Indeed, nothing beats the love of a brother. Songs from different genres and eras are dedicated to brothers to highlight deep love and special memories for brothers, whether from the same mother or not. This article looks at the 21 best songs about brothers.
Tag along and discover how different artists have expressed their love for those they refer to as “brothers.” In the end, be sure to choose one that will resonate with your brother and dedicate it to him. Without further adieu, let’s get into the list:
1. “My Little Brother” by Art Brut
“My Little Brother” is a hard-hitting rock song. In the song, he tells of his brother’s discovery of rock and roll. Now that the brother has discovered rock and roll, he feels untouchable. The song is very relatable because we, too, have had moments when some genre of music or a specific artist grips you, and you feel like that is what represents who you are.
Art Brut also expresses his brother’s defiance of authority, his feelings of abandonment by his parents, and, more so, the moves that the younger brother is unleashing on the dance floor. Rock and roll has his brother tight on a leash.
The invaluable part of the song is the last line, where he tells his brother to stay off a certain substance. This message is universal. Even if the brother loves rock and roll, he should steer off the substance because that would devastate his life.
2. “He Ain’t Heavy; He’s My Brother” by the Hollies
This is a ballad written by Bobby Scot and Rob Russel. This song was originally recorded by Kelly Gordon in 1969, and it immediately became a major hit by The Hollies.
He Ain’t Heavy; He Is My Brother has a deep and rooted history. A man known as James Well writes a story of a girl carrying a big little boy. Someone notices the girl struggling and asks her if she is not getting tired. She replied that he was not heavy because he was her brother.
The boy is said to have contracted polio and wore leg braces. The song echoes how sad he is that people’s hearts are void of gladness and love for one another.
This timeless song is profound. It expresses the obligation that each of us has to help each other. But, no matter what you have to do for your brother, you should not view it as a burden.
3. “What’s Happening Brother” By Marvin Gaye
“What’s Happening Brother” is the second song from Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.” It tells a story of a soldier coming back to the United States after a trip to Vietnam. The song was inspired by his brother known as Frankie, who had spent three years serving in Vietnam.
The soldier is inquisitive about what happened after he left because he finds a very chaotic America. He asks his brother if things will be okay, as the newspaper suggests. He sings about the evils associated with war, such as no job and lack of money.
The song resonates so well with us who have siblings and loved ones that have gone to war. They leave us behind hoping that maybe one day they will come back one day, and if they do, they will find a different world from when they left.
4. “Brothers Under the Sun” by Bryan Adams
“Brothers Under the Sun” is about Spirit’s bond with Little Creek during the movie by DreamWorks, Spirit. The movie Spirit follows a rebellious girl called Lucky. Lucky forms a deep friendship with a stallion called Spirit. Spirit gets captured by a group of wranglers, and Lucky sets off to rescue Spirit.
5. “Brother Mine” by Suzanne Vega
Sung by Suzzane Vega on her album Close Up Volume 4, dubbed Songs of Family.
The lyrics are about her new brother’s acquired behavior. How he gets in trouble, gets into fights, and is left with a black eye. She wonders why he is such a troublemaker.
The song echoes the dilemma she is in about whether to yell at him or try to understand what he is going through. But despite all this, she hopes that he will be alright and embraces and kisses him.
6. “Boss of Me” by They Might Be Giants
“Boss of Me” was written by John Flansburgh and John Linnel and was performed by the alternative rock band ‘They Might Be Giants.’
The song is about a younger brother who becomes defiant because his siblings boss him around. Finally, he becomes independent and refuses to be bossed around, which is considered rebellious.
This song became famous as it was the opening theme song for the television show Malcolm in the Middle. In 2002, the Boss of Me album won the band its first Grammy award.
7. “Blood Brothers” by Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen is an all-time favorite musician to many. He is a gifted musician, lyricist, and a great vocalist. When he performs, you can hear his heart and soul shine.
He wrote the track when he got together with the E Street Band, who had not been together for seven years. They created a major hit album that featured this song when they reunited.
The song echoes that they would remain blood brothers through all promises made, work done, and memories that would fade. In addition, the song also promises that they will walk together through the darkness no matter what happens.
It resonates so much about how we should have faith in each other even in death. We should always fight for our brothers, stand by them, and keep our promises.
8. “Brother” by Kodaline
It’s from the album Politics of Living, and its genre is alternative. It was released in 2018, but it feels like quite a good old jam from decades before. The song hit like a truck and has garnered millions and millions of views on YouTube.
It is such an emotional song that portrays friendship, sacrifice, love, and sorrow. Moreover, the song is supported by chordophones, which makes the song more heartfelt.
In the song, Kodaline talks about when they were young. They smoked cigarettes with no regrets with a friend he considered his brother. He sings about how he misses those days and how his brother took a different path. He hopes that they will be reunited when they are old.
Though they are not related by blood, he appreciates his brother and professes his love. It talks about the lengths they would go for each other. That even in death, they would rescue each other.
9. “My Brother’s A Base Head” by de la Soul
The song is about a brother who is addicted to drugs from the album De La Soul is Dead. The song details how he first started with just a snort as a young boy and finally became fully addicted at just 21 years.
He accuses him of stealing his money. His father also threw him out when he could not keep up with his behavior.
The brother says he is trying to put his addiction in check, but his mind is still craving the drugs.
The song has an allegory about the dangers of drug abuse. It portrays the pain and frustration a big brother is facing when the little brother is unable to beat his addiction to drugs. Though he still has hope and talks about how he will help him.
10. “Hey Brother” by Avicii
The electric pop song from the album True was released in 2013. It was sung by Avicii. The song is in the genre progressive house and dance-pop and has been nominated in Worlds Music Award for World’s Best Song.
The song is about a brother who is far from home giving a message to his siblings. He promises that there is nothing he will not do for them in this world.
He promises that even if he is far from home, he will hear them and help out when they call him.
It’s a beautiful anthem and a precious reminder of how siblings are.
11. “Song for My Brother” by Carlos Santana
We feel like this song is underrated for brothers. He is one of the few guitarists that makes fuzz sound so good.
Santana depicts appreciation for a brother who stood with him through tough times. He goes ahead and asks him to stick by him in a hurricane, and in the end, they will find a way.
12. “The Greatest Discovery” by Elton John
This classic and super song was brought to the world by superstar Elton John. Released in 1970, The Greatest Discovery remains to be a world classic.
The song describes a boy’s joy when he met his baby brother for the first time. The boy is puzzled and amazed by the baby and the strange sounds that he makes.
It describes the moments and adventures they would have together.
13. “Brothers in Arms” by Dire Straits
A soulful masterpiece from Dire Straits from their album Brother in Arms.
The song was inspired by the Falklands War, which happened when Dire Straits and Mark Knopfler wrote the song. The war was between the UK and Argentina over the islands.
Mark, in the song, talks about the suffering soldiers are facing and the destruction that is happening. He talks about how a soldier slowly sleeps to death, his fellow looking from the side. He condemns war.
Today it highlights the folly of war and the plight of those engaged in it. It reflects what the world would be like without war.
14. “Me and Bobby and Bobby’s Brother” by Abba
This is a nostalgic treat by Abba from their album ring ring. The song was from 1973 and still resonates today with most people.
This song is about siblings reminiscing as they recount the fun and games they had in their childhood.
15. “Little Brother” by Ella Vos
This debut single topped the list. It’s sparse but has an infectious pop. The vocals portrayed in the song and the production create an electrifying song.
It was written in the wake of his brother’s accident and it highlights how he misses talking to him, like when they were younger. He advises the little brother to reach out if things are not alright. The song also features him asking his brother not to drift away but stay together.
This is a universal message that we should explore our relationships and desire closeness with each other.
16. “I Drive Your Truck” by Lee Brice
The song was sung by Lee Brice on the album Hard to Love in 2012 as his third single. Country music fans were thrilled by this heartbreaking song, and it became a sensation for many.
This is a commemorative song about a brother who died. The brother died in the war while trying to help gravely wounded comrades.
The song talks about how he has kept the truck because that’s where he feels his deceased brother most and not the grave. He further says that the truck is still the same as he used. He keeps cigarette butts in the ashtray and listens to the same radio station as he did.
This is among the few songs that, when you listen, will leave you on an emotional roller-coaster. It manifests the pain one feels after losing a loved one.
17. “Brotherly Love” by Keith Whitley
‘Brotherly Love’ is a song written by Jim Allan and Tim Nicholes and was recorded as a duet between Keith Whitley and Earl Thomas. It’s under the country genre.
The song is about two brothers who fight like tigers, but they love each other despite their misunderstandings.
The song is profound, and one should draw a lesson from it, for instance, to cherish moments with each other as we do not know what the future holds.
18. “Brothers of a Bottle” by George Jones
This country music hits on the right nerves. Performed by George Jones on the album You got to be my baby.
The song shows a distressed brother who goes to drink after he is heartbroken by a woman.
The song resonates with brotherhood, and through a tough time, they are there to support him.
19. “Highway Patrolman” by Bruce Springsteen
This is an old bittersweet classic. He talks about a devoted cop who puts his nation first, and when his brother commits an offense, he shoots him.
20. “Brother” by Needtobreathe
Released in 2014 under the album called Rivers in the Wasteland, “Brother” talks about a sibling or friend who needs help.
It’s a song about hope, and he assures him that he can call him in his time of distress. It outlines how we should be selfless and be a fortress to others.
21. “On the Wings of a Nightingale” by the Everly Brothers
The song was written by Paul McCartney and beautifully sung by the Everly brothers. This classic from the 80s attracted many listeners and we can say that it’s a great song to dedicate to those you consider “brothers” in your life. The album EB84 talks about brothers finding success from different paths.
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.