It’s a very unique relationship – that of father and child and in their parental pride many dad’s want to shout about it from the rooftops. But what about those dads who are more inclined to sing about it from the rooftops? Or in a studio with a production team? Here I list some of the best and most successful songs written or performed by dads with their children in mind.
1. Father and Daughter by Paul Simon
I’m gonna watch you shineFather and Daughter by Paul Simon
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Love his daughter more than I love you
This song was written specifically for children’s film ‘The Wild Thornberry’s Movie’ (classic) and is a love ballad written for Simon’s daughter, Lulu.
2. Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder
Isn’t she lovelyIsn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder
Isn’t she wonderful
Isn’t she precious
Less than one minute old
I never thought through love we’d be
Making one as lovely as she
But isn’t she lovely made from love
This song was written to celebrate the birth of Wonder’s daughter, Aisha. The full version of the song starts with a baby crying who was not Aisha but finishes with a sweet audio interaction between Wonder and Aisha as he gets her out of the bath.
3. Right By You (For Luna) by John Legend
Will you think like me? Will you have your mother’s fire?Right By You (For Luna) by John Legend
Maybe the way we are will not be how you’re wired
Will we do right by you? Will we you have what you require
To make your days on this Earth not so dire?
Written after the birth of his first child, Luna, in 2016 Legend said ‘”When I played it for her and Chrissy for the first time, I just started crying because it felt so real to me and felt so appropriate for how I feel as a new father.”
4. Gracie by Ben Folds
And there will always be a part of meGracie by Ben Folds
Nobody else is ever gonna see but you and me
My little girl
My Gracie girl
Gracie was written after Fold’s realised that she wouldn’t be too pleased if she grew up and realised that he’s already penned a song for her twin brother, Louie, and not her! He said of the song “I write songs for a very small audience. In that case it was for one. A lot of times it’s for no one; it’s for me. Everyone has similar experiences, so I don’t really write to the universal. ‘Gracie’ is a good example of that. It’s just for Gracie. The first line is, ‘I saw you when you came out.’ That’s a pretty graphic line for a kid, but I knew she’d think that is funny.”
5. Blip on a Screen by The Streets
I fix and I planBlip on a Screen by The Streets
But this is just mad
I love you
You’re only a 100 pixels on a scan
Inspired by Mike Skinner’s impending parenthood ‘Blip on a Screen’ is about a baby scan. He is quoted as saying “I’m interested in the point at which technology becomes part of an emotional experience – at the heart of a story, not just the way that story If them is told. That’s what a lot of this album is about and the experience this song describes is probably the purest example of it.”
6. Closing Time by Semisonic
I know who I want to take me home.Closing Time by Semisonic
Take me home
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end
This song was written with the literal meaning of ‘closing time’ at the bar but took on a new meaning when Dan Wilson’s daughter Coco was born prematurely. He bought recording sessions forward whilst Coco was in hospital and the lyrics ‘I know who I want to take me home’ took on a new meaning as he waited for his 11 ounce baby to be strong enough to come home.
7. Forever Young by Bob Dylan
May your heart always be joyfulForever Young by Bob Dylan
May your song always be sung
And may you stay
May you stay forever young
Forever Young was written by Dylan as a lullaby for his eldest son Jesse who was born in 1966.
8. Love Is At Your Side by Basement Jaxx
You’re always been a purposeLove Is At Your Side by Basement Jaxx
Your happiness is my place
Whatever heart burned you
Just remember this
Life is an enigma
Our ships rocks side to side
Hold on tight my darlin
Love is at your side
Simon Ratcliffe of Basement Jaxx fame wrote this song after the birth of his daughter.
9. Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton
Would you know my nameTears in Heaven by Eric Clapton
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong and carry on
‘Cause I know I don’t belong here in heaven
This heartbreaking song was written in response to the tragic death of Clapton’s son, Conor. Conor was 4 years old when he died falling 50 stories out of a New York apartment block.
10. Sail To The Moon by Radiohead
Maybe you’llSail To The Moon by Radiohead
But know right from wrong
Or in the flood
You’ll build an Ark
This song was written as an ode to Thom Yorke’s son, Noah, who was born in 2001.
Now over to you – have your children ever made you feel lyrically inspired? Or if not which is your favourite artists tribute to their offspring? And what have I missed?