There are hundreds of songs about fathers, but we have made a list of the top 21 songs you to listen to. From country to folk-rock to soul, every genre of music includes songs about dads. Whether it is a song written from a father’s point of view or a song about the person’s dad, you are sure to enjoy these hits!
Take a look at these songs about dads to find your favorite. Which one will you listen to next?
1. Daddy’s Working Boots by Dolly Parton
This country music song about dads came out in 1973. Daddy’s Working Boots was featured on Dolly Parton’s album My Tennessee Mountain Home. In this song, Parton refers to her father’s boots he wore while working. She says that his boots are worn out after years of hard work, just like he is.
Parton sings about how her father was such a hard worker and strived to provide for his family. She is grateful for her dad and how he took care of her and the rest of the family. At the song’s end, she sings about her father going to heaven. She asks God to provide him with a pair of golden boots to replace his working boots when he gets there.
2. Cat’s in the Cradle by Harry Chapin
One of the most well-known songs about dads, Cat’s in the Cradle was featured on the album Verities & Balderdash. Harry Chapin released this folk-rock song in 1974. It is a bittersweet song that starts with a father who is too busy to spend time with his son.
As the son gets older, becomes a teenager, and then an adult, we learn that he is now too busy for his father. The tables have turned, and the father, who is now retired and has lots of time, realizes that his son has turned out like him. They were both too busy for each other.
3. Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle
This 1995 song was one of Bob Carlisle’s most successful hits. The contemporary Christian and pop music artist released this song on his album Simply Bob Carlisle. At the beginning of the song, he sings of the butterfly kisses that his daughter would always give to him when she was little.
The lyrics follow her as she gets older, and we learn how much love the singer has for his daughter. She grows up and eventually gets married as Carlisle sings about walking her down the aisle. He sings about being thankful for his daughter and remembering all of the butterfly kisses she has given throughout her life.
4. Father and Son by Cat Stevens
The album Tea for the Tillerman came out in 1970 and included Father and Son. British folk-rock singer Cat Stevens – also known as Yusuf–sings about the differences between the father and his son. The lyrics refer to a generational gap and misunderstandings between the two people. They don’t understand each person’s desires since they have different goals and dreams.
Ultimately, this song is about the son’s freedom and inability to explain his dreams to his father. Versions of this song were performed by artists such as Rod Stewart, Johnny Cash, Fiona Apple, Sandie Shaw, Boyzone, and the Zac Brown Band.
5. I Loved Her First by Heartland
The country song I Loved Her First was the title track for Heartland’s 2006 album. This song is sung from the perspective of the father. He sings about his daughter and how he used to be the only man in her life. Now the daughter is an adult and has fallen in love. Heartland sings about how the dad was the first to love and care for the daughter.
Though the dad is happy to see that his daughter is happy in love, it is still difficult to let her go. She is still important to him, and he has to come to terms with someone else being the most important person to her now.
6. Father to Son by Phil Collins
The song Father to Son came out in 1989. Pop singer Phil Collins included this hit on his album …But Seriously. In this song, Collins sings about how he will always support and encourage his son. As his son grows up, he will experience hard times and heartbreak, but the father will be there.
The dad knows how challenging life can be; he is preparing his son for what to expect. He wants his son to know that no matter what he faces in life, he will always have the love and support of his father.
7. Daddy’s Hands by Holly Dunn
Country music artist Holly Dunn released the song Daddy’s Hands in 1986. It was the top song on her debut self-titled album. She sings about her father’s hands and all of the ways that they helped her. When she was little, those hands held her and supported her as she grew and learned. Her father’s hands were full of love, and he encouraged her with a pat on the back or a hug.
As her father gets older, she notices that her dad’s hands are aged and worn. He has worked hard his whole life; she can see this in his hands. Despite being rough and calloused, they were gentle and comforting to her.
8. My Old Man by Zac Brown Band
The country song My Old Man came out in 2017 and was featured on the Welcome Home album by the Zac Brown Band. The lyrics in this song explain how the son admired his father. He wanted to be just like him when he grew up. As the son gets older and eventually has a child, he realizes that he wants to have the same impact.
He hopes that his son will grow up having the same pride and admiration for him that he did for his father. In 2018, this song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance.
9. The Living Years by Mike and the Mechanics
The song The Living Years was the title track from the 1988 Mike and the Mechanics album. This soft rock song is written from the perspective of a son who wishes that he had said certain things to his father before it was too late. His father has since died; he regrets that he didn’t share his thoughts and feelings with his dad while he was still alive.
He now has a baby of his own which has caused him to reflect on his relationship with his father. Though there were many disagreements and different opinions, he realizes that he and his dad had many things in common.
10. Drive (For Daddy Gene) by Alan Jackson
Popular country music artist Alan Jackson released the song Drive in 2002. It was the title track on his tenth studio album. In this song, Jackson sings about his fond memories of his father. He remembers how his dad taught him how to drive a boat and, later on, a truck. The lyrics and music express that this was a special time for father and son to bond.
In the song, he sings about his daughters. The time has come for him to teach his daughters how to drive. This has made him remember his dad. Things have come full circle as he creates memorable moments with his children.
11. Love Without End, Amen by George Strait
Country music singer George Strait released the song Love Without End, Amen in 1990. It was featured on his tenth studio album Livin’ It Up. At the song’s beginning, Strait sings about how his father taught him about unconditional love.
The lyrics then transition to him singing about becoming a father. He tells his son the same thing about love and how there is no end to dad’s love. At the song’s end, Strait refers to God’s unconditional love and forgiveness, comparing it to how a father loves his children.
12. Just the Two of Us by Will Smith
Rapper Will Smith released the song Just the Two of Us in 1997. It was one of the songs featured on his debut studio album Big Willie Style. In this song, Smith sings about fatherhood and how much impact this milestone has had on his life.
Though Smith now has three children, this song was written when he had only one child – his son, Trey. He sings about how he would do anything to protect him. Knowing that his son will face struggles, Smith gives him advice about how to cope with these challenges.
13. Song for Dad by Keith Urban
The country music album Golden Road came out in 2002. The third studio album for Australian singer Keith Urban featured the hit, Song for Dad. In the lyrics of this song, Urban mentions how he realizes that he is becoming more and more like his father. He acts like him, talks like him, and has similar mannerisms to his dad as he gets older.
He discovers how much his dad truly cared about him and loved his family. He sings about hoping that he can do the same for his own family one day. Urban’s lyrics express that he wants to become even more like his father as time goes on.
14. That’s My Job by Conway Twitty
Iconic country music star Conway Twitty released his Borderline album in 1987. The album included the song That’s My Job – a tribute to fathers and sons. The son is afraid of being alone when his father dies in the song. The dad explains that he will be there for him because that is his responsibility.
As the son gets older and begins an independent life, he sees how his dad helps him again. Overall, this song is about the father’s dedication to his son and committing to that responsibility.
15. They Don’t Make ‘em Like My Daddy by Loretta Lynn
Country music singer Loretta Lynn released the title track from her album They Don’t Make ‘em Like My Daddy in 1974. The song is about how special her dad was and how no one measures up to him. Lynn sings about how her father worked hard and persevered through tough times. Lynn’s father worked as a coal miner and farmer.
He was a strong man who provided for his family and did what was needed to support them. At the end of the song, she compares her dad to others, saying that he never complained about his responsibilities as some people do.
16. Dance with My Father by Luther Vandross
The song Dance with My Father was the title track from the 2003 Luther Vandross album. Vandross was just a child when his father died, so he used his experience when performing this song. He sings about how his father held him and his mother as they danced together and wishes he could dance with him again, but this is impossible.
This song won three Grammy Awards in 2004, including Song of the Year, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, and Best R&B Album, and was the last hit song for Vandross before he passed away in 2005.
17. He Didn’t Have to Be by Brad Paisley
The 1999 album Who Needs Pictures included the hit song He Didn’t Have to Be. Country music artist Brad Paisley sang this song which refers to a step-dad. He sings about a single mother meeting the man who would come to play the role of a father in her son’s life. The son had such a positive experience with this man that he hopes he will be just as good a dad to his child.
This song was inspired by Paisley’s friend and colleague, who has a stepson. The title alludes to the fact that this man chose to take an active role in his stepson’s life despite not being his biological father.
18. I’m Already There by Lonestar
The title track from the album I’m Already There came out in 2001 by the country music band Lonestar. This song is sung from the point of view of a father and husband. He is on the phone with his wife and children, whom he deeply cares about and misses a lot. He explains that even though they are separated physically, he is still with them.
Though the song does not directly explain where the father is, it is often used to reference military families. The music video that Lonestar made for this song shows members of the military and some reunions with their family members.
19. There Goes My Life, Kenny Chesney
This country music song by Kenny Chesney came out in 2004. There Goes My Life was featured on his album When the Sun Goes Down. At the start of the song, the lyrics are from the voice of a young man. He feels that he is too young to have a baby; he is worried that it will change the rest of his life for the worse.
As the song goes on, this unexpected child has become a blessing to the young man. As his daughter grows up and starts her own life as an adult, he sings about her leaving. He didn’t know how much she would make his life better and become such a significant part.
20. My Dad by Paul Petersen
The song My Dad was the title track on the 1963 album by Paul Petersen. He sings about how much his father means to him and how special he is. He contrasts this with acknowledging that his dad is not famous or a big deal to most people, but he is the center of his life.
Petersen sings about how proud he is of his dad and hopes that his son will be just as proud of him one day. Another version of this song was performed by Davy Jones–a member of the Monkees–on his 1965 debut album.
21. Daddy Doesn’t Pray Anymore by Chris Stapleton
Country music star Chris Stapleton released the song Daddy Doesn’t Pray Anymore in 2015. It was featured on his debut album Traveller. Stapleton sings about how his father was always thankful for his family and the blessings in his life.
In the song, the son and the father have differences and don’t always agree on things. However, the son knows that his dad always cared about him and prayed for him. Now that his father has passed away, the son is thankful for their relationship.