Graduation day is a bittersweet time of life. It is a time of honoring your accomplishments that you just spent the last four years earning. You have the beginning of the rest of your life to look forward to. Yet, you will be saying goodbye to all the friends in school you have gone through so much with. This is what we call—the phenomenon of happy tears. So, we picked out 10 great graduation songs for you to share the moment with your friends.
Top 10 Graduation Songs of all Time
The Beach Boys “Graduation day” (1966)
This song is very reminiscent of the Beach Boys signature style, upbeat and happy with a positive tone. It almost makes you feel like you have a guaranteed perfect future!
Billy Joel “This Is The Time” (1986)
This is a very fitting song that has actually been used in a graduation or two. Look at the song name, perfect for graduation! And it’s great in every way, including lyrics like “This is the time to remember, though they will not last forever—these are the days to hold on to and we won't although we'll want to.” Amazing artist!
The Rembrants “I'll Be There for You” (1995)
Originally, the soundtrack to the popular American TV series “Friends”, this is a great song for not saying goodbye to old friends but telling them I'll still be there for you, even though we aren't in school anymore.
Rusted Root “Send Me on My Way” (1995)
This song is great for more the title than the lyrics. It makes a lot of playful words that don't exist. This is cool for high school because face it—high schoolers love that stuff!
Eve “Here’s To The Night” (2001)
This song is actually known for being played at high school proms a lot and is appropriate for the graduation occasion for its lyrics, tone and title. It is easy to follow and one with catchy memorable lyrics that will stay in the memory for life.
Phil Collins “On My Way” (2003)
This one is the Disney soundtrack of “Brother Bear” and is for sure appropriate for those fledglings being thrust out into the world of real life. It leaves a bittersweet taste and a lasting memory. Not quite upbeat, but if you like this style, it is perfect.
100 Years “Five for Fighting” (2004)
Well, if you are a life planner, this is the one for your graduation. It also may be good for the music backdrop to a graduation video montage. It is baladi style and will recount the years from birth to death in the American traditional expectation of what should occur at a certain age.
Carrie Underwood “Whenever You Remember” (2005)
A great song for how you want your friends to remember you. This is the quintessential goodbye song. If you want a bittersweet tear jerking experience, then this would be the best choice.
John Gregory “Ride of Your Life” (2006)
Ah yes, this is yet another Disney favorite. Join princess Jasmine and her song of empathy as she encourages you not to be afraid and spread your wings to fly. That's what this song is all about: the courage to be pushed out of the nest and go!
Florence and the Machine “Shake it Out” 2007
This is a great song for overcoming those fears of stepping out into the world with a very biting and straight forward way of telling you that it's all up to you. Uplifting and reality based, this is the perfect combination for grad day!