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Friendship songs
Image: Time Out/Anthony Mooney/Shutterstock

The 22 best friendship songs

These are the uplifting friendship songs you and your closest pals need

Edited by
Matthew Singer
Written by
Andrew Frisicano
,
Ro Samarth
&
Andy Kryza
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Romantic love gets most of the glory in pop music, but platonic friendship has inspired plenty of great songs, too – and no, we’re not just talking about the Friends theme. (Shout out to the Rembrandts, though.) Everyone from the Beatles to Drake have mined their BFFs for inspiration.

On this list of the best friendship songs, you’ll find huge pop blockbusters alongside classic rock anthems, rappers shouting out their squads and punk rockers honouring their fallen brothers and sisters. Listen with your bestie and you’re sure to find yourself crying in each other’s arms – or at least sharing a high-five. 

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Best friendship songs, ranked

‘You’re My Best Friend’ by Queen
Image: Elektra

1. ‘You’re My Best Friend’ by Queen

It’s hard to think of a better match than Freddie Mercury soaring voice and Brian May's searing lead guitar, both of which are in fine form on this timeless ode to friendship. It’s a classic track for montages detailed all the shenanigans and good times you've gotten up to with your best buds.

‘Lean on Me’ by Bill Withers
Image: Sony Legacy

2. ‘Lean on Me’ by Bill Withers

The reciprocal nature of friendship is at the heart of Withers’ heart-string-tugging tune. It’s about friendship and beyond, an ode to working together to get each other through even the toughest of times. Let your friends know you'll be there to help them carry on.

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‘We’re Going to Be Friends’ The White Stripes
Image: Sympathy for the Record Industry

3. ‘We’re Going to Be Friends’ The White Stripes

While most of Jack and Meg’s ouvre delves into fuzzed-out bombast, this tender-hearted tune opts for soft-spoken lyrics and plucked acoustic guitar. It details the beginnings of something very special. Sweet, ain’t it?

‘You Got a Friend In Me’ by Randy Newman
Image: Walt Disney Records

4. ‘You Got a Friend In Me’ by Randy Newman

This raspy-voiced gem from the Toy Story soundtrack plays as a reminder that people make for subpar friends. A stuffed cowboy, though? That’s for life. Really though, it's a perfect song to sing to your best bud who’s been with you through thick and thin.

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‘With a Little Help From My Friends’ by The Beatles
Image: Parlophone

5. ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’ by The Beatles

Good for Ringo that Paul and John wrote this song’s hummable, easily sing-able melody with their buddy’s distinctive baritone in mind (and before things between them got really contentious). It perfectly captures the ins and outs of going through life with your friends.

‘Stand By Me’ by Ben E. King
Image: Atco

6. ‘Stand By Me’ by Ben E. King

Both the R&B hit and the 1984 film classic that bears its name stand as timeless tributes to camaraderie. We know we’ll be OK as long as our friends are right there by our sides, even if we’re enduring the universal childhood experience of confronting a knife-wielding Kiefer Sutherland while searching for a dead body. 

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‘All My Friends’ by LCD Soundsystem
Image: Capitol Records

7. ‘All My Friends’ by LCD Soundsystem

James Murphy’s ode to those true companions who trade a few years of life for a drug-fueled rampage to the rave’s 5am daylight hours – or something more melancholy than that. Either way, it’s a guaranteed indie dance-floor destroyer.

‘Started from the Bottom’ by Drake
Image: Young Money

8. ‘Started from the Bottom’ by Drake

Drake’s anthem is about bringing his whole team with him on the way up. He shouts out those who have been with him from the beginning, encouraging him along the way, and standing by him through it all.

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‘That’s What Friends Are For‘ by Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder
Image: Warner Bros.

9. ‘That’s What Friends Are For‘ by Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder

This star-studded collaboration was recorded to raise money for AIDS research. That's what friends are for, right? Helping out. Play this track and there won’t be a dry eye in the house.

‘Best Friend’ by Harry Nilsson
Harry Nilsson

10. ‘Best Friend’ by Harry Nilsson

Everyone’s had that experience of having a new friend you just have to tell everyone about. Harry Nilsson didn’t quite shout this one from the mountaintops, however – the original, ‘Girlfriend,’ found its way out on album, but this version was relegated to being the theme song to TV’s The Courtship of Eddie's Father with no official release for a long time.

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‘Joga’ by Bjork
Polydor

11. ‘Joga’ by Bjork

The Icelandic avant-pop sorceress named the best song on her best album after her best friend, which should make you question your level of commitment to your own BFF. It’s a wondrous mix of baroque strings and electronic burbles and splooshes, with a soaring, heart-swelling chorus encapsulating the nature of a close, transformative friendship: ‘You push me up to a state of emergency/How beautiful to be.’

‘Girl’ by Destiny’s Child
Image: Columbia

12. ‘Girl’ by Destiny’s Child

This isn’t just a song about friends’ ability to make you feel better. It’s a rallying cry stating that no girl will be left behind when she needs a shoulder to cry on. ‘I'm your girl, you're my girl, we your girls. Don't you know that we love you.’ Even if you’re alone, Beyoncé is there for you. 

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‘Best Friend’ by Young Thug
Image: Atlantic

13. ‘Best Friend’ by Young Thug

Hip hop is full of shoutouts, but seldom does a rapper full-on celebrate their buddies for a full song. Young Thug rectifies the situation, proclaiming ‘That's my bestie, my bestie, my best friend – go best friend,’ over a signature trap beat. Bump it next time your bestie comes into the room and you'll make their day.

‘Friendship’ by Tenacious D
Image: Epic

14. ‘Friendship’ by Tenacious D

Jack Black and Kyle Gass’ folksy grunge-pop ripper spells out the broad allure of close friendship, including such universal experiences as running naked in the sand together, fighting a bear and starting a world-conquering band. We can all relate.

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‘Old Friends’ by Everything But the Girl
Image: Blanco y Negro

15. ‘Old Friends’ by Everything But the Girl

Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt’s moment of remembrance for friendships maintained and friendships lost over the years is a bittersweet bite of nostalgia. Old friends are still a big part of life, even if they’ve faded to the background.

‘Count on Me’ by Bruno Mars
Image: Atlantic

16. ‘Count on Me’ by Bruno Mars

This simple, happy little ditty gets straight to the point. Bruno lets us know that being a friend is not just about the good times, but being there for someone when they need it most. Go on, let your friend know they can count on you.

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‘Graduation (Friends Forever)’ by Vitamin C
Image: Elektra

17. ‘Graduation (Friends Forever)’ by Vitamin C

Vitamin C‘s biggest hit might focus on a short moment of conflicted feelings – the joy and sadness of saying goodbyes at graduation – but the Pachelbal sample makes the sentiment feel timeless. It's goodbye for now, but friends forever. Or at least until you get to college and find suitable replacements.

‘Wannabe’ by Spice Girls
Image: Virgin Records

18. ‘Wannabe’ by Spice Girls

This is how friends roll: ‘If you wannabe my lover, you gotta get with my friends.’ No, that's not an invitation to an orgy. The Spice Girls keep it real with this iconic friend song. Any romantic relationships are to be judged by the friend group, no exceptions.

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‘People Who Died’ by Jim Carroll Band
Atco

19. ‘People Who Died’ by Jim Carroll Band

Poet Jim Carroll lived life on the edge, and so did everyone else he knew in New York’s druggy arts scene. His most famous musical work is literally a roll call of fallen comrades and their causes of death: overdose, suicide, leukemia, a pack of angry bikers. It ain’t pretty, but it is riotous - a punk rock elegy, played fast enough that no one has time to get sad.

‘Friends’ by Flight of the Conchords
Image: Sub Pop

20. ‘Friends’ by Flight of the Conchords

This sparse, mostly a-capella ode to friendship is as sweet as it is absurd, with Jemaine Clement and Brett McKenzie’s sing-songy lyrics talking about the things that make a friendship strong. ‘I’ll cheer you up if you're depressed/If you get murdered I’ll avenge you're death’ they promise, and it’s hard to think of a better expression of lifelong friendship than that.

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‘Thank You for Being a Friend’ by Andrew Gold
Image: Asylum

21. ‘Thank You for Being a Friend’ by Andrew Gold

Even though it serves superbly as the Golden Girls theme song, Gold’s tune stands alone as a timeless tribute to friendship and gratitude. If you don't know how to let your pal know how much you appreciate them (or if you want to play Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia with your squad) , this one’s a great choice.

‘22’ by Taylor Swift
Image: Big Machine

22. ‘22’ by Taylor Swift

Sure, it’s been adopted by countless cheugy office workers as an anthem for a big night at TGI Fridays, but Taylor’s pop confection captures the very essence of a night out with your friends, one where you can let your inner dork thrive among intimates. It’s pure joy that no doubt makes this endless apps go down extra easy, and now that Taylor's Version of Red is out, the song’s backward-facing nostalgia is even more potent.

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