Top School Graduation Songs

Popular Songs Perfect for Graduation Party Playlists

High school graduates throwing their mortarboards in the air
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Whether graduating from high school, college, graduate school or another form of accomplishment, listening to a good graduation song can set the right mood for the day and make it memorable. 

That is indeed the beauty of music, it makes any occasion unforgettable and when you hear a particular song it reminds you of that special moment. To celebrate graduation day, here are several songs to make that day momentous.

Graduation - Vitamin C

American pop singer Vitamin C's Graduation was released in 2000. The lyrics are about contemplating the future, the excitement of starting a new life path and feeling nostalgic, making this song perfect for graduations.

Here is an example of the relatable lyrics:

As we go on, we remember all the times we had together
And as our lives change, come whatever
We will still be friends forever

Here are the lyrics to the entire song and the music sample (Song #12).

I Believe I Can Fly - R. Kelly

R. Kelly's I Believe I Can Fly is an R&B and soul song released in 1996. The song is R. Kelly's most successful single as it topped Billboard charts and won 3 Grammies. Filled with the feeling of hope, moving forward, and the idea that the world is your oyster, I Believe I Can Fly makes for a great song for graduation.

Almost everyone knows these chorus lines, making it an easy song to sing-a-long to:

I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away

Here are the full lyrics and the music sample (Song #18).

What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong

What a Wonderful World was a song written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss. It was first recorded by jazz icon Louis Armstrong and released in 1967. The lovely melody and lyrics convey an optimistic outlook on life and an overall comforting attitude, which is the perfect antidote to any graduation anxieties. 

To get a sense, listen to the opening lines of this Armstrong classic:

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

You can also find the full lyrics, and music sample (Song #1) and sheet music.

Make It Happen - Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey's Make It Happen (1992) is a personal song about her experiences before reaching fame. Essentially, this song is about picking yourself up by the bootstraps and making your visions come to fruition. A strong belief in hard work is a good attitude for fresh graduates to have when first entering the "adult" world and beyond.

Here are the inspiring chorus lines to Make It Happen:

If you believe in yourself enough
And know what you want
You're gonna make it happen

Here are the full lyrics and music sample (Song #7).

The River - Garth Brooks

Popular American country singer, Garth Brooks, released The River in 1992. Comparing a river to a dream and a boat to a dreamer, the song's lyrics encourage people to follow their dreams no matter how difficult it can seem.

Here is a sample of the lyrics:

I'll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry

You can also read the full lyrics and listen to a music sample (Song #10).

There You'll Be - Faith Hill

There You'll Be is a country pop song by Faith Hill. It was released in 2001. The emotional song is all about thanking a loved ones for their unwavering support. For graduates who want to thank their family and friends on such a momentous day, this song can be a good one to add to the playlist.

Some of the chorus lines are:

'Cause I always saw in you
My light, my strength
And I want to thank you

Here are the full lyrics and music sample (Song #1).

Whenever You Remember - Carrie Underwood

American country singer Carrie Underwood released Whenever You Remember in 2005. Graduation is not only a celebratory time to welcome the future, but it is also a time to reflect on what that you have achieved to get to this point.

Here is a sample of the lyrics for Whenever You Remember:

When you think back on all we've done
I hope you're proud

For more, here are the full lyrics and sheet music.

You Raise Me Up - Josh Groban

Josh Groban's rendition of You Raise Me Up was a hit song when it was released in 2003. In terms of graduation, this is another good song for thanking your family and friends for all their support.

Here are the chorus lines:

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.

You can also read the full lyrics, listen to the music sample (Song #12) and find sheet music.