You might think that there have been a lot of songs written about daughters. But, there aren’t that many exceptional songs to choose from. I was actually surprised at hard the best songs about daughters were to find.
You can do what some do and misinterpret the lyrics. “All My Loving” by The Beatles is about Jane Asher, not a daughter that he never had at the time. “God Only Knows” is Brian Wilson’s tribute to his wife, not a daughter.
Likewise, “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen is John Deacon’s message to his new wife. Not to a daughter.
Putting all that to one side, there are some great songs about daughters that we can take a look at. And they cover a range of parent-daughter relationships, in different periods from birth to the day they get married.
Let’s take a look at what some of the best songwriters have said in songs about their daughters, starting with…
Top 12 Best Songs About Daughters
Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) by Billy Joel
Billy Joel is one of the most talented songwriters of his generation. He has been able to turn his hand to most styles of music over the years. Therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised that he wrote a song for his daughter.
This song was written for Alexa Ray, the child he had with Christie Brinkley. It was the fourth single taken from his album, The River of Dreams, from 1993.
This is a song with a classic Billy Joel-type melody and meaningful words. It talks about daughters growing up and the love of a parent. How what you want is that they have a fulfilling and rewarding life.
An interesting addition…
There is a children’s book that you can get with some issues of the song. If your daughter is still on the younger side, they will appreciate it. A lovely song with a nice sentiment.
You Are My Sunshine by Johnny Cash
This song goes back a little way to 1939, to be exact. It was written by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell. Jimmie Davis recorded it first, but since then, it has been covered by a lot of people. I have included the recording by Johnny Cash, which in my opinion, is one of the better versions.
The song is an affectionate story of the love a father has for his daughter. As he says, she brings “sunshine into my life.” It is a simple lyric but full of emotion and meaning. The song was included on his album, Unearthed 3.
In some ways, all the different recordings have made this song a timeless classic. It’s often featured in TV shows and films.
Never Grow Up by Taylor Swift
This is a track that has been taken from her third album, Speak Now. It is an interesting insight into what appear to be her considerable abilities as a songwriter.
She wrote the song when she was still a teenager and without any children of her own. Nevertheless, she seems to be able to capture those little moments that are so important. Especially those moments in the early days.
“Little hands wrapped around your finger, eyelids that flutter when they dream.” I am sure a lot of us have had that experience. And during a stage show, she dedicated the song to the newborn baby of one of her friends. I think she got that about right.
Here for You by Neil Young
This is a song that was released in 2005 and included in his album, Prairie Wind. Most father-daughter songs are written for the child when they are young. Neil Young wrote this song for his daughter, Amber Jean when she was 21 years old. At that time, she was in her final year at college.
A Gentle Reminder
It is a touching gentle reminder that he has faith in her and will always be there for her if she needs him. He says to her that he will never do anything to hold her back.
Watching a child grow into an adult is one of the hardest things parents have to do. But, even though she will soon lead her own life and he will miss her, his love for her is unconditional.
A Later Period Song That Sounds Like An Early Period Song
That may be the best way of describing this song. Plenty of high-in-the-mix drums and harmonica with a straightforward strumming guitar. It could be 1965 all over again. The overall sound is a throwback to earlier times. But, it seems to suit the song perfectly.
In My Daughter’s Eyes by Martina McBride
A gentle piano-based song with some nice simple orchestrations, it was released as a single in 2003. It has an interesting slant on songs about mothers and daughters. Through her child, the mother rediscovers the special things in the world around them.
It gives the message that while she must pass on the lessons of life to her daughter, the child can offer her some understanding as well. A nice addition is a book that goes with the song with the same title.
You Can’t Lose Me Me by Faith Hill
Faith Hill is one of those singers who can cross over genres with ease. She is known as a Country Music singer but has produced some good Rock songs as well. A little like Shania Twain has done. This track was released in 1995 and taken from her album, It Matters to Me.
A bit of a tearjerker…
It talks about the daughter not excelling too much at school and suffering a bit because of it. But mum was there to catch her, reassure her, and wipe away the tears. And tells her she will always be there for her. But now, the daughter has grown up and is about to get married. Yet, before she walks down the aisle, she speaks to her mother, wipes away her tears, and tells her she will always be there for her.
The relationship between them has changed as the relationship between parents and daughters always does. A very clever, well-written song composed by Thom McHugh and Trey Bruce.
Mama’s Song by Carrie Underwood
An almost identical situation to Faith Hill’s song. Carrie Underwood is also a Country singer. She co-wrote “Mama’s Song” along with Kara DioGuardi, Marti Frederiksen, and Luke Laird. It was released in 2010 as a single from her album, Play On.
The song carries a similar sentiment in that it is about a daughter reassuring her mother and thanking her at her wedding.
My Little Girl by Tim McGraw
Staying with the Country music theme, we have this song from Tim McGraw. For some, it will bring back memories of the 2006 film “Flicka.”
It follows a similar pattern to many of the best songs about daughters we have looked at. A father tells his daughter how much he cares. He tells her he wants her to be successful in what she does. But, to him, she will always be his little girl. This is another song that comes with a book to read the story.
Father And Daughter by Paul Simon
If anyone is going to be able to write a gentle song about a father’s relationship with his daughter, it is going to be Paul Simon. He wrote this song for the film “The Wild Thornberrys Movie.”
Simon made a few versions of this song. The first came out as a single in 2002, another in 2006 as a track on his album, Surprise. The single from the album was reissued and reached #40 in the UK.
A Family Affair
The song has big familial connections. It was written about Lulu, Simon’s daughter, when she was seven. His son, Adrian, then aged ten, sang some harmony in the choruses on the recording.
The song is about that special relationship that exists between father and daughter. The verses take you through their experiences from the day she was born and all the dreams he had. He talks about how time has passed so quickly. He tells of the pride he has for her as she is growing up. And talks about the feelings when she finally leaves home to go her own way and how proud he is of her.
Typically Paul Simon…
This is a typical song from one of the greatest songwriters of the last 60 years. He can produce just enough sentimentality to make it meaningful but without overdoing it.
Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder
This is a song that everyone will know and is one of the best examples of a song for a newborn daughter. It is a track taken from his 1976 album, Songs in the Key of Life.
The song was written after the birth of his first daughter, Aisha, and he doesn’t try to hide his feelings about her entry into the world. It is a classic song that all parents will be able to relate to. An interesting addition to the track is the sounds of him playing with her that are used as an outro.
My Girl by The Temptations
This is a song where there seems to be some confusion about who the song is written about. However, as there seems to be some evidence for both sides of the argument, I have included it anyway as being a father-to-daughter song.
A well-known classic…
This song goes back quite a long way, 1964 to be precise. The song was written by two members of The Miracles, Smokey Robinson and Ronald White. Furthermore, it was The Miracles who, at one time, were going to record it first. But, it was included on a Temptations album, The Temptations Sing Smokey.
Originally, Robinson claimed that the song was written about his wife, Claudette. However, he later claimed it was for all women everywhere.
The reason I have included it here is because of a music video. Temptations singer, Eddie Kendricks, features his daughter in the music video. He is seen dancing with her while singing the song to her.
Interestingly, the original Temptations track was not sung by Eddie Kendricks. It was the first song that featured David Ruffin as lead singer. Confused? So am I.
Nevertheless, a great song that is still popular today. And the music video of Kendricks singing to his daughter is enough for me.
She’s Leaving Home by The Beatles
To end this look at the best songs about daughters, let’s change our approach somewhat. There are times when in the eyes of the parents, it just all goes wrong.
This is a story of just that…
It is a story of a girl so unhappy at home that she takes the first opportunity to leave. The song is well-constructed with answer-back lyrics from the parents. They don’t understand what has gone wrong. Only trying to justify to themselves that the sort of parents they were was best for her.
It was taken from the 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. And there are several interesting things about the song. First, it wasn’t a solely McCartney composition, as has been inferred. He wrote the verses, but the chorus was written by John.
George and Ringo didn’t contribute anything to the song, either writing or recording. Furthermore, it was one of only a few songs where none of The Beatles played anything at all.
More Beatles Drama
Finally, McCartney brought in Mike Leander to arrange the string section instead of Sir George Martin. Sir George was tied up with another project, and McCartney decided not to wait for him. That upset Sir George, and the relationship between them deteriorated because of it.
Nevertheless, besides the internal dramas, it proved to be a classic recording and a stand-out track from a stand-out album.
Looking for More Great Songs?
We have you covered. Take a look at our detailed articles on the Best Songs About Brothers, the Best Songs About Friendship, the Best Songs About Having A Baby, the Best Songs About Magic, the Best Songs About Heroes, and the Best Songs About Romeo and Juliet for more great song selections.
Of course, you need to hear those songs. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best True Wireless Earbuds, the Best Bass Earbuds, the Most Comfortable Earbuds, the Best Noise Isolating Earbuds, as well as the Best Wired Earbuds you can buy in 2023.
Best Songs About Daughters – Final Thoughts
The relationship between parents and their daughters and with their sons is very different. There is an expression, “When you have a son, you worry; when you have a daughter, you just pray.”
The desire to help and protect is far greater for the daughter. That can seem reasonable on the face of it, but it can also backfire. If that protection is too restrictive, we can sometimes see the results in the last song.
Our relationships with our daughters are good. As you would expect, they are expressed with some eloquence by some of the great songwriters. The songs on this list covered a range of ways our relationships develop with our daughters. They talk about how we should not be too possessive and to give plenty of love and reassurance.
But, they also remind us that whilst we are trying to teach life’s lessons, we can also learn a lot from them.
Until next time, happy listening.