There are few things more precious than relationships between parents and their children.
The intimacy of seeing someone grow up and being a part of that process – getting to see them become who they are, warts and all is one of life’s priceless experiences.
Today’s list is focused on the songs that singers wrote for their sons.
1. You Will Always Be My Son- Anthem Lights
A direct song from parents to a son.
This song is sung from the perspective of a mother and a father singing to their child about their wishes for them in life.
It’s a sweet and naked piano ballad that will get any parent-to-be either thinking or crying.
The lyrics switch between mother and father throughout the verses and chorus which makes it something either parent can relate to, which I think was a really clever thing the writers do.
2. Just The Two of Us – Will Smith
Will Smith wrote this back before he became an actor, and before he was even a father too. In fact, in the music video, you can see his wife pregnant at the time.
The song is centered around a father-son relationship and spending time together and is heavily sampled and inspired by Bill Withers’ and Grover Washington, Jr.’s love song of the same name.
This is a perfect tune for a dad and son hanging out and having an intimate father-son day together.
I will say that Smith’s rap rhythm leaves something to be desired, but the words are heartfelt.
3. Child Of Mine – Carole King
Carole King managed to write something between a ballad and a lullaby here, with a light piano melody and her gentle voice over the track.
The song is a typical love song from mother to child- or son in this case- and in it, King sings about her joy of having her child and how she wishes to protect him from people who want to destroy his dreams.
It’s a gentle a beautiful song and would make for a perfect song to play on a family day spent at home.
4. I Got You – Ciara
A lovely and gentle song from a mother to a son, Ciara’s love for her child comes across crystal clear in this song.
It melted my heart if I’m being honest and I suppose that’s why it’s on this list.
I Got You starts out on the mockingbird melody with changed-around lyrics, and then switches over to Ciara’s characteristic sound, with the melody kept as simple and gentle as her voice.
This song makes for a great listen if you’re a new mom and want to just spend the afternoon lying with your newborn on your chest listening to music.
5. Little Lion Man – Mumford and Sons
While Mumford wouldn’t elaborate too much on what this song is specifically about, because it was related to a personal experience of his own, it’s not hard to elaborate the meaning from the lyrics.
This song takes a different angle toward father-son relationships, which is one centered around regret.
It’s not a wholly positive song, but there are strained relationships in this world and this song exists for those ones.
It’s difficult to love a child from a distance and to know you’ve failed them in many ways, but it doesn’t make you less of a father to them.
6. Kooks – David Bowie
David Bowie actually wrote this song for his newborn son with a bit of a pastiche of the early Neil Young sound to it.
It comes off his album Hunky Dory, which I gather is widely centered around the time in his life when he became a family man.
The song is full of Bowie’s oddness and I find it delightful, and great as a dance-to song for the family.
Bowie admits in this song that they’re weird, hence the title “Kooks” and he even warns his son that he’ll probably get picked on for being different, but that he won’t be alone if he’ll live with his mother and father.
7. Father, Son – Peter Gabriel
This song is switched around with the perspective of a son to his father.
Peter Gabriel explained the meaning of this song in concert once and elaborated on what it has to do with the difficult relationship he had with his father growing up and how they’d never been close.
Down the line though, his dad got a disability and he took time off to help his father in therapy.
He stated that it was one of the most special times in his life because they grew close during that time, and this song came from that.
Try not to cry while listening to it.
8. He Gets That From Me – Reba McEntire
This song manages to be a love song for a widow and mother singing to her son.
In it, Reba sings enduringly in her typical country twang about her love for her son.
It’s a bit of a saccharine-sweet sound, but the chorus hits you right in the heart.
I personally love how the song transitions cleverly between verses 1 and 2, from singing about what he gets from his mother to what he gets from his father.
9. Sail to the Moon – Radiohead
This one is a perfect song for if you have teenagers who like to be emo and listen to sad songs.
This song is a short lullaby-like song that was written in about 5 minutes for Yorke’s infant son Noah. The song also plays on the Noah’s Ark story due to the namesake.
Sail to the moon is a song about warning the coming generation to stay humble despite their accomplishments.
Not to get too proud while changing the world.
10. You Had to Be There – Tim McGraw
You Had To Be There is another song with a sadder perspective for sons.
This one is about an absent father who got a young girl pregnant and wound up in prison, with an extended sentence.
The song covers the conversation between father and son as the father tries to congratulate his boy on his accomplishments while the son berates him for never being there.
Sometimes a father can’t be there for their children due to his own mistakes, and it’s a tragic scene, but this song covers this difficult topic in a raw and authentic way that few people do.
11. A Song For My Son – Mikki Vierick
A very 90s ballad-style song.
Vierick wrote this song centered around a son who is about to get married and become a husband and I find it pretty apt for that kind of occasion for any listener.
It’s not much of a song to listen to all the time, but it’s a beautiful ballad regardless.
12. When You Need Me – Bruce Springsteen
This song was something of a promise from Springsteen to his own child that he’d always be around.
This song was originally recorded in 1987 but wasn’t released until 1994 by Springsteen because it didn’t make the cut on earlier albums.
Its arrangement takes inspiration from Irish folk music and is quite popular as a mother/son dance song at weddings.
13. Thank You Mom – Good Charlotte
This song was written to honor Benji and Joel Madden’s mother, who raised them by herself after their father left them.
Fun fact, this song is also hidden on the Good Charlotte album, hidden 1 minute and 5 seconds after the song “Change.”
This song is obviously from the perspective of a son to his mom and it’s a beautiful homage to the hard-working single mom who gets it right.
It’s more of a rock track than the other songs on this list, but honestly, if you play guitar, you’ve listened to rock at some point and we needed one rock song on the list.
14. You Remind Me Of You – Jack Johnson
Winding down for a relaxed evening or trying to get your kids to sleep?
This song is for just such occasions.
You Remind me Of You is such a beautiful song from a father to his child.
Originally it was to his daughter, but the lyrics are flexible enough to apply both ways.
Jack Johnson has a tendency to just make songs that will have you at peace in your heart.
This song makes for a beautiful nighttime lullaby for your child. The song is all about how kids grow and form their own personalities and idiosyncrasies, but manage to derive traits from their parents.
15. Circus Left Town – Eric Clapton
This song is from a father to a son, but with the sadness that the son is gone.
No parent should have to bury their own child, but Clapton had to do just that and it took him a while before he could even perform music around that experience.
This song is for parents who’ve lost their children.
10 More Songs About Sons
|Then They Do||Trace Adkins|
|Here for You||Neil Young|
|Lullaby for Wyatt||Sheryl Crow|
|Dear Father (Rebuked)||Neil Diamond|
|The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face||Roberta Flack|
|A Song For Mama||Boyz II Men|
|A New Day Has Come||Celine Dion|
|Father Son Blues||Booker T.Jones|
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