25 Greatest Retirement Songs for a Party or Slideshow


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If you’ve worked at a company for a while, chances are you’ve attended at least one retirement party. But when it comes time to plan one, you might discover it’s harder than it looks!

You want your friend, colleague, or boss to have the best possible retirement party. It’s important to include some songs that will let them feel like they’ll be missed.

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These songs can help you create a great playlist to celebrate your colleague. You might even get a few laughs along the way. Regardless of the party’s theme or size, you’ll have a good playlist to set the tone for a meaningful farewell.

You can add these songs to a Spotify playlist (grab a digital Spotify gift card for someone who doesn't have a Premium subscription) and start listening now.

Tip: Retirement parties are fun and upbeat. Unfortunately, growing older often comes with the loss of family members and close friends as they grow old, too. You can help a retiree deal with that kind of loss by sharing this post-loss checklist with them. 

Songs that Wish for a Happy Retirement

These songs offer some uplifting and kind goodbye sentiments. And they keep the atmosphere of the party positive and fun. It can be difficult to say goodbye, but these songs can help create an environment for meaningful farewells.

» MORE: An online memorial is a perfect ending to honor and celebrate someone's life. Create one for free.

1. "Hello, Goodbye” by The Beatles

The Beatles are well-known enough to be a great choice for a retirement party.  This song shows that even goodbyes can be hellos to a new part of life.

2. "This Ain't Goodbye" by Train

This positive song reminds people that retirement isn’t a final goodbye. Even after your colleague departs the office, you’ll keep being in each other’s lives.

3. “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”  by Green Day

Green Day’s classic song may sound a little sad. But it’s actually a nostalgic ballad about the good times and positive feelings you have for other people.

4. “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton

While not specifically retirement-themed, Parton’s recognizable song fits this celebration. Its message about working will remind retirees about all the stuff they’ll be happy to give up.

It’s unlikely that they will miss having to get to work each morning or their commute. It’s a great reminder of what your friend or colleague has to look forward to. 

5. "My Way"  by Frank Sinatra

This Sinatra ballad is a great tribute to a unique coworker or boss who made things happen. It's not a bad option for inclusion in a slideshow.

You can use it in a section focused on your colleague’s career achievements and successes. It can also be a reference to the extensive bucket list your colleague is hoping to complete now that they’re retired.

6. "Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'"  by Bing Crosby

This positive song will put anyone in a positive frame of mind. And it’s a great reminder for the retiree that they’ll be able to enjoy their mornings now. It’s a great song that is recognizable to coworkers of many ages.

7. "100 Years" by Five for Fighting

This sweet and thoughtful song would be a good fit for anywhere in the retirement party playlist. It’s all about living a meaningful life.

A heartfelt ballad, it showcases the importance of living in the moment and enjoying every part of your life.

8. "Hall of Fame” by The Script

This recent pop song is a pump-up jam about achieving one’s goals and being recognized for them. While not focused on retirement, it’s definitely relevant for celebrating the successes of a coworker.

9. "You've Got a Friend"  by James Taylor

This James Taylor song will be a charming and comforting inclusion to your playlist. It can help you remind your colleague that you want to stay friends even after retirement.

It’s also a great option for a retirement party slideshow. Pair it with the section that focuses on pictures of the retiree with their close work friends to solidify its message.

» MORE: Online obituary that is 100% free. Honor a loved one beyond a newspaper.

10. "When I'm 64" by The Beatles

This song is a love song but can make for a sweet addition to your playlist. It might be a good fit for a retirement party where the retiree and their spouse are both present. It can be a reminder of all the time they’ll have to spend together.

Funny Songs About Retirement

If your office has a laid-back culture, consider some of these songs. These songs work best when your office environment allows for some teasing. If you’re on the fence about including any of these songs, leave them off. Better safe than sorry when it comes to song choice. 

11. "We Gotta Get Out of This Place” by The Animals

This ironic choice makes it seem like your workplace is a bad place. You’ll need a basis of positive feelings about your office to be able to pull off this choice.

For a funny and beloved retiree, though, it’s likely to land well and inspire some laughs. It’s not a good option if people are actually grumbling about your workplace.

12. "Hell Yeah” by Neil Diamond

This unabashed anthem to living fully is a great option for a person who has always done things their way. Now is your chance to celebrate their fearlessness. 

13. "Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf

If your coworker or boss is known as the wild card in the office (in a good way!) consider this song. You could choose this fun and intense song to showcase your colleague’s best moments.

Another funny option is to use this song to celebrate your coworker that’s known for being calm and easygoing. It can be an ironic nod to their personality traits.

14. "Cups" by Anna Kendrick

Consider this song for a sweet and fun coworker. This catchy and upbeat song will remind people they ‘sure are gonna miss me when I’m gone.’

15. “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding

This Otis Redding classic is a great addition to your colleague’s retirement party. If your colleague has been daydreaming of the lazier afternoons they’ll soon be enjoying, this is the perfect song. 

16. “Margaritaville”  by Jimmy Buffett

If your colleague loves a good Hawaiian shirt and a beach chair, Margaritaville is a fun addition to the party playlist. You can even lean in and make the whole party tropical/Jimmy Buffett themed if they’re into it!

17. "Hit the Road Jack"  by Ray Charles

For a beloved coworker, an ironic song that tells them to get out now could get a good laugh. Just make sure you reiterate how much you will miss them.

» MORE: Grief can be lonely. Create space for your community to share memories and tributes with a free online memorial from Cake.

18. "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" by Cher

If your colleague has left a stamp on your organization consider this song. It’s perfect for a coworker whose iconic presence is sure to persist even after they retire.

This Cher song will remind everyone that just because someone is gone doesn’t mean they’re forgotten. And that’s a good thing!

19. "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems" by Kenny Chesney

For that ready-to-retire coworker who loves relaxing (and country music), this silly anthem will be a hit. Just make sure it isn’t used as the dress code for the event!

20. "Survivor” by Destiny’s Child

This is a great song for a coworker or boss who has overcome incredible obstacles. You could also consider it for someone who achieved significant things during their career despite difficulties.

This anthem from Destiny’s Child is a great addition to celebrate everything they’ve achieved. 

Upbeat Songs About Retirement

If your team is more about positivity than goofs, consider these upbeat songs about retirement. They can help keep the good feelings going throughout the party.

21. “Good Times Roll” by The Cars

An oldie but goodie, this song will remind everyone that great things are yet to come. But it doesn’t hurt to celebrate today. It's good to balance out any overly emotional songs with songs like this one.

22. "I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas

This power-pop anthem is a great song to put at the beginning of a playlist. Use it as a way to drive home how much there is to celebrate about having your colleague as part of the team. And remind them of all the new things they have to look forward to.

23. "We've Only Just Begun" by The Carpenters

Focusing on the future is the whole theme of this song by the Carpenters. Help everyone recognize that retirement is not just an ending. It’s the start of an exciting new stage.

24. “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang

This song’s excitement about partying is a great option. Put it near the beginning of your playlist to get the party started.

25. “The Best is Yet to Come” by Frank Sinatra

Sinatra is a classic. This song discusses the excitement about the future. It’s sure to resonate with your coworker or boss now that their retirement is just around the corner.

Pumping Up the Energy with Retirement Songs for a Party

Many people miss their coworkers and friends after retirement. And it’s likely the office won’t be the same without them. Despite that, the retirement party should focus on the positive. You can highlight the good times and celebrate the new journey your colleague is about to undertake.

The playlist for the event can play a large role setting the mood, so think about what kind of party you want to have. And don’t be afraid to mix things up. You can have a mix of melancholy and excited songs without affecting the mood too much. If you think you need more options, consider checking out a magazine for retirees

Let the retiree dictate the kind of music you pick. But don’t overlook the general workplace etiquette of your organization. It can be difficult to create a playlist that’s appropriate and fun. But if you give yourself some time to plan your songs are sure to be a hit! And they’ll help send your colleague into retirement with style. 

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