Almost anyone with a brother understands the unique bond that brothers create, especially when there are multiple siblings of similar ages. So if you want a playlist to appreciate this special sibling relationship, keep reading to discover some of the best songs about brothers.
“Our Love” by Bee Gees
Song Year: 1978
“Our Love”, a song by Barry Gibb and Blue Weaver, is a classic Bee Gees. Considering the Bee Gees usually consisted of three brothers – with added personnel at times—it should be fitting that Barry dedicated this song to his brother and brotherly love.
“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” by The Hollies
Song Year: 1969
Released on the 1969 album Hollies Sing Hollies, this song is a classic that everyone will recognize, even those who are not familiar with The Hollies. The song takes the form of a ballad and opens with an easily recognizable guitar riff. Neil Diamond also famously recorded a cover of this song.
“My Little Brother” by Art Brut
Song Year: 2020
This alternative song by Art Brut, released in 2020, features energetic tempos and short lyrics that resemble the sound of punk bands like The Ramones. Aside from the driving energy of the instrumental music, the lyrics repeat the same lines of an older brother reflecting on his younger brother growing up. If you enjoy hardcore dancing, slip this song into your playlist!
“The Bewlay Brothers” by David Bowie
Released on David Bowie’s 1971 Hunky Dory, the song “The Bewlay Brothers” is a ballad that features Bowie blending singing and talking. The music produces restless energy, one that Bowie’s stretching vocal lines accentuate. The lyrics tell a confusing story, but center around the relationship between Bowie and his brother.
“He Was My Brother” by Simon And Garfunkel
Song Year: 1964
Simon And Garfunkel released “He Was My Brother” in 1964 on the album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. Despite the beautiful acoustic guitar playing the classic blending of harmony between Simon and Garfunkel, the song itself is a dark story of the passing of a young brother, a death that might be connected to a 1964 killing of Civil Rights activist Andrew Goodman.
“Boss of Me” by They Might Be Giants
Song Year: 2001
They Might Be Giants released the song “Boss of Me” in 2001, and fans of this alternative rock band probably know this song well. But you might also recognize the tune as the opening theme to Malcolm in the Middle. Like the brothers on the show, this song centers around the classic playing and fighting between two brothers.
“Brothers Under The Sun” by Bryan Adams
Song Year: 2002
Bryan Adams, along with Gretchen Peters and Steve Jablonsky, released the song “Brothers Under The Sun” in 2002 on an album by the same name. The animated film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron also used this song as a featured track in its soundtrack. The lyrics and music capture the brotherly bonding.
“Brothers in Arms” by Dire Straits
Song Year: 1985
Released in 1985 on an album by the same name, “Brothers in Arms” is one of the most recognized Dire Straits songs. The mysterious and slow opening eventually gives way to the distinct voice of songwriter Mark Knopfler. Knopfler’s guitar playing enhances the dark lyrical content, and the song's meaning seems to connect the bond of brothers to relationships outside of one's immediate family.
“Blood Brothers” by Luke Bryan
Song Year: 2013
Switching gears from the intensity of Dire Straits, this Luke Bryan track is a country song from 2013 with an upbeat rhythm and driving energy. But the song which appeared on his album Crash My Party does not have lyrics that match the instrumental sounds. The song is about the tight “blood brother” relationship that people form with close friends, friends that can feel closer than actual family.
“Brother” by NeedToBreathe
Song Year: 2015
This song, released in 2015 on the album Rivers in the Wasteland, is a Christian Rock song that captures the brotherly bond of people helping each other in a time of need. The instrumental aspect of the song is hopeful and upbeat, and there are sounds of a choir in the background to accent the overarching theme of helping one’s brother when they are in trouble. This song will make you feel like you are passionately singing in church!
“Brother, Brother” by The Isley Brothers
Song Year: 1972
The R&B/Soul band The Isley Brothers released this song in 1972, a song that Carol King originally wrote one year prior—Carol King also recorded her version in 1971. But this Isely Brothers recording captures the passion of the lyrics particularly well, lyrics about the love between brothers.
“Brother” by Kodaline
Song Year: 2018
The alternative band Kodaline, based in Dublin, released their song “Brother” in 2018 on the album Politics of Living. Almost every element of the song—the music, singing, and lyrics—are a deeply emotional reflection of brotherly love in the context of death. And there are soaring choruses that accentuate the deep emotion of the sound and lyrics.
“Brother Mine” by Suzanne Vega
Song Year: 2012
Suzanne Vega released the song “Brother Mine” in 2012, and it immediately opens with an upbeat rhythm and hopeful acoustic energy. The song captures a slight country sound, yet there is a sense of irony to the way she sings and plays in the country style. The lyrics center around the singer's younger brother and how she loves him despite all the fights they had.
“Unknown Brother” by The Black Keys
Song Year: 2010
Released in 2010 on their album Brothers, this Black Keys song is a sad take on the death of singer Dan Auerbach’s brother-in-law, who died of cancer. As the lyrics point out, the title of the song captures the fact that he did not meet his brother before he died, but he still had that brotherly connection with him.
“The Mother We Share” by CHVRCHES
Song Year: 2013
The Alternative/Indie band CHVRCHES released this song in 2013 on their album The Bones of What You Believe, a song that has a unique sound. The instrumentals in this song center around synthesizer sounds and a driving rhythm, and the lyrics, while cryptic, seem to be about sibling relationships.
“Little Brother” by Ella Vos
Song Year: 2017
From her 2017 album Words I Never Said, Ella Vos’s song “Little Brother” is an Alternative/Indie song about looking out for one’s younger brother. The song has a driving rhythm that provides energy, and Vos’s breathy vocals balance that energy with a sense of floating and reflection. If you have a younger brother, you will likely connect with this song!
“Baby Brother” by Mattiel
Song Year: 2017
Mattiel released the song “Baby Brother” in 2017 on the album Mattiel. The song’s energy is upbeat, and the style harkens back to decades far before 2017. Despite being an Indie rock band, this Mattiel song captures a unique blend of garage rock and honky tonk music. The lyrics are all about the singer looking out for and worrying about their younger brother.
“Brothers” by The War On Drugs
Song Year: 2011
The song “Brothers” by The War On Drugs, released on their 2011 album Slave Ambient, captures the sad sentiment of losing one’s friends, friends that are close enough to be brothers. The lead singer’s voice has a depth and sadness that resembles Bob Dylan’s voice, a quality that helps accentuate the topic of the lyrics.
“Brothers on a Hotel Bed” by Death Cab for Cutie
Song Year: 2005
From the 2005 album Plans, Death Cab for Cutie’s song “Brothers on a Hotel Bed” uses the imagery of the song’s title—the idea that two brothers would lay on a hotel bed far apart and facing opposite directions—to describe the more general way that people grow apart. The music is melancholic and emotional, and the repeated statement of the song’s title captures the reality of how even close people can feel distant.
“Two Little Boys” by Rolf Harris
Song Year: 1969
If this Rolf Harris song sounds older than 1969, it is because the song dates back to 1902, when Theodore F. Morse and Edward Madden wrote it. But it is Harris’s recording that sparked the song’s popularity, especially after Harris sang it on a BBC variety show. Musically, the “Two Little Boys” is upbeat and positive-sounding, but the lyrics tell a story of two brothers growing up who will fight in a war.
“I Drive Your Truck” by Lee Brice
Song Year: 2012
“I Drive Your Truck” comes from Lee Brice’s 2012 album Hard 2 Love, and the song has a classic country sound with passionate choruses that capture the sadness of the song. The lyrics tell a story of a man driving his brother’s truck after the brother died fighting in the United States Army. Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington, and Jimmy Yeary all contributed to writing the song, but Lee Brice’s vocals made it a big hit.
“Hey Brother” by Avicii
Song Year: 2013
Avicii generally produces music in the Dance/Electronic genre, but the song “Hey Brother” uniquely blends in other musical styles like bluegrass as well. From their 2013 album True, the song has a positive emotion and centers around the narrator giving their brother advice. The music video for the song portrays the two brothers as growing up during the era of the Vietnam War.
“Daniel” by Elton John
Song Year: 1973
Elton John likely needs no introduction, and his song “Daniel” is the type of song you will recognize even if you are not a huge Elton John can. From his 1973 album Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player, the song is a confusing mix of upbeat instrumental accompaniment and sad lyrics. The lyrics tell a story of the narrator waiting for his brother Daniel to return from abroad.
“Big Brother” by Kanye West
Song Year: 2007
It makes sense that a huge name like Kanye West would end up being the first Hip-Hop/Rap artist in this collection of the best songs about brothers. From his 2007 album Graduation, the song “Big Brother” is Kanye’s tribute to the relationship he had with another huge Hip-Hop artist Jay-Z. Like a real brotherly relationship, the lyrics tell a story of a relationship that survives the challenges of life.
“Highway Patrolman” by Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen released the “Highway Patrolman” song on his 1982 album Nebraska. While Springsteen is known for many songs that rock out with high energy, this song is one of a few examples of his softer side with acoustic instrumentals and delicate singing. The lyrics of this song tell a story of a highway patrolman staying true to his brother by letting him escape after attacking someone at a bar.
“Brothers Keeper” by DaBaby
Song Year: 2020
Despite not being a huge name like Kanye West, you will likely find this DaBaby hip-hop song catchy and easy to listen to. From the 2020 album My Brother's Keeper (Long Live G), the song is about DaBaby losing his brother after a shooting incident. The music has upbeat and driving energy, but the lyrics tell that much sadder story.
“The Greatest Discovery” by Elton John
Song Year: 1970
Next is another Elton John song, “The Greatest Discovery,” from his 1970 album Elton John. The song features the classic passion of Elton’s piano playing and soaring vocals, and the lyrics are about a young boy discovering that his new baby brother has arrived. This song is a fantastic example of the brother relationship as told from the perspective of a young boy.
“Me And Baby Brother” by War
Song Year: 1971
From their 1971 album All Day Music, War’s “Me And Baby Brother” is an upbeat celebration of the arrival of a baby brother into the family. A slightly different version of this song also appeared on the 1973 album Deliver the Word, and the song would eventually top various charts. It reached number 15 in the U.S. pop chart and number 21 on the UK Singles Chart.
“Blood Brothers” by Papa Roach
Song Year: 2000
The metal band Papa Roach has a distinctive blend of metal and alternative rock, and if you enjoy their music then you will love their song “Blood Brothers”. From the album Infest released in 2000, this song is a passionate expression of the intensity behind the loyalty of blood brothers. Even if two friends are not related by blood, they can still have each other’s back as if they were real brothers.
“Brothers Of A Bottle” by George Jones
Song Year: 1975
A sharp contrast to the intensity of the previous Papa Roach song, this George Jones song is a relaxing recording of early American country music. Jones recorded this song in 1975 as part of his album You Gotta Be My Baby, and the song is a blend of honky tonk and country styles with lyrics that express the brotherly relationship that drinking buddies have with each other.
“Brotherly Love” by Keith Whitley
Song Year: 1987
The song “Brotherly Love” was written by Jimmy Alan Stewart and Tim Nichols, and many artists recorded it. This version by Keith Whitely—and featuring Earl Thomas Conley—dates back to 1987 and has a relaxing country music sound. In 1991, both artists included it on their separate albums, and the song eventually topped many country music charts.
“Brothers” by Dean Brody
Song Year: 2009
Up next is another track from readers who enjoy country music. Dean Brody’s “Brothers”, released on his 2009 debut album, is a sentimental ballad about the relationship between two brothers. Capturing a common theme amongst these great songs about brothers, the lyrics tell the story of one of the brothers leaving to go to war and the stew of emotions that arise because of it.
“Little Brother” by Hootie & the Blowfish
Song Year: 2003
From their 2003 album Hootie & the Blowfish, the song “Little Brother” is a mid-tempo song about an older brother singing encouraging words to his younger brother. The lyrics, while encouraging and positive, also stress that this “little brother” has to be willing to go out into the world and work hard if he wants to achieve success. Anyone who is an older brother should appreciate this sentiment!
“Brother” by Alice In Chains
Song Year: 1992
Alice In Chains released the song “Brother” in 1992 on their album Dirt & Sap. Besides the giveaway of the song’s title, the band’s guitarist and vocalist Jerry Cantrell also admitted that he wrote the song for his younger brother. The song is a ballad but also has instrumentals that create a creepy sound. You can also find a fantastic acoustic version from a 1996 MTV Unplugged session.
“My Brother” by Justin Hayward and John Lodge
Song Year: 1975
Justin Hayward and John Lodge blend many different musical styles, and the song “My Brother” is a unique mix of folk, rock, and alternative styles. Released in 1975 on the album Blue Jays, this song seems to be about a brotherly relationship that has too much distance. The singer yearns to reconnect with their brother.
“Hey Big Brother” by Rare Earth
Song Year: 1971
Rare Earth’s “Hey Big Brother” dates back to 1971, and it captures the rock sound of the 1970s perfectly along with a blend of funk and soul—you can also consider this style to be a type of psychedelic rock. The lyrics seem to be about connecting with the people around us more sustainably.
“Song for My Brother” by Carlos Santana
Song Year: 1980
Carlos Santana released this song in 1980 on the album The Swing of Delight, and after a smooth introduction with slower guitar melodies the energy picks up into a steady rhythm. The lyrics are a tribute to express feelings of appreciation for the narrator’s brother.
“Amen Brother” by The Winstons
Song Year: 1969
From their 1969 album Color Him Father, this song by soul band The Winstons has religious-Esque energy of hope and positivity. The song also features a famous drum solo that later hip-hop artists sampled—in total, thousands of tracks have incorporated this drum solo into their music.
“Brother” by Pearl Jam
Song Year: 1991
Like the distinct voice of Dire Strait’s Mark Knopfler, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder has a unique voice that you will immediately recognize. This song, from their 1991 album Ten, is an energetic and driving rock song with lyrics about the singer’s older brother.
“range brothers” by Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar
Song Year: 2021
This hip-hop song, released in 2021 on Baby Keem’s album The Melodic Blue, features his cousin Kendrick Lamar who he views as his brother. The lyrics center around the difficulties they faced growing up and how it bonded them closely together like brothers.
“Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show” by Neil Diamond
Song Year: 1969
From his 1969 album by the same name, the Neil Diamond song “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show” made it to number 22 on the U.S. popular singles chart. Like some of the other tracks in this collection, the song captures the religious usage of “brother” to represent the close brotherly relationships that this preacher forms as he travels around giving sermons.
Top Songs About Brothers, Final Thoughts
Hopefully, after working through this long list of songs about brothers, you have a deeper appreciation for this special relationship and the music that captures it. And if you enjoyed this collection, you can also check out these songs about family.
And remember, no matter how complicated family relationships can get, you can always jam out to one of these songs to appreciate the brothers in your life!