Weddings are typically incredibly important and unique events in which families and friends can connect to not only celebrate life but a chance to create new memories together. These moments, which often bring people together, are usually considered major life milestones and something to be immortalized and captured for future memories.
The mother-son dance songs for weddings, which are listed below, have changed over the years. Fortunately, these popular additions now offer even more genres and styles of mother-son dance songs from which to choose at a wedding reception.
1. You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban
You Raise Me Up was written in 2002 by Secret Garden, a Norwegian and Irish rock duo. While this sentimental piece has been recorded by more than 100 artists, Josh Groban famously performed it at Super Bowl 38 and at Oprah Winfrey’s 50th birthday party.
2. I hope You Dance – Lee Ann Womack
I Hope You Dance was released by Lee Ann Womack in 2000 and won a Grammy for Best Country Single. The lyrics, which include a mid-tempo country and pop ballad, speak to the hope one has when thinking about children and their future and makes a great mother-son dance song.
3. Have I Told You Lately – Rod Stewart
Have I Told You Lately is Rod Stewart’s 1991 touching and loving rendition of a Van Morrison tune written in 1989. This is often voted on the top ten mother-son dance songs because of its sentimentality and ability to speak to the love that exists between a parent and child.
4. What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
What A Wonderful World is a traditional ballad released by Louis Armstrong in 1967. The song’s enduring success was honored when this recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. The lyrics speak to the possibilities that each life offers us.
5. Do I Make You Proud – Taylor Hicks
Do I Make You Proud was released in 2006 by Taylor Hicks, the fifth-season winner of American Idol. This soul-pop number’s message communicates the feelings of pride, which every mother feels when watching someone overcome a life struggle to reach a long-term goal.
6. I Say a Little Prayer – Aretha Franklin
I Say A Little Prayer was written by the infamous duo Bacharach and David. Aretha Franklin was the second artist to cover this classic, which became her last consecutive top ten hit on the Top 100. This message of love and hope was listed as 117 on the Top 500 Best Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone Magazine at one point.
7. Rainbow Connection – Barbra Streisand and Kermit the Frog
Rainbow Connection, an amazingly happy and feel-good song, was written for the Muppet Movie in 1978. It was honored by the Library of Congress for its cultural and historical significance in 2020. The lyrics speak to the power of one’s thoughts and intentions—a lesson most mothers instill in their children.
9. Mom – Meghan Trainor Featuring Kelli Trainor
Meghan Trainor recorded Mom in 2015 and even provided a vocal credit to her mom by including a recorded phone call between the two. This speaks of the love shared by a parent and child and is a great option for mother-son dance songs at weddings.
9. I’ll Be There – The Jackson Five
I’ll Be There is a touching love song that cemented The Jackson Five’s success as an authentic music group. Released in 1970, Michael Jackson was only eleven when he sang this song that many sons choose to dance with their mothers on their wedding day.
10. Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) – John Lennon
Beautiful Boy is a song written in 1980 by John Lennon about his son, Sean. This sentimental track was released on the last album prior to Lennon’s death and described his love and joy for watching his son grow.
11. Just the Way You Are – Billy Joel
Written in 1977 by Bill Joel, Just The Way You Are was a top charter in the United States and the United Kingdom and the winner of Record & Song of the Year in 1979. It speaks, with its melodious lyrics, about how grateful one can be simply by loving someone as they are.
12. All You Need is Love – The Beatles
All You Need Is Love is one of the famous John Lennon and Paul McCartney writing masterpieces often used for mother-son dance songs at weddings. The pop melody was released in 1967 during the heydey of the Summer of Love as an inspiration to the world about how love matters.
13. You Are the Sunshine of My Life – Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder’s top-charting song, You Are The Sunshine Of My Life ranks among the Grammy award-winning tunes released in 1972. This stirring ballad is bound to move many to tears when danced at a wedding by a mother and son.
14. You’ll Be in My Heart – Phil Collins
You’ll Be In My Heart is a heartfelt song written by British rock drummer Phil Collins. It was originally a track on a Disney film and written for his daughter, Lily. The lyrics offer the message that love is so strong a bond that it can’t ever be broken.
15. Lean On Me – Bill Withers
Lean On Me, released in 1972, is a Bill Withers song that hit number 1 on several music charts. The lyrics offer reassurance that when things get tough, there is always someone to lean on for strength. A mother and son’s bond is evident when they dance to these song choices.
16. Blessed – Elton John
Blessed made its worldwide release in 1995 and became a chart-topper in several countries. Written by Elton John, it speaks of the true and devoted love a parent can have for a child and the things a parent is willing to do for them. This mother-son dance number will bring tears to most eyes at a wedding.
17. Forever Young – Rod Stewart
Forever Young has been hailed as a song any parent can sing to a child, as it is about always being there for a child and showing them how to live by leading by example. Although written by Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart’s version is often the most played.
18. Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
Wind Beneath My Wings is an inspirational song that hit number 1 after Bette Midler recorded the song in 1988 for her film, Beaches. This platinum-certified track was named Record of the year in 1990 and is known among the epic inspirational love songs.
19. Make you Feel My Love – Adele
Make You Feel My Love is a beautiful track written by Bob Dylan and covered by many artists. The lyrics of this love song, which speak to such love and devotion, are emotional and heartfelt, which makes it one of the most requested mother-son dance songs for weddings.
20. Time in a Bottle – Jim Croce
Time In A Bottle, written by Jim Croce in the 1970s, is a song that captures the message that each of us would like to control time when it passes too quickly or not quickly enough. The lyrics speak to some of the regrets one feels from growing older.
21. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) – James Taylor
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) is a catchy tune that was written by Marvin Gaye in the mid-1960s and became a best-selling song. In 1975, James Taylor released a version highlighting Gaye’s loving lyrics that seek to thank someone for their love and devotion.
22. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel
Bridge Over Troubled Water was recorded in 1968 on Simon and Garfunkel’s last studio album. Most agree that the lyrics and melody of this song are a bit gospel-like and offer a message of hope in times of trouble and when problems seem insurmountable.
23. The Circle Game – Joni Mitchell
The Circle Game, composed by singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell in 1966, is among her most covered compositions. The lyrics of this song speak to the opportunities one can expect as one matures and reach adulthood. Her rendition includes background vocals by Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young.
24. Cats in the Cradle – Harry Chapin
Recorded in 1973 by Harry Chapin, Cats In The Cradle hit number one in 1974—his only number 1 single, which garnered him a Best Male Pop Vocal. The lyrics offer a tender story between a parent and child and how their relationship changes over time.
25. Because You Loved Me – Céline Dion
Because You Loved me is a love song released by Céline Dion in 1996. This track was written by Diane Warren and garnered several music award nominations. The lyrics speak to the gratitude one has for the love and guidance one received while growing up.
26. Times of Your Life – Paul Anka
Times Of Your Life, written by Roger Nichols and Bill Lane, was a sentimental song recorded by Canadian songwriter Paul Anka in 1975. Its message speaks to life’s everyday events, and how if you are not careful, it passes too quickly.
27. The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me – Gladys Knight & The Pips
The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me is a popular mother-son dance song written by Jim Weatherly and covered by many artists. Gladys Knight & The Pips’ version was released in 1974 and hit the charts quickly. The lyrics speak to how important someone is in your life and are one of the perfect mother-son dance songs for weddings.
28. If I Could – Regina Belle
If I Could was released on songstress Regina Belle’s third studio album in 1993. It is an ideal mother-song dance song as it speaks to a mother’s innate love to protect and love their child and the reality that a parent can only take a child so far in life before they must do the rest on their own.
29. A Song for Mama – Boyz II Men
A Song For Mama, released in 1997 by the American group Boyz II Men, hit the top of the charts the same year. The lyrics are an ode to all mothers, and the remarkable harmonies can bring tears to most eyes. This sentimental favorite offers lyrics like ‘Lovin’ you is like food to my soul.”
30. Sweet Child O’ Mine – Sheryl Crow
Sweet Child O’ Mine was a commercial hit on the debut album of Guns N’ Roses. Sheryl Crow covered the song in 1999. It reveals how much youth is missed as one goes through the aging process, and how despite a need, some things must be left to be learned on your own.
31. The Wish – Bruce Springsteen
The Wish is a classic Bruce Springsteen song released in 1998. Its lyrics speak to his childhood and his mother’s brave decision to find money to buy a guitar for her son. The love that exists between a mother and son is heartfelt, strong, and evident throughout Springsteen’s lyrics.
32. I’ll Stand By You – The Pretenders
I’ll Stand By You, a 1994 recording by the rock group The Pretenders, is a rock ballad that speaks to the faith and love one receives even in times when the days seem darkest. A song like this speaks to the meaning of love from a son’s and mother’s perspective.
33. The Wonder of You – Elvis Presley
The Wonder Of You was written by Baker Knight in the late 1950s. While it was released prior, it was the Elvis Presley version in 1970 that hit the charts. This song of love is simply an expression of pure love and a great mother-son dance song at any wedding.
34. Landslide – Fleetwood Mac
Landslide, written by Fleetwood Mac alum Stevie Nicks, was recorded in 1975 on the album Fleetwood Mac. The song’s message is about how life changes, with no real way to stop the change (i.e., the landslide), and within these changes are the chances always offered by life’s journey.
35. Never Alone – Lady Antebellum
Never Alone is a love song recorded in 2007 by Lady Antebellum’s band members. The track, which is considered a bit new-age with a pop and country influence, talks about the unconditional love between people and the need to hold onto faith when times are dark and difficult.
36. I Will – The Beatles
I Will is a simple love song written by Paul McCartney in the late 1960s when the band was in Rishikesh, India. The lyrics and complete melody capture the many levels found when loving someone. Mothers and sons can share the moment and their heartfelt appreciation when dancing to this beautiful and classic Beatles song.
37. Mother Like Mine – The Band Perry
A country and pop group (of siblings) released this often-played mother-son dance song as it is simply an honest ode to one’s mother. The lyrics speak to how wonderful it would be if your mother had raised each person in the world the way she raised you.
38. Mother and Child Reunion – Paul Simon
Mother And Child Reunion is a single, reggae-style song written by Paul Simon and was released in 1972. The track hit the top of the charts in many countries and is now a standard of mother-son dance songs for weddings across cultures and the world.
39. God Only Knows – The Beach Boys
God Only Knows is The Beach Boys’ release from the mid-1960s. It was composed by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher. The song included sophisticated vocals, which make it arguably their best recording of all time. The lyrics speak to how only God could fathom a relationship without the person they are singing about.
40. He Gets That From Me – Reba McEntire
He Gets That From Me was released in 2004 by country singer Reba McEntire. It tells the story of a mother’s profound love for their son and the many things that bring a smile to their face and is likely to bring a tear to every parent enjoying the dance and memories.
41. Simple Man – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Simple Man is a rock ballad that was released in 1973 on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s debut album. From a lyrical perspective, the song’s message is a mother’s lessons given to her child about life. The title refers to the mother’s message to be a simple man who believes in understanding and kindness.
42. Oh Very Young – Cat Stevens
Oh Very Young is a rock ballad that was written and performed by Cat Stevens in 1974. His lyrics masterfully speak to what each generation leaves as its legacy. The impermanence of life is exemplified by the haunting lyrics, which touch both mother and son in profound ways.
43. Moondance – Van Morrison
Moondance, released in 1970 on Van Morrison’s third album, is a folksy and jazzy number that was written in upstate New York’s Catskill Mountains—near the location of the famed Woodstock event. The beautiful melody and instrumentation (with piano and sax solos) make it a perfect mother-son dance song at a wedding.
44. Sweetest Devotion – Adele
Sweetest Devotion, written and released by British musical artist Adele, is a song written about her son, who showed her there were bigger things in life other than herself. Adele’s ode to her son Angelo accurately echoes the feelings most mothers have on the day their son gets married.
45. I’ll Remember – Madonna
I’ll Remember is a subdued ballad that was released in the 1980s by then-red-hot Madonna. This song emphasizes the inevitable feelings of loss and love and was also the single that was included (and released) in the movie With Honors. It was nominated for several awards and is often a favorite mother-son dance song at a wedding.
46. 93 Million Miles – Jason Mraz
The track 93 Million Miles, released in 2011 by Jason Mraz, references the proximity of the Earth to the Sun. Its lyrics offer guidance and hope that no matter where you are in the world or planet, there is something about it that you can call home. This touching song is often the first dance of mothers and sons at a wedding.
47. Color My World – Chicago
Color My World is a love, rock ballad from the hugely successful rock and jazz band, Chicago. The song, which was never released as a single, so it never hit the charts, is a beautiful, moving tribute to love and offers a rare flute solo and only a solitary verse. The love between a mother and a son is evident when dancing to this track.
48. Always on My Mind – Willie Nelson
Always On My Mind was originally written and released in 1972 and later covered by many artists, including Willie Nelson. His version was released in 1983 and spent approximately two weeks at the top of the music charts after release.
49. Through the Years – Kenny Rogers
In 1981, Through The Years was a huge hit for country singer Kenny Rogers. The lyrics refer to how a relationship changes through the years, including, without exception, the ups and downs of life. Most appreciate just how loving a song this is when danced at a wedding.
50. Letter to My Mother – Edwin McCain
Letter To My Mother was written by Edwin McCain specifically to his biological mother. He was born in 1970 in South Carolina and was adopted as a baby. The lyrics speak of his feelings for his mother and make a great mother-son dance number at a wedding or any other event.
51. Somewhere Out There – Linda Ronstadt And James Ingram
Somewhere Out There was professionally performed by Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram for the movie, An American Tail. It was released in 1986, and the lyrics speak to a great distance that may exist between two people who love each other very much. This track, often a favorite mother-son dance song at a wedding, won awards at the 30th Grammy Awards as Best Song for a Motion Picture and Song of the Year.
The staff behind Music Grotto create thorough editorial pieces from our relationships with media/music journalists and writers all over the world. We directly publish pieces written and researched by accomplished writers and our adherence to strict editorial processes ensures quality opinions and facts are expressed in all of our featured pieces.