Top 10 Graduation Songs for 2016

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Troye Sivan - "Youth"

Troye Sivan Youth
Troye Sivan - "Youth". Courtesy Capitol

Young Australian singer-songwriter Troye Sivan broke into pop charts around the world with the single "Youth." The song is about the intense emotions and mistakes made while working through the late teen years. It is included on Troye Sivan's top 10 hit debut album Blue Neighbourhood.

Lyrics excerpt:

"We're speeding through red lights into paradise
'Cause we've no time for getting old
Mortal bodies, timeless souls
Cross your fingers, here we go

And when the lights start flashing like a photo booth
And the stars exploding
We'll be fireproof"

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Charlie Puth - "One Call Away"

Charlie Puth One Call Away
Charlie Puth - "One Call Away". Courtesy Atlantic

"One Call Away" was the second official single from singer-songwriter Charlie Puth's debut album Nine Track Mind released in August 2015. It is a ballad the speaks of commitment among friends to always support each other. The song hit #1 at adult pop radio in the US.

Lyrics excerpt:

"No matter where you go
You know you're not alone

I'm only one call away
I'll be there to save the day
Superman got nothing on me
I'm only one call away"

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Beatles - "With a Little Help From My Friends"

Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Courtesy Capitol

The Beatles' legendary song about friendship originally sung by drummer Ringo Starr is a great choice for graduation. It has been frequently covered by other artists including a celebrated performance by Joe Cocker which has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Lyrics excerpt:

"What would you think if I sang out of tune
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song
And I'll try not to sing out of key
Oh I get by with a little help from my friends"

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Pink - "Just Like Fire"

Pink Just Like Fire
Pink - "Just Like Fire". Courtesy Walt Disney

Pink wrote and recorded the song "Just Like Fire" for the soundtrack to the film Alice Through the Looking Glass. It was co-written with Max Martin. The song is an anthem to being confident in being oneself.

Lyrics excerpt:

"Just like fire, burning out the way
If I can light the world up for just one day
Watch this madness, colorful charade
No one can be just like me any way
Just like magic, I'll be flying free"

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Major Lazer feat. Nyla and Fuse ODG - "Light It Up"

Major Lazer Light It Up
Major Lazer feat. Nyla and Fuse ODG - "Light It Up". Courtesy Mad Decent

With their 2015 album titled Peace Is the Mission, Major Lazer's music is positive and upbeat in focus. The single "Light It Up" encourages pursuing dreams. The songs was a top 10 hit in many countries around the world in late 2015 and early 2016. In the US it went to #1 on the dance music radio chart.

Lyrics excerpt:

"Chasing our crazy dreams
Hoping that the bridge won't cave in
Tonight we let it all go free"

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Coldplay - "Adventure Of a Lifetime"

Coldplay Adventures of a LIfetime
Coldplay - "Adventures of a Lifetime". Courtesy Atlantic

"Adventure Of a Lifetime" was the first single released from Coldplay's late 2015 album A Head Full of Dreams. It's an uplifting anthem dedicated to pursuing one's dreams. The song incorporates elements of R&B and world music. It was hailed as one of Coldplay's best singles in years.

Lyrics excerpt:

"Everything you want's a dream away
Under this pressure under this weight
We are diamonds taking shape"

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Nicki Minaj feat. Drake - "Moment 4 Life"

Nicki Minaj Moment 4 Life
Nicki Minaj feat. Drake - "Moment 4 Life". Courtesy Cash Money

Released as the third single from Nicki Minaj's late 2010 album Pink Friday, "Moment 4 Life" was inspired by a story the rapper created about two children who grow up together dreaming about being famous rappers. The song is about the pair sharing a special moment while realizing that all things are fleeting. Nicki Minaj earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Performance for "Moment 4 Life."

Lyrics excerpt:

"This is my moment
I waited all my
Life, I can tell it's time
Drifting away, I'm
One with the sunsets
I have become alive

I wish that I could have this moment
For life"

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Lukas Graham - "7 Years"

Lukas Graham 7 Years
Lukas Graham - "7 Years". Courtesy Warner Bros.

"7 Years" is the breakthrough pop hit single for Danish band Lukas Graham. It is a song written about life in general and the path toward future achievements. This subject matter makes it an outstanding graduation song. "7 Years" has hit the pop top 10 in nearly every major music market around the world.

Lyrics excerpt:

"I only see my goals, I don't believe in failure
'Cause I know the smallest voices, they can make it major
I got my boys with me, at least those in favor
And if we don't meet before I leave, I hope I'll see you later"

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Rachel Platten - "Fight Song"

Rachel Platten Fight Song
Rachel Platten - "Fight Song". Courtesy Columbia

Singer-songwriter Rachel Platten broke into the pop top 10 in 2015 with this self-empowerment anthem. She says that the song was inspired by her personal struggles in the music industry. The words are generally applicable to anyone's struggles for personal success. "Fight Song" reached #1 on the UK pop singles chart and also hit #1 at adult pop and adult contemporary radio.

Lyrics excerpt:

"Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion"

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Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth - "See You Again"

Wiz Khalifa See You Again
Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth - "See You Again". Courtesy Atlantic

Recorded for the soundtrack of the film Furious 7 and tied to the untimely death of actor Paul Walker, "See You Again" is both a fond farewell and an ode to the unbreakable bonds of friendship. It is an outstanding choice as a graduation song and was one of the biggest pop hit singles of the year for 2015.

Lyrics excerpt:

"First you both go out your way
And the vibe is feeling strong
And what's small turn to a friendship
A friendship turn to a bond
And that bond will never be broken
The love will never get lost"