On Father’s Day, we recognize the man who made us who we are. We can play Father’s Day songs to evoke those special memories of the most influential man in our life. There are many songs about fathers out there to help celebrate Dad this year, and here are the best songs about dads and fathers of all time:
1. Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) – John Lenno
Seeing your child for the first time evokes giant emotions. This song is full of heart-felt, valuable advice from father to son. The earnest lyrics sound like a sweet lullaby and caution the “beautiful boy” about the dangers of the world. He warns his boy to look both ways when crossing the street. The boy is comforted that things will always improve. There is a lesson in reverence and perseverance.
2. Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel) – Billy Joel
Written for his daughter, Billy Joel conveys a beautiful picture of a dream-like land. He addresses his daughter’s pressing questions. The lyrics gently reaffirm to his daughter that Daddy will watch over her as she dreams. He consoles his daughter in the face of scary reality. Joel describes a future without him, where she becomes a parent herself but he promises she will always be a part of him. Lullabies never die and that is how they will always be together, through his song to her. It is such a sweet message about the eternal, timeless bond between father and daughter.
3. Father and Daughter – Paul Simon
This song is a sweet ditty written by Paul Simon for his daughter, Lulu. He sings of meadows and mountains, and falling stars. Simon leads her to the place where they counted stars together. The light that shines on her is everlasting, Daddy will stand guard even though he can not promise there are not any monsters. He promises to stand and protect his baby from the scary world. Simon perfectly captures the lofty love of a father with his sweet nothings. His love is unmatched by any other father, he says. The lyrics encourage his daughter to grow and shine and tackle the injustices in the world. This song is an emotional testament to Paul Simon’s love for his daughter.
4. Ready, Set, Don’t Go – Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus
Billy Ray Cyrus sings a sweet ballad for his then-baby girl, Miley. Daughters are often stubborn and determined and little girls are often ready to attack the world before daddy is ready to let her go. Billy Ray Cyrus sings about the blessings of fatherhood. Along with the blessings of fatherhood come the worry, and the wonder of watching your bouncing baby girl grow up too fast. It is hard for a father to watch his daughter spread her wings and fly. He just wants to protect his baby girl, but he knows she has to live her own life. This is a sweet and emotional tribute to a father’s unconditional love.
5. It Won’t Be Like This for Long – Darius Rucker
Nothing is sweeter than an account of a father savoring every moment with his baby girl. Rucker reminisces about his infant daughter crying. Those days were challenging. He sings about knowing that this phase will not last long. If only we could freeze time, and make a moment last forever. This song ponders how fast kids quickly grow into toddlers that crawl into their parent’s beds at night. Every stage only lasts a short time. Childhood is so innocent and brief, it is a father’s joy watching his baby grow into an adult! The singer yearns to hold onto each phase of his daughter’s life. Time is flying so he tries to not miss a second!
6. Anything Like Me – Brad Paisley
Fatherhood is full of many exciting stages. Many dads may have been surprised or even apprehensive at the thought of fatherhood. Maybe they are complacent. Even though the prospect of responsibility is scary, fatherhood is undoubtedly rewarding.
These lyrics recall seeing the first ultrasound image. Nothing is as joyful as a father expecting his unborn son to be exactly like he was growing up. Good or bad, boys are often just like their dads. Brad Paisley sings about what he expects his son to be like. He is going to be a handful, he is going to break some windows and give his dad a hard time. The boy will play sports and break some bones. He will be girl-crazy, drive too fast, and neglect his schoolwork. This song reaffirms Brad Paisley’s temper will be challenged when his little boy grows up. He knows his son might love and hate him. Time will undoubtedly go too fast but he will have a reverence for his family just like dad. Doesn’t every father want his child to be just like him?
7. Love Without End, Amen – George Strait
George Strait sings this classic song portraying the undying love between a father and son. He recalls getting in trouble at school as a young boy. In the lyrics, the father shares some insight with his son. He reassures his boy that a father’s love is not something that you can lose. When the singer grew to have children of his own, he recognized his son had the attitude he used to have. A son may fear that disappointing his father may hurt their relationship. In this song, the child becomes a father. He reaffirms that his love is a never-ending love and a forgiving love. His son can be comforted knowing his dad will be there for him no matter what.
8. My Old Man – Zac Brown Band
This nostalgic song reminds us of when Dad was the biggest, toughest man in our life. The lyrics paint a picture of absorbing everything from dad as a young boy. Dad was fierce and his son was defiant. The singer talks about the singer being taught accountability by his dad. His father’s forethought, wisdom, and experience shaped who he is as a person. He verbally paints an intimate picture of his dad growing up, right down to his dusty overalls. We love the imagery of recollecting the callouses on his dad’s hands. He expands on the challenges of raising his boy and hopes that he measures up to his father’s example as a parent. Now the singer has become a giant to his little boy. We all hope to make our fathers proud someday.
9. Drive (For Daddy Gene) – Alan Jackson
Some songs take you to another place and time. Alan Jackson perfectly captures what it was like to learn to drive on an old dirt road with Dad. Learning to drive is a formative experience in every child’s life! He describes the feeling of the throttle of his daddy’s boat, riding the waves. The colors of the stripes on the boat stand out in his memory. He remembers driving to pick up the old boat with dad. That boat hosted a lifetime of memories. The lake felt like an ocean when he drove his father’s boat. He translates the emotions he felt when his dad let him drive his uncle’s old truck. The pride he felt while driving with dad impacted him forever. The singer then explains how it feels to teach his daughter to drive in the valley by their home. It is heartwarming to pass on those memories.
10. They Don’t Make ‘Em Like My Daddy – Loretta Lynn
Is there anything louder and brighter than a daughter’s pride in her daddy? All hardworking fathers deserve love and recognition! They are a dying breed according to Loretta Lynn. She boasts that her father was cut from a different cloth. She recalls being wrapped around her daddy’s finger growing up. He was her world. Dads today can not compare. Her father worked for everything they had in the holler, he worked long hours in the dark coal mines. He may not have had an extensive education but his will to provide made his daughter proud. If only they made them like they used to!
11. The Walk – Sawyer Brown
This tune recalls a father sending his son off on the first day of school. He holds his son’s hand and he walks him down the long dusty driveway and comforts the boy on his way. During the walk, he shares some sage advice about facing the great steps of life. Every man has walked the great walk before him. You do not have to be scared when Dad is here to look out for you! A son can walk bravely knowing his dad has got his back. Growing up has its set of challenges. Life can be scary but dad is there to leave an example to follow, so we need not be so scared. We may not know where we are going or how we will get there, but we can be comforted knowing our fathers took this journey before us.
12. There Goes My Life – Kenny Chesney
Here is a song illustrating how an unexpected pregnancy changes everything. The joys of fatherhood often come with apprehension and fear. Once a dad meets his newborn he may find that his child is a whole new reason for living. Kenny Chesney accurately portrays the conflicting and evolving feelings of fatherhood throughout the phases of a child’s life. The song starts with the narrator thinking his life is over. Throughout the song, he describes his daughter growing up. He realizes that she is his whole life. Fatherhood is so rewarding, and he doesn’t want to let her go.
13. That’s My Job – Conway Twitty
A father’s memory is important to keep alive and pass on. Throughout life, we may experience conflicts and growing pains with dad. We may eventually realize he always had our best interest in mind. Conway Twitty beautifully reminds us that dads have a crucial role in keeping their children safe. Twitty portrays waking up in the middle of the night as a child. He remembers having a nightmare about his father passing away. Twitty snuck down the hallway and asked his father to comfort him. His father offers some sweet words that put his son at ease.
The song depicts the singer growing up and being afraid of an unsure future. His father was there to reassure him that his job is to protect his boy in any way he can. The apprehension of a son trying to move on without his father’s guidance is encapsulated in this wholesome song. It is sometimes bittersweet to remember Dad and the impact he had on our lives. We go on to be parents ourselves and hope that dad would be proud of the way we raise our children. A father’s influence never ends.
14. He Didn’t Have To Be – Brad Paisley
This is a song dedicated to step-fathers. Many step-dads do not receive the praise they deserve. Brad Paisley sings about appreciating his step-father and all the men who raised children when they did not have to. Step-dads deserve lots of love and respect on Father’s Day! Men who step up to be role models for children they did not create have the utmost integrity. Strong men raise kids with strong character, and we are thankful for men like those!
15. My Little Girl – Tim McGraw
A father’s emotions for his baby girl are often a sensitive subject! His capacity for love is hard to describe. This comforting song informs daddy’s little girl that she will always have his protection and support. Tim McGraw recalls thinking his baby girl resembled an angel when she was born. He encourages her to chase her dreams and to always find her way home. The song is a sweet affirmation of a dad’s eternal love and forgiveness for his daughter. Everybody needs support and tough love in their life; that is why the world needs dads!
16. The Best Day – George Strait
A day camping with Dad was heaven on Earth. Getting out into nature always promised quality time spent. This tune transports the listener to memories of sitting around the campfire and enjoying the greatest day ever with the greatest man, Dad. This song is perfect for reminiscing about stargazing with dad on summer nights. Those memories last a lifetime.
17. Butterfly Kisses – Bob Carlisle
Nothing is as precious as receiving butterfly kisses from your baby girl. This song chronicles the emotional phases of watching your daughter grow up. Dads get to see their child advance from a baby, into a toddler, into an adult. It never gets easier to watch your child grow. Fatherhood is the most challenging yet rewarding thing one can ever experience. Letting go is the hardest part!
18. Daddy’s Hands – Holly Dunn
Do you remember growing up? Nobody was stronger than your Dad! There was no problem daddy couldn’t fix. There was no monster dad could not scare away! Dad’s arms seemed to encompass your whole world. The best father’s day songs depict the love and protection he always gave. This song describes dad’s ever-gentle strength. He made everything better!
19. Song For Dad – Keith Urban
Growing up, we may have resented dad. Later in life, we often find understanding and compassion for why he was the way he was. There is healing in forgiving and appreciating the man who helped build our character. We realize dads are only human, though they were always extraordinary in our eyes. Maybe we misjudged dad or had the wrong idea about him in our youth. Keith Urban perfectly captures what it is like to love and appreciate dad with this song. We realize dad’s wisdom and regret our years of angst and rebellion. This song reminds us that dad knew better than we did all along!
20. Stealing Cinderella – Chuck Wicks
Fatherhood comes with its ups and downs. There are so many joys a baby girl brings her father. Every dad fears the bittersweet moment when a man proposes marriage to his little girl. Even though a daughter may grow older, she will never outgrow the love of her father. Daddy can let go, but only if he approves of the suitor. Everybody knows no man is good enough for daddy’s girl. Dad will always protect his baby, even when she is grown.
21. Glory – Jay-Z featuring Blue Ivy
Fathers everywhere can share the sentiment in these lyrics. In this song, Jay-Z describes the immensity of his pride for his newborn daughter. He questions the value of his life before her birth. Recalling the way she came into the world, this daddy oozes pride for his baby girl. He describes relatives who have passed on and do not get to meet his child. He expresses his joy and processes the emotions of becoming a new father. The satisfaction of fatherhood is palpable in this song.
22. Watching You – Rodney Atkins
Every child wants to be like Dad. Atkins’ song demonstrates that every father is a superhero in his child’s eyes. The song is sung from the perspective of an eager son who watches his dad’s every move. He wants to be just like his daddy because he is so proud and he looks up to his example. It is a sweet track that reminds us of the innocent eyes that watch and absorb dad’s every move. Raising children is a privilege that slips by too fast. It is important to set a good example!
23. Your Joy – Chrisette Michele
A daughter’s love for her father can never be replaced. Chrisette Michele’s song affirms that the bond between father and daughter can never be broken. From the moment a daddy holds his daughter in his arms, the love is unending and withstands all. This song is popular for daddy-daughter dances at weddings. It is a perfect representation of the loving bond they share. Is there anything as pure as a bond between a father and his child? The forgiveness and unconditional love of a dad enable his child to grow into the best version of themselves.
24. Wind Beneath My Wings – Gerald Levert and Eddie Levert
A duet sung by a father and son duo is perfect for Father’s Day. In this song, the singer conveys the strength that his father gave him. The son sings that he wants to be just like his father. It is a sentiment shared by every proud child. Dads are true heroes and give us the strength to persevere through anything. Strong fathers set the example for us to teach the next generation.
25. Daddy Could Swear, I Declare – Gladys Knight & The Pips
This tune recalls the slightly exaggerated perspective of a child growing up. We all looked up to Dad, even if we did not understand him. Gladys Knight pokes fun at a father who used profanity. You might relate to this lighthearted song if you had a father who cursed a lot.
26. Daddy Lessons – Beyoncé and Dixie Chicks
Beyoncé and Dixie Chicks collaborated to give us this song about the positive effect of fathers on daughters. Good dads encourage their children to branch out while protecting them along the way. The lyrics describe daddy making his daughter dance. Even though he made her dance, he kept her safe and held her hand.
27. There You’ll Be – Faith Hill
It is comforting to listen to a song that recalls the good times between a daughter and father. A tune like this is an emotional reminder that a father’s love can transcend time. Even after dad leaves this world, we will always remember his words and his influence. A daughter always holds a special place in her heart for her father.
28. Daddy – Beyoncé
In this song, Beyoncé’s lyrics convey that her father’s positive influence and understanding were extremely healing. His love and forgiveness gave her security and helped her in her life and career. Daughters everywhere can appreciate this message of love and appreciation for a hardworking and ever-present father. Dads are a crucial and constant influence in their children’s lives.
29. Father to Son – Queen
Fathers have a crucial role in preparing their children for the future. In Queen’s anthem to fatherhood, the singer personifies passing on wisdom from generation to generation. It conveys how children use lasting lessons from their fathers to raise the new generations. The most important lessons are recycled and history repeats itself.
30. My Father’s Eyes – Eric Clapton
We have all had moments when we could have used our dad’s help. Eric Clapton’s song conveys the feeling of yearning for your father’s help when he is not around. It is nice to reminisce about how wise Dad was. His advice was gold. We often do not know what we have until it is gone.
31. Dance With My Father – Luther Vandross
Songs about fathers are emotional reminders of the invaluable times we shared. Luther Vandross sings about the comfort and love of his father. He recalls the feeling of being carried up the stairs by his father. His dad would make him laugh when he was sad. The influence and lessons we take from dad stick with us. A father’s impact lasts and lasts. If only we could keep our dads forever!
32. Daughters – John Mayer
John Mayer’s lyrics are a gentle warning for fathers to be kind to their daughters. The young girls we are raising today will become mothers themselves tomorrow. He reminds the listener that daughters will love the same way their fathers do. It is important to pass on a kind loving nature to our daughters so that they care for future generations in the same way.
33. Just Fishin’ – Trace Adkins
Even the most mundane moments are extraordinary when you are a parent. Watching your child explore the big world for the first time is an exhilarating experience. Joy in life is made up of small moments, like fishing with Dad. Memories like that are irreplaceable and last a lifetime. Between baiting the hook and catching the fish, something bigger happens. The quality time father’s wisdom while he’s fishing with his kid. His kid thinks they are only fishing. He will spent with dad leaves a lasting impression on his child. Trace Adkin’s song gives insight into a appreciate the memories later in life!
Whether your relationship with Dad was always a healthy, it is good to pay homage to the man who gave you life. Lots of songs that celebrate fathers evoke emotions. No matter your history, everybody can listen to these songs and remember all the positive aspects of childhood. Dad affected everything from our looks to our humor. Playing the best father’s day songs is a perfect way to express our feelings for Dad and celebrate the past this Father’s Day. When you play these songs you can remember how dad always made you feel and the special bond you will always share.
As the Head Editor at Music Grotto, Liam edits content produced from over 30 professional music/media journalists and contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.