40 Songs That Beautifully Capture Parenthood

These mom and dad musicians have written lovely songs for their children.

Countless musicians have paid tribute to their parents with sweet, sentimental songs. Many have also used music to honor their own children and share their experiences as moms and dads themselves.

As it’s the season of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day celebrations, we decided to put together a list of heartwarming songs by famous musicians who are moms and dads.

Without further ado, here are 40 songs that put music and lyrics to the often indescribable journey of parenthood.

“Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder wrote the hit song to celebrate the birth of his daughter Aisha. The track even features a recording from bath time with baby Aisha.
"The Mother" by Brandi Carlile
"Welcome to the end of being alone inside your mind. You're tethered to another and you're worried all the time," Brandi Carlile sings in this lovely song about motherhood dedicated to her daughter Evangeline.
“Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” by John Lennon
John Lennon wrote this song in honor of his second son Sean. Many artists, including Ben Harper and Celine Dion, have recorded cover versions of the 1980 hit.
"I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack
Tia Sillers and Mark Sanders wrote this early-2000s chart-topper recorded by Lee Ann Womack. The singer danced around with her two young daughters in the music video and told Billboard the song "made me think about my daughters and the different times in their lives. As a parent, you just hope those are the kinds of things you will make your children think of."
"Blue" by Beyoncé (featuring Blue Ivy)
"Each day I feel so blessed to be looking at you 'cause when you open your eyes, I feel alive," Beyoncé sings in this ballad, which features the sound of her toddler daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, babbling at the end.
"You're Gonna Miss This" by Trace Adkins
Songwriter Ashley Gorley composed this 2008 hit after an interaction with a repairman who was working on his house while his young children were home causing chaos. Country star Trace Adkins felt the song resonated with him as a father of five daughters.
"Lullaby" by The Dixie Chicks
This sweet lullaby asks, "How long do you wanna be loved? Is forever enough?" The Dixie Chicks' discography also includes the parenting-themed song, "Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)."
"Daughter" by Loudon Wainwright
Loudon Wainwright has written multiple songs about parenthood -- including "Rufus Is A Tit Man" and "Five Years Old" -- but "Daughter" is actually a cover of a tune by Peter Blegvad. The song famously plays during the end credits of the movie "Knocked Up."
"Speechless" by Alicia Keys (featuring Eve)
In 2010, Alicia Keys gave birth to her first child, a son named Egypt. Becoming a parent inspired the singer to write "Speechless," a tribute to her baby that features lyrics like "When I wake up in the morning babe / Can't believe my eyes / Sweetest little part of destiny."
“Cecilia And The Satellite” by Andrew McMahon
The lead single on Andrew McMahon's debut solo album, "Cecilia and The Satellite" is a tribute to his daughter. The music video for the song features clips of McMahon with his baby.
"Sweetest Devotion" by Adele
"The song is all about my kid," Adele told USA Today in an interview last year. "The way I've described it is that something much bigger has happened in my life. I love that my life is now about someone else."
"Glory" by Jay-Z (featuring Blue Ivy)
Two days after Jay-Z and Beyoncé welcomed their daughter Blue Ivy, the rapper released "Glory," which explores the emotional experience of becoming a dad. The song features a sample of Blue Ivy crying.
"The One Thing" by Shakira
"You are the one thing I got right," Shakira sings of her first son Milan in this upbeat song about motherhood.
“Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)” by Billy Joel
The Piano Man composed this sweet lullaby in honor of Alexa Ray Joel, his daughter with Christie Brinkley.
"To Zion" by Lauryn Hill
The fourth track on her acclaimed debut album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," the song "To Zion" reflects on Hill's decision to have her son Zion, even after many in the music industry urged her to have an abortion.
“Gracie” by Ben Folds
Ben Folds wrote "Gracie" for his daughter, who was born in 1999. His son Louis was the inspiration behind his song, "Still Fighting It."
"The Sweetest Gift" by Sade
Sade has introduced "The Sweetest Gift" at concerts by noting, "This next song was written for my little girl. It's a song about all children and the light that they carry with them into this world."
"Father and Daughter" by Paul Simon
Written for "The Wild Thornberrys Movie," this Paul Simon song is an ode to his daughter Lulu. The lyrics share his wishes for his daughter as she grows up.
"You Are My Baby" by Kimya Dawson
Kimya Dawson wrote this sweet song for her daughter, Panda. In it, she sings, "I hope you will be gentle, kind, compassionate and free. No matter what, I'll always love you unconditionally."
“It Won’t Be Like This For Long” by Darius Rucker
Former Hootie & the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker co-wrote this 2008 single that examines the experience of parents watching their children grow up. The music video features sweet images of Rucker with his kids.
"Mouth's Cradle" by Bjork
In the documentary on the making of her album, "Medúlla," Bjork notes that the song "Mouth's Cradle" is in part about breastfeeding and motherhood.
"Kooks" by David Bowie
David Bowie wrote Kooks in honor of his son Duncan Jones' birth in 1971. The title is reportedly a nod to his “kooky” middle name “Zowie.”
"Song For The Baby" by Kelis
"See I never sugar coat any life lessons for you, 'cause I wanna make you equipped for the best. And I can't always be here to rescue you when life gets crazy," Kelis sings in this song about motherhood. Her track, "Acapella," is also an homage to her son.
"Only One" by Kanye West (featuring Paul McCartney)
In "Only One," Kanye West pays tribute to his daughter North and sings from the perspective of his late mother, Donda.
"Lullaby for Wyatt" by Sheryl Crow
Sheryl Crow released "Lullaby for Wyatt" in 2008, the year after she adopted her first son. In the chorus, she sings, "How do I keep you from losing your way? Hope you'll go out and you'll come back some day."
"Lovin' You" by Minnie Riperton
Though the lyrics don't seem overtly parental, Minnie Riperton reportedly wrote the melody for "Lovin' You" to lull her infant daughter Maya Rudolph to sleep so that she could spend time with her husband Richard Rudolph. In some versions of the song, you can hear her sing "Maya" toward the end.
"Here For You" by Neil Young
Neil Young's "Here For You" is a sweet song about being present for your children while also giving them space to grow. Young sings, "In the spring, protective arms surround you. In the fall, we let you go your way. Happiness, I know will always find you. And when it does, I hope that it will stay."
"Lions and Tigers" by Sleater Kinney
This song explores the many things parents teach their children and their wishes for them as they grow up. The chorus includes the lyrics, "I'd like to show you a million things / I'd like to make the world for you a better place."
"Sail to the Moon" by Radiohead
Thom Yorke reportedly wrote this dreamy ballad for his baby son, Noah.
"Gabriel and Me" by Joan Baez
Joan Baez wrote "Gabriel and Me" for her young son, who now sometimes tours with her as a drummer.
"Little Star" by Madonna
Madonna's "Little Star" is a tribute to her daughter Lourdes, who was born in 1996.
"Too Hard" by Kurt Vile
Kurt Vile's "Too Hard" explores the idea of dialing back the party lifestyle after becoming a father and the love parents have for their families.
"In My Daughter's Eyes" by Martina McBride
Martina McBride's lovely ballad explores the way mothers and daughters see each other and the world around them. Lyrics include, "And when she wraps her hand around my finger, how it puts a smile in my heart. Everything becomes a little clearer. I realize what life is all about."
"Dear Theodosia" by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr.
This sentimental song from the musical "Hamilton" expresses the emotions of becoming a new parent as the characters Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton welcome their children into the world. Regina Spektor and Ben Folds covered the song for "The Hamilton Mixtape."
"What I Never Knew I Always Wanted" by Carrie Underwood
This Carrie Underwood ballad honors the singer's husband Mike and son Isaiah. In the song, she sings, "Never pictured myself singing lullabies, sitting in a rocking chair in the middle of the night. In the quiet, in the dark, you're stealing every bit of my heart with your daddy's eyes."
"I Can't Wait to Meet You" by David Ryan Harris
After David Ryan Harris and his wife struggled to conceive for a very long time, they finally welcomed their son, Truman. The musician wrote, "I Can't Wait to Meet You" after learning they were expecting.
"This Angel" by Jennifer Nettles
"This Angel" is from Jennifer Nettles' debut solo album and describes the transformative experience of becoming a parent. The Sugarland singer gave birth to her son Magnus in 2012.
"I Love You So Much" by DJ Khaled (featuring Chance the Rapper)
"I Love You So Much" is DJ Khaled's homage to his son, Asahd. The lyrics, like the title, are very straightforward: "There's nothing that you can't do. You the greatest that ever did it. You're born blessed. You're my son, I love you, you're my son."
"You Belong" by Rachel Platten
"I'll wipe off your tears, but I'll let them fall first. And I will be brave when you fall and get hurt. You can be you, you don't have to be strong," Rachel Platten sings in "You Belong," which she wrote when she was pregnant with her daughter Violet.
"My Baby" by Britney Spears
This track from Britney Spears' album, "Circus," is dedicated to her two sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James.
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