There’s no shortage of songs about dads. Fathers are always a popular theme in music—Clapton (“My Father’s Eyes”), Springsteen (“My Father’s House”), the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens (“Father and Son”) and Madonna (“Papa Don’t Preach”) have all penned popular tunes inspired by their dads. So with Father’s Day approaching this weekend, we present a list of 10 songs written by fathers, about fathers and/or for fathers.
What are you favorite songs about fathers? Leave them in the comment section below.
1. The Avett Brothers – “A Father’s First Spring”
“The realest thing I ever felt/ Was the blood on the floor and the love in your yell.” Scott Avett has been quoted as saying this song “wrote itself very quickly.” The song is about a young father’s perspective and how he is affected by the birth of his daughter.
2. Ben Folds – “Gracie”
“And there will always be a part of me/ Nobody else is ever gonna see but you and me/My little girl/ My Gracie girl.” Folds’ song “Gracie” appears on his 2005 album Songs for Silverman and was written about his daughter of the same name. Folds also wrote the song “Still Fighting It” for his son, Louis.
3. Colin Hay – “Dear Father”
“Dear Father” appears on Gathering Mercury, an album inspired and written after the death of Hay’s father. The song is an expressive letter to his dad, with the most poignant lyrics being, “Dear father I never got to say goodbye/I was singing on the River Clyde and I didn’t know.” The night his father died, Hay was performing a show on the River Clyde in Glasgow just streets away from where his father was born.
4. Drive-By-Truckers – “Outfit”
This blue-collar anthem was written by Jason Isbell as a gift for his dad. It is comprised of the humble advice his father, Mike, gave Isbell growing up and serves as a kind of instruction manual for life.
5. Martin Sexton – “Friends Again”
Unfortunately, not all father/child relationships are amiable. “Friends Again” was inspired by a rift Sexton had with one of his sons that has now been mended: “There’s a wall gone up between us, ten feet tall and ten feet wide/We can hear each other screaming, but can’t see the other side.” However, the song offers a glimmer of hope at the end: “But when the tidal wave of life rolls in I can only offer help/ I don’t know, some kind of compromise, maybe we could meet halfway/ I know we can be friends again.”