Twins are rather unusual. As a result, a wide range of cultures had a wide range of beliefs about them. Some thought twins were lucky, some thought twins were unlucky, and some thought twins were either lucky or unlucky depending on the exact circumstances. Curiously, while there are a lot of songs about twins in the symbolic sense, there aren’t a lot of songs about actual twins. Fortunately, there are a lot of songs about siblings, which are often general enough to be interpreted to be about twins.
10. “Evil Twin” – Eminem
Speaking of which, there are numerous songs called either “Evil Twin” or some minor variation of “Evil Twin.” Generally speaking, they use the concept in a metaphorical sense rather than a literal sense. For instance, the name often refers to either less expressed impulses or less pleasant alternate personalities. Eminem’s “Evil Twin” is very much a song based on these lines.
9. “Sibling Rivalry” – PUP
The popular stereotype of twins is that they are extremely close. As a result, it can be hard to imagine them not getting along. In practice, twins are perfectly capable of fighting in much the same manner as any other set of siblings. Indeed, it isn’t uncommon for them to become competitive with one another, which can make for some funny results. For instance, “Sibling Rivalry” describes a pair of siblings getting stuck inside a tent for days because of bad weather. Something they could have avoided by just staying home rather than trying to prove themselves.
8. “My Sister Says the Saddest Things” – Grimes
It is common for twins to be extremely close. Thanks to that, it isn’t hard to imagine them saying things to one another that they wouldn’t say to anyone else because we are much more willing to open up to our loved ones than other people. With that said, whatever prompted “My Sister Says the Saddest Things” must have been remarkably bad to inspire the wording choices for the lyrics.
7. “When We Grow Up” – Diana Ross
Twins aren’t always identical. Instead, twins can be either identical or fraternal. The first case happens when a fertilized egg splits into two, while the second case happens when there are two fertilized eggs. As a result, fraternal twins resemble each other as much as non-twin siblings, meaning they can still look very similar. It is easy to interpret “When We Grow Up” as being about a sister and a brother who are fraternal twins. They start similarly to one another. However, the song is clear that their paths will diverge over time, not least because of societal expectations.
6. “Boss of Me” – They Might Be Giants
“Boss of Me” is best known for being the theme song of Malcolm in the Middle. The lyrics don’t specifically describe an older-sibling and younger-sibling relationship. Despite that, it has that kind of energy, which makes sense because older-sibling and younger-sibling relationships played such an important role in the sitcom. Twins might be born at around the same time, but it is very common for them to care about birth order to some extent. In turn, that means this song is very relevant to their situations.
5. “Evil Twin” – Meghan Trainor
Meghan Trainor’s “Evil Twin” is yet another song about the viewpoint character’s less expressed impulses. It is interesting because the viewpoint character expresses a measure of admiration for what she calls her evil side. That kind of thing isn’t uncommon. Boldness has a charisma all its own.
4. “We Are Family” – Sister Sledge
Songs don’t need to be complicated to be enjoyable. For instance, Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family” is exactly what it sounds like, which is to say, an upbeat expression of familial love packed full of hope for the future. Sister Sledge consisted of four sisters. None of the four were twins. Even so, it isn’t hard to picture twins voicing similar sentiments.
3. “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” – The Hollies
Love can inspire us to greater heights than otherwise possible. “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” is an excellent example of this. After all, the title says the viewpoint character can bear up under his brother’s weight because it is his brother’s weight. That is more than enough to constitute a powerful statement of fraternal love. Everything else about the song just enhances that impression because of expert singing and songwriting.
2. “Highway Patrolman” – Bruce Springsteen
Of course, there is a limit to how far fraternal love can reach. For instance, the viewpoint character in Bruce Springsteen’s “Highway Patrolman” is a police officer who has been letting his brother get away with wrongdoing. As a result, one can argue that he has failed not just his duty but also his brother because the latter escalated to the point of doing something that can’t be smoothed over.
Besides that, the story is also a neat reminder of how hard it was to establish some of the fundamental pillars of modern society. Historically speaking, people were expected to stand by their families because their families were the only ones who could be expected to stand by them. That was a direct consequence of weak or even nonexistent institutions, meaning those who didn’t do so were in a very weak position. Even now, modern societies still struggle with this issue to some extent because the story laid out in “Highway Patrolman” is very much true to life.
1. “Lean On Me” – Bill Withers
“Lean On Me” expresses a couple of important sentiments. One, everyone needs help sometimes. Two, the viewpoint character is there for his brother. Strictly speaking, his brother might not be his brother. It is perfectly possible to interpret the term as referring to a very good friend. However, it is also possible to interpret it as exactly what it sounds like, which can include both twins and non-twins.