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Best 12 Songs from Parent to Child

Updated on October 05, 2016
Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

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.

1. Tim McGraw – "My Little Girl"

Album: Tim McGraw Reflected: Greatest Hits Vol. 2.

Year: 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.

Lyrics to watch for:

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"

Album: Songs in the Key of Life

Year: 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.

Lyrics to watch for:

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"

Album: Me and My Gang

Year: 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.

Lyrics to watch for:

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"

Album: Made in England

Year: 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.

Lyrics to watch for:

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"

Album: Double Fantasy

Year: 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.

Lyrics to watch for:

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"

Album: Kissing Kelley

Year: 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, it is one of the most popular song choices at weddings for the father/daughter dance.

7. Ben Folds – "Gracie"

Album: Songs for Silverman

Year: 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.

Lyrics to watch for:

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"

Album: Home at Last

Year: 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.

Lyrics to watch for:

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)"

Album: River of Dreams

Year: 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, titled Goodnight My Angel (A Lullabye).

Lyrics to watch for:

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"

Album: A New Day Has Come

Year: 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.

Lyrics to watch for:

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"

Album: Martina

Year: 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.

Lyrics to watch for:

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"

Album: Sons of the Desert

Year: 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.

Lyrics to watch for:

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.


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    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

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

    • Faith A Mullen profile image

      Faith A Mullen 4 years ago

      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.

    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA

      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

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      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.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      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!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

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

    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 4 years ago from Virginia, USA

      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

    • George Greene Jr. profile image

      George Greene Jr. 3 years ago from California PA

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

    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 3 years ago from Virginia, USA

      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. profile image

      George Greene Jr. 3 years ago from California PA

      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 profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 3 years ago from Virginia, USA

      George - Thank you for the suggestions!

    • MikeSyrSutton profile image

      MikeSyrSutton 3 years ago from An uncharted galaxy

      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 profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 3 years ago from Virginia, USA

      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

    • Jaden Alvin profile image

      Jaden Alvin 24 months ago from India

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

    • Top Indian cinema profile image

      @ Bollywood... 24 months ago from Ahmedabad

      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.

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 23 months ago from Japan

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

    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 23 months ago from Virginia, USA

      Hi Jaden,

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

      Best, Tracy

    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 23 months ago from Virginia, USA

      Hi Top Indian,

      Thank you!

    • readerssquare profile image

      Readers Square 22 months ago from Punjab, India

      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.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 14 months ago from Northeast Ohio

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

    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 14 months ago from Virginia, USA


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

      Best, Tracy

    • Tracy Lynn Conway profile image

      Tracy Lynn Conway 14 months ago from Virginia, USA


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

      Best, Tracy

    • profile image

      Boomer Music Man 8 months ago

      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!

    • profile image

      Karla 8 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Loretta 6 months ago

      Forever Young by Rod Stewart

    • profile image

      yourmothersir 5 months ago

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

    • profile image

      cheri kelly 5 months ago

      I'll Be by Reba MCINTYRE.

    • profile image

      Josh 4 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Angie 6 days ago

      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!! :)

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