Best Graduation Songs

Every year, high school seniors decide on a song to serve as their class’ “graduation song.”  Four themes show up in these songs: the good times had during high school, friends that will be missed, saying goodbye, and heading toward the future.  Here are, in my personal opinion, the ten best graduation songs of all-time:

Vitamin C – “Graduation (Friends Forever)”: Since 2000, this has become a big graduation song, and touches on the theme of friendship.  “And as our lives change / Come whatever / We will still be friends forever.”

Boyz II Men – “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday”: This song touches on saying goodbye and the uncertainty of the future.  “I don’t know where this road is going to lead / All I know is where we’ve been and what we’ve been through.”

Carpenters – “We’ve Only Just Begun”: This song has a sense of optimism for the future.  “Before the rising sun we fly, so many roads to choose / We start out walking and learn to run / And yes, we’ve only just begun.”

Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes – “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”: This song expresses a high school senior’s fondness for high school.  “I’ve had the time of my life / No, I never felt this way before.”

Madonna – “This Used to Be My Playground”: This song is about saying goodbye to childhood.  “This used to be our playground / This used to be our childhood dream / This used to be the place we ran to.”

Sarah McLachlan – “I Will Remember You”: This song evokes the idea of wanting to remember others after saying goodbye.  “I will remember you / Will you remember me? / Don’t let your life pass you by / Weep not for the memories.”

Garth Brooks – “The Dance”:  This is a song about looking back after saying goodbye.  “And now I’m glad I didn’t know the way it all would end / The way it all would go.”

Green Day – “Time of Your Life”:  This song talks about going separate ways, and hoping everyone goes on to have the time of their life.  “So take the photographs and still frames in your mind / Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time.”

The Beatles – “In My Life”: This is a song about looking back and remembering important people from the past.  “Though I know I’ll never lose affection for people and things that went before / I know I’ll often stop and think about them.”

Cast of Rent – “Seasons of Love”: This song evokes a celebration of friendship, a theme that’s important to high school seniors.  “Let’s celebrate, remember a year in the life of friends.”


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