“You’re Gonna Miss This” and 14 Other Favorite Graduation Songs for 2021

It’s graduation season and time to celebrate with graduation parties and every party needs a soundtrack. Teens are proud of their accomplishments and parents are a mixed ball of emotions.

While the soundtrack of high school graduation songs might be Pomp and Circumstances, if you are looking for graduation songs for a playlist for that year end video or graduation party, think more in terms of Green Day, Rascal Flats or Taylor Swift.

These graduation songs are the soundtrack to that next step in life, an uplifting, if teary way to move on.

Here are the Best Graduation Songs for 2021

You’re Gonna Miss This by Trace Adkins

If you love country music, and songs that give you the chills, include Adkins on any graduation song list.

Best line: You’re gonna miss this. You’re gonna want this back. You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast.

(Good Riddance) Time of Your Life by Greenday

This beautiful haunting song never gets old and can bring anyone to tears.

Best line: But in the end it’s right. I hope you had the time of your life.

100 Years by Five for Fighting

If we ever needed a reminder of how fleeting it all is, this is the song.

Best line: Fifteen, there’s never a wish better than this. When you only got a hundred years to live.

My Wish by Rascal Flatts

Every parents dearest hopes put to music.

Best line: My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to. Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small.

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See You Again by Wiz Khalifa

The song may have started as a tribute to someone gone too young, but it celebrates the endurance of true friendship. Graduation songs that speak to friendship, speak to us.

Best line: And what’s small turned to a friendship, a friendship turned to a bond. And that bond will never be broken, the love will never get lost.

These Are Days by 10,000 Maniacs

High school or college graduation is a moment in life and this song captures that perfectly.

Best line: These are days you’ll remember. Never before and never since. I promise.

I Lived by OneRepublic

The group explains their song, “The whole idea, to quote the late great Robin Williams from Dead Poets Society, is very much ‘carpe diem‘.” 

Best line: I, I did it all. I owned every second that this world could give.

Slow Down by Nicole Nordeman

This gentle song speaks every parents heart in a reflective graduation song.

Best line: But slow down. Won’t you stay here a minute more. I know you wanna walk through the door. But it’s all too fast.

Never Grow Up by Taylor Swift

No graduation list would be complete without without Taylor Swift’s ode to childhood.

Best line: I just realized everything I have is someday gonna be gone.

Graduation (Friends Forever) by Vitamin C

This song was written for graduation, and anticipates how these moments of love and friendship will be missed. Cue the tears.

Best line: ‘Cause we’re moving on, and we can’t slow down. These memories are playing like a film without sound.

Have it All by Jason Mraz

Best line: And may the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows. And may the road less paved be the road that you follow.

Don’t You Forget Abut Me by Simple Minds

Because if Breakfast Club doesn’t sum up high school what does? And if we didn’t dip back into the ’80s looking for graduation song inspiration, who would we be anyway?

Best line: the unforgettable, “Don’t you forget about me.”

I’ll Let You Go (Live) by Jessica Allossery

If Grown and Flown had an anthem, this would be it. Allossery’s gorgeous haunting tribute to the fact that we are always there for our kids, even as they fly.

Best line: Some years down, the long long road
If you need help with your load
I’ll always be here for you, you know…My love stays when you go.

My Little Girl By Tim McGraw

Because if a graduation song has one message it is that we want them to take on the world, knowing home is here if they need it.

Best line: Chase your dreams, but always know the road. That’ll lead you home again.

For more songs: 2021 Graduation Songs Guaranteed to Make You Cry

More to Read:

Graduation Party Ideas

About Grown and Flown

Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa (Endlich) Heffernan are the co-founders of Grown and Flown the #1 site for parents of teens, college students and young adults, reaching millions of parents every month. They are writers (Lisa is a New York Times bestselling author), moms, wives and friends. They started the Grown and Flown Parents Facebook Group and are co-authors of Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults (Flatiron Books) now in paperback.

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