20 Best Songs about Memories

3 August 2020

20 Best Memories Songs

It's safe to say that songs bring back memories. In fact there's nothing in the world, perhaps besides photos and videos, that can transport you to memory lane more swiftly than a song. In modern times, we've come to use pieces of music to mark special memories. For instance, when couples first begin dating, they may assign a song to each other that symbolizes feelings that their own words can't describe.

Likewise, a special wedding song has been a tradition in the West for many generations now. It's a memorable part of a wedding ceremony or reception. A person's favorite song is also played a their funeral or memorial service. As you can see, music is an integral part of our personalities and our lives.

To celebrate the importance of music in our memories, you may want to create a short video about your happy memories — something like a soundtrack to a film. Here are 20 songs about memories that you might use for your own slideshow, and maybe choose as your own special song.

1. Maroon 5 - Memories

The Memories song was written and sung by Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine. The song is dedicated to the band's longtime friend and manager, who passed way from health issues. The song and music video are filled with authentic emotions about reminiscing and learning to let go of loved ones who have passed on. This touching tribute will surely make you appreciate your loved ones more. Play

2. Green Day – Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

A modern-day classic, this song by Green Day is widely used in TV shows and films, especially during emotional scenes. That's because the song's melody and lyrics perfectly capture the feeling of nostalgia and cherishing memories with loved ones.

3. Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men - One Sweet Day

This song broke records on the Billboard charts and won a BMI award. Two of the hottest musicians of the 90s, Mariah Carey and the group Boyz II Men, teamed up for an emotional and beautiful song dedicated to the memory of loved ones they'd lost. This classic song about honoring the memories of others is timeless.

4. Richard Marx - Hold On To The Nights

This great ballad-type song captured both the music charts and the hearts of millions when it came out. Singer and songwriter Richard Marx pleads that we should hold on to our memories in this song, which evokes nostalgic moments with loved ones and lovers. The night might signify the ending to a day together, but there is always the morning, which symbolizes the "new page" to write new memories upon.

5. Sarah McLachlan - I Will Remember You

This beautiful song was a big hit when it came out. Why? Because it brilliantly articulates the universal feeling of remembering a loved one. The song is not just about remembering someone close to you, but also wondering if that person reciprocates the same feelings. Are they remembering you as well, wherever they may be? The song captures the wild dynamics of life, and how sometimes we separate from people we love for reasons we have no control over.

6. Bryan Adams - Summer of '69

This song is one of the more upbeat tracks on this list. It has an "arena rock" sound that you can blast in the car really loud as you sing along with a friend, or even by yourself (we won't judge). As the title suggests, Bryan Adams sings about his memories of the summer of 1969. Even if you weren't alive in that year, you may have soft spot for this track. The song appeals to people of all generations because it captures the happy feelings of nostalgia.

7. Van Morrison - Brown-Eyed Girl

Yes, this song will remind you of that brown-eyed girl from your past. But the song itself is also a piece of memory lane, evoking those times when you used to listen to this classic song on the radio. This popular tune by Van Morrison — arguably his most famous hit — has a joyful melody that sounds like it was made for the jukebox. The Irish singer said that it's not one of his favorite songs even though it is his most famous recording. He made the song as a sort of homage to Jamaican music, particularly Calypso, and that genre's style is evident in the upbeat melody of the track.

8. John Cougar Mellencamp - Jack and Diane

This is one of the most famous songs to come out of the 80s, and to this day, the track is still played regularly on radio stations. The song has a typical "heartland rock" sound that was popular during the early 80s. As is typical of the genre, the song focuses on the lives of middle-class Americans, including those who live in rural areas. That is why "Jack and Diane" has an Americana feel to it, especially if you pay close attention to the lyrics. You don't have to be an American to appreciate the song, though. This little ditty about the young working-class couple is relatable to people from various backgrounds, because it reminds us of the values and way of life of years long gone.

9. Nickelback - Photograph

Today, Nickelback may be the butt of jokes. But back in the day, when they were at the peak of their popularity, they made a hit record called "Photograph" that was pretty good in terms of songwriting. It perfectly articulates the nostalgia we feel when we look through photos. Through the song, the lead singer recalls memories from his youth and young adult life. Say what you want about Nickelback today, but this song is one of the most memorable songs about memories ever produced.

10. Kanye West - Family Business

Long before Kanye became a pop culture icon known for controversy, the young Chicago producer-turned-rapper created one of the most enduring (and endearing) hip-hop records about memories. One of the last tracks on his now-classic debut album, "Family Business" is a trip down memory lane like no other. Kanye talks recounts wonderful, funny, and heart-warming memories about his family, using family gatherings as a common theme throughout the song. Whether you like the public figure of Kanye or not, this brilliantly-produced track is one many people can relate to.

11. Adele - When We Were Young

If you listen to Adele's catalog, you'll notice that a lot of her songs are about memories, or a haunting past. Perhaps the soulful songstress is still dealing with emotional wounds from a heartbreak, or maybe the past is her way of reminding herself where she came from as she skyrockets to superstardom. Whatever the case may be, she is without a doubt one of the best songwriters to poetically explore the complex nature of memories.

12. Bruce Springsteen - Glory Days

The Boss was still fresh-faced, and at the height of his popularity, when this song came out. It was inspired by a chance encounter that Bruce had with an old Little League teammate. The song reflects on the glory days of his youth when he was playing a game that he loved with friends who were like brothers to him. This song came out around the time when his music career launched into legendary status as his seventh studio album, Born in the U.S.A., became both an instant classic and a commercial success. That era in his career was definitely another period of glory days.

13. Bon Jovi - You Want To (Make A Memory)

Besides Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi was one of the biggest rock stars of the 80s and early 90s (before the grunge movement and alternative rock took over the music scene). This introspective, brooding ballad is a classic Bon Jovi song.

14. The Beatles - In My Life

Speaking of rock stars, these lads from England are quite possibly the biggest rock stars of all time. In fact, that's an understatement. They're legendary! The Beatles were brilliant songwriters who could do everything from making pop hits, like those early in their career, to more experimental, deeper pieces. This song masterfully combines those elements. It has that upbeat melody that was typical in those days, but it also has profound lyrics. It's a great example of reflecting on those you've lost, or who have faded away in your life, but who you still love.

15. The Supremes - Reflections

If there was a group that could keep up with The Beatles' pace in terms of breaking records and growing popularity, it would be The Supremes, led by the young Diana Ross. They were the darlings of the Motown sound. This classic, timeless song is a favorite for many people. The production on this song is well-balanced and sounds fresh even today.

17. Norah Jones - Thinking About You

Norah Jones is a rare talent: someone who inherited the Bohemian-coffee-shop-singer style of the 90s, but became a major mainstream star — and even starred in a critically-acclaimed film. Her style is like a cross between Tracy Chapman and Macy Gray. This track has a fusion of jazzy elements, plus hints of blues, R&B and folk. It's a very relaxing tune that helps you reflect on memories of the people from your past.

18. Barbara Streisand - The Way We Were

The famous songbird and actress recorded this tune as part of the soundtrack for the film of the same name. Both the song and the album, also of the same name, won all sorts of awards and enjoyed commercial success. The song is somewhat melodramatic, but that was typical of romantic movie soundtracks back in the mid-70s. It's still a great song about memories and is a fan-favorite at her concerts.

19. Shawn Mendes - Memories

Shawn Mendes is arguably one of the most popular male singers of his generation who doesn't seem to get the mainstream recognition of his peers, like Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, and Justin Bieber. In any case, Mendes is a talented songwriter and this song about memories is a great example of that.

20. Vince Gill - Take Your Memory With You

The multi-award winning singer-songwriter asks us to take our memories with us in this track. There are those among us who prefer not to look at the rear-view mirror, but want to head into the future. They think their past is ancient history that shouldn't be dwelt on. However, there are many beautiful memories to keep from your life story. Take those memories with you on your journey. They are gems of wisdom meant to guide you.