31 Of The Best Songs About Sisters And Sisterhood

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

Songwriters capture the essence of many things, often boiling them down to three- or four-minute songs that speak volumes. When they write about relationships, those songwriters usually try to convey the strength and power of those relationships.

There are few more powerful bonds than the connections between sisters, and that’s why it is a topic often sung about. Thus here, we have gathered 31 of the best songs about sisters to add to your playlists. Let’s get started.

1. “Sister Christian” By Night Ranger

While they weren’t a one-hit wonder, Night Ranger may as well have been. “Sister Christian” eclipsed all of their other hits in 1983. Even though hardly anyone knows the lyrics of the chorus, we all shout whatever we think it says when the song plays.

“Sister Christian” is a song that speaks to a young girl— perhaps the narrator’s sister— who’s growing up. The song is about taking control of one’s destiny, and it urges the titular sister not to be afraid of getting older and making her way into the world.

2. “We Are Family” By Sister Sledge

R&B and soul group Sister Sledge birthed a timeless disco anthem when “We Are Family” shot to the #2 spot on the charts (#1 on Billboard‘s Dance Club Songs) in 1979.

It’s not just about sisters but about the importance of all our family members. But yes, it’s about sisters, and that’s even in the band name. It’s a song that brings people together, being not only about blood relatives but about the importance of community.

When you add in how ridiculously catchy the song is, you end up with a piece of music that speaks to just about everyone because—even if it’s your chosen family as opposed to your biological relatives we all have some form of a family upon which we rely.

3. “Hey, Soul Sister” By Train

“Hey, Soul Sister” was part of Train’s 2009 album Save Me, San Francisco. It was the band’s biggest hit, reached the third spot on the Hot 100 chart, and won Train a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.

So maybe a soul sister isn’t the narrator’s actual sister, but she’s a woman who’s had a positive impact on the narrator, who praises her singular presence in his life.

People who don’t know that Train is even a band would know this song. It’s made its way around the world, topping charts worldwide.

4. “My Sister” By Reba McEntire

By Reba McEntire’s standards, “My Sister” wasn’t a huge hit, as it only (“only”) reached the #15 spot on the country charts in the States. For anybody else, that’s a pretty big deal.

The song from 2003’s Room to Breathe, finds its narrator missing her sister, who appears to be far away. She’s reminiscing the times they had together when they were kids and wishes they could get together soon.

The bond between sisters is a strong one, and that’s on display here. Reba’s singular delivery helps sell this one, even though it’s a strong enough song to stand on its own, no matter what the charts had to say about it.

5. “Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves” By Eurythmics Ft. Aretha Franklin

Our next song, the upbeat “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves,” was part of Eurythmics’ fourth album and featured a duet between lead singer Annie Lennox and the great Aretha Franklin.

The song was a top 20 hit in 1985. However, the two legendary vocalists weren’t singing about biological sisters, the power of women, and their ability to achieve great things when they work together.

“Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves” was Girl Power before the Spice Girls, and its lyrics made it destined to be a feminist anthem. If you know people making girl power playlists, this song is a must-include.

6. “Sisters Of Mercy” By Leonard Cohen

Canadian music artist Leonard Cohen had long been known as a consummate songwriter, and while his “Sisters of Mercy” wasn’t a single (which pretty much means only Cohen fans know it), it was a fan favorite from his 1967 debut album, Songs of Leonard Cohen.

The sisters in the song aren’t siblings but are nuns from the Sisters of Mercy order. The narrator encounters them and realizes the value of their selflessness as they show compassion and kindness to everyone they meet.

“Sisters of Mercy” is great praise for empathy and compassion, something all of us could show more of to those around us. Let this song teach us about these values.

7. “Dear Prudence” By The Beatles

The sister in “Dear Prudence” was the sister of actor Mia Farrow, whom the Beatles met at a retreat for transcendental meditation in India. It was from 1968’s eponymous album, also known as the White Album, and it quickly became a Beatles classic.

Lyricist John Lennon asks Prudence to come out of her isolation and join in the communal experience, as she was spending all her time alone. Its atmosphere seeks to recreate (and succeeds pretty well) the dreamy feel of the retreat.

The song is a reminder of the power of human connection. We should all take the time to go out and enjoy the sunny skies and the sound of the birds and wind with our family and friends.

8. “My Sister” By The Juliana Hatfield Three

Next up, we have a song with “sister” in the title. The Juliana Hatfield Three released their album Become What You Are in 1993, and its track “My Sister” quickly became a modern rock staple.

While singer Juliana Hatfield refers to her sister as the b-word in “My Sister,” she also says that her sister is the best. The song describes the sometimes complicated relationship sisters can have. The narrator loves and hates her sister and, towards the end, states she misses her a lot.

Hatfield’s guitar work does a great job of augmenting the emotional content of the lyrics. There’s some indication that the narrator’s sister isn’t around anymore, which lends melancholia to the piece.

9. “Sister Golden Hair” By America

In the 1970s, the British-American rock band America was an enormously popular band. Their album Hearts contained the lovely and loving “Sister Golden Hair,” which combines a guitar riff inspired by George Harrison and lyrics drawing inspiration from Jackson Browne. That’s quite a pedigree for a song.

Admittedly, the sister with golden hair isn’t so much a sibling as a romantic interest for the narrator, a woman whom he sees as his ideal mate. Even in the 1970s, when “Sister Golden Hair” was a contemporary hit, it still felt like a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

10. “You Are My Sister” By Antony And The Johnsons

Another ode to a dear sister is “You are My Sister” by Antony and the Johnsons (now Anohni and the Johnsons). The song explores the deep bond, need, and friendship that sisters share.

In the lyrics, the singer reflects on the negative and positive aspects of their relationship. She acknowledges the times of friendship as well as times when she “was so cruel.”

However, their sisterly love rules. The song shows the emotional bond that they share and how the singer longs for the closeness they once had. Despite the different lives they live, she wants her sister to achieve her dreams.

11. “Two Sisters” By The Kinks

The rock band that brought us “You Really Got Me” is the same band that sang “Two Sisters.” The Kinks released the latter in 1967 from their album Something Else by the Kinks.

The song captures the seemingly poles-apart lives of sisters Sylvilla and Percilla. Sylvilla appears to be an extroverted sister enjoying the benefits of singlehood. It comes with freedom and living in a luxury flat.

Percilla is the introverted one who feels burdened by being housebound. She is a mother of young children who is busy running her household. She is jealous of Sylvilla’s way of life. But upon seeing her children, Percilla realizes how better off she is compared to her sister.

12. “Sister Oh Sister” By Rosanne Cash

The sibling-inspired song “Sister Oh Sister,” performed by Rosanne Cash, is next on our list. It appeared on the KIN: Songs by Mary Karr and Rodney Crowell album.

The song celebrates the deep bond between sisters. In the lyrics, the singer expresses her appreciation for all that her big has done for her. When she was afraid, her sister was there to pull her through.

She still longs for the presence and support of her sibling. She recognizes the importance of her sister’s strength and guidance, especially in times of uncertainty. She calls her “my sea wall… my blood,” and she will always thank God for her.

13. “Sister” By The Black Keys

Bluesy rock is the Black Keys’s specialty, and “Sister” toes that line. From their 2011 album El Camino, the song is a bit melancholy and not quite as sisterly as we hoped it would be based on the title.

The mention of “sister” in the song is the narrator calling his friend that, and throughout it, he’s lamenting about her toxic choices in life and how he needs to leave her because “it’s so wrong.”

Not that we condone leaving a friend, much less one whom you’re calling sister when they’re down, but if it’s affecting you like how “rung up” the narrator is, maybe it’s best to take a step back for a while and take a breather.

14. “Older Sister” By Carly Simon

Rivalry, envy, and jealousy are often normal occurrences between siblings. Those are the themes you’ll find in Carly Simon‘s “Older Sister.”

It’s not that the singer hates her older sis, but her envy makes her admire and desire to be just like her sibling. She wants all the privileges that her older sister enjoys, such as sitting in the front seat and going to bed at a later hour.

The song shows the power, confidence, and allure that the older sister possesses. It also depicts the influence that older sisters, and siblings in general, have on younger ones.

15. “Good Friends And A Glass Of Wine” By LeAnn Rimes

Our biological sisters can be our friends, right? That’s the case for “Good Friends and a Glass of Wine,” the first single from LeAnn Rimes’s 2007 album Family. It’s straight-up country pop, so the song is upbeat and catchy, as well as a crowd-pleaser.

The lyrics cover the importance of good friends and the necessity of taking the time to enjoy a glass of wine with them, even during tough times. For the narrator, it’s her sister, whom she enjoys talking with at the end of the day.

The message of “Good Friends and a Glass of Wine” is about the value of friendship and simple pleasures, which resonated with fans who connected with the song on a personal level.

16. “Sisters” By Bette Midler Ft. Linda Ronstadt

Written by Irving Berlin, “Sisters” was originally for the movie White Christmas. Vera-Ellen played Judy in the film, but she didn’t sing the song. Rosemary Clooney sang the part that Vera-Ellen lip-synced, thus associating Clooney with the song.

In 2003, Grammy and Golden Globe winning singer and actress Bette Midler recorded the song with Linda Ronstadt for her album Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook.

As surmised from the title, the song is about the relationship between sisters who are so close that no man could come between them, but there’s also a winking warning: “Lord help the sister who comes between me and my man.”

17. “Sisters Of The Moon” By Fleetwood Mac

Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac wrote “Sisters of the Moon.” The moody song was part of their 12th studio album, Tusk, in 1979 and released as a single the following year.

The song is mystical and not really referring to a specific person. Rather the mysterious lyrics are about a group of women in a secret sisterhood known as the Sisters of the Moon.

Nicks’s witchy-woman vibe works well here since the sisters are otherworldly beings with magical abilities. The song was a moderate success, landing at #86 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 list.

18. “Big Sister” By Elvis Costello

Songs from Declan Patrick MacManus—that’s Elvis Costello in the music world—are super cool, and “Big Sister” from his 1987 album Out of Our Idiot is one of them.

“Big Sister” tells the tale of a little sister idolizing her older sister. The little one follows her big sister around. Like any typical idolatry, she tries out her clothes and imitates her idol in many ways.

The best thing, however, is the big sister is always watching over her. If the little one ever gets in trouble, the older sis is there to save her.

19. “Look At Little Sister” By Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble

Up next on the list is a song with “sister” in the lyrics. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble‘s “Look at Little Sister” was released in 1985 and was a cover of Hank Ballard’s original. Ballard wrote the song after seeing his younger sister dancing in the yard.

The song celebrates the playful and energetic disposition of this younger sister. Given the inspiration behind the song, we already know that she is engaged in lively dancing in the backyard.

The lines “What about the neighbors, what they gonna say” suggests that the little sister has grown, and her dancing now turns into something that others might frown upon. Nevertheless, the song depicts her carefree and vibrant spirit.

20. “Call Your Sister” By Taylor Edwards

One of the best people you can establish a beautiful relationship with is your sister. Taylor Edwards was inspired to write “Call Your Sister” at a time when she was away from home and missed out on her little sister growing up.

You see, as the song tells, Edwards was 17 when her mother had another child. Despite the age gap, she loves her younger sister but regrets not being around during the child’s crucial milestones.

This song is her way of telling how much her younger sister means to her. She wants to maintain a strong bond with her sister even if they’re apart. Edwards wants her to know that her sister can always call her for anything.

21. “Oh Sister” By Bob Dylan

Pulitzer Prize winner Bob Dylan has contributed some great pieces of music to Western culture, and “Oh Sister” is one of those many songs. It doesn’t hurt that Emmylou Harris makes an appearance on background vocals.

In the song, Dylan sings to his sister and asks for her help as he’s facing a hard time in his life. However, it would appear that she’s treating him like a stranger though, and he appeals to her to reconsider. He feels the challenges he faces can be made easier with her support.

22. “Dear Sister” By Pretty Reckless

The single “Dear Sister” by Pretty Reckless carries a melancholy tone. It is included in the album Going to Hell, which features songs that have similar subject matter.

The lyrics convey the singer’s plea for understanding from a sister. She’s coming from a difficult situation where she feels trapped and unhappy. She has been telling the truth for so long, yet no one seems to listen to her.

And now she urges her sister to give her guidance. She looks up to her and believes that her sister can show her what needs to be done. It seems that she believes her sister to be the tough one, telling her not to cry even if she does not come home.

23. “Twin Sister” By Johnny Stimson

Our next song mentions “sister” from the perspective of someone who knows her. Johnny Stimson released “Twin Sister” in 2021 from his Butterflies album.

The song explores the unique relationship and connection between twin sisters. The lyrics suggest that the singer is the boyfriend of one of them. He still has a hard time distinguishing the girls because they are both beautiful.

However, his girlfriend has changed and is no longer the same person he met. He feels like she is her twin, suggesting that her attitude and personality are now similar to her twin sister’s. The singer finds himself disappointed because he wants his girlfriend the way she was.

24. “My Sister Rose” By 10,000 Maniacs

One of the biggest bands of the late 1980s, 10,000 Maniacs made its bones on the strength and vulnerability of lead singer Natalie Merchant’s voice. “My Sister Rose” juxtaposed those vocals on a folk-rock sound with a driving beat. It was a hit with fans and critics alike.

The song describes the events happening during the wedding of the narrator’s sister, whose name is Rose. Friends and family are there, and they’re having a ball. When it’s time for the bouquet to be thrown, the single ladies come together to try and catch it.

Afterward, the narrator goes on to say that Rose will now be a mother and trade her home and maiden name for a new one. Nevertheless, she will always be, for the narrator, her sister.

25. “The Best Day” By Taylor Swift

While “The Best Day” is, on its surface, an ode to Taylor Swift’s mother, Swift’s lyrics praise the strength of family bonds in general and not just those between a mother and daughter.

Part of 2008’s Fearless, Swift’s second full-length album, “The Best Day,” recounts the story of a special day Swift and her mom spent when the singer-songwriter was a kid.

It’s a song about the simple pleasures of family time and the close bond between a mother and daughter. It’s also about cherishing the time we have with the people we love. Like a mom. Or a sister.

26. “My Sister” By Shaybo Ft. Jorja Smith

Nigerian rapper Shaybo and English singer-songwriter Jorja Smith teamed up to give us “My Sister.” This powerful song explores themes of sisterhood and also addresses domestic violence.

In the lyrics, the singer advises her sister to leave a toxic relationship. First of all, her partner has not treated her right. He broke her heart, and she should have left him the first time she saw the signs.

This sets the tone for the emotional depth of “My Sister” and captures the raw emotions that go with it. The song highlights the importance of breaking free from harmful relationships. The listeners are encouraged to be strong and resilient in moving forward.

27. “Sisters Of Avalon” By Cyndi Lauper

While “Sisters of Avalon” will never be thought of as Cyndi Lauper’s biggest hit, it’s still a song that fans and critics love. It was released in 1996 in Lauper’s album of the same name.

The song is not about any biological sister but of sisterhood all the same. It’s about the women of Avalon, the place that legend says was part of the legend of King Arthur.

These are strong women living in a sisterhood that values wisdom and knowledge, handing it down from generation to generation. There’s a connection between the women and an equally strong one between them and the nature that surrounds them.

“Sisters of Avalon,” at its core, is a song about the strength women possess and the strength they draw from each other.

28. “Baby Sister” By Dolly Parton

When you mess with someone’s little sister, that someone usually does something about it. In “Baby Sister,” from Dolly Parton’s 1968 album Just Because I’m a Woman, Parton sings to her younger sister, who is hurting from the sting of a bad relationship.

The narrator finds her little sister working in a bar where people are looking down on her. She’s sad to see the situation her sister is in and knows it’s because of her man.

She wishes the man who is hurting her sister to die “a thousand times a thousand ways” and continues to urge the younger woman to leave him and go home to the safety of her family, where she is loved.

29. “Please Sister” By the Cardigans

Exploring the complex emotions associated with love and dependency within sisterhood is the premise behind The Cardigans‘ “Please Sister.”

Surprisingly enough, the narrator talks about how love drains those who are in love. And yet she begs for love because she can’t live without it. Her contemplation also leads her to ask, “So if it’s true, that love will never die, Then why do the lovers work so hard, To stay alive.”

In the context of sisters, the narrator pleas for a sister figure to understand and support her. She is asking her sister for guidance, to tell her what she should do, and give her some love.

30. “Sister Blister” By Alanis Morissette

“Sister Blister” is a feminist anthem about sisterhood and standing up for oneself. A track from Alanis Morrisette’s 2002 album Under Rug Swept, “Sister Blister,” addresses the societal expectations that can oppress women.

In light of this reality that occurs all too often, the narrator exhorts women to support each other as sisters and to “help change their minds together,” where “their” is the people whose expectations of women are so old-fashioned and traditional.

Since Morrisette is known for her personal lyrics and emotional delivery, the song ends up being arguably more powerful coming from her than it would be from just about any other artist. 

31. “Brother & Sister” By Matthew Mole

To end our list, we give you “Brother & Sister” by South African singer-songwriter Matthew Mole. This heartfelt song explores the deep bond between brothers and sisters.

The song opens with the singer acknowledging the presence of his older sister. They became partners in crime, which highlights the importance of their relationship. The lyrics suggest that they have grown together, sharing a strong familial tie.

The singer further recognizes his sister’s role in his life, with her being his “guiding light in our early days.” She is always there by his side, even after all their fights. And despite being apart, he expresses his willingness to be there for her if she needs him.

Summing Up Our List Of Sister Songs

If you’ve got a sister or you are a sister yourself, you can certainly relate to these songs. And if you’re close to your female sibling, you’ll understand the importance of the bond and every little nuance that goes with being siblings.

If you don’t have a sister, you very well may have a close relationship with a woman who has ended up filling the role of one because sisterhood doesn’t have to be biological.

Each of these songs has captured the essence of a sister or sisterhood that goes beyond blood ties. Add them to your playlist to remind you of the importance of sisterly bonds.

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.