The Most Popular Graduation Song: A Ranking

Choose the graduation song you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 14, 2024 07:11
Step right up and make your voice heard in our latest and greatest ranking showdown: "What is the most popular graduation song?"! With thousands of hopeful students donning their caps and gowns, it's time to soundtrack this momentous occasion – and we need your help to find the ultimate graduation anthem. At StrawPoll, we've compiled a list of iconic, heartfelt, and uplifting tunes to celebrate this milestone, but we need your votes to determine which melody reigns supreme! Will it be the nostalgic vibes of "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" by Green Day or the inspiring notes of Vitamin C's "Graduation (Friends Forever)"? Or perhaps you have a hidden gem that's missing from our list? Don't let your favorite graduation song fade into the background; cast your vote, suggest an addition, and share the poll with your fellow graduates. Together, we'll find the ultimate commencement soundtrack that truly captures the essence of this once-in-a-lifetime experience!

What Is the Most Popular Graduation Song?

  1. 1
    This song has become a classic graduation tune due to its uplifting message of reflection and moving on to the next phase of life.
    Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) is a song by the American punk rock band Green Day. It was released as a single in 1997 from their fifth studio album, Nimrod. The song is characterized by its acoustic guitar intro and uplifting lyrics, which celebrate the end of one chapter in life and the beginning of another. It has become widely popular as a graduation song due to its nostalgic and sentimental themes.
    • Release Date: 1997
    • Album: Nimrod
    • Genre: Alternative rock, pop punk
    • Length: 2:35
    • Label: Reprise
  2. 2
    This song was specifically written as a graduation anthem and has been played at countless ceremonies since its release in 2000.
    Graduation (Friends Forever) is a popular graduation song released in 1999. It was performed by Vitamin C, an American singer and songwriter. The song captures the bittersweet emotions of graduating and saying goodbye to friends. With its catchy melody and heartfelt lyrics, it has become a staple at graduation ceremonies and celebrations. The song's uplifting message of cherishing memories and staying connected with friends resonates with graduates around the world.
    • Year Released: 1999
    • Genre: Pop
    • Length: 4 minutes and 26 seconds
    • Album: Vitamin C
    • Label: Elektra/Crush Music/Warner Music Group
  3. 3
    This emotional ballad has become a popular choice for graduation ceremonies due to its sentimental lyrics and message of remembrance.
    "I Will Remember You" by Sarah McLachlan in other rankings
  4. 4
    This song encourages graduates to persevere and keep climbing towards their dreams, making it a popular choice for graduation ceremonies.
    "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus is a powerful and uplifting song that resonates with individuals facing challenges and striving for success. It was featured in the 2009 film "Hannah Montana: The Movie" and has become a popular choice for graduation ceremonies.
    • Released: March 5, 2009
    • Genre: Pop
    • Length: 3 minutes and 55 seconds
    • Writer: Jessi Alexander and Jon Mabe
    • Producer: John Shanks
  5. 5
    This upbeat and optimistic song encourages graduates to embrace their future and write their own story.
    Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield is a pop song released in 2004. It has become one of the most popular graduation songs due to its uplifting and motivational lyrics. The song encourages listeners to embrace the future and seize new opportunities that come their way. It has a catchy melody and a positive vibe, making it a favorite choice for celebrations and milestone events. The song was written by Natasha Bedingfield, Danielle Brisebois, and Wayne Rodrigues.
    • Genre: Pop
    • Release Date: 2004
    • Album: Unwritten
    • Length: 4:19
    • Label: Epic, Phonogenic
  6. 6
    This country ballad expresses the hopes and dreams that parents and loved ones have for their graduates, making it a popular choice for graduation ceremonies.
    "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts in other rankings
  7. 7
    This classic rock anthem has become a popular choice for graduation ceremonies due to its message of perseverance and never giving up on your dreams.
    "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey in other rankings
  8. 8
    This emotional ballad has become a popular choice for graduation ceremonies due to its message of cherishing important moments in life.
    A Moment Like This is a popular graduation song released by American singer Kelly Clarkson in 2002. It is a power ballad that celebrates the joy and significance of achieving a personal milestone, such as graduating. The song became a major hit and is often played at graduation ceremonies and other celebratory events.
    • Genre: Pop
    • Length: 3:49
    • Released: September 17, 2002
    • Album: Thankful
    • Label: RCA Records
  9. 9
    This inspiring song encourages graduates to believe in themselves and their abilities, making it a popular choice for graduation ceremonies.
    I Believe I Can Fly is a popular graduation song that was released in 1996 by American singer-songwriter R. Kelly. It became one of R. Kelly's most successful and well-known songs, often associated with motivational and inspiring themes.
    • Genre: R&B
    • Release Date: 1996
    • Length: 5:21
    • Album: R. Kelly
    • Written By: R. Kelly
  10. 10
    This iconic song from the movie "Dirty Dancing" has become a popular choice for graduation ceremonies due to its message of seizing the moment and living life to the fullest.

Missing your favorite graduation song?


Ranking factors for popular graduation song

  1. Timelessness
    A popular graduation song should ideally have a timeless appeal, meaning it should be relevant and relatable to graduates across different generations.
  2. Lyrics
    The lyrics of the song should convey a meaningful message that resonates with the emotions and experiences of graduating students, such as hope, inspiration, nostalgia, or dreams for the future.
  3. Emotional impact
    A good graduation song should evoke strong emotions and be able to create a lasting impact, helping graduates remember that significant moment in their lives.
  4. Popularity
    A widely recognized and popular song is more likely to be chosen and enjoyed by a larger audience.
  5. Musical style
    The song's style should be suitable for the occasion, generally leaning towards a more uplifting, motivational, or sentimental tone.
  6. Universality
    Ideally, the graduation song should have a broad appeal that speaks to students from various backgrounds, cultures, and fields of study.
  7. Adaptability
    The song should be easy to adapt and perform by individuals, choirs, or bands during graduation ceremonies.
  8. Artist's reputation
    The reputation of the artist or band that performed the song could also impact its popularity as a graduation song.
  9. Historical context
    Songs that were popular or culturally significant during the graduating students' school years may have a higher likelihood of being chosen.
  10. Personal preferences
    Ultimately, the choice of a graduation song may come down to the personal preferences of the graduating class, school, or event organizer.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular graduation song. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or anthem is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 181 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each anthem once every 24 hours. The rank of each anthem is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular graduation song

Graduation is a significant milestone in the lives of many students, and it is often celebrated with music. Whether it's a high school, college, or university graduation, students and their families often choose a song to commemorate the occasion. These songs are often emotional, nostalgic, and inspiring, and they serve as a reminder of the hard work and dedication that led to this moment. With so many popular songs to choose from, it can be challenging to determine which one is the most popular. At StrawPoll, we've gathered data from our users to determine which graduation song is the most beloved. Let's take a look at the top contenders and see which song comes out on top.

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