Skip to main content

12 Best Songs From Parent to Child

Music touches my soul. When I am not singing, dancing or playing an instrument, I am writing articles about the songs that I hold dear.


A parent's love for a child is like a seed: it begins with the anticipation of birth and continues to develop and strengthen throughout the years. Becoming a parent involves a metamorphosis, where self-interest takes a back seat to selfless love and unconditional devotion. Once you become a parent there is no going back to independence: you are forever connected to another soul.

Parents often discover these feelings of love and devotion are far greater than they could have ever imagined.

There really are places in the heart you don't even know exist until you love a child.

— Anne Lamott

Here is a collection of songs that express the immense feelings of parental love. From a timeless bedtime lullaby written and sung by Billy Joel, to a song of inspiration and thankfulness upon the gift of a child by Celine Dion, each song may have a different vantage point but they all express this selfless, awe-inspiring experience of being a parent.

12 Best Songs from Parent to Child

1. Tim McGraw – "My Little Girl" (2006)
2. Stevie Wonder – "Isn't She Lovely" (1976)
3. Rascal Flatts – "My Wish" (2006)
4. Elton John – "Blessed" (1995)
5. John Lennon – "Beautiful Boy" (1980)
6. Clark Richard – "Red Robin" (2010)
7. Ben Folds – "Gracie" (2008)
8. Miley Cyrus and Billy Ray Cyrus – "Ready, Set, Don't Go" (2007)
9. Billy Joel - "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)" (1993)
10. Celine Dion – "A New Day Has Come" (2002)
11. Martina McBride – "In My Daughter's Eyes" (2003)
12. Lee Ann Womack – "I Hope You Dance" (2000)

1. Tim McGraw – "My Little Girl" (2006)

Part of the soundtrack to the movie Flicka, this country song touches on a father's love for his little girl. Although he wants the best for his daughter, he admits that at times she has him wrapped around her finger. He wants his daughter to grow up and not be afraid to take on the world, while at the same time, he realizes that he will always see her as his little girl. This sweet ode to a father's love for his daughter reached #3 on the Billboard Country chart and #35 on the Billboard Hot 100.


Chase your dreams, but always know the road that'll lead you home again
Go on, take on this whole world
But to me you know you'll always be, my little girl

2. Stevie Wonder – "Isn't She Lovely" (1976)

This catchy song about the heavenly beauty of a baby girl might grab you on the first beat and never let you go. It is a timeless classic, written and sung by a living legend. Stevie Wonder wrote the song to celebrate the birth of his daughter, Aisha, and the outro contains some actual recordings of father and daughter playing together. In this song, Stevie Wonder perfectly captures the essence and emotion of loving a lovely, beautiful, heaven sent daughter.


Isn't she lovely
Isn't she wonderful
Isn't she precious

I can't believe what God has done
Through us he's given life to one
But isn't she lovely made from love

3. Rascal Flatts – "My Wish" (2006)

Written by the song-writing powerhouse of Jeffrey Steele and Steve Robson, this song was written for Steele's 13 year-old daughter, Justine. The song expresses a wish that her "dreams stay big" and "worries stay small." Steele himself puts it best:

"I was just thinking about how crazy the world is right now for a kid to grow up in. I started writing it like I wanted her to know whatever she did in life, somebody was thinking about her all the time. Someone was always behind her no matter what."

What seems like a departing message for a child leaving home also works as a reminder for us all about being true to yourself, being a kind human being, and hopefully finding a soul mate to make life complete.


My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small.

4. Elton John – "Blessed" (1995)

This song is about a dream of a child, a child that has not been born yet. While at this time in his life, Elton John never desired to have children, lyricist Bernie Taupin penned these words expressing his own wish to have a child before he was too old. Taupin knew that his child would be "blessed" with his love and devotion.


I need you before I'm too old
To have and to hold
To walk with you and watch you grow
And know that you're blessed

5. John Lennon – "Beautiful Boy" (1980)

The song was written for his son Sean, his only child with Yoko Ono. It begins with the singer comforting the child from a nightmare and turns into a passionate and heartfelt expression of the love and joy that he has for his son. The song expresses optimism for his son's future. The famous quote, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." comes from this song. In 2004 Celine Dion also released a version of this song.


Out on the ocean sailing away,
I can hardly wait,
To see you to come of age

Life is just what happens to you,
While you're busy making other plans

6. Clark Richard – "Red Robin" (2010)

Beginning with the early years and continuing through college, the song "Red Robin" touches on the tender moments and the building of trust between a father and daughter. A gentle voice softly tells of a strong bond that will be there no matter how far apart they are.


Though I won’t always be here
This you surely know
That I’ll quietly spot you
Anywhere you go

Not surprisingly, this is one of the most popular song choices at weddings for the father/daughter dance.

7. Ben Folds – "Gracie" (2008)

Singer-songwriter Ben Folds had already written a song for his son Louie, "Still Fighting It," and knew he couldn't leave his daughter Gracie out. Describing the process of writing the song, he told an interviewer:

"I write songs for a very small audience. In that case it was for one. A lot of times it's for no one; it's for me. Everyone has similar experiences, so I don't really write to the universal. 'Gracie' is a good example of that. It's just for Gracie. The first line is, 'I saw you when you came out.' That's a pretty graphic line for a kid, but I knew she'd think that is funny."

Speaking of the unique bond a father can have with his daughter, Ben Folds gently and tenderly expresses his feelings for his daughter, Gracie. With a simple melody and an inviting lyrics, Ben Folds reveals the respect and responsibility he feels towards his daughter as she grows.


One day you're gonna want to go
I hope we taught you everything you need to know
Gracie girl

And there will always be a part of me
Nobody else is ever gonna see but you and me
My little girl

8. Miley Cyrus and Billy Ray Cyrus – "Ready, Set, Don't Go" (2007)

This song focuses on the mixed feelings of a father about the prospect of his daughter leaving home. Billy Ray Cyrus wrote it when his daughter Miley moved to LA to jumpstart her acting career. The song was both a commercial and critical success, reaching #85 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was later re-released as a duet with his daughter, Miley, who at age 14 was enjoying her first musical success as well. The duet version peaked at #37 on the Billboard Hot 100.


I'm at the startin' line of the rest of my life
As ready as I've ever been
Got the hunger and the stars in my eyes
The prize is mine to win

She's waitin' on my blessings before she hits that
open road
Baby get ready
Get set
Don't go

9. Billy Joel - "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)" (1993)

This frequently covered song was written about Joel's own daughter, Alexa Rey. A master of lyric and melody, Billy Joel easily expresses the simple yet profound relationship between a parent and child in this bedtime lullaby. This timeless and memorable song encapsulates the message of endless wishes and unconditional love that is felt by a parent for his child. As with other Billy Joel songs, this song manages to capture and combine both the mystical beauty and finite reality of life.

In 2004, Joel published a children's book based on the song, entitled Goodnight My Angel (A Lullabye).


Wherever you may go
No matter where you are
I never will be far away
You'll always be a part of me

10. Celine Dion – "A New Day Has Come" (2002)

Celine Dion recorded this song after taking some time off to have and raise her son, Rene-Charles Dion Angelil. In this song, Dion shares her amazement at the miracle of having a new child. The thrill that comes with the birth of a child and the fulfillment of a lifelong dream of becoming a parent is expressed in this uplifting song.

The song was both a commercial and critical success, with critics praising Dion's restrained vocal performance and reaching #22 on the Billboard Hot 100. It's hard not to feel Dion's joy at being parent when listening to this song.


Hush now I see a light in your eyes
All in the eyes of a boy
I can't believe I've been touched by an angel with love

11. Martina McBride – "In My Daughter's Eyes" (2003)

“In My Daughter’s Eyes” tells the story of a mother rediscovering “what life is all about through [her] daughter’s eyes.” While we expect that typically the parent hands down lessons to the child, this song reveals that the child offers life lessons to the parent as well. Lessons in equality, peace, strength and perseverance are reciprocal gifts between mother and child.


And when she wraps her hand
around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about

12. Lee Ann Womack – "I Hope You Dance" (2000)

With lessons about keeping perspective, a sense of wonder, living life to the fullest and never giving up, this song offers a message that is appropriate for a child or a friend.


Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

© 2013 Tracy Lynn Conway


Tracy Lynn Conway (author) from Virginia, USA on June 23, 2020:

Thank you, Thomas!

Best, Tracy

Thomas on June 14, 2020:

Great list. Missing „With Arms Wide Open“ From Creed and „Guardian“ by Alanis Morissette, though...

paige on December 26, 2019:

do you have my little girl

Tracy Lynn Conway (author) from Virginia, USA on October 14, 2019:

Lexie, thank you for the suggestion. I will take a listen.



Lexie on October 12, 2019:

Forever Now by Michael Bublé is a really beautiful song...

Dave on June 24, 2019:

In My Arms by Plumb

Jess on April 17, 2019:

Slow down by Nichole Nordeman. I cry every time I hear it.

Dika on March 04, 2019:

Lauren Hill - To Zion...

Crystal D Miller on December 26, 2018:

"Baby, Baby"--Any Grant

danjad12 on November 13, 2018:

I Lived by One Republic

fredblue on March 25, 2018:

Child of Mine by Carole King

Matthew Strobl on March 20, 2018:

With arms wide open is not about having a girl. Its about him having a son and that he hopes his son is nothing like him and that he will guide his son through life.

markus on March 06, 2018:

tears in heaven by eric clapton

Thomas on February 03, 2018:

One that I used for my daughters’s party was ‘Slipping Through My Fingers’ by ABBA and sung by Meryl Streep from Mama Mia.

Ash on January 28, 2018:

Cats in the Cradle best one from Dad to Son.

Krystal on January 06, 2018:

Get songs for my 3 kids that i love so much. I love all the songs girl. I heard of some but not all of them. They are very touching.

Bob on November 18, 2017:

Shattered Glass by Brad Paisley

Misty yvonne on October 29, 2017:

Dedicated simple man to my son

Krystal on October 19, 2017:

With arms wide open by creed is another good one. Explaining how he found out he was having a little girl and he was going to guide her thru life and how happy he was to be a dad. Please don't forget to remember me is a great one too. Forget which country lady singer that one is by...

Belle on July 18, 2017:

umm what about Eminem??

Gilbert on June 30, 2017:

I NEVER thought id be able to be a ask GOD soooooooooooo many times before to bless me with a family before he takes me....the day of September 2nd...i was more than blessed with a more than beautiful baby girl....she was 8.5 lbs and 19.5 inches being a first time daddu, i didnt know what to do or say at the time of my daughter being born...i just knew she was perfectly healthy and a blessing to michelle and Especially my world!!! Im blessed and proud to say that my little rhayna lee foulenfont is going to be 10 months young in 2 days....AND IM ALSO BLESSED TO SAY THAT MY LITTLE BOY WILL BE BORN SEPTEMBER 7TH!!! I asked the man above and he gave me my answers...i thank him every day for everything that i dont have and people that dont believe in prayers or miracles they're dead wrong cuz me being a first time parent truly changed and saved my life...i thank you to whoever reads this...learn...if your with the person god meant u to be with, especially to have a child together, never leave her side....i wont....

Petrosinella on May 03, 2017:

"Child of Mine" by Carole King is a special song to me.

Angie on March 16, 2017:

A good one I thought of too, "Your Gonna Be", by Reba. I love all of these. Making a HS graduation video for my daughter and I will incorporate most of these.. Thanks so much for posting!! :)

Josh on November 02, 2016:

Rachel's Song by Jeff Healey tears me up everytime.

cheri kelly on October 13, 2016:

I'll Be by Reba MCINTYRE.

yourmothersir on October 04, 2016:

You missed "goodnight" written by John Lennon for his son Julian.

Loretta on September 23, 2016:

Forever Young by Rod Stewart

Ashley on September 01, 2016:

OMG! I sung I Hope You Dance in a talent show and won

Karla on July 03, 2016:

Thank you for the songs, In my daughter's eyes expressed exactly what I wanted to say to my daughter.

Boomer Music Man on July 01, 2016:

You've written this blog in a simple and understanding. I just like it so much. It reminded me about my daughter who was born. I couldn't stop going to the nursery of the hospital and take a look at her. These songs give me the goosebumps especially the old ones. I just like the way you did your blog. Bravo!

Tracy Lynn Conway (author) from Virginia, USA on January 22, 2016:


I am glad that you enjoyed hearing some new and old songs alike. Thank you for your comment.

Best, Tracy

Tracy Lynn Conway (author) from Virginia, USA on January 22, 2016:


Wow, thank you for such a positive comment! I am thrilled that you enjoyed it so much.

Best, Tracy

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on December 31, 2015:

Tracy, great song list. Some of the songs I've heard of and some I haven't. All beautiful and touching. Thanks for sharing.

Readers Square from Punjab, India on May 19, 2015:

Hey Tracy,

These songs as I remember them have always been heartwarming. It’s 2015 and these songs send the same rush and feeling they did when I first heard them. Such beautiful lyrics written and composed from the soul! Thank you for the compilation and there are some new numbers that I was really thrilled to hear.

Voted up, Beautiful.

Tracy Lynn Conway (author) from Virginia, USA on April 21, 2015:

Hi Top Indian,

Thank you!

Tracy Lynn Conway (author) from Virginia, USA on April 21, 2015:

Hi Jaden,

Thank you for your compliment, I will consider adding more.

Best, Tracy

Hezekiah from Japan on April 16, 2015:

What a great list of songs there, I like also play thr piano while singing.

@ Bollywood... from Ahmedabad on April 01, 2015:

Superb collection. Music is food for soul, indeed true. Please, Do have a look on my hub please and suggest how to write such a nice collection of art pieces.

Jaden Alvin from India on April 01, 2015:

Really a nice list do add more. Thanks for the best songs in the list.

Tracy Lynn Conway (author) from Virginia, USA on September 09, 2013:

Vishakha - Thank you for your enthusiastic praise!

Mike - Interesting that you mention that song, it so powerful and always make me cry so I didn't consider it for this list. This collection is about enjoying the beauty and intricacies of the parent/child bond but not going so far as to feel depressing. Billy Joel's "Lullaby" has a similar eternal feeling about it but without such a melancholy tone. I will take a listen to the song you mentioned, thank you!

Best, Tracy

MikeSyrSutton from An uncharted galaxy on September 06, 2013:

I'm glad that tears in Heaven did not make it because it was so overplayed! Someday never comes, by C.C.R. is good too.Good List!

Tracy Lynn Conway (author) from Virginia, USA on April 29, 2013:

George - Thank you for the suggestions!

George Greene Jr. from California PA on April 10, 2013:

Thought of one more..LYNYRD SKYNYRD's Simple Kind of Man.. thewoman tells her son how to grow up thru the simple things in life.

Tracy Lynn Conway (author) from Virginia, USA on April 09, 2013:

George - Thank you for the suggestion. I am thrilled that you liked it and thank you for the vote too!

Best, Tracy

George Greene Jr. from California PA on April 08, 2013:

Fantastic list! Left out another great song..Helen Reddy's "You and Me Against the World." Voted up!

Tracy Lynn Conway (author) from Virginia, USA on March 21, 2013:

Gypsy Rose Lee - Thank you for your generous compliments, votes and for sharing! I am thrilled to know that you enjoyed this "musical journey" about parental love, it is a topic that means very much to me.

Randomcreative - I am glad you found your favorite here and that you liked the idea! Thank you!

DDE - Thank you very much!

Best, Tracy

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 20, 2013:

Awesome list of song and I am familiar with all such a lovely idea for parent and child

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 19, 2013:

Gracie is one of my all-time favorite songs. I am so excited that you included it in this list. Great idea for an article!

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on March 19, 2013:

Voted up and awesome. Wonderful hub. Parental love is so very special. Thank you for this super hub and musical journey. Enjoyed. Passing this on.

Tracy Lynn Conway (author) from Virginia, USA on March 19, 2013:

Thanks Jools, I will have to listen to that song again, I've always loved Amy Grant. So glad you liked the list!

Faith - Isn't that Billy Joel song just amazing! I will listen to The Pretender's song too, thank you for the suggestion and comment.

Best, Tracy

Faith A Mullen on March 18, 2013:

Nice list! Billy Joel's "Goodnight My Angel" has always been one of my favorites. I have always thought that The Pretender's "I'll Stand By You" is also powerful from a parent to child perspective.

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on March 18, 2013:

Great list Tracy - my own fave is not here though, 'Baby, Baby' by Amy Grant. I love the Ben Folds song though :o)