Barbara has spent over forty years writing poems, lyrics, and sayings for cards, and interpreting the meanings and messages in song.
Nine Outstanding Country Songs for Your Graduation Playlist
Graduating can be summed up in two ways, either you're moving on or your shifting gears, and you guessed it, there are several country songs with lyrics that describe just about any situation involving growth and change.
In your search for graduation songs, you're going to find a few common song recommendations, like "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts and "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack. Both of these songs are incredible, and the lyrics are ideal for celebrating growth and change. However, this collection includes these two standards and seven additional less conventional song choices that you can add to your celebration playlist.
Popular Country Graduation Songs
- "If It Gets You Where You Wanna Go" by Dallas Smith
- "We Laughed Until We Cried" by Jason Aldean
- "I Was Here" by Lady Antebellum
- "So Close Now" by Eli Young
- "Long Live" by Taylor Swift
- "See You When I See You" by Jason Aldean
- "My Best Days are Ahead of Me" by Danny Gokey
- "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Anne Womack
- "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts
1. "If It Gets You Where You Wanna Go" by Dallas Smith
Album: Jumped Right In
Born in 1977, Dallas is a Canadian Country Music Artist from British Columbia. 'Jumped Right In' was released in 2012, and it includes his other very popular hits, 'Jumped Right In,' 'Nothing But Summer', and 'What Kind of Love.'
This song is upbeat and filled with inspiration in both music and lyrics. If you're looking for a song that delivers hope with a little more fun and excitement rather than emotional reflection, then be sure to listen to this tune.
In your search for just the right graduation song, the lyrics encourage and remind Graduates that it's up to them to chase their dreams, and whatever that dream is, all that's needed is their own will to get there. Add it to the playlist for a dance, or just use it as a theme song for the entire celebration.
"If you wanna go back, if you wanna move on
If you wanna get lost, if you wanna go home
If there's a will then there's a way to get there
If you wanna stay close, if you wanna go far
Go on ahead and follow your heart
One thing I know is we're all going somewhere"
2. "We Laughed Until We Cried" by Jason Aldean
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You'll find '"Laughed Until We Cried" on Jason Aldean's 2007 album 'Relentless'. It turned out to be his 5th single to chart on Billboard Hot Country in the USA.Writers of the song are Kelley Lovelace and Ashely Gorley.
The music is moving, and combined with the sentimental lyrics may cause you to remember important markers in your past thus making it an ideal choice for Graduation.
Although the words speak about memorable moments in our life .. ranging from youth to our own family, it has a way of drawing us into remembering whatever recent milestone we're passing or going through. The lyrics make us reflect upon our paths already chosen, while at the same time delivering a sentimental message to the youth just starting out.
"Goin' through my closet the other day
I found an old yearbook, flipped right to the page of that senior trip
Down there on that Panama strip
We all started yelling when we smelled the beach
Just couldn't wait to try our fake ID's
We only had a few days
And a whole lot of memories to make"
3. "I Was Here" by Lady Antebellum
Album: Act of Valor
You'll find 'I Was Here' by Lady Antebellum on a compilation album called Act of Valor which includes 9 additional inspirational songs by various country artists. Their song was also included on the AT&T Soundtrack for the 2008 USA Summer Olympic Team. The lyrics are certainly ideal for Olympians.
If you're looking for lyrics that shout inspiration and purpose, then this is the song. When we're just starting out we tend to feel this urge to leave our mark; we want to do something different, make a contribution and be remembered. As we age our aim is still the same but our desired reward may change.
As our young Graduates walk up to the podium to receive their degrees or diplomas, the lyrics to this song serve as a reminder to all those witnessing their milestone, that these young people are the next generation of contributors and without a doubt we want them to find their place in this world and achieve their dreams.
What a joyous occasion it is to watch our children grow in knowledge and most of all to enter the next chapter of their life with a sense of themselves and what they can do.
"I wanna do something that matters
Say something different
Something that sets the whole world on it's ear
I wanna do somethin' better, with the time I've been given
And I wanna try to touch a few hearts in this life
And leave nothin' less that something that says I was here"
4. "So Close Now" by Eli Young Band
A choice song for the graduate attending school away from home. The words speak about leaving the town you've been in and heading out to chase your dreams. The truck is loaded and although it's hard to leave, it's time to pursue the path you've been destined to take.
The music is sentimental and reflective in nature. If you're looking for a touching, less traditional country song for graduation, this one fits the bill.
You'll find 'So Close Now' on Eli Young Band's 2005 Album 'Level'. The album features 11 terrific songs in total.
"I am so close now to walking away
About to walk a path I've gotta take
I am packing up heading out
I can't sleep I'm dreaming way too loud
I'm so close now, so close now
to getting out"
5. "Long Live" by Taylor Swift
Album: Speak Now
With a repeating guitar riff and a strong drum beat in the chorus, Long Live is a power anthem song about celebrating moments of accomplishment in life.
If your graduation playlist needs a song that everyone can loudly sing to, then you'll want to add this one.
"I said remember this feeling
I passed the pictures around
Of all the years that we stood there on the sidelines
Wishing for right now
We are the kings and the queens
You traded your baseball cap for a crown
When they gave us our trophies
And we held them up for our town
And the cynics were outraged
Screaming, 'This is absurd'"
6. "See You When I See You" by Jason Aldean
Album: My Kinda Party
This song is about not wanting to say goodbye. It's an ideal graduation song in that it acknowledges it's time to move and life is changing. Although change is hard to take, it's time to move forward, and the phrase 'see you when I see you' is easier than goodbye.
"See you when I see you
Another place, some other time
If I ever get down your way
Or you're ever up around mine
We'll laugh about the old days
And catch up on the new
Yeah I'll see you when I see you
And I hope it's some day soon"
7. "My Best Days are Ahead of Me" by Danny Gokey
Album: My Best Days
If you're looking for an upbeat positive song that isn't dripping in sentiment, then you'll want to choose this one. The music and lyrics are happy and filled with hope about what's ahead in life. There's eagerness about the next chapter, no matter your age, and best of all, after you hear it you're almost motivated to start a new project as well!
"Age is nothing but a number
Sometimes I have to wonder
What does it really mean
But hey I'm still putting it together
I keep getting better
If I keep getting better
I can be whatever I want to be
My best days are ahead of me"
8. "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack
Album: Sons of the Desert
You can't help but sing-a-long to this one. The music and lyrics reflective nature will bring a tear to your eyes.
It's a message from mom about her hopes and dreams in this life for her kids. As life challenges them, she 'hopes they dance'. You've probably heard it, as it's a country classic. If you haven't, be sure to listen to the words, and keep a tissue handy.
"I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin' might mean takin' chances, but they're worth takin'
Lovin' might be a mistake, but it's worth makin'
Don't let some Hellbent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to sellin' out, reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance"
9. "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts
Album: Me and My Gang
The best song for a graduation is 'My Wish'. The lyrics wish the graduate accomplishes all they want in this life. It's a thoughtful send-off filled with hope and positive energy. If the song you're seeking to honor the graduate needs an upbeat motivational tempo, this is the best pick.
"My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too"
© 2014 Barbara Tremblay Cipak
If you have a favorite Graduation Song, feel free to post it here!
Nancy Carol Brown Hardin from Las Vegas, NV on June 24, 2014:
Gosh I wouldn't know where to start. All I know is I cried my eyes out when my daughters graduated, and probably wouldn't have heard the music anyway! But you have some great selections here, inspiring and encouraging. Thanks for sharing.