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Top 10 Graduation Songs - 2012

The Best Songs for Graduation and Commencement Ceremonies and Parties


Graduation, or commencement, is one of the most memorable transition points of life. It is a point at which we celebrate what has come before and look forward with hope to the future. This are the songs that make up your soundtrack for 2012.

As you are selecting graduation music, don't miss the list of Top 40 Graduation Songs of All Time.

1. Nicki Minaj - "Fly" featuring Rihanna

Courtesy Cash Money

"Fly" is an upbeat, anthemic song about something beyond mere survival. As Rihanna sings in the chorus, "I came to win, to survive, to prosper, to rise, to fly!" The smooth soaring sound of the chorus contrasts beautifully with Nicki Minaj rapping about a glorious future to come.

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2. Grouplove - "Tongue Tied"

Grouplove - Never Trust a Happy Song
Courtesy Atlantic

Graduation is a time to celebrate friends and friendships. "Tongue Tied" will be instantly familiar due to its inclusion in television commercials. However, that takes nothing away from its upbeat celebration of good times with friends. The alternative pop sound here sounds instantly classic and durable.

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3. Flo Rida - "Good Feeling"

Flo Rida - "Good Feeling"
Courtesy Atlantic

Flo Rida has a good feeling, and hopefully for everyone some of the emotions associated with graduation will be some of the best feelings of life. This is an upbeat party song that has an irresistibly positive attitude. It is perfect for celebration of graduation at the ceremony or parties afterward.

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4. Florence and the Machine - "Shake It Out"

Florence and the Machine - "Shake It Out"
Courtesy Universal

Graduation is often a time, among all of the other feelings, that the weight of the past is felt as real and present. That is what Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine sings about here. The past may indeed be dark, but if you shake off the past fear and pain, then you can dance in celebration of the future.

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5. Billy Joel - "Vienna"

Billy Joel - The Stranger
Courtesy Columbia Records

Billy Joel first released "Vienna" as a an album track on his legendary 1977 album The Stranger 35 year ago. The words of "Vienna" are just as relevant now as then. They speak about casting off fears and doubts and realizing that if one just relaxes there are wonders that await. Graduation can be a time of huge emotional energy and trepidation. A reminder to slow down and take the future as it comes is a worthwhile sentiment for this transition in life.


6. Calvin Harris - "Feel So Close"

Calvin Harris - "Feel So Close"
Courtesy Columbia Records

This dance-pop song from Calvin Harris is a current top 10 hit. It is also a song with a simple and powerful sentiment. "Feel So Close" carries a feeling of intimacy that can relate to individual relationships, but it is also just as appropriate in explaining the massive feelings of collective closeness that comes with an event like graduation. This song is perfect for celebrating with friends.

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7. Jason Mraz - "Song For a Friend"

Jason Mraz - Mr. A-Z
Courtesy Atlantic Records

Jason Mraz reminds us all here that loving oneself is a very key ingredient to success in life. "Song For a Friend" is a pleasing downbeat contrast to the uptempo songs here in this list. It is meditative for much of the song then explodes in a beautiful choral section.


8. Pink - "F**kin' Perfect"

Pink - "F**kin' Perfect"
Courtesy La Face

Self doubts can swirl like a major storm at a point of transition in life like graduation. Pink reminds us here in no uncertain terms that being yourself is indeed being perfect. The self doubts only make us run down. It is embracing the uniqueness which helps us all move forward.

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9. Lady Gaga - "Born This Way"

Lady Gaga - Born This Way
Courtesy Interscope

Lady Gaga's brilliant celebration of the unique in life is relevant for a wide range of occasions and graduation is one of them. It may seem highly theatrical for some to use at a graduation ceremony, but it is also the perfect self esteem boost for others.

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10. Matchbox Twenty - "How Far We've Come"

Matchbox Twenty - How Far We've Come
Courtesy Atlantic Records

Matchbox Twenty remind us that when it feels like everything is coming to an end, it is often the perfect time to look back at, "how far we've come." For some, graduation can be a time when it seems all of the safe construction of the personal world of the past is suddenly burning down. "How Far We've Come" provides reassurance that we really are in a perfect position to look toward the future.

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