25 Sweet Father’s Day Songs That Pay Tribute to Dads Everywhere
From soulful odes to fatherhood, to country tunes honoring great dads, these Father's Day songs are sure to get Dad smiling—and dancing!
One of the greatest things about music is that it conveys our appreciation and love for everyone in our lives—including our fathers. Dads do so much for us, after all, from giving us sound life advice to teaching us how to throw a baseball. As Father’s Day approaches, you may be looking for ideas to show your father just how you care about him and his lifetime of dedicated dad duty. One idea that’ll get him up and moving? Playing him a curated list of Father’s Day songs.
If you’re stumped on which Father’s Day songs to include, don’t worry. Just snag our playlist of dad songs that celebrate your amazing father and your special relationship. Some tracks are funky, others are sentimental—and you may hear a few in some of your favorite Father’s Day movies. Turn that volume up and let the dad songs play!
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“Just the Two of Us” by Will Smith
Now this is a sweet Father’s Day song to dedicate to Dad. “Just the Two of Us,” off Will Smith’s album Big Willie Style, is a fun yet sentimental song any dad can relate to. Throw it on to highlight your special relationship with your No. 1 guy! You can even share some of the lyrics as Father’s Day quotes.
“Father and Son” by Cat Stevens
“Father and Son” by Cat Stevens is a beautiful blend of folk and rock that’s worth a play on Father’s Day (and beyond). The lyrics depict a father and son at odds in life; the son wants to go out and follow his own path, but his father advises against it, encouraging his son to live a simpler life. The song paints a vivid picture of the love and frustration felt in a disagreement between a father and child.
“They Don’t Make ’em Like My Daddy” by Loretta Lynn
A twangy ode to the father of all fathers, “They Don’t Make ’em Like My Daddy” by country legend Loretta Lynn is a must-play dad song. Listen on as Lynn croons about the sweet adoration she feels for a dad who is rough, tough and not afraid to roll up his sleeves.
“The Man Who Loves You the Most” by Zac Brown Band
Zac Brown Band pulls at the heartstrings of every dad with “The Man Who Loves You the Most,” a tender country track about a father who wishes nothing but the best for his child. But, no matter where they go or who they marry, their dad will always be the man who loves them the most. Don’t be shocked if Dad gives you a big ol’ hug after listening to this one.
“Father to Son” by Queen
This one’s for the dads who rock—and love rock! This gem, off Queen’s 1974 album Queen II, was written by guitarist Brian May—who also shows off his impressive piano chops on the track. It’s about a father talking to his son about the important things in life, and it’s perfect to play for the dad who has shelled out solid life advice over the years.
“Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” by John Lennon
“Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” is one of the most touching songs John Lennon ever wrote. Lennon penned the tune, found on 1980’s Double Fantasy album, for his son Sean. The lyrics depict a father comforting his son and wondering what his life will be like as he grows. Fun and tenderhearted, “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” is a song both fathers and sons will appreciate.
“Daughters” by John Mayer
John Mayer’s 2005 smash hit has an important message behind its acoustic goodness: Fathers, be good to your daughters. Mayer croons about the importance of the father-daughter relationship in “Daughters,” his most successful tune off 2003’s Heavier Things. Mayer earned a Grammy for the song—and a permanent spot on many Father’s Day playlists.
“Dance with My Father” by Luther Vandross
Soulful and oh so endearing, “Dance with My Father” by Luther Vandross is one of those Father’s Day songs that brings a tear to your eye. Vandross sings about the beautiful memories of his father and him dancing together, and how he wishes he could cut a rug with him just one more time. The lovely and heartfelt R&B tune earned him two Grammys in 2004, cementing its place as one of the best dad songs of all time. Don’t forget to hug Dad after listening to this one.
“Ready, Set, Don’t Go” by Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus
“Ready, Set, Don’t Go” by Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus is a song any dad-and-daughter duo can relate to. The duet between Cyrus and daughter Miley (recorded during the Hannah Montana years) tells the story of a father and daughter coming to terms with her growing up and needing to start her own life. Doesn’t make it any easier to let go, though, as any dad can relate to.
“Father and Daughter” by Paul Simon
Play this for any girl dad and watch him melt. “Father and Daughter” by Paul Simon, found on the soundtrack to 2002’s The Wild Thornberrys Movie, is a lovely whimsical tune paying tribute to that sacred father-daughter relationship. Listen in as Simon sings of being there for your little girl as she grows into her own person.
“The Greatest Man I Never Knew” by Reba McEntire
Found on the 1991 album For My Broken Heart, “The Greatest Man I Never Knew” by country songstress Reba McEntire is the perfect song to play for the dad who’s a man of few words, but loves his family dearly. McEntire sings about a tight-lipped father from his daughter’s perspective, reflecting on his ways and how they shaped her view of him. The country tune earned McEntire several Grammy nominations and hit No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart back in 1992.
“It Won’t Be Like This for Long” by Darius Rucker
Former Hootie & the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker scored one for the girl dads with 2008’s “It Won’t Be Like This for Long,” a heart-melting country song about appreciating the time you have with your little ones. One day, they’re in diapers—then you blink and they’re packing for college. Rucker’s song reminds dads to just sit back, take the phases in stride and enjoy the time you have with your kids. Turn it on while your dad’s reading his Father’s Day card!
“Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler
This is one of those Father’s Day songs that shows your pop just how much you appreciate him. This cover of “Wind Beneath My Wings” by the über talented Bette Midler was released back in 1989 and received both commercial and critical success; the song topped charts and earned Midler multiple Grammys. Play it for the dad who has lifted you up through everything in life, no matter what.
“My Father’s Eyes” by Eric Clapton
Listen to 1998’s “My Father’s Eyes” by Eric Clapton and you’ll hear a feel-good melody, a soulful chorus and an impressive guitar solo at 2:38. You’ll also hear a piece of music with very personal meaning for the guitar legend. Clapton didn’t have a relationship with his father, and according to Clapton: The Autobiography, he wrote the song about seeing his father’s eyes in his young son, Conor, who tragically passed away in 1991 at age 4. It’s a song about seeing life carry on through generations, which Dad is sure to understand.
“Stealing Cinderella” by Chuck Wicks
“Stealing Cinderella” by Chuck Wicks is a sentimental country track that both daughters and sons-in-law can play for Dad. It’s about a man going to ask his love’s father for her hand in marriage and reflecting on how, in her dad’s eyes, he’ll always be the guy who whisked his princess away. Play it for the father-daughter duo who are thick as thieves.
“Papa Don’t Take No Mess” by James Brown
If your dad is a fan of funk, he’ll love “Papa Don’t Take No Mess” by James Brown. The song was released in 1974 but still packs a funky punch that modern ears will appreciate. Crank it up and dance with the dad who don’t take no mess!
“Drive (for Daddy Gene)” by Alan Jackson
Country star Alan Jackson reflected on the relationship he had with his father to pen his 2002 hit “Drive (for Daddy Gene).” Jackson sings about the fond memories he has of driving with his father in the truck they fixed up together, backed by twangy instrumentals. It’s a great song to play for Dad if you were his shadow growing up, always tagging along and helping out with projects.
“Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)” by Billy Joel
Now this is one heck of a father-child ballad. Billy Joel’s 1994 tune “Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)” was inspired by his own daughter, and you can hear how much he loves his little girl in the lyrics (“Wherever you may go, no matter where you are / I never will be far away”). Dedicating this song to dad sends a truly special Father’s Day message.
“That’s My Job” by Conway Twitty
The lyrics in Conway Twitty’s “That’s My Job” are arguably some of the best to describe a father-child relationship. Twitty uses his signature sound to paint a picture of what it’s like to grow up close with your dad—the doting, the disagreements, the appreciation of their wisdom. It’s a beautiful country tune to play while Dad’s opening his Father’s Day gifts.
“Daddy” by Beyoncé
Beyoncé reflects on her own relationship with her father, Mathew Knowles, in “Daddy,” a soulful tribute to a father who’s done so much. Sit down with your pop and listen to Beyoncé’s gorgeous voice sing about the love and adoration one feels for their dad. It’ll make for a special bonding moment!
“He Didn’t Have to Be” by Brad Paisley
“He Didn’t Have to Be” by Brad Paisley is the perfect song to play for a stepdad on Father’s Day. It’s a sentimental country tune expressing the love and appreciation one feels for their stepdad taking on a role he didn’t have to, but genuinely wanted to. Your bonus dad will appreciate the thought behind this selection.
“My Girl” by The Temptations
The Temptations’ classic hit “My Girl” is a wonderful addition to any Father’s Day playlist. Dads with daughters can dance and sing along to the soulful song with their own little ray of sunshine!
“Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin
Harry Chapin’s 1974 song “Cat’s in the Cradle” delivers an important reminder to fathers and sons: Make time for one another before it’s too late. The catchy tune is about a father and son who go on in life just missing each other, whether due to careers, learning how to drive or long-distance moves. It’s one of those dad songs that reminds both of you to spend quality time together and bond.
“Father, Son” by Peter Gabriel
Fair warning: This song may make you and Dad shed a tear. “Father, Son” by Peter Gabriel is a gorgeous tune about the complex relationship between a father and son. It’s a must-listen for any father-and-son pair.
“My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw
Country megastar Tim McGraw grasps the beauty in a father-daughter relationship in 2006’s “My Little Girl.” It’s both tender and uplifting as McGraw sings about the pride a dad feels watching his daughter grow—but also recognizing that she’ll be his little girl no matter what. Don’t be surprised if Dad puts this one on repeat.
Now that you have your playlist of Father’s Day songs lined up, read these lovely and inspiring dad stories, submitted by Reader’s Digest readers.