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Top 10 Friendship Songs


Songs about friendship, a special type of love, are a little more rare than traditional love songs. However, there are still many to choose from. Enjoy this list of 10 of the best, and share any of your favorites that you think are left out.

1. "You've Got a Friend" - James Taylor - 1971

Courtesy Warner Bros.

This song was written by Carole King and included on her landmark album Tapestry released in 1971. The definitive version was recorded by King's friend James Taylor and his recording of "You've Got a Friend" hit #1 in 1971. It is Taylor's only #1 pop single. "You've Got a Friend" has been recorded many times since by artists ranging from Barbra Streisand to Yemeni singer Ofra Haza. Few other songs come close to this song's simple poignance of friends helping and supporting each other.

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2. "Thank You for Being a Friend" - Andrew Gold - 1978

Andrew Gold - All This and Heaven Too
Courtesy Asylum Records

An entire generation knows this song as the theme song to the TV show Golden Girls from a version recorded by Cindy Fee. However, the song first became a pop hit in a 1978 version by the song's writer, pop musician Andrew Gold. "Thank You For Being a Friend" is a perfect expression of gratitude to those treasured people we call friends.

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3. "Lean On Me" - Bill Withers - 1972

Bill Withers - Still Bill
Courtesy Sussex Records

Soul legend Bill Withers introduced this song in the early 1970's It went straight to #1 on the pop chart and became a contemporary pop standard. It is his only song to reach the top of both the pop and soul singles charts. Club Nouveau took "Lean On Me" back to #1 in 1987 with a more uptempo version.

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4. "I'll Be There for You" - The Rembrandts - 1995

Rembrandts - I'll Be There For You
Courtesy Atlantic Records

Best known as the theme song for the TV series Friends, "I'll Be There for You" was written specifically for the show by Michael Skloff and Allee Willis. There were no plans initially to release the song as a single, but demand from fans eventually forced the Rembrandts to record a full-length version and the song, in a commercial version, reached the pop top 20. In a similar vein to the show, "I'll Be There for You" celebrates the humor in friendship.

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5. "You're My Best Friend" - Queen - 1976

Queen - "You're My Best Friend"
Courtesy EMI

Queen's classic is a perfect song for those who see their romantic partner as a best friend. The song is a heartfelt tribute to that special person in your life. Queen took the song to the top 20 on the US pop chart and the top 10 at home in the UK. It has since become one of the group's most beloved classics.

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6. "Wind Beneath My Wings" - Bette Midler - 1989

Soundtrack - Beaches
Courtesy Atlantic Records

This song had a rather humble beginning. It was written by Larry Henley and Jeff Silbar and was first recorded in 1982. Lou Rawls brought it into the pop singles chart at #65 in 1983. Country singer Gary Morris took it into the country top 10 the same year. However, it was Bette Midler's performance of the song as a eulogy for a friend in the movie Beaches that made the song an unforgettable classic. Bette Midler's recording of "Wind Beneath My Wings" won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year.

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7. "With a Little Help From My Friends" - Beatles - 1967

Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Courtesy Capitol

Yes, indeed, friends can help get you through times of romantic trouble. Just ask Ringo. "With a Little Help From My Friends," in its definitive version by the Beatles, was never released as a single. However, Joe Cocker took a version of the song onto the pop charts in 1968.


8. "Tongue Tied" - Grouplove - 2011

Grouplove - Never Trust a Happy Song
Courtesy Atlantic

Indie group Grouplove blasted into our consciousness via the joyful use of this song as part of an Apple iPod Touch commercial in 2011. It helped propel the song to the top 10 on the alternative songs and rock songs charts as well as climbing into the top 40 at mainstream pop radio. "Tongue Tied" also ranks as one of the Top 10 Graduation Songs for 2012. It is a perfect song for celebrating with friends.

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9. "Umbrella" - Rihanna - 2007

Rihanna featuring Jay-Z - Umbrella
Courtesy Def Jam

There is a bittersweet tone to Rihanna's megahit "Umbrella," but at the core of the song is a salute to the enduring power of friendship. The words of support struck a chord with pop music audiences resulting in the song spending seven weeks at #1 in the US. It also received Grammy Award nominations for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

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10. "That's What Friends Are For" - Dionne Warwick and Friends - 1986

Dionne Warwick - Friends
Courtesy Arista

This classic affirmation of the support friendship provides was first recorded by Rod Stewart for the soundtrack to the movie Night Shift in 1982. The song was written by legends Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager. Dionne Warwick entered the studio with Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder to record the song as a benefit for the American Foundation for AIDS Research, and pop music history was made. The single spent 4 weeks at #1 and earned 2 Grammy Awards.

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