One of the best ways to honor a brother is through song. Over the last several decades, there have been a few songs about brothers that have stood out from different genres—from rock to country, alternative to pop. Most brotherly songs have a deep sense of meaning to them, much like how brotherly relationships are. These songs are often good reminders of loved ones and friends, blood brothers, and those that are brothers through strong bonds and connections. If you’ve got such a person in your life, here are 10 awesome songs about brothers to help you honor them.
1. Daniel – Elton John
People have analyzed the lyrics to this song for decades now, but no one’s really figured out who Daniel actually is. That’s the magic of the songwriting process of Elton John and his lyricist, Bernie Taupin. In reality Daniel could be all our older brothers, and the song is a simple representation of the love and respect that exists there. Daniel may not be Elton John’s most famous work, but it’s beautiful, sad, and memorable.
2. He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother – Neil Diamond
There have been many renditions of this song, but Neil Diamond’s is just timeless. The singer’s approach is warm and feels like home. It almost sounds like he’s really singing about something personal here. The ballad was originally written in the late 60s, and Diamond was the third artist that created a version of the song in 1970. The lyrics and idea to the song are adapted from a book called The Parables of Jesus. It tells the story of a little girl carrying a baby boy. When someone asked the little girl of she was tired from carrying the baby, the little girl simply replied, “No, he’s not heavy; he’s my brother.” The rest is history.
3. Blood Brothers – Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen is a gifted musician, lyricist, and vocalist. He has a knack for creating anthems, and Blood Brothers is a great example. Springsteen supposedly wrote this track about getting back together with the E Street Band, with whom Springsteen had not played with for seven years at that time in 1995. Springsteen and the E Street Band eventually got together to record his greatest hits album featuring this song.
4. Brother – Kodaline
The loss of a dear brother is heavy. Kodaline captures that emotion so well in this song, Brother. The Irish rock band does this without the use of cheesy lines or depressing tones. It’s almost as if even a loss doesn’t take away the kind of bond that happens between two brothers. Kodaline sings, “If I was dying on my knees/You’d be the one to rescue me/And if you were drowned at sea/I’d give you my lungs so you could breathe.” What a beautiful tribute this song is to brothers all around.
5. Brother – Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam’s Brother is the kind of song that brothers might be rocking to back in the 90s or maybe even today. Eddie Vedder wrote the lyrics based on the concept of “big brother” from George Orwell’s 1984. Big Brother was a fictional character from the book, the leader of a totalitarian state. This probably explains the dark undertones of the song, and the idea of a “brother” figure here isn’t at all positive, but the song still rocks.
6. Brothers on a Hotel Bed – Death Cab for Cutie
Listening to this song today brings back incredible 2000s music vibes. Death Cab for Cutie members were musical and lyrical geniuses. They created songs that made people feel, and Brothers on a Hotel Bed is no different. The ambient noise in the background is jarring, and the main piano melody on the song is remarkably heart-wrenching. This is a song that will pull on your heartstrings and make you press repeat again and again.
7. Blood Brothers – Luke Bryant
Luke Bryan has become one of country music’s greatest talents. He has pushed the boundaries of the genre in great ways, and his charisma just pours over the edge on Blood Brothers. The song talks about relationships that are closer than family. It’s a rare thing, when friends become more than family. Bryan’s Blood Brothers is a heartfelt ballad that outlines what that could be like. It’s a precious occurrence, something as precious as this song.
8. Brothers – LOCASH
Here’s another story of how brothers get it done. LOCASH’s Brothers tells a really good story with music that you can raise the cup and reminisce to. This song is also a good tribute to those who serve this country in the military—a different kind of brotherhood that’s literally bound by blood and commitment. LOCASH’s song is a favorite on this list; it’s as inspiring as a song about brothers could be.
9. Little Brother – Hootie & The Blowfish
Rewind time a bit and take us back to the time of Hootie & The Blowfish. Unique music, one-of-a-kind voice, incredible instrumentalization—these are the marks of the band. Although Little Brother may not be their most popular track, it’s still a great song. It’s simple yet effective and catchy as ever. Little Brother is a soulful letter from a brother to his younger brother, a reminder to hang in there and keep trying to conquer the world.
10. Blood Brothers – Papa Roach
Coming from the band’s debut album, Papa Roach’s Blood Brothers is a high-energy, hard rock anthem that talks about how blood brothers have each other’s’ backs through anything and everything in life—even if its crime or violence. Musically, this is one of Papa Roach’s better songs from the album, as it highlight’s the band’s ability to create stunning riffs. The speed fire rapping of the vocalist is one of the band’s trademarks as well. Although slightly violent lyrically, the song is great to jam to.