Top 10 Graduation Songs for 2015

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OneRepublic - "I Lived"

OneRepublic - I Lived
OneRepublic - "I Lived". Courtesy Interscope

OneRepublic's lead songwriter Ryan Tedder says that he wrote "I Lived" to be universal and apply to everyone. It is about encouragement to leave every bit of life to its fullest. The song is a great reminder at graduation time.

Lyrics excerpt:

"The only way you can know
Is give it all you have
And I hope that you don't suffer
But take the pain
Hope when the moment comes you say

I, I did it all
I, I did it all
I owned every second
That this world could give
I saw so many places
The things that I did
With every broken bone
I swear I lived"

of 10

Shawn Mendes - "Something Big"

Shawn Mendes - Something Big
Shawn Mendes - "Something Big". Courtesy Island

16-year-old singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes will be releasing his first full-length album Handwritten in April 2015. One of the singles from the project is "Something Big" which celebrates that giddy feeling in advance of a tremendous life event. It is a perfect song for graduation celebrations.

Lyrics excerpt:

"It's like that feeling when you're 'bout to win the medal,
And you worked so hard that you knew you wouldn't settle,
Hands are in the air, hands are in the air.

When they hear you when you thought they wouldn't listen,
It's like an anthem that the whole worlds singing"

of 10

Ellie Goulding - "Anything Could Happen"

Ellie Goulding - Anything Could Happen
Ellie Goulding - "Anything Could Happen". Courtesy Polydor

A portion of the lyrics for "Anything Could Happen" are very personal to Ellie Goulding. However, the key sentiment is universal, and that is a realization that anything can happen, and it's going to be alright. It is an encouragement at graduation to step boldly forward into the unknown.

Lyrics excerpt:

"Yes since we found out
Since we found out
That anything could happen
Anything could happen...

I know it's gonna be
I know it's gonna be...alright!"

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Capital Cities - "Safe and Sound"

Capital Cities - Safe and Sound
Capital Cities - "Safe and Sound". Courtesy Capitol

"Safe and Sound" celebrates support for others and seeing that support come back in kind. At a time when the future is uncertain at graduation, this song is a great reminder of those who will keep you "Safe and Sound."

Lyrics excerpt:

"I could lift you up
I could show you what you wanna see
And take you where you wanna be
You could be my luck
Even if the sky is falling down
I know that we'll be safe and sound!"

of 10

Lorde - "Team"

Lorde - Team
Lorde - "Team". Courtesy Lava

Teenage artist Lorde writes many of her songs with her own peers in mind. This song celebrates supporting each other even if much of life is not as glamorous as hoped. "Team" reached the pop top 10 in early 2014.

Lyrics excerpt:

"We live in cities you'll never see on the screen
Not very pretty, but we sure know how to run things
Living in ruins of the palace within my dreams
And you know we're on each other's team"

of 10

Fitz and the Tantrums - "The Walker"

Fitz and the Tantrums - More Than Just a Dream
Fitz and the Tantrums - More Than Just a Dream. Courtesy Elektra

Everyone is unique and marches to the beat of their own drummer. That's the sentiment behind "The Walker" by Fitz and the Tantrums. Graduation is a great time to celebrate being oneself. "The Walker" went to #1 on the alternative songs chart in early 2014.

Lyrics excerpt:

"Ooh, crazy's what they think about me
Ain't gonna stop 'cause they tell me so
'Cause 99 miles per hour baby,
Is how fast that I like to go.

Can't keep up with my rhythm
Though they keep trying.
Too quick for the lines they throw.
I walk to the sound of my own drum,
We go, they go, we go"

of 10

Kendrick Lamar - "i"

Kendrick Lamar - i
Kendrick Lamar - "i". Courtesy Interscope

The 2015 Grammy Award winner for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song is a song about self-respect and hope for communities coming together in the future. Kendrick Lamar took this anthem on to top 40 pop radio in late 2014.

Lyrics excerpt:

"I duck these cold faces, post up fi-fie-fo-fum basis
Dreams of reality's peace
Blow steam in the face of the beast
Sky could fall down, wind could cry now
Look at me...I smile"

of 10

Matt and Kim - "Daylight"

Matt and Kim - Daylight
Matt and Kim - "Daylight". Courtesy Fader

The song "Daylight" by dance punk duo Matt and Kim brought them on to the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time in 2009. It celebrates the simple healing powers of life and embracing the entire world as home.

Lyrics excerpt:

"And in the daylight, we can hitchhike to Maine
I hope that someday I'll see without these frames
And in the daylight, I don't pick up my phone
'Cause in the daylight, anywhere feels like home"

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Yellowcard - "Miles Apart"

Yellowcard - Ocean Avenue
Yellowcard - Ocean Avenue. Courtesy Capitol

"Miles Apart" is taken from the Ocean Avenue album by pop punk band Yellowcard first released in 2003. It contains a timeless sentiment about staying in each other's hearts even though separated by distance.

Lyrics excerpt:

"We'll be miles apart
I'll keep you deep inside you're always in my heart
A new life to start
I may be leaving but you're always in my heart"


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The Script - "Superheroes"

The Script - Superheroes
The Script - "Superheroes". Courtesy Columbia

Danny O'Donoghue of the Irish rock band The Script wrote the song "Superheroes" for those who have gone through difficult times but still kept their heads up high. It will have special meaning for many at graduation. "Superheroes" was a top 10 adult pop hit in 2014.

Lyrics excerpt:

"She's got lions in her heart
A fire in her soul he's a got a beast 
In his belly that's so hard to control
'Cause they've taken too much hits, taking blow by blow
Now light a match, stand back, watch them explode

When you've been fighting for it all your life
You've been struggling to make things right
That's a how a superhero learns to fly"