The relationship between siblings is difficult to express in words. They fight for each other and, usually, against one another. Throughout time, some artists sang songs about siblings that truly capture this complex relationship.
Let’s discuss some of the most well-known brother-sister songs and sibling-based tracks of all time.
1. He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother – The Hollies
This song is a heartwarming ode about brothers helping brothers and being there for one another no matter the situation.
2. Boss of Me – They Might Be Giants
If you ever watched Malcolm in the Middle, this was the theme song. It’s an inspirational number for any child with an older sibling who bullies and bosses them around. It gives them a bit of hope and encouragement to fight back, no matter how small they are!
3. My Brother’s a Basehead – De La Soul
While this song has an uptempo beat, this rhyme is the story of a brother going from smoking weed to crack. The song tells of how disastrous addiction is and how it pulls someone in.
4. Alfie – Lily Allen
Lily claims she wasn’t angry when she wrote this song, but the entire piece is about her brother’s imperfections, ranging from him smoking weed all the time to vegging out in front of the TV. Perhaps this song was a bit of motivation because her brother eventually found a job and bettered himself.
5. Martha – Rufus Wainwright
Despite the many sibling songs out there that describe a loving relationship between brothers and sisters, that isn’t always the case. However, when an emergency happens, it’s time to come together for the greater good. And this ballad is an emotional song asking his sister to put aside any differences and come together
6. Little Brother – Ella Vos
This indie-pop sensation is no stranger to discussing heavy topics, like depression. That’s why in 2016 when she wrote a song about her brother and his car accident, no one batted an eye, but they may have wiped a tear from those eyes. In this song, Ella Vos vowed to her brother to stay by his side.
7. You and Your Sister – Chris Bell
Not long before his death, Chris Bell released a song about his sister saying he was no good and how he wanted to change his relationship with her. Her disapproval had taken a toll on him.
8. My Sister Says the Saddest Things – Grimes
This electro-pop hit is quite difficult to keep up with in terms of its meaning. But if you pull up a lyrics sheet, you’ll see that this song is about walking with your sister who’ll keep all your secrets.
9. Sister – Prince
Prince’s “Sister” is anything but a sweet song about his sister. The song begins with, “I was only 16, but I guess that’s no excuse.” It further discusses having an incestuous relationship with his sibling. When discussing brother-sister songs, this one is truly filthy and not easily relatable for the average.
10. My Sister – The Juliana Hatfield Three
This song takes listeners on an emotional journey of a sibling rivalry, beginning with the singer envying her sister. It ends with the singer missing her and wishing she could have taken her sister to a concert that she wanted to go to before she left home.
11. When We Grow Up – Diana Ross
Diana Ross took a jovial look at body size and being okay with yourself. It addresses how people should do what they love and be what they want. It’s more of a song dedicated to a male friend, but it can easily fit a brother-sister relationship.
12. White Wedding – Billy Idol
At one time, having a baby out of wedlock was quite scandalous. So when Billy Idol’s sister became pregnant and was having a shotgun wedding, he made this track about her situation, but he also said that it wasn’t entirely about her.
13. What’s Happening Brother – Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye was never shy about discussing sensitive topics, though in a light way, such as in the song “What’s Happening Brother.”
In this song, he discusses what happens when someone returns from Vietnam and has to adjust to civilian life once again. It primarily focuses on his brother who went off to war and him asking what’s going on in the world at the moment. It even has a similar beat to “What’s Going On,” making it easily identifiable that this is a Marvin Gaye song.
14. We Are Family – Sister Sledge
“We Are Family” is a classic wedding song that’s appeared in commercials and movies. While this isn’t necessarily one of the sibling songs, it can be dedicated to siblings or any family members.
15. Little Sister – Elvis Presley
“Little Sister” by Elvis Presley isn’t one of the standard brother-sister songs you typically think about. It’s about a girl who left Elvis for another. Now, he’s going to start a relationship with her sister and is hoping the same events don’t take place.
16. Come Dancing – The Kinks
This particular song is what you’d expect from The Kinks. However, it’s a song dedicated to the lead singer Ray Davies’ sister. It was a tribute to her after she passed away “dancing in the arms of a stranger.”
17. Sibling Rivalry – PUP
Many siblings can relate to the concept of this song—having a tradition that’s a bit eccentric. In this PUP song, the lead singer discusses all the terrifying camping trips they’ve been on together and how they survived. Jokingly, he asks in the song who started this crazy tradition.
18. Drink a Beer – Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan is known for singing about love and partying. When he lost his brother, he took a different approach by creating a heartfelt song dedicated to him. In “Drink a Beer,” Luke talks about the sadness of losing his brother and what he did to try to cope.
19. Brother – Kodaline
Kodaline’s “Brother” takes listeners on a journey from siblings growing up together and how they continue to stay close and help one another.
20. Sister – Dave Matthews Band
While it would seem that Dave Matthews would write “Sister” about his older sister, Anne, who tragically was taken in 1994 by her husband. However, that wasn’t the case. When he lacked inspiration, he contacted his other sister, Jane, and she had a few words of wisdom, which inspired this song.
21. Come Some Rainy Day – Wynonna Judd
Although Wynonna Judd didn’t write this song, it tells the tale of a pair of siblings growing up together and the importance of that relationship.
22. Sister Oh Sister – Mary Karr And Rodney Crowell Featuring Rosanne Cash
“Sister Oh Sister” is a song reminiscing about all the crazy moments of two sisters growing up together, from stealing a car to knowing one is always there for the other.
23. Older Sister – Carly Simon
This particular song talks about the adoration but also envy that Carly Simon has for her sister and how she’d like to be in her sister’s shoes for a day.
24. Little Sister – Jewel
This song discusses the heartbreak of watching a little sister battling drug addiction and how it sucks the person’s soul and changes them. Jewel talks about how her sister begged for her help but couldn’t stop.
25. Over You – Miranda Lambert
While people speculated that “Over You” was about Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton’s divorce, the song was actually about the passing of Blake’s brother, Richie, who was in a fatal car accident in 1990 when he was only 20. While Blake never wrote about it, Miranda felt it was a topic to address in this song, letting people know that you never really get over a loss, you merely get used to it.
26. Who You’d Be Today – Kenny Chesney
Kenny Chesney released “Who You’d Be Today” in 2005. It starts off talking about how he loves the person like a brother. During the rest of the song, Kenny talks about the difficulty of grieving over a loss and wondering who the individual would be today. Although it’s not specifically about a sibling, it could easily apply to losing a brother or sister.
27. Blood Brothers – Bruce Springsteen
This song describes people growing up together and remaining close or “Blood Brothers.” While it doesn’t necessarily relate to siblings, you can also easily dedicate it to siblings.
28. I Drive Your Truck – Lee Brice
This song received its inspiration from a true story of an American soldier in Afghanistan who lost his son. However, the lyrics describe the relationship and emotions behind a brother losing a brother.
29. My Sister – Reba McEntire
Reba McEntire’s “My Sister” talks about how she and her sister grew up together as best friends, fighting but always making up. Throughout the song, she’s talking to her sister about how she’s growing up.
30. Hey Brother – Avicii
As one of the brother-sister songs, this song discusses how the narrator will always be there for his brother and sister, no matter what happens in life.
31. Mudfootball – Jack Johnson
This particular song relates to friends growing up together. However, listeners may picture growing up with their siblings when they hear this song.
32. Brothers & Sisters – Coldplay
In 1999, Coldplay released “Brothers and Sisters.” It describes having a disconnect but coming back together over time.
33. Brother Mine – Suzanne Vega
“Brother Mine” is one of the brother-sister songs on the list. It describes the singer looking at her little brother getting into trouble and mischief, but in the end, she still loves him.
34. Sister Christian – Night Ranger
The drummer, Kelly Keagy, of Night Ranger wrote this song about seeing his little sister growing up so quickly. She’s 10 years younger than him, and he’s discussing her getting into relationships but wanting her to be careful.
35. Sister – The Nixons
In 1996, this alternative rock track peaked at 77 on the Billboard 200. The song was discussing Zac Malloy’s sister moving to California, and the emotions it evoked. It mentions how he missed her and wished her well.
36. Dance Little Sister – The Rolling Stones
“Dance Little Sister” isn’t necessarily a song about a little sister, but someone may picture their little sister dancing and growing up with this track. The song actually focuses more on partying.
37. Brotherly Love – Keith Whitley
“Brotherly Love” is a song that captures the relationship between brothers well. It talks about moments filled with love and not-so-loving ones. At the end of the song, the boys are grown and moving on, and it shows how much they love and miss each other as they go their separate ways.
38. Brother Sister Song – Steve and Annie Chapman
The original was for children. Later, they expanded the lyrics to gear the song toward adults. It’s one of the brother-sister songs about how proud these two are of one another and how they’ll always love each other.
39. Sister to a Brother – Rob Finlay
In 2011, Rob Finlay released the song, “Sister to a Brother.” It discusses a sister’s dedication to her brother. It describes the depth of her love.
40. Brothers and Sisters – Twin Atlantic
This song by Twin Atlantic refers to how they miss the conversations between their siblings. It asks where they are right now and talks about how they want to go back to that time.
41. My Big Sister – Barenaked Ladies
In this tune, the singer is talking about how he likes his big sister but doesn’t want to wear her hand-me-downs, even if they fit.
42. We’re Going to Be Friends – The White Stripes
This isn’t one of the typical sibling songs because it’s not about brothers and sisters. It’s about going back to school and making friends. However, a sibling could easily relate this song to meeting their brother or sister for the first time.
43. All My Life – Flo Rida
The track is quite upbeat with a synthetic beat and the Miami rapper chanting, “All My Life.” Most of the song talks about him trying to survive and reaching the top. It also mentions the passing of his sister early in his career.
44. Brother, Sister – Beta Radio
This song talks about growing up with a brother and sister. It notes wrestling on the floor and looking for a sister’s diary and how it’s all gone in the past.
45. Orange Sky – Alexi Murdoch
In “Orange Sky,” Alexi Murdoch talks about the long journey he and his brother went through together. It also notes having a dream about his sister standing by.
46. My Brother Taught Me How to Swim – Passion Pit
This song literally talks about a brother teaching the singer how to swim in the ocean. It later discusses everything else his brother taught him to do, such as how to give.
47. Your Guardian Angel – Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
This song isn’t necessarily one of the brother-brother, sister-sister, or brother-sister songs. It, however, talks about being someone’s guardian angel and being there no matter what. It’s a lesson a listener can apply to a sibling relationship.
48. Look at Little Sister – Stevie Ray Vaughan & Jeff Healey
In this song, Stevie Ray Vaughan is talking about a girl, possibly a little sister, out dancing a bit seductively. He concludes by asking her to stop because of what the neighbors will think.
49. Oh, Sister – Bob Dylan
In “Oh, Sister,” Bob Dylan asks his sister to treat him more comfortingly when he comes to her for help. He discusses how they grew up and matured together.
50. Footprints – Molly Kate Kestner
Molly Kate Kestner takes listeners on a journey through having a little brother. Initially, she describes the sadness of worrying their parents wouldn’t love her as much and then noting how much he ended up meaning to her. She talks about all the hope she has for his future.
51. Better Place – Rachel Platten
Throughout this song, Rachel Platten discusses how a person bettered her life with their mere presence. While it can easily relate to a relationship with a significant other, this inspirational number can also signify the difference a little brother or sister can make in an older sibling’s life.
These sibling songs accurately depict the ups and downs of growing up together and the emotions associated with this journey. It’s amazing how there’s a song for almost every type of sibling relationship.