FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.
Your Family Is a Family of Incredibles
Let's Celebrate: Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers, and Others
Families. They can be a source of love, support, frustration, and even embarrassment. But they can also keep you laughing and entertained.
Some of the most memorable funny moments are those I've shared with my family. They are an eclectic bunch of conservative, liberal, wacky, average, frugal, generous and mostly fun people who—except for our genetics—would probably never choose to know one another. What binds us, however, is our shared experience.
Funny Family Memories
One memorable Thanksgiving, my large family gathered around the table to eat dinner. We practiced our best manners because my sister and her then-husband had brought along their three young boys. They were all dressed up, and their 7-year-old, William, was even wearing a suit and tie (his idea, so they claimed.)
As parents bickered over what the baby would eat, young William turned to the rest of the group and said matter-of-factly, "Welcome to HELL."
People all over America were packed around their crowded Thanksgiving tables probably thinking the same thing, but it took a child to verbalize this truism.
1. "We Are Family" by Sisters Sledge
This classic song by Sisters Sledge (1979) celebrates the closeness of family bonds. Fortunately, you can always count on loved ones to help you cherish the good times, as well as ease you through life's tough transitions.
2. "Dance with My Father" by Luther Vandross
In this poignant, career-defining song dedicated to his father, Luther Vandross (2003) reminisces about the bittersweet days he could never get back. When Vandross was a child, his father would pick him up, lift him high in the air, and dance with both he and his mother. Although the singer's father died when he was still a child, the loving memory still brought him comfort as an adult.
Sadly, Vandross suffered a stroke the year that the song was released, and his famous friends rallied in support of him to produce a music video for the song. Vandross won four Grammies for "Dance with My Father" in 2004, including Song of the Year. He died the following year.
3. "Daughters" by John Mayer
John Mayer (2003) advises fathers that their influence confers a lifelong impact on their daughters, particularly in how they trust and relate to others:
You are the guide and the weight of her world
So fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do.
Families: We're All In This Together
4. "Holes In the Floor of Heaven" by Steve Wariner
If you've ever lost a close family member, then you understand what country star Steve Wariner conveys in this tender 1998 hit. Long after your loved one has left this world, you can still feel their presence and they watch over you and share in your special moments.
5. "You’re Gonna Miss This" by Trace Adkins
Trace Adkins (2007) cautions us to slow down and treasure each day. A young woman is in such a hurry to grow up—from college to marriage to parenthood—that the people in her life remind her to treasure what really matters:
You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this.
6. "There Goes My Life" by Kenny Chesney
In this 2003 song, Kenny Chesney provides an example of how sometimes the biggest joys in life are the ones you least expect. When a young couple is met with an unexpected pregnancy, all the father can think about is, "There goes my life, There goes my future, my everything." As his daughter grows up and leaves home, those words take on a new, heartfelt meaning.
Awkward Family Photos
7. "Don't Forget to Remember Me" by Carrie Underwood
In this 2006 country song, Carrie Underwood describes a young girl's yearning to break free and the loneliness of leaving home. No matter what happens in the world, there's comfort in carrying your family with you wherever you go—even if it's only in your heart.
8. "Daddy’s Hands" by Holly Dunn
Holly Dunn (1986) sees her father's aging hands as being both strong and gentle. He prayed with them, embraced her and patted her on the back when needed, worked hard with his two hands, and held her mother with them. No matter what, "There was always love in Daddy's hands."
9. "Sister Christian" by Night Ranger
Riding in cars with boys can sometimes lead to trouble. This power ballad by Night Ranger (1984) describes the concern of an older brother for his sister, as she grows up too fast.
10. "The Greatest Man I Never Knew" by Reba McEntire
Once you listen to this song, you'll want to call your father and tell him that you love him. Reba McEntire (1992) describes a father who became so wrapped up in his role as provider that he neglected to stop and simply hug his daughter and express how much she meant to him. Although the two were family members, they were most of all strangers. Don't let this happen to you. Be an emotional bridge rather than a wall to those around you.
11. "My Father’s Eyes" by Eric Clapton
Rock legend Eric Clapton (1998) describes his anguish at having never met his father and having his life built upon an uncertain foundation. At the same time, however, he realizes that when he looked into his son's eyes he found the connection he had sought all along.
Are You an Emotional Bridge? Connector or Divider?
12. "I’m Already There" by Lonestar
For families who are separated by a loved one's absence, Lonestar (2001) captures the worry, reassurances, and the yearning to be reunited.
The song became widely associated with military families whose loved ones were deployed after 9/11, but it can also describe those who must travel for work.
13. "Who Says You Can’t Go Home" by Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles
You spend the first 18 years of your life trying to escape where you grew up—the town, family, and everything that is familiar—and then after traveling the world, you figure out home is not so bad after all. In this 2006 cross-over hit Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles value their family roots and come full-circle in their quest to return home.
14. "Mama Said" by The Shirelles
The Shirelles (1961) offer this classic nod to a mother's sage advice about not worrying too much about what you cannot change.
15. "Because You Loved Me" by Celine Dion
This Grammy Award-winning song was a worldwide hit in 1996, thanks to Celine Dion. Although she added the word "baby" to the songwriter's lyrics, it was actually written as a tribute to a father for his guidance, support and encouragement.
16. "My Town" by Montgomery Gentry
Montgomery Gentry (2002) is proud of their hometown. Although not perfect, it represents familiarity, continuity, and all that is right in the world. With the prevalence of geographic mobility—moving frequently because of jobs, the military, etc.—count yourself lucky if you can say you are truly "from" anywhere.
17. "Hurt" by Christina Aguilera
This 2006 song by Christina Aguilera is full of regret as she takes on the persona of a daughter reflecting on lost opportunities to connect with her father, who has recently passed away.
Would you tell me I was wrong?
Would you help me understand?
Are you looking down upon me?
Are you proud of who I am?
There's nothing I wouldn't do
To have just one more chance
To look into your eyes and see you looking back
18. "Cat's in the Cradle" by Harry Chapin
Relationships are like investments in that what you get out depends on what you put into them. This classic song by Harry Chapin (1974) recounts a young father who was too busy investing in his own future to spend time with his young son.
The father's inattentiveness comes full-circle in his retirement years, however, when in he becomes the recipient of his grown son's benign neglect. After all, the son had an expert role model.
And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me
He'd grown up just like me
My boy was just like me.
19. "Butterfly Kisses" by Bob Carlisle
From little girl to teenager to young bride, the daughter in this 1997 song by Bob Carlisle (1997) is dearly treasured by her devoted father. If every child was valued the way she is, the world's problems would be so much smaller.
20. "Hey Brother" by Avicii
This moving song by Avicii (2013) is a testament to the bonds of kinship. Because blood is thicker than water, in your darkest moments, you can always count on family:
Oh, if the sky comes falling down, for you
There's nothing in this world I wouldn't do.
21. "Mama's Song" by Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood (2010) promises her mother that the man she is marrying is an earnest life partner who will keep his promises. The daughter is moving away from her mother, and it's a bittersweet time in their lives.
22. "The House That Built Me" by Miranda Lambert
In this Grammy Award-winning song, Miranda Lambert (2010) visits her childhood home, and the memories come rushing in. She asks to come in for a look around, promising to take nothing but a memory.
The house represents more than where she used to do her homework, learned guitar, and where she buried her favorite dog in the yard. Her family home was her foundation in life and reminds her of a time when relationships were simpler and life was less complicated.