We’ve been knee-deep in songs with brother in the lyrics to bring you a list of the best brother songs.
Perhaps you have been searching for songs to dedicate to your brother for a celebratory event – if so then search no longer we have them all!
Our siblings are important people in our lives so predictably, there are hundreds of songs brothers feature heavily in.
We have settled on the idyllic mix of songs about little brothers and big brothers alongside just about every song about brotherhood in general that we thought deserved a mention.
Table of Contents
- 30 Songs About Brothers
- 1. The Hollies – “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”
- 2. David Bowie – “The Bewlay Brothers”
- 3. Luke Bryan – “Blood Brothers”
- 4. Bryan Adams – “Brothers Under The Sun”
- 5. Simon and Garfunkel – “He Was My Brother”
- 6. ABBA – “Me & Bobby & Bobby’s Brother”
- 7. Kodaline – “Brother”
- 8. CHVRCHES – “The Mother We Share”
- 9. Suzanne Vega – “Brother Mine”
- 10. Lily Allen – “Alfie”
- 11. Ella Vos – “Little Brother”
- 12. Mattiel – “Baby Brother”
- 13. Art Brut – “My Little Brother”
- 14. Rolf Harris – “Two Little Boys”
- 15. Bruce Springsteen – “Highway Patrolman’”
- 16. Lee Brice – “I Drive Your Truck”
- 17. Radical Face – “Severus and Stone”
- 18. The Black Keys – “Unknown Brother”
- 19. Kanye West – “Big Brother”
- 20. DaBaby – “Brothers keeper”
- 21. Elton John – “The Greatest Discovery”
- 22. Elton John – “Daniel”
- 23. Dire Straits – “Brothers in Arms”
- 24. War – “Me and Baby Brother”
- 25. Keith Whitley – “Brotherly Love”
- 26. Dean Brody – “Brothers”
- 27. George Jones – “Brothers Of A Bottle”
- 28. Avicii – “Hey Brother”
- 29. Papa Roach – “Blood Brothers”
- 30. They Might Be Giants – “Boss of Me”
- Final Thoughts
30 Songs About Brothers
1. The Hollies – “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”
Top of everyone’s list when it comes to a great song about brothers is this humbling ode to carrying your brother’s weight when he can’t himself.
The weight in question is of course metaphorical, the lyrics talk about the “long road” of life and how no matter what you have to do for your sibling he will never be viewed as a burden to you.
“He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother,”
2. David Bowie – “The Bewlay Brothers”
Second in our sights is this, one of Bowie’s most confusing tracks, that many have tried to read too deeply into. The story is tough to follow and in truth, this one falls more into the category of songs with brothers in the title!
Bowie himself said supposedly that the track was for the American market because they liked songs that made no sense.
However, in later years, he added that there was a touch of inspiration in the word that may have unconsciously come courtesy of his schizophrenic half-brother Terry.
3. Luke Bryan – “Blood Brothers”
This is one of our more conceptual brother song entries. The idea of “Blood Brothers” is two unrelated strangers who are bound together in a sibling-like relationship.
Sometimes with a blood pact and other times it is circumstantial situations that throw them together. When you are in too deep not to keep something under wraps like a “family secret”.
In this case, the singer reflects on his unruly upbringing and uses Western metaphors throughout.
4. Bryan Adams – “Brothers Under The Sun”
The best kind of song for a brother is one that shows your care, siblings grow up closely. It is a big leap to go from spending a lot of time in each other’s lives only to part ways post-adolescence.
This song highlights the way in which they will always be intrinsically linked regardless of distance as they are “under the same sun”.
The song lists many common things in which they can be reminded of one another.
5. Simon and Garfunkel – “He Was My Brother”
The chipper guitar strumming and beautiful tight-knit harmonies are strangely paired with the dark set of lyrics that escalate quickly in this song about big brothers.
“He was my brother
Five years older than I
He was my brother
Twenty-three years old the day he died”
6. ABBA – “Me & Bobby & Bobby’s Brother”
Far lighter than the track above, ABBA sings us a nostalgic treat. In a song with brothers in that takes the listener on a walk down memory lane, recounting the fun and games.
“Well, there was me and Bobby and Bobby’s brother
Please take me back to that place
Where I’ve got all my memories, those were my happiest days”
7. Kodaline – “Brother”
Leaving aside the older options for a beat we have a modern, emotional song about brotherly love and the bond that comes with it.
The Dublin-based singer recalls childhood moments and discusses the future declaring how he will always have his back.
The lyrics hint that the ‘brother’ may in fact simply be a childhood friend who was thought of as a brother.
A song that has been at the heart of the debate in regards to its impressionistic lyrics.
The band has commented on the words being up for interpretation for many popular synth-pop pieces is a song about brothers as the narrator and the title confirms they share the same mother.
But others deem her to be “Mother Earth” and therefore the mother of us all. Either way, it’s a song about brotherhood no matter how you look at it.
9. Suzanne Vega – “Brother Mine”
Now on to a bonafide song about brothers with lyrics that are not up for debate!
Like many of the best brother songs, this one is written with a real-life subject in mind. In her Songs of Family album Vega delivers us a self-described ‘fake country song’ about her younger brother Matthew.
It seems the scamp got into a lot of fights and the song was a declaration of how in spite of his behavior she will always love him.
10. Lily Allen – “Alfie”
Similarly, Lily Allen penned this jocular little number to poke humor at her brother’s lack of direction, laziness, and fondness for recreational herbs.
When it comes to songs about your brother it doesn’t get much more revealing. We are sure Alfie has learned to live it down somehow.
Fingers crossed he’ll be remembered for his portrayal of Theon Greyjoy rather than his pot-habit.
11. Ella Vos – “Little Brother”
Sometimes siblings grow apart during puberty and adolescence as we start to experience different things. Sometimes we keep things from those nearest because they know the real us.
You can worry for a brother if they aren’t on the right path. Vos gives us a very personal glimpse in this one.
“Can we talk more to one another?
Missin’ the days when we were younger
Now all I hear is a distant echo
Turning your back when your eyes look yellow”
12. Mattiel – “Baby Brother”
A similarly themed track from a fairly unknown band, Mattiel sings over a busy, retro-feeling track chock-full of brass and backing vocals.
“Baby brother, What time will you be walking in?
Spent the day with whiskeys and bottles of gin
Oh yeah you know where you’ve been“
13. Art Brut – “My Little Brother”
Another lesser-known artist that has stolen a spot, is Art Brut with their high-energy post-punk indie rock track. Reminiscent of the stream of ‘the The’ type bands that crawled out of the early naughties.
“My little Brother just discovered Rock and Roll
He’s only 22 and he’s out of control”
The singer goes on to highlight how we rebel for the attention of our parents with a spoken word outro…
“All we ever wanted is for our parents to worry about us.”
14. Rolf Harris – “Two Little Boys”
We weren’t sure whether or not to include this one, but there is no denying it is a song about brothers.
The now-disgraced Aussie entertainer sings in his recognizable fashion about two brothers playing with toy horses as kids and growing up to be in a real battle on horseback.
Each there for the other during different parts of life the poignancy of the song is somewhat spoilt by revelations about the artist in recent years.
15. Bruce Springsteen – “Highway Patrolman’”
The protagonist sings about his brother Frankie who “ain’t no good” recounting the times in which he has been called to get him out of trouble. Despite his brother’s ways the singer knows they have a great time together.
“Yeah me and Frankie laughin’ and drinkin’ nothin’ feels better than blood on blood”
16. Lee Brice – “I Drive Your Truck”
A commemorative country song about a brother who has passed. It makes for a sweet dedication, the narrative tells of driving in your brother’s truck because that’s where you feel him, not as his grave as the singer shares in the lyrics.
They have kept the truck as it was before the brother was taken from this world. Cigarette butts in the ashtray and the same radio station at the touch of a button.
“This thing burns gas like crazy
But that’s all right
People got their ways of copin’
Oh, and I’ve got mine”
17. Radical Face – “Severus and Stone”
We are sticking with sad songs about brothers for a moment with this little-known song that tells a chilling story.
The entire album tells the narrative of a fictional family named the Northcote’s set in the 1800s. This specific song is about a pair of twins, one who is tragically born very weak and sickly. In the song, he is on his deathbed and becomes a ghost although the lyrics seem like he walks outside to a tree to commit suicide. Tissues at the ready;
“And I could hear mother crying in your room
From here on out I wear this face for both of us”
18. The Black Keys – “Unknown Brother”
In a 2010 interview with The Sun, the singer explained that he wrote the lyrics originally about a brother-in-law that died at high-school age from cancer.
Though they never got to meet he can see the impact his ‘unknown brother ‘ has had on his family which he is now a part of. He resides that they will meet one day in a better place.
19. Kanye West – “Big Brother”
If a song for your brother from another mother is more what you have in mind, then forget the flesh and blood tributes above and kick it with Kanye for a lyrical tribute like no other to Jay-Z.
With buckets full of admiration and great story-telling that highlights the key moments in his life and throws thanks to his “Big Brother”.
He raps about the competitive nature between them, and how held him like an idol. Much like a little brother looks up to their older siblings for mentorship.
20. DaBaby – “Brothers keeper”
The majority of rap songs about brothers are using the word in a colloquial and amicable manner, but not this one.
Mourning his brother’s death, Da Baby drops realness like a mic in his honest lyrics about the very strong discipline in his family home. How he and his brother were raised to be better, church-going, god-fearing, and whooped by their mother if they didn’t behave.
“Though you was the oldest, so you got it worst
You was the oldest, so you got it first
I was the baby, so I got it easy
Remember us cussing and fighting in church”
21. Elton John – “The Greatest Discovery”
We are setting aside the sad ad the dark for an orchestrated pure moment of joy from pop-rock star Elton John.
The lyrics for this one originally come from a poem that Bernie Taupin wrote which was supposed to recount his birth and early childhood only through the eyes of his older brother Tony.
22. Elton John – “Daniel”
Two in a row from superstar Elton with Daniel giving him a double spot in our playlist of brother songs.
It is worth mentioning that Taupin himself refers to this one as one of his most misinterpreted songs of all time. The ballad is inspired by a letter from a Texan soldier returning back to his farmhouse from the war in Vietnam and being treated like a hero.
“Oh Daniel my brother you are older than me
Do you still feel the pain of the scars that won’t heal?”
23. Dire Straits – “Brothers in Arms”
Inspired by something his dad said off the cuff about having similar ideologies to others making you kin.
Soldiers are often referred to as brothers in arms his father was insinuating that when you stand for the same ideals you are fighting for what you believe in. You are also quick to fight those who have a difference of opinion!
“We’re fools to make war
On our brothers in arms”
24. War – “Me and Baby Brother”
In the funk-inspired groovy manner that they always do War sing about the ups and downs of life with a baby brother. The song mentions the fighting and suggests towards the outro the baby brother may have taken the wrong path…
“Hang on, baby brother, oh
They call it law and order
Hey, hey, hey
Come back, baby brother”
25. Keith Whitley – “Brotherly Love”
Some of the best brother songs are the songs about a brother’s love. This one is one heck of a touching country ode to brotherly love.
The opening line sums up the sibling relationship vibes for many in one fail swoop;
“We shared the same last name and the same color eyes
But we fought like tigers over that old red bike”
26. Dean Brody – “Brothers”
On a slightly more serious note the story of waving goodbye to your older brother who is off to war.
The hook of the song is “that’s what brothers are for” which is used in a series of ways throughout the story but the sentiment escalates at the end when the older of the pair returns in a wheelchair…
“That’s when he looked me in the eye
And said, “I’m sorry that you have to push me home”
And I said, “Hey, this is what brothers are for”
27. George Jones – “Brothers Of A Bottle”
At its heart brotherhood is about comradery and unconditional support through thick and thin. The comradery is touched upon in this song although again the characters sung about are not bound by blood.
“Bartender come over here
I want to buy the next round of beer
Boys name your poison, don’t nobody pass
We’re all brother of a bottle an’ glass.”
28. Avicii – “Hey Brother”
On the subject of blood, we often say it is thicker than water meaning that a family bond is strong or should be.
Avicii’s country-tinged thumper asks if we ‘believe in one another’ the lyrics can be interpreted as addressing siblings or humanity as a whole.
” If the sky comes falling down on you… there’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do”.
29. Papa Roach – “Blood Brothers”
This entry from Papa Roach has the same title as the Luke Ryan track at number 3 but is more about the nature of this dog-eat-dog world we live in, competitive and ruthless. How we all need someone we can lean on like a brother to have our back in the rat race.
“Survival of the fittest what it is
I got your back, you got my back, and that’s the biz'”
30. They Might Be Giants – “Boss of Me”
We are finishing with a song that may or may not meet everyone’s criteria, although the lyrics aren’t super specific and it isn’t a song with brothers mentioned for many it is about siblings going into adulthood.
The figure who is no longer the boss of the protagonist could be a parent or teacher, or older brother it’s up for interpretation.
It was also used as the opening credits for the sitcom Malcolm In The Middle which featured an American family with four brothers. So in our books, it is undeniably a song about brothers growing up.
And with that, we bid you adieu until the next short-list compilation.
We hope you enjoyed our rundown of songs about brothers, as always we hope we included plenty of options to cover your needs.
Big brother songs, songs to dedicate to a little brother whatever the occasion, happy tunes for celebrations as well as the more somber for remembrances.
Whatever the reason you came we hope you enjoyed our selection of songs about brotherhood, why not take a look at the articles below?