Songs from brothers to sisters
September 27, 2009 9:44 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to sing a song for my sister at her wedding, but can't find any good songs about sisters from brothers; most are from sister to sister. Any suggestions?

Basically, I'm looking for songs that would be good to sing for my older sister at her wedding, as a surprise. We enjoy a good relationship, though we don't really see each other as much as we'd like, since she lives kind of far. What I'm looking for is lyrical specificity -- songs from brothers to sisters, or, failing that, simply songs to sisters where the gender of the singer is unspecified -- and, for lack of a better word, singability. From the ages of 8 to 18, I was in both my school chorus and in the school musicals. I also went to theater camp when I was 16. Back then, I'd consider myself a good (not great) singer. Now, however, I am 26 and have not sung a note since freshman year at college. So, to say I'm a little rusty is an understatement. The plan is, around January, to find a vocal coach who can bring me up to acceptability by the time the wedding in June takes place. I don't expect to get as good as I used to be; I just need to be good enough to sound pleasant.

I'll be singing two songs.

But, of course, before anything, I need to find good songs to sing. Perhaps my google-fu is not strong, but all the songs I've found so far involving sisters are from sister to sister or are extremely bitter in character or are about an incestuous relationship. I have yet to find a song from a brother to a sister.

Ah - also, please keep my specific vocal background in mind. Despite years of trying, I have never had a rock voice. My background is almost entirely in showtunes and classical choral pieces. Though, my class did do a Beatles tribute once. But it was choralified.

Anyway, thanks a lot in advance.
posted by KantGoOn to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Could you or anyone you know write a new set of lyrics for an existing tune that you like? I'm thinking of Elton John reworking Goodbye Norma Jean when Diana died (which of course is a terrible example, occasion-wise!).
posted by fish tick at 10:03 AM on September 27, 2009

Along fish tick's lines, I would suggest trying to find a song from husband to wife (bf -> gf) which, y'know, does not focus on their relationship in the romantic sense.

My first thought would have been something like Hawksley Workman's Safe and Sound (lyrics, live, cover which is close to the studio version). Something along those lines. The specific song would depend on your relationship, but don't focus only on brother/sister songs.
posted by Lemurrhea at 10:12 AM on September 27, 2009

Robbie Schaefer, of Eddie From Ohio, but now performing solo, wrote a song for his sister called Twenty Thousand Hearts. You can hear it here or just read lyrics.
posted by knile at 10:16 AM on September 27, 2009

Wrong occasion and, I'm sure, name, but would swapping some of the lyrics of Lisa, It's Your Birthday possibly work?
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:28 AM on September 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

I don't know how many brothers and sisters have a relationship that would sustain the kind of thing that Peter Alsop did -- he wrote "Safari (My Sister's Nose)" for her wedding and performed it there. Incestuous it ain't, at least.
posted by dr. boludo at 10:31 AM on September 27, 2009

This may seem a bit intense but it might fit depending on the relationship you have with your sister, it's a song more about support and love and less about romantic intimacy, "Because you loved me" by Celine Dion, There is always lean on me, you could modify it to help it fit into a more formal occasion,What about unforgettable by nat king cole? Then of course there is James Taylors you've got a friend or Simon and Garfunkel's bridge over troubled water. I hope this helps. Good luck!!!
posted by gypseefire at 10:48 AM on September 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

No Woman, No Cry would work lyrically, but it takes a certain flair to be able to sing it.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:52 AM on September 27, 2009

Best answer: You Are My Sister by Antony on the Johnsons isn't a rock song. It's poignant (I think Boy George might be on back up vocals, if you believe the comments on that page!).
posted by bluefly at 11:04 AM on September 27, 2009

Dylan's Oh Sister. Comparisons to Dylan would flatter your singing voice. However, people might think that you and your sister are 'a little too close'.
posted by beniamino at 11:09 AM on September 27, 2009

Yeah I was going to say Oh Sister but it implies that you sleep together which is probably not what you are looking for. Great weird song though.
posted by sully75 at 11:33 AM on September 27, 2009

Does it have to be sappy and serious? How about something celebratory and fun like "We Are Family" by the Pointer Sisters? This seems like it would make a great second song.

Also, 10,000 Maniacs have a song "My Sister Rose" sung to a sister on her wedding day. It's very energetic. You might want to revamp a line or two but could be perfect otherwise. It's more pop than rock.
posted by bluedaisy at 11:48 AM on September 27, 2009

there's a song by Modern Day Miracle that is from a brother to a sister. (though i thought it was called "growing up" i google'd for its lyrics and apparently it's called "is it my socks?" - which i'm hoping is a sibling in-joke because i don't get it.)

check out the lyrics here. the song is a little hard to find, so if you want to hear it (i.e. you like the lyrics enough), i can send it to you.
posted by gursky at 11:56 AM on September 27, 2009

You Are My Sister by Antony on the Johnsons

Yes, this one.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:57 AM on September 27, 2009

Okay, I know this isn't specifically sibling-oriented, but I sang "All You Need is Love" (by the Beatles) for my sister's wedding, and I would recommend it. It encompasses both romantic and familial love, so it works.
posted by sabotagerabbit at 12:12 PM on September 27, 2009

One more that I like, if you're into musicals, is the song "More I Cannot Wish You" from Guys and Dolls. It's sung by Arvide Abernathy to Sarah Brown in a very brotherly/sibling/relative way.
posted by bluefly at 12:28 PM on September 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Sail Away Sweet Sister by Queen
posted by Oriole Adams at 1:13 PM on September 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me" was used in both my brother and sister's weddings, and will someday be used in mine. It was used as the attendants walked down the aisle, specifically because the siblings were walking at the time. It's a beautiful song and I still get teary eyed when I hear it.
posted by TurquoiseZebra at 7:42 AM on September 28, 2009

My answer was stupid. Sorry. I'd been on a Bob Marley kick that day, but on further reflection I realized it really woudn't work.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:42 AM on October 2, 2009

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