Most popular graduation songs [2017 edition]

Most popular graduation songs [2017 edition]


It’s that time of year!

“Does anyone have a great graduation song suggestions??”

Towards the end of March (USA/Europe) and beginning of November (Australia/New Zealand) I start to see teachers ask for graduation song suggestions on Facebook and other social media channels.  Although new fresh ones appear each year, some songs are perennial favourites.

I decided to put together a list of the most commonly suggested songs.  This list will be updated each year to include new songs.

The list below includes

  • Song title
  • Artist/composer name
  • Link to the Youtube video

The Songs

The songs below are listed in order of release date and the link goes to the Youtube video of the song.

IMPORTANT: although most songs in the list are considered clean and student-friendly, please use your own judgement when listening to them (or watching the video) and selecting a song for your school.  Every school has different guidelines and expectations so YOU need to choose what works best for your students.

>>> Download a copy of this list: use the download button at the bottom of this post <<<



Try Everything – Shakira (from “Zootopia”)

Can’t Stop The Feeling! – Justin Timberlake (from “Trolls”)

How Far I’ll Go – Auli’i Cravalho (from “Moana”)



The Days – Avicii

Better When I’m Dancing – Meghan Trainor



Best Day Of My Life –  American Authors

Que Sera – Justice Crew

Fight Song – Rachel Platten



Compass – Lady Antebellum

Shine Your Way – Owl City & Yuna (from “The Croods”)

Roar – Katy Perry

Hey Brother – Avicii

Happy – Pharrell Williams

I Lived – One Republic

Counting Stars – One Republic



It’s Time – Imagine Dragons

On Top Of The World – Imagine Dragons

Home – Phillip Phillips

Hall of Fame – The Script ft.

Good Time – Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen



Keep Your Head Up – Andy Grammer



Wherever I go – Miley Cyrus & Emily Osment

Count on me – Bruno Mars

Firework – Katy Perry

Today My Life Begins – Bruno Mars

Hold On To The Memories – Corey Tynan



Lean On Me – Glee version

Growing Up Beside You – Paolo Nutini

Fireflies – Owl City



I Was Here – Lady Antebellum



Little Wonders – Rob Thomas (from “Meet The Robinsons”)

I Told You So – Carrie Underwood



My Wish – Rascal Flatts

Forever Young – Youth Group



Breakaway – Kelly Clarkson



For Good – Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel (from “Wicked”)



Friends Forever – Vitamin C



Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) – Green Day



Seasons of Love – from Rent



I’ll Be There For You – The Rembrandts (Theme from “Friends”)



End Of The Road – Boyz II Men



Man In The Mirror – Michael Jackson



True Colors – Cyndi Lauper



We Are The Champions – Queen



Pure Imagination – from Willy Wonka



With A Little Help From My Friends – Beatles



Stand By Me – Ben E. King


Any other songs you would like to add?

What have you used with your students? Add a comment below!


Download a copy of the graduation songs list

Would you like to take a copy of this list with you? Click on the download button below and fill in your details and the list will be sent straight to your inbox (please check your spam folder if you don’t see it after a few minutes!). You will also be sent weekly music tech tips and news (if you don’t already receive them) and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Click here to download

By |2018-09-06T01:03:58+00:00March 30th, 2017|Teacher Tech Tips|33 Comments

About the Author:

I love to simplify technology for music teachers. I help teachers from all around the world through the Midnight Music Community - an online professional development community where teachers can take online courses, ask questions and receive personalised help for the music tech goals.


  1. Amy March 31, 2017 at 4:16 am - Reply

    Here’s to Us by Kevin Rudolph
    Kaleidoscope by Great Big World
    It’s Our World by Jacquie Lee

  2. Heidi Woodruff March 31, 2017 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Lanterns by Australian band Birds of Tokyo is a great song for students to sing and play , have the rest of the graduating class file up and light a candle and walk out with it while the musicians are performing.

    • Katie April 3, 2017 at 10:27 am - Reply

      Ooh – yes I really like that song!

  3. Dan Fleury April 5, 2017 at 11:02 pm - Reply

    “Here’s to the Night” – Eve 6

    Had this one for a middle school graduation 🙂

    • Katie April 7, 2017 at 8:33 am - Reply

      Thanks Dan – I didn’t know this one. Listening now….

  4. Jennifer April 6, 2017 at 1:10 am - Reply

    In My Life by the Beatles

    • Katie April 7, 2017 at 8:31 am - Reply

      One of my favourite Beatles songs of all time 🙂

  5. Karen Reudavey April 6, 2017 at 9:27 am - Reply

    Growing Up Beside You by Paulo Nuttini (I changed some of the lyrics)

    • Katie April 7, 2017 at 8:36 am - Reply

      Thanks Karen – another one I didn’t know!

  6. Leesa Kuhlmann April 6, 2017 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    I Lived by One Republic is what we will be singing this year.

    • Katie April 7, 2017 at 8:39 am - Reply

      Love that song. It’s on my running playlist in Spotify

  7. Traci April 21, 2017 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    I Believe from Honey the movie
    Greenday Time of your life

  8. Edie Storey April 23, 2017 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    We will always be Friends by Hedley

  9. Maryanne Zarbetski May 3, 2017 at 7:01 am - Reply

    1979 The Rainbow Connection by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher
    (from the original Muppet Movie)

    Why are there so many songs about rainbows and what’s on the other side?
    Rainbows are visions, but only illusions, and rainbows have nothing to hide.
    So we’ve been told and some choose to believe it.
    I know they’re wrong wait and see.
    Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection.
    The lovers, the dreamers and me.
    Who said that wishes would be heard and answered when wished on the morningstar?
    Someone thought of that and someone believed it.
    Look what it’s done so far.
    What’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing and what do we think we might see?
    Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection.
    The lovers, the dreamers and me.
    All of us under its spell.
    We know that it’s probably magic.
    Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?
    I’ve heard them calling my name.
    Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors.
    The voice might be one and the same.
    I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it.
    It’s something that I’m supposed to be.
    Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers and me.
    La-da-da, de-da-da-do

    1963 May Each Day by George Wyle and Mort Green
    (recorded by Andy Williams and used the opening lines at the end of each TV show)

    May each day in the week be a good day
    May the Lord always watch over you
    And may all of your hopes turn to wishes
    And may all of your wishes come true
    May each day in the month be a good day
    May you make friends with each one you meet
    And may all of your daydreams be mem’ries
    And may all of your mem’ries be sweet
    The weeks turn to months and the months into years
    There’ll be sadness and joy, there’ll be laughter and tears
    But one thing I pray to heaven above
    May each of your days be a day full of love
    May each day in the year be a good day
    May each dawn find you happy and gay
    And may all of your days be as lovely
    As the one you shared with me today
    May each day of your life be a good day
    And good night.

    1995 You’ve Got a Friend in Me by Randy Newman

    You’ve got a friend in me
    You’ve got a friend in me
    When the road looks rough ahead
    And you’re miles and miles
    From your nice warm bed
    You just remember what your old pal said
    Boy, you’ve got a friend in me
    Yeah, you’ve got a friend in me
    You’ve got a friend in me
    You’ve got a friend in me
    You’ve got troubles, and I’ve got ’em too
    There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you
    We stick together and can see it through
    ‘Cause you’ve got a friend in me
    You’ve got a friend in me
    Some other folks might be
    A little bit smarter than I am
    Bigger and stronger too, maybe
    But none of them will ever love you
    The way I do, it’s me and you, boy
    And as the years go by
    Our friendship will never die
    You’re gonna see it’s our destiny
    You’ve got a friend in me
    You’ve got a friend in me
    You’ve got a friend in me

  10. caytayrey May 10, 2017 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    We play Let them be little by Billy Dean for our Pre-k graduation ceremony (for the parents before the children walk in) Not a dry eye in the house

    • Katie May 10, 2017 at 6:21 pm - Reply

      Nice 🙂

  11. John C May 31, 2017 at 7:07 am - Reply

    *Switchfoot “This is Your Life” (
    *Better Than Ezra “A Lifetime” (

  12. Michele May 31, 2017 at 8:03 am - Reply

    1996 – Because You Loved Me (Celine Dion)
    1996 – Reach (Gloria Estefan)
    1997 – My Heart Will Go On (Celine Dion)
    1998 – When You Believe (Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston)
    1998 – You’ll Be in My Heart (Phil Collins)
    2000 – I Hope You Dance (Lee Ann Womack)
    2007 – Best Days (Graham Colton)
    2008 – The Time of My Life (David Cook)
    2009 – The Climb (Miley Cyrus)
    2009 – No Boundaries (Kris Allen)
    2009 – No Surprise (Daughtry)
    2009 – One Day You Will (Lady Antebellum)
    2010 – The Finish Line (Train)
    2010 – Unstoppable (Rascal Flatts)
    2010 – The World is Ours Tonight (Gloriana)
    2014 – Best Day of My Life (American Authors)
    2014 – Happy (Pharrell Williams)
    2015 – Centuries (Fall Out Boy)
    2015 – See You Again (Wiz Khalifa)

    • Katie June 5, 2017 at 10:32 am - Reply

      Wow – thanks Michele! And especially for including the years 🙂

  13. Ana Angel June 1, 2017 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    Villa Park High School 1983 theme song for graduation “up where we belong” Joe Coker, there were tons of better songs, but this one was chosen.

  14. Meghan Corrao June 7, 2017 at 12:15 am - Reply

    We do Let Them Be Little, too!! It’s amazing. The parents love it!

    • Katie June 7, 2017 at 6:49 am - Reply

      I don’t know that one Meghan but even the title sounds good 🙂 I’ll check it out

  15. Brian william August 25, 2017 at 4:02 am - Reply

    I wish they could write they songs on they page

  16. Alejandra Gutierrez November 29, 2017 at 5:14 am - Reply

    I love Photograph by Nickelback. Great for a photo video for the graduates

  17. Tania Gray March 2, 2018 at 11:28 am - Reply

    Some of the Songs that I have chosen for our Graduations from the last few years have been:
    Do I Make You Proud – Taylor Hicks
    Time of Our Lives – Tyrone Wells
    Lanterns – Birds of Tokyo
    (all have bought tears to the parents eyes)
    Hope you enjoy them as much as my students and parents did!

    • Katie March 15, 2018 at 5:46 pm - Reply

      Thanks Tania – those are great suggestions!

  18. Leslie March 29, 2018 at 3:26 am - Reply

    “For Good” from the musical “Wicked”, by Stephen Schwartz
    “See You Again”, Charlie Puth
    “One Call Away”, Charlie Puth

  19. Lucy March 29, 2018 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    Corrs – so young. especially good for post exams celebrations!

  20. Kim Stone March 30, 2018 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    Corey Smith – I’m Not Gonna Cry

  21. Cyndi Vinovskis March 31, 2018 at 1:04 am - Reply

    On My Way by Phil Collins (from the movie Brother Bear)

  22. Tammie May 26, 2018 at 5:28 am - Reply

    Seasons of Love-Rent My students sing this every year.

  23. Linda December 3, 2018 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    Mamas and Papas – Make your own kind of music

Leave A Comment