33 Greatest Retirement Songs of All Time
Looking for the perfect retirement songs to celebrate your last day of work? Listening to music can be a great way to revisit all the memorable moments of life and imagine the journey ahead. You can find songs for every occasion across popular genres—rock, country, jazz, and R&B—to add to your collection. So, here are some fun tunes to consider while planning a farewell party for a colleague or your own retirement celebration.
Upbeat retirement songs
A retirement playlist could use uplifting tunes with lyrics that make the celebration a beautiful farewell. The following songs can also help keep the gathering lively and fun:
“Hello, Goodbye” by The Beatles
If you enjoy listening to The Beatles, you should add this song to the retirement playlist. Its simple yet powerful lyrics, “I don’t know why you say, ‘Goodbye,’ I say, ‘Hello,’” make for the perfect farewell song, indicating that an ending is nothing but a new beginning.
“This Ain’t Goodbye” by Train
The song has some of the most heartfelt lyrics you can find. What better way to assure someone that retirement does not have to be goodbye. With “This Ain’t Goodbye,” the pop-rock band Train gives you the opportunity to tell work friends that you will stay in touch.
“Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Green Day
If you are looking for something that sparks nostalgia but leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy, this is one of the best retirement songs you can find. Add this timeless Green Day number to your playlist to recall all the happy times and bring an air of positivity to the celebration.
“My Way” by Frank Sinatra
This Frank Sinatra song could make a great background score to a video or slideshow to get everyone reminiscing about the fun moments spent at work and beyond. Its powerful lyrics, “I faced it all, and I stood tall and did it my way,” can flawlessly highlight career achievements.
“Oh! What a Beautiful Mornin’” by Bing Crosby
Everyone handles retirement differently, and this song can bring in some positivity on the last day of work. This Bing Crosby number can serve as a reminder that the most glorious part of retirement is within reach—the ability to enjoy mornings for years to come instead of rushing to clock in at work.
“100 Years” by Five for Fighting
The lyrics here highlight the importance of living in the moment and enjoying every part of life. The Five for Fighting song is incredibly reflective, making you look back at your life and if you have made the most of it. A piano-based soft rock like “100 Years” makes for a great song about retirement and introspection.
“I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas
The Black Eyed Peas will not let you down with this number that you could groove to or add to your morning playlist during outdoor runs or other workout routines. While listening to this charged pop song, you can’t help but do what the lyrics say—have a good time!
“Celebration” by Kool & the Gang
You are going to have all the time in the world to do what you want once you retire, and grooving to this song by Kool & the Gang is a great way to celebrate retirement and life the way you want in your golden years.
“Hall of Fame” by The Script
The Script’s “Hall of Fame” is all about achieving goals and being recognized for it. This is another empowering song that works well with a slideshow highlighting career milestones.
“You’ve Got a Friend” by James Taylor
This iconic track by James Taylor is the perfect way to let someone know that friendship does not come to an end with retirement. As a background score for a slideshow or a video, the tune could be combined with snapshots of the retiree with pals at work to drive home the point of the song—they have got a friend.
Funny songs for retirement
Not everything that you play at a farewell has to be sentimental or motivational; a few funny songs can lighten the mood. Depending on the office culture, you can play the following tunes for colleagues or the entire team and share a few laughs at the retirement party.
“We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” by The Animals
While this song requires a shared sense of humor, the rock number has a catchy chorus you can sing along to with the colleagues you are leaving behind. However, the track works well for those who genuinely cherish the workplace and know that the people there can appreciate a joke and take it in stride.
“Hell Yeah” by Neil Diamond
From executing a task in a unique manner to being the office rebel, the retiree could be someone who has always done things their way. “Hell Yeah” is the perfect anthem for celebrating such fearlessness.
“Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf
Bring some energy to the celebration with this song, especially if the retiree is known to be bold and brave at work. Additionally, the track by Steppenwolf is a fun way to showcase the retiree’s best work.
“Cups” by Anna Kendrick
A sweet and likable co-worker deserves to be appreciated with this upbeat track. A remix of a couple of old tunes, this is a peppy, easy-to-sing-along number that makes for a good retirement song with its lyrics, “You are gonna miss me when I’m gone,” being the perfect sign-off. You can also take this up a notch and ask everyone to play the cups game, just like they do in the music video.
“Hit the Road Jack” by Ray Charles
The lyrics here say exactly what to do after a retirement party: “Hit the road, Jack, and don’t you come back no more.” Play this for a beloved coworker and bring some levity to the celebration, but don’t forget to back it up by telling them how much you will miss them.
“You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” by Cher
Organizations often have to say goodbye to people who can never be forgotten. A fantastic karaoke song, “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” by Cher, is the right blend of drama and fun. The lyrics serve as a great way to emphasize that some people leave a mark as they leave and continue to achieve great things wherever they are.
“I Want To Break Free” by Queen
Add this Queen number to the queue of funny retirement songs or the background score of the farewell slideshow, and you can definitely get the audience smiling. What better way to look forward to the rest of the golden years and a sense of freedom?
A retirement celebration is incomplete without dance numbers and songs that lift your spirits. You can explore a range of genres, including country, R&B, and jazz, to get people moving at the party. Here are a few tracks to consider:
“The Best is Yet to Come” by Frank Sinatra
This classic from Sinatra, one of the greatest vocalists of all time, is an instant mood booster. When feeling anxious or uncertain about post-retirement life, put on “The Best is Yet to Come” and think of all the good things waiting to happen.
“Life’s Been Good” by Joe Walsh
You may be able to relate to the lyrics of “Life’s Been Good” and even get inspired to reflect on your life. You might even experience a sense of gratitude and look at all the silver linings listening to Joe Walsh sing, “I can’t complain, but sometimes I still do, life’s been good to me so far.”
“We’ve Only Just Begun” by The Carpenters
Another reminder of the silver lining to all endings, “We’ve Only Just Begun,” is packed with hope and positivity, something a retirement party can definitely use. Start the next chapter of your life with this sunny number from the iconic duo The Carpenters.
“Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey
Make the most of the motivation and wisdom weaved into seemingly simple lyrics: “Don’t stop believing, and never stop dreaming!” The track also works wonders at a retirement party and as an inspiring parting message for colleagues.
The following songs would make suitable additions to your playlist, especially when celebrating your retirement with loved ones.
“Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin
Bobby McFerrin does not disappoint with this simple yet powerful song. If you find yourself smiling after the singalong, the song has served its purpose.
“I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
This powerful song may seem like a karaoke favorite for those looking to move on, however, it can leave you feeling empowered and energized. Additionally, Gloria Gaynor’s disco anthem can reassure you of your strength and ability to cope.
“What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
Sometimes all you may want is to sing your lungs out to an upbeat song that reminds you of everything good in this world. This classic track by legendary singer Louis Armstrong does a great job of reinstilling hope and motivation to enjoy life.
“Troubadour” by George Strait
Retirement is a part of life, and everyone approaches this phase differently. Singing along to “Troubadour” can help you appreciate growing older. Among the top country songs for retirement, the track talks about always staying young at heart.
Other playlist-worthy retirement songs
Apart from the tracks listed above, you can add the following songs to your playlist to enjoy your post-retirement years with positive, hopeful lyrics and pleasant melodies.
“Survivor” by Destiny’s Child
Listening to this track can help develop an appreciation for life in the days following retirement, especially when overcoming a long period of difficult work or a bumpy professional journey.
“When I’m Sixty-Four” by The Beatles
This song beautifully describes the path to retired life. Add “When I’m Sixty-Four” to your collection to sing along to loved ones or find an escape in the upbeat melody and layered lyrics.
“9 To 5” by Dolly Parton
Challenges, roadblocks, and discomfort are common parts of professional journeys. Dolly Parton’s “9 To 5” addresses these issues. Additionally, it can be a great reminder of everything you have been through and what you will not miss in your next phase of life.
“Get a Haircut” by George Thorogood
If you are in the mood to reminisce, you should listen to this track by George Thorogood—a throwback to when you were trying to get your first job. As you enter retirement, it might just be the right time to look at what brought you here and look forward to the next step.
“I’m Ready to Go” by Dion
The lyrics, “I like what I like, I know what I know…I’m ready to go,” echo the sentiment of bidding goodbye to places, phases, and people, making it another retirement song to add to your collection.
“Sunshine Of Your Love” by Cream
This Cream song would be an excellent jukebox addition. It was one of the most popular songs of the 1960s. A blend of hard rock and blues, its lyrics resonate with how retirees often feel. So, sing along to “I’ve been waiting so long to be where I’m going,” and give in to the unique combination of musical genres this track offers.
“Can’t Stop” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Here’s an anthem from the Red Hot Chili Peppers for those who truly love what they do and are looking for some motivation to keep up with fruitful tasks after retirement. Play “Can’t Stop” in the background while you carry on with your household tasks or indulge in a hobby.
“Closing Time” by Semisonic
Look beyond the literal meaning of “Closing Time” and make this the parting song at your farewell party. Listen closely to understand how the track describes the transition from work to retirement and how you can gracefully move on to the next stage of life.