Best Dad Son Songs

Relationships between fathers and sons can be loving, complicated, or anything in between. But at the end of the day, there is always a connection.

So whether you are a father looking at your baby boy for the first time or a son reflecting on your aging father, these are some of the best dad son songs ever recorded

“Father and Son” by Cat Stevens

Song Year: 1970

When Cat Stevens was hospitalized for tuberculosis in 1969, he spent much of his recovery writing songs for a string of successful albums. “Father and Son” is one of those songs from the album, Tea For Tillerman.

The father explains to his son that he should take his time in life, don’t rush. Sons are often impatient and want to strike out on their own without heeding the advice of their wiser elders.

“Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin

Song Year: 1974

“Cat’s in the Cradle” is folk singer Harry Chapin’s signature song. It reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song captures the life of a father and son, from his child’s birth into his later years. The father was too busy to spend a lot of time with his boy when he was growing up, and as he got older, his son had little time for his father. His son grew up to become just like him.

“Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” by John Lennon

Song Year: 1980

John Lennon wrote “Beautiful Boy” for his 5-year-old son, Sean. It appeared on the last album Lennon released before his death, Double Fantasy.

It is a warm, heartfelt song that captures the love a father has for his son. He chases away his little boy’s nightmare and then reflects on what it will be like to watch his son come of age.

“Just the Two of Us” by Will Smith

Song Year: 1998

Will Smith samples Bill Withers and Grover Washington Jr.’s classic R&B hit “Just the Two of Us”, turning the love song into a track about a father’s love for his son.

In the lyrics, Smith professes that he will do whatever it takes to protect his boy from harm. Like all dads, Smith wants to teach his son to be a good man.

“Song For Dad” by Keith Urban

Song Year: 2002

Keith Urban’s “Song For Dad” is an emotional tribute to his father. It appears on his album Golden Road which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.

Urban reflects on how he starts to recognize little traits in himself that remind him of his father. He understands how much his father loved him and how he did his best to instill the values that made him into the man he is today.

“That’s My Job” by Conway Twitty

Song Year: 1987

Country music icon Conway Twitty reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart an incredible 40 times over the course of his illustrious career. Songs like “That’s My Job” still resonate with fans today.

Whether a child has a bad dream or a teen desires to leave home, a father is always going to be there for his son. A good dad will do everything for his son’s well-being, that’s his job.

“Wind Beneath My Wings” by Eddie and Gerald Levert

Song Year: 1995

“Wind Beneath My Wings” is probably most recognized as a Bette Midler song from the movie soundtrack, Beaches. However, from their album Father and Son, Eddie and Gerald Levert released a soulful version of the track.

Gerald gives a heartfelt rendition by singing to his father that he is his hero, that he would be nothing without him. Eddie, in turn, is immensely proud to see his son’s dreams come true.

“A Boy Named Sue” by Johnny Cash

Song Year: 1969

Johnny Cash recorded “A Boy Named Sue” live at his concert at San Quentin prison. It was Cash’s highest-charting song on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #2.

In the song, a boy confronts his father whom he never met; the man who named him Sue. After they fight, the father explains that he named his boy Sue in order for him to grow up tough to survive in the world.

“Touchline” by Rod Stewart

Song Year: 2021

Rod Stewart is still rocking after more than 60 years. His latest album, The Tears of Hercules, features a touching tribute to his father.

“Touchline” is a song remembering his father and his love for football, standing on the touchline in the rain. Long after his father’s funeral, Stewart finds himself on the touchline watching his own boys play.

“Father to Son” by Queen

Song Year: 1974

Queen in their early days were much more glam heavy metal than what they became in the late 70s and 80s. Yet, they were still capable of soulful lyrics in songs like “Father to Son” from their second studio album, Queen II.

A father whispers a word into the ear of his son, giving him a letter that he knows his boy won’t understand until after he’s long gone. It will give his son comfort from loneliness one day.

“My Father’s House” by Bruce Springsteen

Song Year: 1982

One of the great storytellers through his music is Bruce Springsteen. He has the ability to paint vivid imagery from his life through his lyrics.

In “My Father’s House”, Springsteen has a dream that he is a child running through a scary forest into the safety of his father’s arms. He awakes with regrets that he has been estranged from his dad for so many years, so he returns to his father’s house only to find that he no longer lives there.

“You Will Always Be My Son” by Anthem Lights

Song Year: 2017

Christian pop rock group Anthem Lights focuses on producing music that sheds light on an often dark world. 

“You Will Always Be My Son” is from the perspective of a new dad, snuggling with his baby boy. He cannot wait to watch him grow up. Through every skinned knee and every mistake, he wants his son to know he will always be there.

“Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton 

Song Year: 1992

One of the most heart-wrenching father-son songs ever written is “Tears in Heaven.” Eric Clapton wrote the song following the tragic death of his four-year-old son, Conor.

The father sings to his lost son, asking if he would recognize him and hold his hand if he were to see him in Heaven. Despite the sad lyrics, Clapton said that he was able to find peace through his music.

“Anything Like Me” by Brad Paisley 

Song Year: 2009

From the first time a father sees his son in an ultrasound image, thoughts begin to race through his head as to what the boy will turn out to be. Country star Brad Paisley wonders if his son will be “Anything Like Me.”

A father may fret that his son may turn out just like him. Riding his bike too fast, arm in a cast, getting into fights, and having his heart broken by a girl. But at the end of the day, if he can be a role model for his son he should turn out alright.

“With Arms Wide Open” by Creed

Song Year: 1999

Every father wants a better life for his son. Alternative rock band Creed expresses this sentiment in their song, “With Arms Wide Open.”

From the moment you hear the news that your son has been born, your whole world changes. You may have reservations, wondering if you are enough of a man to be a good father, but the love that fills your heart makes you realize that you will do anything for your boy.

“Boy” by Lee Brice

Song Year: 2017

Country artist Lee Brice knows what it is like to watch his son grow up too fast in the song “Boy.”

Brice reflects on his son’s future, how he will wreck a car or two, fall in love, break some hearts, and grow up just like his daddy. His son won’t really know what his dad is feeling until he has a boy of his own.

“Like Father, Like Son” by The Game

Song Year: 2005

Even hardcore rappers like The Game can get a little shook when their baby boy is born. “Like Father, Like Son” is from his debut album, The Documentary, produced by Dr. Dre.

The Game is running through the maternity ward to be a part of his son’s birth. He thanks the doctors and nurses as he looks at his “mini-me,” wishing upon him a life where he can be anything he wants to be. 

“Drive (For Daddy Gene)” by Alan Jackson

Song Year: 2002

“Drive” is a song that brings back fond memories of experiences with your father. It was a #1 hit for Alan Jackson on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.

The lyrics are from a young boy’s perspective of the feelings he got when his daddy let him take the wheel of the old motorboat or beat-up pickup truck. Now that he has girls of his own, Jackson lets them drive hoping it creates the same fond memories for them. 

“Ain’t Even Met You Yet” by Chris Lane

Song Year: 2021

“I Ain’t Even Met You Yet” is the title track from country singer Chris Lane’s latest album. It is a sweet tribute to his yet-to-be-born son.

Lane, like many soon-to-be fathers, gets anxious before the big day. He is scared to death about the responsibility that comes with being a dad but still can’t wait to meet his boy for the first time.

“Kooks” by David Bowie

Song Year: 1971

David Bowie was listening to a Neil Young record when he received news of the birth of his son. “Kooks” was written about his son in a similar style to Young’s music.

Bowie sings to his newborn son that he hopes he sticks around and grows up with a couple of “kooks,” his parents. Maybe he will grow up to be a kook just like them.

“Things Dads Do” by Thomas Rhett

Song Year: 2021

Country artist Thomas Rhett released the single “Things Dads Do” about all of the things a father will do over the course of a son’s life, whether you want him to or not.

You may not think it fair when your dad tells you to cut the grass or forbids you from hanging out with certain friends. But in hindsight, your father is right more times than not. Everything he does is for your own good, and you won’t really understand until you are looking at your own newborn child.

“Monsters” by James Blunt

Song Year: 2019

James Blunt writes a hauntingly beautiful dad son song about saying goodbye to his dying father with “Monsters,” It is a chance to say all the things you want to say before it’s too late.

In order to get through an incredibly emotional moment in a father and son’s life, Blunt approaches it as just two grown men saying goodbye. In some way, the roles have been reversed, and it’s the son’s turn to chase the monsters away.

“My Wish” by Rascal Flatts

Song Year: 2006

Country pop band Rascal Flatts had a crossover hit with “My Wish” from their album Me and My Gang. It hit #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and #28 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song summarizes everything a father wants for his son, that he achieves his dreams and that the problems he may face in life are small. As he grows up, dad just wants him to know that he will always be loved.    

“My Father’s Eyes” by Eric Clapton

Song Year: 1998

Eric Clapton never knew his father. “My Father’s Eyes” is a song he wrote about how his own son, connecting him to the dad he never met.

Clapton lost his son Conor in a tragic accident when the boy was only four years old. The song is about looking into his son’s eyes and seeing the eyes of his father, the bond being passed down from generation to generation.

“My Boy” by Elvie Shane 

Song Year: 2021

“My Boy” is a beautiful song from country artist Elvie Shane about the love for his son even though he is not his biological father.

Although a father and son may not share the same blood or the same name, the bond can still be unbreakable. When the young boy calls him dad he knows nothing else matters, this is his son to love for a lifetime.       

“Tough Little Boys” by Gary Allan 

Song Year: 2003

From his album See If I Care, country music artist Gary Allan had his second #1 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.

As a little boy, you try to be tough and stand up to the school bully, even if it means a black eye. But that tough little boy grows up to be a father, worrying about his own child, and turning into a big softie.

“Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own” by U2

“Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own” by U2

Song Year: 2005

U2 worked on the song “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own” for several years before finally releasing the track on their album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

The song is about U2 frontman Bono’s father and his final stages of terminal cancer. His father was a tough old Dubliner, and despite friction between father and son at times, Bono wants his dad to know that it is because of him he has found success.

“I’m Already There” by Lonestar

Song Year: 2001

“I’m Already There” is the title track to Lonestar’s fourth studio album. The song enjoyed the #1 spot atop the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart for six weeks.

The pain from being far away from your loved ones is sometimes hard to take. Especially when your little boy gets on the phone and asks, “When are you coming home, daddy?” The father responds that his spirit is already at home with them, he is in their hearts, and in the love that they share.

“Between Fathers and Sons” by Waylon Jennings

Song Year: 1987

Country music legend Waylon Jennings knows what it’s like “Between Fathers and Sons”, a song that appears on his album Hangin’ Tough.

Fathers want to pass their wisdom onto their sons. But a son has to find out on his own. It’s the cycle of life. Raise your kids with love then you have to let them go.

“Forever Young” by Rod Stewart

Song Year: 1988

Rod Stewart had a hit with “Forever Young”, the song hitting #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. He wrote the song about what it was like to miss his kids while always away on tour.

Stewart is singing to his young son, wishing him good fortune in life along with the wisdom to be a good person. No matter what, know your father will always be behind you.

“Sail to the Moon. (Brush the Cobwebs Out of the Sky.)” by Radiohead

Song Year: 2003

This trippy song from Radiohead was written as a lullaby for singer Thom Yorke’s son Noah. There is a reference in the song to “Noah’s Ark.”

A father is singing to his young son. He wants him to learn right from wrong and to know that he can grow up to be anything he wants to be, even president.

“Father To Son” by Phil Collins

Song Year: 1989

Phil Collins recorded the song “Father To Son” for his boy, Simon. The track appears on his album …But Seriously, a huge commercial success that hit #1 in both the US and the UK.

In the video, Collins sings to his son while home movies play in the background. We see his boy growing up through the years, eventually playing the drums on stage just like his dad. Dad wants his son to know that he will always be there for him.

“Watching You” by Rodney Atkins

Song Year: 2006

“Watching You” is a fun song from country artist Rodney Atkins about his young son picking up his habits, both good and bad.

When his little boy says a four-letter word, Atkins asks him where he heard it. His little boy responds, “I’ve been watching you.” His son wants to grow up to be just like his daddy.

“Love Without End, Amen” by George Strait 

Song Year: 1990

“Love Without End, Amen” is country legend George Strait’s signature song. It was his first multi-week #1 hit, the song remaining in the top spot on the Billboard Hot Country singles chart for five weeks.

A young boy expecting to be punished by his father is surprised to get told a secret instead. His father tells him that dads don’t love their sons now and then, it’s forever. Even when speaking to God, he learns that the Father’s love is without end.

“He Didn’t Have to Be” by Brad Paisley

Song Year: 1999

From Brad Paisley’s debut album Who Needs Pictures, “He Didn’t Have to Be” became his first #1 hit.   

The song is from the perspective of a young boy with a single mother. He is so happy when his mom finds love and the man turns out to be a great father. They become a complete family.

“Dear Father” by Neil Diamond

Song Year: 1973

“Dear Father” is from Neil Diamond’s production of the soundtrack for Jonathan Livingston Seagull. An orchestra hauntingly backs Diamond’s soulful vocals.

The story is about a seagull who does not conform with the others and sets out on his own quest for wisdom. The song takes you soaring through the sky in flight.

“Color Him Father” by The Winstons

Song Year: 1969

The Winstons’ “Color Him Father” won the Grammy Award for Best R&B song in 1970. It peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100.

A son admires his stepfather for marrying his mom even though she already had seven children. His real father was killed in the war. But the man with the big smile and bigger heart makes his mom happy and has accepted the kids as his own.

“Dad” by Tyler Wood

Song Year: 2018

Country singer Tyler Wood wrote a tribute to his “Dad” praising him for being the stand-up man that he was. He was always there for support.

The son appreciates the love and all of the little life lessons his dad gave to him through the years. He just wanted to give his dad a thank you and a pat on the back.

“A Father’s Love” by Bucky Covington

Song Year: 2012

Former American Idol contestant Bucky Covington released “A Father’s Love” on his second studio album, Good Guys.

Some fathers and sons are not all that close. The father is always grumpy, chirping at the way his son does things. But if you read between the lines, it’s the father’s way of saying “I love you.”

“Dance With My Father” by Luther Vandross 

Song Year: 2003

“Dance with My Father” was a double Grammy Award winner for Luther Vandross for Song of the Year and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.

It is a heart-wrenching song about a child wishing his mom could have one more dance with his father who has passed away. The child reflects on all of the little things he used to do with dad and just how much he is missed.

“Father, Son” by Peter Gabriel

Song Year: 2000

Peter Gabriel’s “Father, Son” appears on the soundtrack to OVO from the Millenium Dome Show commemorating the new millennium.

It is a sad, slow song about a son reflecting on his life, growing up with his dad always by his side. Now that his father is slowing down, he stands by his father’s side.

“Father of Mine” by Everclear

Song Year: 1997

Alternative rock band Everclear rarely writes autobiographical songs. However, “Father of Mine” was lead singer’s Art Alexakis’s experience of when his father left him.

Alexakis was only 10 years old when his dad disappeared. He reflects on all the fun he had with his dad when he was his father’s “golden boy.” Now all he can do is wonder where his father went.

“The Old Man” by John McDermott

Song Year: 1994

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, before moving to Canada, John McDermott is an internationally-acclaimed tenor known for his rendition of “Danny Boy.”

“The Old Man” is a heartwarming song to a father who has passed away. The singer laments that he never got to say how much he appreciated his father and to thank him for everything he has done for him. He misses his Old Man.

“I Don’t Call Him Daddy” by Kenny Rogers

Song Year: 1987

“I Don’t Call Him Daddy” was recorded by Kenny Rogers for his album I Prefer the Moonlight, his twentieth studio album.

A father separated from his son’s mom calls home and speaks to his boy. Although his mom has a new man in her life, the boy tells his father that he does not call him daddy, and that he could never replace his dad.    

“Thank You for Being My Dad” by Jon Barker

Song Year: 2010

Jon Barker sits down at the piano and plays a lovely song honoring his father. Communication is not always easy between a father and son, so he wanted to express how he really feels.

Now that the singer has had a son of his own, he appreciates his father’s guiding hand even more now that he’s raising his own boy to be a good man.

“Old Man” by Neil Young

Song Year: 1972

Neil Young prefaces this performance by explaining that he wrote this song for the “Old Man” that looked after the ranch he just purchased in California. However, the lyrics are often interpreted as a son comparing himself to his father.

When a young man is twenty-four, it is sometimes difficult to find anything in common with his old man. What means something to him, may mean nothing to you. But there is the bond of love that will always connect the two.

“Carry On Wayward Son” by Kansas

Song Year: 1976

From their album Leftoverture, progressive rock band Kansas had a big hit with their signature song, “Carry On Wayward Son.” It peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song has a very spiritual feel to it as if the singer is hearing words from the Holy Father himself. He is told to carry on and that he will find peace at the end of his journey.

“My Old Man” by Zac Brown Band 

Song Year: 2017

“My Old Man” is a soft ballad Zac Brown dedicated to his father. He always set a good example for his kids and raised them the right way. 

Brown reflects on life with his dad as a kid and all the lessons he learned before becoming an adult and a father himself. Now that his father has passed, he hopes that his dad is looking down upon him, proud of the father that he has become.       

“The Living Years” by Mike + The Mechanics

Song Year: 1988

“The Living Years” was an international hit for Mike + The Mechanics, reaching #1 on charts in the US, Canada, Australia, and #2 in the UK.

The singer regrets not getting the chance to tell his father what he meant to him before his passing. However, he finds solace in that he feels his father’s spirit in his own child. 

“Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Green Day

Song Year: 1969

Alt-rockers Green Day surprise with the heart-felt song “Wake Me Up When September Ends.” It reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Billie Joe Armstrong wrote the song about his father who passed away from cancer when he was 10 years old. September marks the anniversary of his father’s death and the singer just wants the month to end.

“Drinking Beer with Dad” by Kid Rock

Song Year: 2015

Kid Rock got his best education sitting on the back porch “Drinking Beer with Dad.” The song appears on the album, First Kiss.

Even though they may not always see eye to eye, a father and his son can always bond over a beer together. Sometimes it’s the simple times that end up being the most memorable.

Top Dad-Son Songs, Final Thoughts

Whether you pat your old man on the back or sit down with him over a beer, it is good to take the time to appreciate everything a father does for his son. Maybe listen to some dad son songs together.

If you become a parent yourself, the admiration for your own father intensifies as you realize that you have become a good dad because he was one to you. You can always count on dad to have your back.

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