We turn to music to celebrate the positive moments in life, cope with the difficult times, and to process complex emotions. Often, family is at the heart of many of those nuanced thoughts and feelings.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Songs About a Family’s Love
- Songs About Family Issues or Betrayal
- Country Songs About Family
- R&B Songs About Family
- Rap and Hip-Hop Songs About Family
- Christian and Gospel Songs About Family
- Rock Songs About Family
- Spanish Songs About Family
- Children’s Songs About Family
Whether you’re overcome with love for your family, throwing a family get-together, or you’re going through a rough patch, these songs about family will help you create the perfect family soundtrack.
Songs About a Family’s Love
There’s no love like a family’s love for one another, as evidenced by these emotional tunes.
1. "Teach Your Children Well" by Crosby Stills, Nash and Young
This touching classic all about family love came out in 1969. In it, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young emphasize the importance of raising children, as well as growing as parents by learning from your children.
3. “The House That Built Me” by Miranda Lambert
When we think of family love, we often think of a beloved family home. Miranda Lambert explores that topic in her heart-wrenching tune about revisiting the house that built her.
2. "Love Can Build a Bridge" by The Judds
Every family--no matter how much they love one another--will face rifts now and again. In this song, the Judds let us know that love itself is strong enough to build a bridge from one heart to another.
4. "I’ll Be There" by Jackson 5 (or Mariah Carey and Trey Lorenz)
Whether you prefer the original version by Jackson 5 or the cover by Mariah Carey and Trey Lorenz, no song exemplifies unconditional love like “I’ll Be There.”
5. "Family Affair" by Sly and the Family Stone
It makes perfect sense that the family band, Sly and the Family Stone, would understand the meaning of family and loving one another. Their song, “Family Affair,” is the perfect description of family members growing and changing together, all the while remembering that “Blood is thicker than mud.”
Songs About Family Issues or Betrayal
Just as there’s love in every family, there are also issues and challenges. If you find yourself facing difficulties in your familial relationships, these songs will help remind you that you’re not alone.
6. "Family Portrait" by Pink
Millennials will remember this classic naughties hit, but many of us never took the time to contemplate the emotional lyrics. In “Family Portrait,” Pink pleads with her family to get along and work it out and “play pretend” like they do in their family portraits.
7. "Cat’s in the Cradle" by Harry Chapin
This 1974 classic explores an issue many listeners will understand: finding the balance between supporting your family financially and spending time with your children.
8. "Mother-In-Law" by Ernie K. Doe
Ernie K. Doe makes us all feel a little better about not always getting along with our in-laws in this hit. He expresses his pure disdain for his mother-in-law over a cheerful tune.
9. "Father and Son" by Cat Stevens
Another classic about the often-fraught relationship between father and son, “Father and Son” addresses the difficult differences in perspective between generations.
10. “Because of You” by Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson’s tearjerking anthem explores the long-lasting effects family turmoil can have on us, even once we’re adults.
Country Songs About Family
The country music genre has given us some of the best and most emotional tunes about family love. If you’re in the mood for country twang and lyrics about family ties, add these songs to your playlist.
11. "Meanwhile Back At Mama’s" by Tim McGraw ft. Faith Hill
Tim McGraw appreciates the material things in life as explained in this tune, but he craves a little reprieve with his family, back where everything goes a little slower.
12. "Family Tree" by Caylee Hammack
“Family Tree” is all about the strength of the family unit, regardless of where you happen to be on that “tree.” Whether you’re an extrovert or introvert, and no matter what you do in life, Caylee explains that the family tree’s roots run deep.
13. "Don’t Forget to Remember Me" by Carrie Underwood
One of the most emotional times for a family is when a child leaves home. Carrie Underwood perfectly expresses those emotions in “Don’t Forget to Remember Me.”
14. "The Greatest Man I Ever Knew" by Reba McEntire
Reba McEntire explores her complex but ultimately loving relationship with her father. This tune shows us that even a seemingly distant relationship can be deeply meaningful.
15. "Who Says You Can’t Go Home" by Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles
Another classic tune about the angst of leaving the family home, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” reassures us that the support of family will always be there.
R&B Songs About Family
Another emotionally charged music genre is R&B. If you’re throwing a party for family, consider playing these classic hits.
16. "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge
When you think of songs about family, chances are, “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge popped into your mind. The Sledge sisters’ R&B exploded when it was first released, and it’s still a classic song at many family gatherings to this day.
17. "Dance with My Father" by Luther Vandross
Luther Vandross’s heartwarming song about his father is widely loved worldwide. It’s also a popular funeral song for fathers.
18. "A Song for Mama" by Boyz II Men
Boyz II Men appreciate their love for mothers everywhere with this touching R&B hit.
19. “Family Reunion” by the OJays
If you want to hit the nail on the head at your next family reunion, here’s the song for you.
20. "Father Figure" by George Michael
George Michael’s R&B classing, “Father Figure,” is the perfect tune to turn on when you want to appreciate a father figure in your life.
Rap and Hip-Hop Songs About Family
If you prefer rap and hip-hop, this list of songs will help you put together the perfect family-themed playlist.
21. "Dear Mama" by Tupac Shakur
Tupac lets us in on deeply personal moments of his life with “Dear Mama,” a rap about his appreciation for his mother, even in facing some of the most difficult times imaginable.
22. "Family Business" by Kanye West
“Family Business” pays tribute to every member of the family, including those who aren’t with us anymore.
23. "Keep the Family Close" by Drake
Drake expresses regret for not keeping his family “much closer,” especially when people he thought were his friends prove not to be.
24. “All That I Got is You" by Ghostface Killah
This track featuring Mary J Blige details the difficulties of growing up poor, living in an apartment with 15 family members. Ghostface Killah sums up everything with gratitude for his mother.
25. "Mockingbird” by Eminem
Eminem addresses his daughter in his rap about being gone and away from the family too often, as well as a separation between himself and his daughter’s mother.
Christian and Gospel Songs About Family
There’s a saying that goes, “The family that prays together stays together.” If you agree, these Christian songs about family are a perfect addition to your family playlist.
26. "Daddy Sang Bass" by Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash might have ended up a rockstar, but he was a gospel singer at heart. And that’s evidenced in this gospel about his family getting through hard times by singing hymns together.
27. "Blessed" by Elton John
Elton John promises his future child that they will be blessed in this deeply touching song.
28. "He Walked on Water" by Randy Travis
Randy Travis sees his grandfather as an angel and conveys that message in “He Walked on Water.”
29. "The Family Prayer Song (As For Me And My House)" by Morris Chapman
Morris Chapman sings about how his family serves the Lord and stays harmonious by praying together.
30. "Family" by Amy Grant
Amy Grant’s inspirational tune assures the listener that we’re all a family, and “we’re all going home.”
Rock Songs About Family
When you’re more in the mood for rock, these songs about family will be right up your alley.
31. "Sister Christian" by Night Ranger
In “Sister Christian,” Night Ranger expresses their concern for a younger sister who’s gone astray. Older brothers everywhere can understand the emotions and concerns conveyed in the song’s lyrics.
32. "Daughters" by John Mayer
The relationship between fathers and daughters is an important one, and John Mayer explores that topic in “Daughters.”
33. "My Father’s Eyes" by Eric Clapton
Another song about a father, Eric Clapton’s “My Father’s Eyes” expresses the emotions one can feel looking into a father’s eyes.
34. “Hey Jude” by The Beatles
Paul McCartney wrote “Hey Jude” for John Lennon’s son, to remind him to open his heart to new people as his blended family grew. With messages of familial acceptance, “Hey Jude” is the perfect reminder to “let her into your heart.”
35. "Father and Daughter" by Paul Simon
Paul Simon offers another tune about the complex relationship between fathers and daughters. Simon offers reassuring messages of protection for daughters who can count on their fathers.
Spanish Songs About Family
Some of the most touching songs about family bonds are in Spanish, rather than English. If you want to explore some Spanish-language songs about family, try the tunes below.
36. "Madre Tierra (Oye)" by Chayanne
This song about “mother earth” reminds us that our ancestors are here to help us along our paths in life.
37. "La Vida es un Carnaval" by Celia Cruz
Sometimes, life with our families can feel like a carnival. Celia Cruz’s “La Vida es un Carnaval” (Life is a Carnival) reminds us no one is alone in the carnival of life.
38. "Amigo" by Robert Carlos
Family ties are important, but sometimes, people in your life become part of the family by choice. That’s the case with an “Amigo” as described by Robert Carlos.
39. "Eres Tu" by Mocedades
“Eres Tu” can be interpreted as a love song or a song about the love for one’s family. With lines like, “You are the fire of my home; It’s you like the fire of my bonfire,” it’s easy to see how Mocedades hit single applies to familial love.
40. "Después de Tí” by Christian Castro
Another Spanish song that could apply to either familial love or romantic love, “Despues de Ti” expresses what it’s like to miss someone from the bottom of your heart.
Children’s Songs About Family
It’s important to teach children about the meaning of family and how a family works. These songs talk about family, from the love you feel at home to the differences you might observe in family units.
41. “All I Really Need” by Raffi
Raffi is always the gold standard when it comes to children’s music, and his tune, “All I Really Need” is no exception. In it, Rafii expresses that, “All I really need is a song in my heart, food in my belly, love in my family.”
42. "Family Song" by Sesame Street
For younger children who are just learning about family and what it is, Sesame Street has the perfect tune.
43. "Five-Finger Family" by The Wiggles
Another song that explains the different parts of a family, like a mom, dad, and maybe even siblings, is this song by The Wiggles. Better yet, “Five-Finger Family” is interactive.
44. "There’s No Such Thing as Normal" by Dan Dan Doodlebug
Dan Doodlebug’s tune about family teaches children (and reminds adults) that there’s no such thing as “normal.” Everyone in our family is different in their own way, and that’s OK.
45. "Family" by Laurie Berkner Band
Laurie Berkner gives a complete explanation of family, and everyone who might be a part of a family, in her song, “Family.”
Playlists About Family
Whether you’re making a playlist for a family gathering or listening to songs about the family on your own, all of the songs above will help you get started. Just as everyone’s family is different, so will be everyone’s family playlist. But the favorite songs included above will help you out when you’re prepping your own unique family playlist.
Post-loss tip: If you are the executor for a deceased loved one, the emotional and technical aspects of handling their unfinished business can be overwhelming without a way to organize your process. We have a post-loss checklist that will help you ensure that your loved one's family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.