and Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart in 1995.

 

2. “Family Business” – Kanye West

Here’s a family tribute rap song from Kanye West’s 2004 album, College Dropout.

In “Family Business,” the rapper addresses different family members as if he were at a family reunion. He describes the many things he loves and hates about his family.

The album itself debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 in 2004 and won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album in 2005.

 

1. “We Are Family” – Sister Sledge

“We Are Family” is a signature Sister Sledge hit and is one of the best disco/soul songs about family ever produced!

The group is made up of four sisters with the last name Sledge! The lyrics concentrate on unity and enjoying family members and close, family-like friendships.

In 1979, it became the #1 R&B song and #2 pop tune on the American charts. It also made #1 on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart and earned a spot in the National Recording Registry in 2017.

 

Summary

Whenever you’re missing your mom, dad, or siblings, push play on one of these nostalgic songs about family!

No matter who you’re related to, there’s sure to be a song on this playlist that’ll speak right to your heart.

What’s the best song about family, in your opinion? Leave a comment below. 

Emily is a singer-songwriter, guitarist, and ukulelist who has graced the stage at countless venues across the Midwest and Southern U.S. Throughout her career, she’s opened for artists including Eric Paslay, Stars Go Dim, Love & The Outcome, and Sierra Hull. She writes relatable, original music in various genres, from country and folk to cinematic pop, hoping to inspire and uplift her listeners. Outside of music, Emily enjoys hiking with her husband and playing with her comical cat, Olive.

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