If you have aunts, you might have an interesting relationship with them. Some of us are close to our aunts, even looking at them like surrogate parents. Some of us rarely see them except for the occasional holiday. However you feel about your own aunts, these 24 songs share stories about relationships between aunts and nieces (and some nephews) that are touching, hilarious, or downright chaotic.
1. Your Auntie Grizelda — The Monkees
Your Auntie Grizelda is a 1967 hit by The Monkees. The song is written from the perspective of a person’s boyfriend or girlfriend. Auntie Grizelda is portrayed as someone who is prim and judgmental. The bad news is that she doesn’t approve of the new couple, and she’s made it clear. The lyrics seem to suggest that Aunt Grizelda is an unyielding person without a sense of humor, so there is no telling if she’ll yield.
2. Aunt Dot — Lil’ Kim feat. Lil’ Shanice
Some aunts are prim and proper, while others are chaotic. Aunt Dot seems to be the chaotic kind. The song is about a woman who shows up claiming to be the singer’s aunt, only to turn their lives upside down. The song mentions everything from guns to car bombs, indicating that Aunt Dot’s life is a bit crazy. Let’s just say she won’t be invited to Thanksgiving any time soon.
3. Aunt Diluvian — Honyock
Honyock’s song Aunt Diluvian is a play on words — one that begs a bit of interpretation. The word antediluvian means “before the Biblical flood” or sometimes simply “ancient.” So what, if anything, do the lyrics Aunt Diluvian mean? The song offers few answers, leaving it largely up to the listener’s interpretation.
4. Aunt Betty — Middle Class Rut
Middle Class Rut’s unnerving song Aunt Betty made waves on the indie charts when it was first released, but this is definitely not a tune about a comforting aunt figure. With lyrics such as “Aunt Betty’s in the basement, looking for a way out” and “Aunt Betty’s on the warpath,” it almost sounds like the song is about a monster trying to devour the listener. The band’s explanation isn’t exactly comforting: it’s actually about a “weird spirit” that they believe follows them.
5. Aunt Suzie — Buckethead
One of three songs dedicated to Brian Carroll’s aunt, Aunt Suzie is a purely instrumental piece. Carroll has explained that his aunt gave him his first guitar when he was just 12 years old, recognizing that he had the potential to become a great musician. It is clear that they had a meaningful relationship, as the guitarist has written three songs in her honor, including Soothsayer, written after her death in 2007.
6. Aunt Jackie — Jason Fox
Sometimes, the best memories with relatives are the simple ones. Aunt Jackie is about the happy feeling of nostalgia that the singer gets from listening to old-school hip hop with his aunt. Though we can’t all claim to have aunts that are equally cool, most of us can probably relate to that same feeling of nostalgia.
7. Aunt Dora’s Love Soul Shack — Arthur Conley
It’s anyone’s guess whether Arthur Conley’s 1969 hit is about a really fun aunt or just a lady that everyone refers to as “aunt.” Regardless, it sounds like her “love soul shack” sounds like an amazing place to spend an evening, full of fun people and crazy partying. Most of us wish we had aunts that were this exciting.
8. Uncle John — Robert Bradley
Despite the title, the song Uncle John is less about an uncle and more about an aunt. The song is about an unknown family crisis, where the singer asks repeatedly, “Who’s gonna tell Auntie Mary about Uncle John?” The crisis might be that Uncle John has died unexpectedly, but other details hint that the secret might be something much darker.
9. Rockin’ Chair — Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington’s jazz standard Rockin’ Chair has been covered countless times since it was released in the 1930s. The song is about an elderly man sitting in his rocking chair as he awaits death. He calls for his long-dead Aunt Harriett to come to escort him to heaven, knowing that she must surely be there already.
10. My Little Nephew — Corrinne May
My Little Nephew was written by YouTube musician Corrinne May. The heartfelt song is a declaration for May’s own nephew. In it, she expresses many of the same thoughts that parents often have: that he is growing faster than she can follow and that she wishes he could stay a baby forever. The song shows that she has a special relationship with him that makes them much closer than most aunts and nephews.
11. Aunt Hagar’s Blues — Art Tatum
Aunt Hagar’s Blues was composed by Art Tatum and has become a jazz standard, being covered by jazz greats such as Louis Armstrong. Some aunts might be uptight, but not Aunt Hagar. When a minister preaches about the evils of jazz music, she shouts back that she can’t resist dancing and she’ll continue as she pleases. It sounds like Aunt Hagar was someone to look up to.
12. Go Tell Aunt Rhody — Woody Guthrie
Go Tell Aunt Rhody wasn’t initially composed by Woody Guthrie; his recording is a cover of the 19th-century folk song. The song may have once been a children’s rhyming game with a corresponding dance or hand motions. The lyrics instruct the listener to run and tell Aunt Rhody that her goose has died; some versions have additional verses about using its feathers for a mattress and other details.
13. Aunt Lisa — Mastodon
Aunt Lisa is a heavy metal song that was composed in honor of lead Mastodon singer’s late aunt. He described her as a wild person with a larger-than-life personality, so a metal song in her memory seems like the perfect tribute. The song describes memories such as being in Lisa’s garden before descending into a chaotic finale that the band thought perfectly represented her personality.
14. Long Tall Sally — Little Richard
Little Richard’s Long Tall Sally eventually became one of the hottest songs in rock and roll, being covered by everyone from Elvis to the Beatles and the Kinks. The song is about a man named Uncle John who is having an affair with a woman named Sally; when they see the singer’s Aunt Mary coming, they have to run off into an alleyway.
15. Electric Aunt Jemima — Frank Zappa
Electric Aunt Jemima was released as part of Frank Zappa’s concept albums throughout the late 1960s. These albums mocked the rise of consumerism and incessant branding, such as the maple syrup brand known as Aunt Jemima. The song is about how these brands stand in for real love and human connection and how they are ultimately a lie. It’s pretty deep for a song about breakfast.
16. Dear Aunt Arctica — Radish
Dear Aunt Arctica contains a pretty obvious pun on the word Antarctica, but beyond the wordplay, it’s hard to figure out what the song is really about. The lyrics are written as though they are a letter to a person the singer loves and looks up to; they discuss the chaos of the world around them and how they can’t seem to figure it out. The chorus is one simple, repeated line: “Dear Aunt Arctica, what am I gonna do?”
17. Sail on Soothsayer (In Memory of Aunt Suzie) — Buckethead
The lead singer of Buckethead must have been close to his Aunt Suzie, as he composed three songs in her honor. Sail on Soothsayer was the last one, which he wrote after her death. Like most of his other music, the song is an instrumental track. Fans have speculated that the title comes from Aunt Suzie’s ability to predict his future career by encouraging him to learn the guitar.
18. Aunt Dinah’s Quilting Party — Country Gentlemen
Aunt Dinah’s Quilting Party is a traditional bluegrass song, sometimes referred to as Seeing Nellie Home. The song is about a young man escorting a woman named Nellie home from his aunt’s quilting party and how they confess their love for one another on the walk. It has been covered countless times by many country and bluegrass groups.
19. Letter to my Niece — Dasgasdom3
Letter to my Niece is a tribute to the singer’s baby niece, Genesis. He describes how he looks at her as his daughter, helping raise her with his sister. He also says that Genesis is the person who gives him his purpose in life and that he felt close to her from the first time he held her. The song is a moving tribute of love to a child who is described as the most important person in the singer’s life.
20. New York Soul — Jon Bellion
Jon Bellion’s song might not explicitly be about a niece, nor is it written from the perspective of an aunt. However, the song is about missing family while traveling for work; the chorus repeatedly mentions how Bellion has to watch his niece “grow up through Instagram” and how he feels like he has left his soul in New York.
21. Aunt Vivian — Papa Zaniel
We’ll let you interpret the true meaning behind Papa Zaniel’s Aunt Vivian. Let’s just say that the singer is describing a woman using sentiments that aren’t exactly familial. Nevertheless, he intersperses this with repetitions of the phrase “Aunt Vivian.” Maybe it’s the new version of calling your boyfriend Daddy?
22. My Aunt Minnie — Allan Sherman
We’ve all seen somebody’s aunt try to act younger than she is. Apparently, that’s been happening as long as aunts have been around! My Aunt Minnie is about an old lady who tries to fit in with the younger crowd of the 1960s by wearing mini-skirts and going to go-go clubs. Unfortunately, most people view her with amusement more than welcome.
23. Aunt’s Place — Fredo
For some people, an aunt is more like a parent. Aunt’s Place is about crashing at your aunt’s house after being kicked out of your childhood home. It just goes to show that people can have complex relationships with their parents’ siblings and that there are times when aunts can really step up to help.
24. Auntie’s Wooden Leg — Richard Hartley
If you were a fan of the live-action Alice in Wonderland adaptation of 1999, you might remember this (appropriately) bizarre song, performed by Martin Short as the Mad Hatter. This completely unhinged tune comes in an impromptu, tabletop performance and features lyrics about painting your aunt’s wooden leg and naming it “Fred or Ned or Ted”.
As the Head Editor and Writer at Music Grotto, Liam helps write and edit content produced from professional music/media journalists and other 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.
Liam’s lifelong love for music makes his role at Music Grotto such a rewarding one. He loves researching, writing and editing music content for Music Grotto.