On this Father’s Day, call your dad. Tell him you have a song that reminds you of him.
He’ll appreciate it. Trust me. (I’m a dad.)
Oh, wait. You don’t know what song to tell him about? That’s cool. You can rely on me for that part.
I combed the vast sea of songs about parenthood to pick the very best.
I promise I didn’t get overly emotional thinking about dads and their kids. I swear I did not. (OK, maybe a little. Maybe a lot.)
You just might do the same while listening to this set of emotional, sad, happy, mournful and celebratory songs about dads, fathers, daddies, papas and pops.
“Outfit,” Drive-By Truckers
The very best song about dads comes in the form of fatherly advice from a man whose hard life gave him plenty to be knowledgeable about. “Don’t sing with a fake British accent, don’t act like your family’s a joke ... call home on your sister’s birthday ... don’t give it away.”
“He Didn’t Have to Be,” Brad Paisley
This one’s for the stepdads. Paisley sang about a kid and the man who he came to call his dad, who met him as a child and married his mom.
“Just the Two of Us,” Will Smith
Though it samples the Grover Washington Jr./Bill Withers classic, Big Willie Style reframed the song to be about him and his son. It’s adorable.
“Greatest Man I Never Knew,” Reba McEntire
Is your dad the hard-working, keep-to-himself type? Maybe this’ll help him open up a little.
“Song For Dad,” Keith Urban
The older you get, the more you turn into your dad. It’s inevitable. Just embrace it.
“Daddy Could Swear, I Declare,” Gladys Knight & the Pips
A lighthearted take on the words every dad lets slip from time to time.
“Dance With My Father,” Luther Vandross
More than its title, this R&B classic is about a dad who’s there to comfort and love and always be there.
“The Best Day,” George Strait
Is it cheesy? Yes, it is. Is it still gonna make you a little emotional? You’re damn right.
“His Dream,” Asher Roth
The frat rapper takes on some serious stuff when he takes on his dad, who did everything he could for his family, even sacrificing his own dreams to do it.
“Forever Young,” Bob Dylan
Wishes cast from a father to his child: “May God bless and keep you always / May your wishes all come true.” Dylan released two versions, and I prefer the fast version over the lullaby. And either version crushes Rod Stewart’s blurry facsimile of this tune.
“My Old Man,” Zac Brown Band
How did dad always seem to know everything?
“When You Need Me,” Bruce Springsteen
Among all The Boss’ songs about fatherhood, this one’s the sweetest.
“Walk With You,” Edwin McCain
The perfect father-daughter wedding dance song? It just might be.
A daughter both thankful and proud of her dad. This is a sweet one.
“Father and Daughter,” Paul Simon
“Though I can’t guarantee there’s nothing scary hidin’ under your bed / I’m gonna stand guard like a postcard of a golden retriever.” That’s a good dad right there.
“Love Without End, Amen,” George Strait
Does your dad love you no matter what? This one’s for him.
“Father and Son,” Cat Stevens
A little reminder to slow down, think and remember everything you have while you still can.
“Cat’s in the Cradle,” Harry Chapin
The song that reminds us all to stop this busy life and get together with dad before we’re not able to anymore.
“Grandpa Was a Carpenter,” John Prine
A song about a beloved grandpa who took care of his family. “He was level on the level.”