A party is never complete without some loud music. The music hits are even better, especially when well blended with the day’s theme. The same applies to farewell parties.
It feels sad to say goodbye to the people we have worked with for a long time and finally say goodbye due to retirement, but you can make it a good time! Today we have listed some of the best retirement songs you can play at retirement parties for your friends and loved ones.
1. “Hello, Goodbye” By The Beatles
The Beatles are the most well-known and loved music group of all time. This particular music is a great choice when selecting a retirement song for a colleague. The song clearly shows that goodbyes are also hellos to a new chapter in life.
2. “This Ain’t Goodbye” By Train
A perfect retirement song with some lyrics that say love can never be a final goodbye. Despite your colleague going for retirement, you will forever be in each other’s lives.
3. “I Gotta Feeling” By Black Eyed Peas
Like the rest of the album, this song is based on escapism; the visual is of a late-night party. Who says that retirements have to be a downer of a time? Go out with a bang and have a fun time with it!
You haven’t completed it yet. There is still a lot of enjoyment to be had. If you’ve worked for a long time, retirement is the time to relax and enjoy yourself. In a nutshell, the song suggests that retiring isn’t the end of the game; there’s still a night of fun to be had.
I know that we’ll have a ball/ I feel stressed, and/ I wanna let it go… people ready to retire can DEFINITELY relate to these sentiments from the song.
4. “Hall of Fame” By The Script
This song by The Script, an Irish pop-rock band, is about reaching your goals and doing whatever it takes to do what you want and be the best version of yourself that you can be.
While the song is designed to motivate individuals of all ages, anyone about to retire will undoubtedly find the lyrics particularly motivating. The charming and soul-stirring reminder that life isn’t over simply because you’ve retired starts with the opening stanzas, which truly narrate the song’s story.
Imagine yourself in an imaginary hall of fame while listening to this song’s strong, motivating words.
Because there’s gonna be a day/ When you’re standing in the hall of fame/
5. “Eye of the Tiger” By Survivor
This is a 1982 song by Survivor. Frankie Sullivan, a guitarist, and Jim Peterik, a keyboardist, wrote this Grammy-winning tune. This song, produced specifically for the film Rocky, depicts Rocky Balboa’s suffering and resilience throughout the iconic training montage.
The words conjure a zeal for taking on the difficulties that lie ahead for someone approaching retirement. The song appears to suggest that your entire working life has been a preparation and that retirement is the actual game. You can’t help but come out on top.
6. “Can’t Take It With You” By Allman Brothers Band
This song by the Allman Brothers Band, an American rock band that began in 1969, is about realizing that life isn’t about possessions.
The lyrics warn listeners to be ready for changes but also to enjoy what they have. It is a wonderful graduation song as well.
7. “Can’t Stop” By Red Hot Chili Peppers
Written by the lead guitarist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Frusciante, this catchy tune portrays a man who can’t stop doing what he loves, which we can apply to closing in on retirement. It’s an anthem for anyone who continues to work even after reaching their golden years.
8. “Oh! What a Beautiful Morning” By Bing Crosby
This beautiful song will automatically improve your mood anytime you play it. The song always reminds anyone going on retirement that they will enjoy their mornings once they retire. It is a fantastic song that is adored to coworkers of any age.
9. “My Way” By Frank Sinatra
This song was written in 1968 by Paul Anka and, for the past 50 years, has been sung by many popular singers. This song is filled with interesting lyrics that everyone can relate to. It is a very upbeat and fun song to listen to whenever you feel low or are planning for the next chapter in life.
10. “Life’s Been Good” By Joe Walsh
This song was performed by Joe Walsh on the sessions for his album “But Seriously, Folks” in 1979. The track also stars John Cafferty on backing vocals, Jerry Scheff on bass, and Michael Huey as a percussionist. The song’s lyrics are about the experiences of someone who has managed to have a great time despite all odds being against them.
11. “We’ve Only Just Begun” By The Carpenters
Retirement doesn’t need to be a day where we obsess about the journey and the past, it should be a day where we celebrate the coworker’s future. This song helps ease the transition by helping the coworker realize that life is a journey and it’s still just getting started for them. Help that coworker look ahead with eagerness with this great song for a retirement party.
12. “Sunshine Of Your Love” By Cream
On many lists of the best and most impactful songs of all time, this song was sung by all three members of the band (Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker). Clapton has said that this song was the key to his transition from soulful blues to heavy rock (just listen to the guitar). It helped propel him into stardom in 1968. The song is also a good choice to play at a party organized for a colleague who is going on retirement. It makes them feel special and that they will always be at heart.
13. “9 to 5” By Dolly Parton
9 to 5 is one of the most famous retirement songs released in the late 1980s by Dolly Patron. The song is about the daily struggles that a typical 9 to 5 office worker faces. In the song, Dolly can tell all the characters of an office employee. When played at a party where a colleague is soon to retire, they get to remember the struggles they faced while working and that they won’t face them anymore, which should be a good morale boost for them.
14. “I’m Ready to Go” – Dion
This song features a distinct blend of blues and a fast-paced beat that would leave no mistake about the retiree’s mood. It lists a number of things that are ready to be moved from their place. As an idea, it is a good retirement song.
15. “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)” By Green Day
We consider the melody and overtones of this song to be a bit on the sadder side, but it also has good nostalgia vibes for positive feelings towards people and the good times shared with them.
Maybe the retirement party needs some background music that puts everyone in a pleasant mood? Try out this low-key song for a feel good affair.
16. “Cold, Cold Heart” By Hank Williams
This 1951 song was originally written by Hank Williams, Sr., and Fred Rose, who later incorporated it into the repertoire of country music artist Buddy Holly in 1958. He also included it in his album titled The “Chirping” Crickets. It was produced and distributed by Decca, then subsequently covered over time by other artists such as Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, and even Miley Cyrus.
The song’s lyrics depict the heartbreak brought about by a lover’s departure from a relationship or when they leave us (loosely works for a retirement). Sure it’s a bit more forlorn, but you could definitely save this one for a coworker that you hate to see go.
17. “Get a Haircut” By George Thorogood
The song is a perfect parting shot to look back at your past when you may have been a bit of a rebel in your youth. They told you to get a clean cut haircut and a job, and so you did! Well, now that you’re going to enter retirement, maybe it’s time to go back to your rebel roots.
18. “100 Years” By Five For Fighting
This song has a classic piano melody that we’re sure everyone will recognize instantly at the party.
Want to ensure that everyone stops and takes a second to evaluate their life and make sure they’re living it to their absolute best? Put this track on at the party.
We all need to live in the moment more and enjoy what we have, after all, we only have 100 years to live!
19. “Closing Time” By Semisonic
Closing Time was released in 1998, and it was the best single from the Feeling Strangely Fine album. According to Dan Dodd, the song contains a literal meaning: exit the bar. The writer also narrates that the song is about “being born, observing the bright lights, cutting the cord, and opening into a deeper experience.” The song lyrics resonate well with the new life after one goes on retirement. The doors are closing on work, and it’s time to get on with the rest of life.
20. “When I’m Sixty Four” – The Beatles
Written by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and four singing voices of the Beatles, “When I’m Sixty Four” was written in 1965 but released in 1967. It is one of the best-selling songs from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It depicts retirement life as it draws its lyrics from tunes that were popular in early childhood, such as A-Tisket, A-Tasket (with a basket you shall have), and Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf.
As a song, it was a hit in the year of release in which John Lennon declared, “I would like to die at sixty-five with my boots on.” Many television and radio stations use this good retirement song to play at the end of their shows.
21. “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” By The Animals
We wouldn’t recommend this song if your workplace is actually a toxic environment, but it can be a good rib on the whole office culture by making retirement an escape from the place the retiree spends way too much time at!
This one should land well for the right audience, and we’re sure if you have a coworker who has a sense of humor and is well-liked, then this song will go off without a hitch!
22. “Born To Be Wild” By Steppenwolf
Chances are the retiree has slowed down a bit in their old age, but maybe they still have a bit of youthful ways or tendencies towards them. This would be the absolute perfect track for them! We’re sure that a light-hearted and “alive” coworker will love that you chose this song for their retirement party.
Even more so, if the retiree is super reserved and calm, then this would be a great ironic track to play as well – really, you can’t go wrong with this iconic track.
23. “Margaritaville” By Jimmy Buffett
Do you have a cool office and an even cooler retiring coworker? Try playing this song and tell them to wear a Hawaiian shirt on their last day before retirement. Maybe, if your office is REALLY cool, you’ll be able to have some fun tequila or margarita drinks for everyone – we can dream, can’t we?
24. “Don’t Stop Believin'” By Journey
Released in 1981, “Don’t Stop Believin'” was written by Steve Perry and was made into an iconic song that practically everyone knows the lyrics to. In this song, the singer speaks about all the great motivational and inspirational things about life, by saying “don’t stop believing” and that we can all continue to dream.
Chances are everyone at the party will get behind this one to bring an overall euphoric and upbeat vibe to the retirement party.
25. “The Best Is Yet To Come” By Frank Sinatra
Sinatra is definitely one of the best singers of all time, and his songs always seem to resonate well with life and common phenomena that we all experience.
Of course, the coworker you play this song for may have some apprehension or reservations about retirement and change, but this song can definitely help them in the transition. After all, the best is yet to come now that retirement is here!
26. “Survivor” By Destiny’s Child
If everyday at the office seems to be a drag and you just can’t wait to get it over with, then you’ll really appreciate this song about surviving the days and getting to retirement.
This can also have more literal meanings if the coworker retiring has faced many hardships or challenges in their career but overcame them and rose above adversity. Either way, this is a great track to play for retirement.
27. “Hit the Road Jack” By Ray Charles
While this song is typically reserved for a woman’s scorn, it can also make for a fun and humorous retirement song. Just make sure that if you play this song for them it’s all in good fun and you reiterate how much you will miss your great coworker!
That wraps up our list of the best retirement songs to play for someone entering their golden years. Did we miss out on any of your favorites? Let us know by contacting us today.
As the Head Editor at Music Grotto, Liam edits content produced from over 30 professional music/media journalists and contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.