The bond between siblings is rich and complicated and varies from family to family. Siblings can be friends, rivals, confidants, co-conspirators, and bitter enemies, perhaps all at the same time. No wonder there have been so many brilliant songs on the subject.
To honor this rich musical history, we’ve created a list of the top 20 songs about siblings. Selections include classics about brotherly love, odes to brotherly togetherness, and a left-field portrayal of taboo family love that only Prince would dare attempt. As well as The Purple One, featured artists range from Elvis Presley to 60s soul giants, British rockers Invasion and modern art-pop author Grimes. Billy Idol lands a spot with a sneering ’80s favorite, and Canadian punks PUP record a song that’ll make you think twice about going camping with your sister. Plus, They Might Be Giants reminds us that TV theme songs can sometimes be transcendent.
Although all the songs are very different, they share at least one thing in common: they describe relationships with people we cannot choose. In life, we can theoretically choose our friends and lovers, but our brothers and sisters are just a little bit there. Ideally, we love them and want only the best for them, but sometimes we hate them, envy them, or worry deeply about them. The 20 songs on our list touch on all of these feelings and more, presenting complex family dynamics in the form of easily digestible slices of pop. Even only children will dig them.