Anyone who’s ever watched the “Fast & Furious” franchise knows that it’s all about family. It would seem that the Torettos aren’t the only ones who feel this way, either. There are no less than 20 songs listed below that are all about the love that family can bring. In fact, there are plenty of family-related themes in these tunes.
The songs themselves have been listed from number 20 to number one. Of course, your personal favorite might be found somewhere in between. If you’re curious, each one of the songs has its own YouTube link for easy listening. Who knows, you might find more than a few songs on the list you haven’t heard in the past (or at least in a really long time).
Carve out a few minutes for yourself, sit back, listen and enjoy. You might even end up with a few “new” favorites, and maybe even a slightly healthier perspective on what it means to be family.
20. Family Affair (Sly and the Family Stone)
The thing that really made this particular song stand out was actually the group that performed it. Despite their name, they weren’t blood relatives. In fact, they were an eclectic group of individuals who all came together due to their love of music. That being said, they felt very strongly that you didn’t have to be related by blood in order to be family. For them, it was all about the close bonds that people develop with each other. That’s also precisely what the song is about.
19. We Are Family (Sister Sledge)
This particular group involved four sisters. The interesting thing is that at the time the song became a hit, they were actually seriously considering getting out of the music business because they hadn’t experienced a great deal of success. The song that was written all about being part of a family was never even meant for public release. It had actually been written just for the four of them. The first time it hit the airwaves, things changed in a major way for the group and the song is still heard a countless number of times on the airwaves, even today.
18. My Father’s Eyes (Eric Clapton)
This song is rather heartbreaking, largely because it’s based on the relationship that Clapton never really got to experience with his own father. Sadly, his father passed away before he had a chance to develop a strong relationship with him. The pain that he felt as a direct result of that experience is forever etched into the minds of anyone who hears this song.
17. Family Portrait (Pink)
This song is equally painful, yet for a slightly different reason. When Pink was only nine years old, her father left the family. The pain and confusion that she experienced because of that was something that haunted her for a number of years. In fact, it took her two decades to write this song that fully details how she felt in those moments and in practically every moment thereafter.
16. Father to Son (Queen)
This song was written to express the feelings that the group’s lead guitarist’s father had about him pursuing a career in the music industry. As it turns out, his father wasn’t exactly thrilled with his career choices, something that often caused a great deal of angst between the two. As is frequently the case with artists, that pain was then turned into a song.
15. Teach Your Children Well (Crosby, Stills and Nash)
This song is definitely about family, but it’s also about the state of the world at the time it was released. During the late 60s and early 70s, there was a great deal of disruption in society. Each member of this group decided to contribute a section of lyrics based on their own memories of how their parents raised them. The goal was to hopefully get people to understand that if children aren’t given love and an opportunity to grow when they’re young, it will have a negative impact on the way they act as adults.
14. Family Reunion (The O’Jays)
This song is all about the best things that you’re likely to experience when you’re part of a family. It focuses on the joy, happiness and support that a good family can bring. It also talks about how you’re never really alone when you’re part of a big family because there is always someone there to have your back.
13. Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone (The Temptations)
The surprising thing about this tune is that it was actually performed by a different group before The Temptations picked it up and people absolutely hated it. Once they got a hold of it, it became an instant hit. The song that is more than 10 minutes long in its entirety about a man who has a family, yet is always gazing at every woman he meets, became an instant hit that is still just as popular today as it was when it was released.
12. In My Daughter’s Eyes (Martina McBride)
This song is both inspirational and something of a tearjerker. It’s told from the perspective of a mother who is looking into the eyes of her daughter from birth until much later in life. The song centers on how knowing that a young person is depending on you can give you the strength you need to get through the most difficult of times, even when you would have given up on yourself a long time ago.
11. A Song for Mama (Boyz II Men)
This song is special because every member of the group contributed to it. At its core, it was written to express their love and devotion to their individual mothers. The song pays special attention to the sacrifices that their mothers made throughout the years in order to help them both in their careers and in their personal lives.
10. I’ll Always Love My Mama (The Intruders)
This group was comprised of a bunch of individuals who grew up in the same neighborhood. As a direct result, they all more or less knew each other before they began recording together. This is a song that serves as an open love letter to each of their mothers, thanking them for always being there for them and not giving up on them, even when times were exceedingly difficult.
9. Mama (Spice Girls)
Any person who has ever raised a child during their teenage years knows that it can be challenging, even on the best days. This particular song focuses on those particular years of growing up, acknowledging what mothers go through for their children during the years when their children aren’t always receptive to the help their mothers are trying to provide.
8. Family (Dolly Parton)
This song has some lyrics that are downright funny, but they’re also true. It talks about the reality of being in a family and how people don’t always see eye-to-eye. The lyrics of the song go on to discuss how some family members can be a true pleasure to be around while others make you want to tear your hair out after five minutes with them. Anyone who’s ever spent much time around their family would probably agree that every word in this song is completely true.
7. These Are My People (Rodney Atkins)
Here you have another song that talks about the fact that family isn’t always directly related by blood. This particular tune is a personal reflection of the artist who performs it. The lyrics detail his formative years as he grew up in an extremely rural area where the entire community considered itself family.
6. Grandma’s Hands (Bill Withers)
This is probably one of the most touching songs ever written, but it’s also one that will have you reaching for tissues from the first verse. It talks about growing up and watching the grandmother in the family do everything from cooking the meals to guiding everyone else through their troubles. It also details the natural progression of that relationship as the grandmother passes away. It’s a very touching song, but it’s also one that really drives home the point that you should cherish the people you love while you can because nothing lasts forever and no one is guaranteed tomorrow.
5. Dear Mama (Tupac Shakur)
This was a very personal song written by Shakur himself. He wanted to write a personal note to his own mother thanking her for supporting him during even the most difficult times. He especially wanted to focus on his addiction with drugs and alcohol, thanking her for continuing to stand by him during a time when someone less dedicated might have walked away.
4. Mockingbird (Eminem)
Unfortunately, being a part of a family isn’t always a pleasurable experience. This song was one that Eminem pinned himself. It’s very candid, talking about how he has struggled with relationships with his wife and daughters for a number of years. On its deepest level, it serves as something of a public apology to all of them for his behavior, almost as if he were trying to extend an olive branch in a way that would stand out enough to get their attention.
3. Family Affair (Mary J. Blige)
This song also talks about the drama that can occur when family members get together. However, it takes things a step further and discusses how it’s important to try to get over those difficult instances if at all possible. In her song, she talks about letting all of the drama go and focusing on the good things about each family member so that they can have fun when they get together. The song also talks about knowing when to spend time together and when to have some alone time so that things don’t become overly intense yet again.
2. Who Says You Can’t Go Home (Bon Jovi, Jennifer Nettles)
This is a very popular collaboration that the two did together, focusing mainly on finding one’s place within the family once again. It discusses leaving home, sometimes under less-than-ideal circumstances. However, it also talks about finding the right time to come back home and letting all of the negative feelings die down. At its essence, it’s a very upbeat song that focuses more on the positive aspects of family than the negative ones.
1. You’ll Be In My Heart (Phil Collins)
This particular song landed in the number one slot because it is a song about two individuals who love each other with all their heart, yet they absolutely cannot be together in a physical sense. In fact, they’re completely separated from each other with respect to their geographic location.
In a way, the song is utterly heartbreaking, yet there is also an overwhelming sense of hope because both of these individuals still feel an immense amount of love for one another, even though they can’t be together. The lyrics in the song talk about how no amount of distance can diminish the love that one individual feels for another.
Even for those who are destined to be apart for their entire lives, true love is never diminished. In fact, the old cliche about love living on and never dying is completely true and this song captures that truth in an amazing way that makes it all crystal clear.
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