Siblings tend to have a huge effect on one another. Thanks to that, their relationships are some of the most important relationships that most people have. That means that it is natural for there to have been so many powerful songs written about the bond between siblings.
10. “Alfie” – Lily Allen
Lily Allen wrote this song about her younger brother Alfie Allen. Amusingly, the two had very different opinions about what it meant. Lily Allen saw it as an act of love because it showed that she cared about him. In contrast, her brother saw it as an attack on him. Regardless, it is nice to note that Lily Allen hasn’t performed the song in more than a decade out of respect for her brother.
9. “Come Dancing” – The Kinks
A relationship is a living thing. After all, when people change, their relationships change as well. This is even more noticeable in sibling relationships because they see so much of each other’s lives. “Come Dancing” is an excellent example because it tells how the singer’s sister was once a teenager but is now old enough to be worried about her own teenager. A melancholic note towards the end provides the song with particular power.
8. “Hey, Brother” – Avicii
“Hey, Brother” is a wonderful expression of love for one’s siblings. Essentially, it says that there is nothing that the singer wouldn’t do for the sake of their siblings no matter how far away they might be.
7. “My Brother’s a Basehead” – De La Soul
Not every relationship is a positive one. Sometimes, when one sibling becomes toxic, they can become a constant drain on the other. This song is about exactly such a relationship in which the titular sibling has become addicted to crack cocaine to the detriment of both him and everyone around him.
6. “What’s Happening, Brother?” – Marvin Gaye
Personal experiences have influenced a lot of songs. Songs about siblings are no exception to this rule. In this case, Marvin Gaye wrote this song because of his brother who had returned from the Vietnam War. The song title refers to the way that Gaye’s brother would ask about normal things while struggling to make a full transition back into civilian society.
5. “See You Again” – Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth
Strictly speaking, “See You Again” isn’t about siblings. Instead, it is about missing a friend who has become as good as family, which makes sense because it was meant as the Fast & Furious franchise’s tribute to Paul Walker. By default, that kind of relationship tends to be seen as a kind of pseudo-sibling relationship because it is something between equals rather than something more hierarchal in nature.
4. “White Wedding” – Billy Idol
There is no doubt about the fact that “White Wedding” is one of Billy Idol’s most famous songs. Its sources of inspiration make it one of his more interesting songs as well. For starters, Billy Idol didn’t quite write it about his sister. He was inspired by how his sister was getting married while pregnant at the time, which reminded him of how that would’ve been very scandalous once upon a time. However, he was also inspired to some extent by his own girlfriend, as shown by how “sister” is English slang for “girlfriend.” Put together, Idol decided the viewpoint character an incestuous vibe, thus explaining the song’s lyrics.
3. “Blood Brothers” – Bruce Springsteen
Blood brothers have come up again and again in the human experience. For instance, the Norse sagas are filled with examples of men becoming blood brothers, with the most famous example being Odin and Loki. Similarly, blood brothers existed throughout much of East Asia, with an excellent example being the Peace Garden Oath in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. There are those who would even argue that being blood brothers is even more meaningful than being biological brothers because it is something that people choose rather than something that people are born into. Bruce Springsteen’s “Blood Brothers” plays with the concept. It tells the story of someone whose bond with his friend was so strong that he once thought that they would be blood brothers forever. However, that expectation gets ground down by the everyday concerns of normal life, though the spark isn’t quite 100 percent gone. The song has a bittersweet feel to it, not least because it is so realistic. Every relationship changes over time. Sometimes, that means that it will weaken even if it will never go away entirely.
2. “We Are Family” – Sister Sledge
As the story goes, “We Are Family” was written by the founders of Chic. They were being encouraged to write a song for other artists on the same record label. However, they didn’t want to do one for one of the better-known acts. One of their reasons was a lack of confidence. Their other reason was their fear that their contributions would be ignored if they wrote for a famous performer. Instead, the founders of Chic wrote “We Are Family” for the then up-and-coming Sister Sledge, which consisted of four sisters. Since then, the song has been so culturally influential that it has become a common way for people to express solidarity.
1. “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” – The Hollies
This is one of those songs that have been recorded multiple times. However, it started out by becoming a hit for the Hollies in 1969 before becoming another hit for Neil Diamond in 1970. The song’s name can be traced to a parable about a little girl who continued to carry her baby brother even though he was almost as big as her. It is a powerful image, which in turn, has made for a powerful song.