23 Of The Best Songs About Brothers

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

There’s no bond like that between brothers. You grow up together, learn from each other, and share many of the same circumstances.

Sometimes, blood does not dictate brotherhood. But you foster this close bond with another person to the point that you’re willing to protect, love, and fight for them.

It’s no surprise that brotherly love has been the inspiration for a ton of songs. That’s because it’s a beautiful relationship that’s worthy of singing about. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of 23 of the best songs about brothers. Read on!

1. “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” By The Hollies

First up on our list, we have a classic song about brothers from the Hollies. “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” debuted in 1969 and talks about the struggles that people have to go through in life.

The song’s protagonist talks about how relationships with others make life worth living. Sometimes his brother is going through difficulties. Other times, his brother supports him through his struggles.

It’s just that life is better when his brother shares his burdens. Taking care of his brother is no problem either. Because of their familial love, it doesn’t feel taxing or draining to provide help when needed.

2. “Hey Brother” By Avicii

This upbeat electronic piece was on Avicii‘s debut studio album in 2013. “Hey Brother” talks about how life can change from when you were a kid. But the love you feel for your siblings will last forever.

Sometimes it isn’t convenient to lend a hand to your family. Life gets busy, and people may move far away when they grow up. Whether they need help with a disaster or a small bout of sadness, he thinks that siblings should stick together.

This song contains a promise that no matter what happens, the singer will be a good brother to his siblings. He also gives his brother advice. He tells him to still look for love in the world, even if it may sometimes seem like a cruel place.

3. “My Little Brother” By Art Brut

When you’re an older brother, it’s an ingrained habit to worry about your younger siblings. You’re like a second parent to them. That’s what “My Little Brother” by Art Brut wants to show.

This song is about an older sibling’s concern when his little brother is going through tough times. It started when the younger sibling discovers rock and roll. From then on, he only listens to it, and his life has made a turn for the worst.

It seems like a cry for help to their parents, though their parents don’t notice. The older brother wants to help out. But all he knows how to do is try to mitigate damage.

4. “Brother” By Kodaline

The next song on our list isn’t about traditional brothers, but it’s still about brotherhood. “Brother” is featured on Kodaline‘s 2018 album, Politics of the Living. The lyrics tell the story of two men who grow up together and both joined the military.

They do not fight in the same battles, but they are always there for each other when they could. The singer promises that he’d trade his life for his brother-in-arms and that they will be like family for as long as they’re alive.

The music video for this one goes a little astray from the lyrics. It tells the story of a big brother who comes back as a ghost to play with his younger brother after his funeral ends.

5. “I Drive Your Truck” By Lee Brice

This song by Lee Brice from 2012 is based on the real story of a soldier who doesn’t come home from war. It talks about being the sibling who lived and trying to keep his brother’s memory alive.

Which, in his case, involves using the truck that his brother left when he went out to war. It isn’t worth a lot of money. It’s beaten up and has horrible gas mileage. However, many little things about the car reminded him of his lost brother.

“I Drive Your Truck” is a beautiful song that depicts a unique perspective on working through grief. It’s a long process, but it’s his way of coping with his brother’s absence.

6. “Blood Brothers” By Luke Bryan

Next up on our list is a song with “brother” in the title. Luke Bryan‘s “Blood Brothers” debuted in 2013 on Bryan’s fourth studio album, which reached #1 the first week after it came out.

This song talks about the special relationship between brothers. It points out how different blood brothers are from any other familial bond. Brothers are inseparable and are always there regardless of the circumstances.

Blood brothers love each other like family. To the point that they can “take a bullet for each other.” This goes to show just what one is willing to go through for his brother.

7. “Brother Mine” By Suzanne Vega

Here’s a song written from the perspective of a big sister for her younger brother. Suzanne Vega‘s “Brother Mine” recounts the story of an older sister trying to help her younger brother navigate life.

Her little brother is rambunctious, doesn’t take care of his things, and worries more than he should. However, she is always there to help. She knows that as long as they’re both happy, they can make it through anything together.

This is such wonderful work, showing just how much a sister cares for the younger ones.

8. “Boss Of Me” By They Might Be Giants

You might recognize the next track on our list as the theme song from the early 2000s hit TV sitcom, Malcolm in the Middle. “Boss of Me” by They Might Be Giants comes from the perspective of a younger brother who finally becomes an adult.

Now that he’s a certain age, his older brother isn’t allowed to tell him what to do anymore. However, the younger brother is new enough in adulthood that he doesn’t always manage to get everything right by following his own mind.

The song was a good match for a show about growing up and discovering your place in the world. “Boss of Me” is a good reminder, though, to respect your older siblings.

9. “Little Brother” By Hootie And The Blowfish

Whether you are the older or the younger one, you can learn something from Hootie and the Blowfish‘s “Little Brother.” The track is on the band’s 2003 album and talks about how to achieve success in the world.

Specifically, “Little Brother” is a song about an older brother advising his younger sibling. The latter is afraid to try new things. He also resents that the work he’s putting into life isn’t enough to accomplish his dreams.

He gets the advice that he needs to seize life and not let important moments pass by. If he wants to be someone great, he can, but he’ll need to go above and beyond to get there.

10. “Baby Brother” By War

This 1971 hit song was featured in the movie Young Soul Rebels. “Baby Brother” by the rock band War explores the changing dynamic between the two brothers over time.

When they were young, they played and spent time together. As they grew up, the brothers learned to support and help fight battles for each other.

However, now his brother is in a tough spot and on the wrong side of the law. The song ends with a plea for his baby brother to go back to how they were before.

11. “Big Brother” By Ye (Formerly Kanye West)

The brotherhood between men who come from different parents is simply amazing. Perhaps it’s the experiences of the past that brought them together. But when brotherhood is formed, sometimes it’s stronger than blood relations. “Big Brother” by Ye is another song about non-traditional siblings who are brothers regardless.

This song gives us insight into the hip-hop scene at the time. It’s fitting that the song talks about someone who is like a big brother to aspiring rappers. Ye’s mentor was a brother-like role model with whom Ye had a friendly rivalry.

The moral of the story is that despite the rivalry, you should make sure that those you admire understand their value to you.

12. “Severus and Stone” By Radical Face

While “Severus and Stone” isn’t as popular as some of the songs on this list, the lyrics are hauntingly beautiful. Radical Face tells the story of a set of twins. One brother is sick, and the other one is healthy.

The healthy brother recalls seeing his twin suffering. There are references to what the disease does to the sick twin, such as “his bony hands cold and white” and “ragged breathing.”

The sickly twin finally succumbs to the disease, telling his brother not to worry as things happen as they should. The remaining twin decides that he will have to live a good life for both of them.

Related: We have more of the best songs about twins that you can check out here.

13. “Brother” By Madds Buckley

Who would have thought that a popular anime inspired the next song on our list? Madds Buckley‘s “Brother” gained popularity on TikTok. It tells the story of siblings living in abusive households.

The older sibling leaves home and his younger brother behind. Perhaps the saddest line in the song is “I left you alone in a house, not a home.” It could mean that the people who live there don’t care about the younger sibling.

The song is poignant in that the older one knows he has to leave. He felt guilty when he had to leave his brother behind.

14. “Brothers In Arms” By Dire Straits

Next is a song that mentions “brothers” to refer to comrades at war. Mark Knopfler, frontman of Dire Straits, wrote “Brothers in Arms” as inspired by Falklands War, which was happening at the time. The war was between the UK and Argentina.

In the song, we find a soldier dying on the battlefield. He is accompanied by his comrades, or “brothers,” as he dies. He has witnessed how soldiers like him suffered. But they did not leave him.

While all die in the end, dying in a war is senseless. As the singer observes, “we’re fools” to be at war with “our brothers in arms.”

15. “Brother” By NEEDTOBREATHE

We come to a certain point in life when we get tired and worn down. But life becomes better when we have a “Brother,” as the Christian band NEEDTOBREATHE tells us.

People who go through a tough time may find themselves comforted by this song. The message resonates deeply, as it talks about how life can get difficult. We face challenges everywhere and it feels like we can’t get back up.

But we have these people who are “shining like a lighthouse from the sea.” They guide us home and they can be relied on when we’re feeling low. They love us genuinely and it makes life bearable. Those who have this “brother” in their life is truly blessed.

16. “Unknown Brother” By The Black Keys

We all express regret when someone dies so young, just like the rock duo The Black Keys does in “Unknown Brother.”

Vocalist Dan Auerback wrote the song as a tribute to his brother-in-law who died when he was in high school. By referring to him as an unknown brother, we can say that he had never met his brother-in-law.

But obviously, the young man was loved by his sisters and parents. He was “mama’s only boy” whose “eyes shined bright.” The singer promises he’ll meet him someday in a better place.

17. “Little Brother” By Ella Vos

Many people can resonate with our next song on the list. Ella Vos‘ “Little Brother” carries such a beautiful message and is a reminder to appreciate our brothers.

From the emotional lyrics, we can tell that the singer and her brother may have gone distant. Or perhaps they’ve become busy with their own lives and families that communicating becomes seldom.

Now, she’s imploring him to “talk more to one another.” She misses all their experiences when they were young and wants him to “stay close.” And despite the fights, she knows nothing beats the relationship between siblings.

Related: Check this out for more songs about siblings.

18. “Daniel” By Elton John

Another song that deserves a spot on our list is Elton John‘s 1973 song “Daniel.” The song is told from the perspective of the younger brother about a war veteran coming home.

According to the younger sibling, Daniel is on his way to Spain, where he’s going to establish his life. He was a Vietnam War veteran who came home a changed man like so many soldiers before him.

The younger brother somehow understands what Daniel had gone through. He observes that “Your eyes have died but you see more than I.” The blindness he’s referring to is not that of an eye problem. But what Daniel had seen on the battlefield was what scarred him.

19. “Highway Patrolman” By Bruce Springsteen

Where do you draw the line when it comes to helping your brother? Bruce Springsteen answers that through a story in his 1982 song “Highway Patrolman.”

The song follows the story of Joe Roberts, a patrolman whose brother, Frank, was in the army. As brothers, they are close, but Joe knows all the troubles his brother had gotten into. And it pains him that sometimes he has to turn his head the other way.

One night, Frank gets into trouble again, with Joe chasing him to the Canadian border. It’s a sad ending for both of them. Joe refuses to turn his brother in. And Frank chooses his criminal life over his family.

20. “Brotherly Love” By Earl Thomas Conley And Keith Whitley

Every relationship has something that makes it different from all others. Earl Thomas Conley and Keith Whitley sing about what makes brothers special in the 1991 song “Brotherly Love.”

For people who have brothers, this song might bring up some really poignant memories. The singers talk about how they used to fight over things when they were young. But they always “looked out for each other with brotherly love.”

The song highlights the fact that the brothers share a bond like no other. They may grow older, but that bond grows stronger. Their love for each other is what makes that bond strong.

21. “Brothers Under The Sun” By Bryan Adams

Our next song on the list is one from singer-songwriter Bryan Adams. “Brothers Under the Sun” was released in 2002 and carries a lasting message about brotherhood.

Whether brothers by blood or heart, having that one person whom you can rely on is one of life’s blessings. In the song, the singer is telling his brother to follow his heart and his dreams. He implores his brother not to forget him.

Their brotherhood is one that’s worth keeping. As brothers, they are “birds of a feather.” Their dreams and their hearts’ desires unite them and create a bond that makes them brothers “under the sun.”

22. “Two Little Boys” By Rolf Harris

We are almost at the end of the list and now we have Rolf Harris with his version of the 1903 song “Two Little Boys.” It peaked at #1 on the UK Singles Chart in 1969.

The song follows two boys who grew up together and ended up fighting the war. One promised the other that he would always be there to help him. A promise that he would deliver years later when they were soldiers.

Although the song did not mention whether the boys are brothers, all that they’ve been through over the years make them brothers at heart.

23. “Does To Me” By Luke Combs

We are ending this list with a song with “brother” in the lyrics. Country music singer-songwriter Luke Combs released “Does to Me” in 2019 from his album What You See is What You Get.

In the song, the singer says he’s just an average Joe. He isn’t always the first choice and he isn’t the best. In fact, he only gets to go to the prom with the prom queen just because she and the king have broken up.

Despite his being average, he rejoices in the fact that he’s good at some things. He is “a hell of a lover” and “a damn good brother.” He is ready to bail out his friend by selling his beloved guitar. It’s okay with him as long as he could help a friend in need.

Summing Up Our List Of Brother Songs

As you can see from the songs above, brotherhood isn’t only about blood siblings. It also encompasses the relationship between people who are not blood-related. But what’s beautiful about it is this brings beautiful moments into our lives.

So if you have a brother, make sure to share these songs with him. While this list doesn’t contain all songs about brothers, it does have some of the best!

We hope you enjoyed reading and found yourself some beautiful songs to listen to.

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.