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The 19 best songs about family

Check out our pick of the greatest songs about mums, dads, brothers, sisters and every other possible form of fam

Edited by
Andy Kryza

When the legendary poet of our time Vin Diesel, dropped the timeless quote ‘family,’ it hit home for us all. But what does family really mean? Sure, you can Google the textbook definition, but we all know it’s about more than just sharing DNA.

It’s about those folks who stick with you when life gets rough, offering a shoulder to lean on. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, they help you save the world from Charlize Theron. So let’s celebrate it, eh? With this sentiment in mind, here are the best songs about family ever written, from Sister Sledge to Kanye. After all, we are family.



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Best songs about family

1. ‘We Are Family’ by Sister Sledge

Disco deities Sister Sledge created the ultimate ode to female friendship with this ’70s classic written and produced by Chic's Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards. The lyric ‘I got all my sisters with me’ just screams powerful women unite! The video isn’t too shabby, either – think drunk aunt at a wedding meets red glitter goodness.

2. 'Father And Son' by Cat Stevens

There are only a few songs on this earth that make me cry every time without fail. This song by Yusuf Stevens is one of them. I am neither a father nor a son, but the lyrics speak more to a universal experience of family, of growing up and of finding your place in the world. I mean, come on, ‘How can I try to explain? When I do he turns away again’? We’re sobbing out here guys.
Ella Doyle
Guides Editor

3. ‘Family Business’ by Kanye West

This 2004 track hints at a past Kanye who was calmer, family orientated and less materialistic. Yes, really! But whether you believe the sentiment or not, it's a definitely a super-groovy slab of old-school Yeezy complete with his customary soul samples. 

4. ‘Family Is Family’ by Kacey Musgraves

Here, country singer Kacey Musgraves lists all the things your family do to piss you off, before rounding it off with a big ol’ ‘they're still your family, kids.’ She’s not wrong, obviously, and this family song also shows off her super-hooky and infectious songwriting style.


5. 'See You Again' by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth

Think Fast and Furious is just high-speed chases and epic stunts? You thought wrong. When 'See You Again' comes on as we say goodbye to Paul Walker, it’s all about family, you fools. As Wiz Khalifa says, ‘How can we not talk about family when family’s all that we got?’ He’s so right. Now, back to the car chases.
Aarna Raj
Contributor, Time Out London

6. ‘Keep the Family Close’ by Drake

Thrashing drum beats, smooth strings, brass – has Drake joined the school choir? Not quite, but he’s heartbroken and getting all reflective again. This song’s narrative may be romantic, but the subtext is definitely family-based. He’s no longer close with someone special so finds himself thinking ‘guess I should have tried to keep my family closer, much closer.’ Maybe you should have, Drake.


7. ‘Daddy Sang Bass’ by Johnny Cash

For all the doom and gloom associated with the Man in Black, Johnny Cash could be a big, joyful softie… especially when it came to family. This rousing number – about a traveling family band – incorporates some southern-revival Gospel flair in the middle, and is extra vibrant in the live versions, when Cash’s beloved June Carter chimes in with the iconic ‘mama sang tenor,’ thus completing the family circle. 

8. 'Breathing' by Kate Bush

Kate Bush is the antithesis of convention, and 'Breathing' ranks among her most weird and wonderful tracks. It's not the most immediately obvious family song, but actually, Bush is writing from the perspective of a child in the womb. Enhanced by her almost child-like soprano vocals, this is an otherworldly ode to maternity and birth on which Bush's foetus sings about 'breathing her mother in' as she anticipates her birth into a polluted world. Nearly four decades after its release, it feels more relevant than ever. 


9. ‘The Exchange’ by Torres

Singer-songwriter Torres is well versed in melancholy, and clocking in at just under eight minutes, ‘The Exchange’ is an epic tale of woe. Her choked-up vocals sit almost uncomfortably atop a barely audible guitar line as she sings hauntingly about the fear of losing her parents. Definitely get the tissues out for this one.

10. 'If We Have Each Other' by Alec Benjamin

Sweet and soulful Alec Benjamin poured his heart into this song dedicated to his sister. He dives into the story of their grandparents’ struggles, weaving in love for his parents and sibling. And the lyrics? Well they’re sibling goals; ‘I’m thankful for my sister even though sometimes we fight. When high school wasn't easy, she's the reason I survived.’ So wholesome.
Aarna Raj
Contributor, Time Out London

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