There are hundreds of songs about cancer but here are my personal favorites in no order. Enjoy!
1) Jason Mraz- The Remedy
This song was released back in 2005 and is dedicated to Jason Mraz’s friend who was diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago. I remember listening to this song because of the melody and lyrics, but never understood the meaning of it until recently. It’s definitely one of the more upbeat songs about cancer.
2) Taylor Swift- Ronan
Taylor Swift performed “Ronan” earlier this year at the Stand Up to Cancer Teleton. It’s about a 3 year-old boy named Ronan who passed away in 2011.
3) My Chemical Romance- Cancer / My Chemical Romance- Welcome to the Black Parade
My Chemical Romance’s 2005 album Welcome to the Black Parade is about a character named “the patient” that dies and reminisces back on his life, which also parallels the theme of cancer. I thought it deserved 2 songs from the album. “Cancer” still gets to me everytime. Here’s a quote from the lead singer Gerard Way regarding “Cancer”
“It’s very direct, very brutal, but that’s the way disease is. Obviously cancer is being used as a metaphor.
“But I also wanted the song to be directly about the disease, because it’s something that the patient has gone through and it’s a very powerful thing. For me it was almost like an attempt to write the darkest song ever, and I think we achieved that.”
4) Simple Plan- Save You
“Save You” is about Pierre Bouvier’s brother’s battle with cancer.
“It’s about my brother, he went through a two year battle with cancer and he went through numerous chemotherapy sessions and went through a bone marrow transplant and it was really tough time for my family and I. Just going through that and seeing someone so close to you go through that kind of stuff is very difficult. The song is about how I felt powerless in that whole situation. Now he’s better, which is great news, but that is probably the song that I feel most connected to.”
5) Martina McBride- I’m Going to Love You Through It
The song is mainly focused on breast cancer, but the video includes various cancer survivors as well as celebrities who have experienced cancer personally and/or through family. This is easily one of my favorite songs about cancer because it captures the importance of having someone there for your physically, emotionally, and mentally during your battle with cancer.
6) Rascall Flatts- Skin (Sarabeth)
When people think of cancer, I believe most people picture a middle-aged or elderly person. However, cancer affects all ages, and “Skin” focuses on a young girl who was diagnosed during high school.
7) Regina Spektor- Chemo Limo / Regina Spektor- Sampson
Regina Spektor has a lot of dark undertones in her music which makes it difficult to interpret the true meanings behind her lyrics. Chemo Limo seems to be about a mother of four and her reaction and decisions regarding her bring diagnosed with cancer and needing to undergo chemotherapy. Sampson seems to be a woman singing about a man going through cancer which is also parallels the biblical story about Sampson.
“I don’t fully understand the fascination of people wanting to know the ‘real’ you after listening to your songs,” she said. “People always want to know which part of the song really happened, they want to know some sort of a ‘Truth’.
8) Tim McGraw- Live Like You Were Dying
This song perfectly captures the realization of fulfilling your life after finding out you might not have enough time. It’s also accepting your condition and finding peace within yourself. “Live each day like your last” gets tossed around a lot, but people do not fully understand those words until death becomes reality.
9) David Tokaji- I’ll be the Father Now
This song is dedicated to David Tokaji’s father who was dying of cancer in 2010. His lyrics says it all.
10) Sufjan Stevens-Casimir Pulaski Day
Casmir Pulaski Day is a holiday that is celebrated the first week of March in Chicago. This song is about a boy who, that day, reminisces about his lover who passed away because of bone cancer. Its also about losing his faith because of this experience.