It’s practically a right of passage for recording artists to celebrate the birth of their children in song, but the favor isn’t always returned. For Mother’s Day, Consumer Media Network catalogued 15 songs that celebrated moms, but sadly, when it comes to saluting dads, our search for songs about fathers was decidedly less flattering. From “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” to “Daddy, Please Don’t Drink This Christmas,” songs about wayward, absent, or deceased fathers outnumbered cheery tunes, but all those Daddy issues made for some powerful songwriting.
Recording artists have tender words for their fathers, but unfortunately, most musical tributes to fathers aren’t written until it’s too late. These tear-jerkers lament all the things that are left unsaid between fathers and children. Weep away, if you can get over the 80′s and 90′s video corniness.
Mike and the Mechanics:The Living Years
Eric Clapton: My Father’s Eyes
Reba McEntire: Greatest Man I Never Knew
Luther Vandross: Dance with My Father Again
Fathers and Sons
Harry Chapin: Cats in the Cradle- This poignant song about the cycle of emotional neglect and regret inspired decades of dads to do better.
The Temptations: Pappa Was a Rolling Stone – Sometimes, we learn the truth about our parents.The truth is not always pretty, but give it a funky bass line and some sweet coordinated moves, and you’ve got a hit!
Hank Williams Junior: Family Tradition- Hank Williams Jr. admits he may be the family black sheep, and though his style of music differs from his legendary father’s sound, they have a few things in common. If this song were an 80′s anti-drug commercial, it would say, “I learned it from watching you, Dad!”
Dads and Daughters
Madonna: Pappa Don’t Preach- If your dad was Danny Aeillo, you’d be intimidated to tell him that you got knocked up, but plucky gals like Madge make up their minds about what they want, even if their papas preach.
Barbara Streisand:Pappa Can you Hear Me?- Possibly one of Barbara’s most frequently mocked songs, it’s actually quite touching tribute to her character’s father who has passed away. So, your daughter Yentl cut her hair and dresses like a dude so she can study sacred Jewish texts. Just because you’re dead, it doesn’t mean she won’t keep asking for your advice beyond the grave.
John Mayer: Daughters- Leave it to John Mayer to find the emotionally damaged girl with “Daddy Issues.” The noted lothario makes a plea for fathers to be good to their daughters. If fathers don’t leave daughters damaged, guys like John Mayer will.
Dedicated to My Son/Daughter
These are the sweet songs that say everything about having a child that so many people struggle to say in person.
Crosby, Stills & Nash:Teach Your Children Well
John Lennon: Beautiful Boy
Stevie Wonder:Isn’t She Lovely?
Will Smith: Just the Two of Us
Cat Stephens: Father and Son