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10 Sweet Father Daughter Songs For the Perfect Father’s Day Playlist

Featuring Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Tim McGraw and more!


While some folks act like Father’s Day is all about grilling, golfing and giving your dad a tie (not that there’s anything wrong with that, if he’s into that kind of thing!) the true meaning of the holiday is all about the bonds dads form with their kids. If you’re planning a Father’s Day celebration, the best part will inevitably be not the food or the gifts but the simple and meaningful experience of celebrating dad.

If you’re going to have a gathering for the day, you’ll need a good playlist, and what’s better than putting together a collection of sweet themed songs to really get in the spirit of things? Here are 10 of our favorite father daughter songs that will make this Father’s Day one to remember.

1. “Isn’t She Lovely” — Stevie Wonder (1976) Classic father daughter songs

There’s nothing like a Stevie Wonder song to lift the spirit, and “Isn’t She Lovely” is undoubtedly one of his sweetest creations. He wrote the gloriously upbeat song following the birth of his first child, Aisha, and the tune opens with a baby’s cry and ends with her sweet little toddler sounds mixing perfectly with his epic harmonica solo.

Reflecting on the song, Wonder said, “I remember writing ‘Isn’t She Lovely?’ — I can almost cry right now thinking about it. The sound of my daughter Aisha splashing in the bathtub created a picture. That was emotion stuck in a moment, and that can never, ever be taken away.” As an adult, Aisha has also often joined her dad onstage.

2. “You’ll Be in My Heart” — Phil Collins (1989)

It’s easy to see why this Phil Collins ballad, which appeared in Disney’s Tarzan, won the Oscar for Best Original Song. It’s a stirring evocation of a parent’s love, and was originally written for his daughter, Lily. Lily is now all grownup and is a celebrity in her own right, as she stars in Emily in Paris. Her famous dad definitely raised her right with this song!

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3. “Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)” — Billy Joel (1993)

Billy Joel wrote “Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)” for Alexa, his daughter with model Christie Brinkley. His signature piano pairs perfectly with the tender lyrics, and Alexa, who’s now a musician herself, has said it’s her favorite of her dad’s songs. Awww!

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4. “Father and Daughter” — Paul Simon (2002)

What is it about animated movies and gorgeous father daughter songs? Paul Simon made his contribution to the canon in 2002, with “Father and Daughter,” which was written for The Wild Thornberrys Movie and inspired by Lulu, his daughter with fellow musician Edie Brickell.

The song is a true family affair, as it even features backing vocals from his 10-year-old son, Adrian. Unsurprisingly, Adrian and Lulu have both grown up to be musicians.

5. “Daughters” — John Mayer (2003)

“Daughters” is one of the rare father daughter songs that isn’t written from a dad’s perspective. Rather, John Mayer‘s hit song is more generally about the fact that fathers need to raise their daughters right, and treat them with love and respect. We can’t argue with that!

6. “My Little Girl” — Tim McGraw (2006) Country father daughter songs

Tim McGraw put a country spin on the father daughter song with “My Little Girl,” which topped the Billboard country music charts. He cowrote the song for Flicka, a family movie he also starred in.

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McGraw and his wife, fellow country star Faith Hill, have three daughters, and in a recent TikTok video, McGraw spoke of his personal connection to the song and proudly called himself a “girl dad,” saying even though his daughters are now grown he still thinks of the song every time they come home.

7. “I Loved Her First” — Heartland (2006)

“I Loved Her First,” which is written from the perspective of a dad talking to the man who’s about to marry his daughter, is a staple of father-daughter wedding dances. It became Heartland‘s biggest hit, and a video of a dad performing the song in sign language at his daughter’s wedding went viral in 2012.

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8. “I’ll Be Your Man (Song for a Daughter)” — Zac Brown Band (2015)

“I’ll Be Your Man (Song for a Daughter)” is another country song about a dad watching his daughter grow up and considering the man she’ll marry.

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Zac Brown has four daughters, and in an interview, he said, “‘I’ll Be Your Man’ is heavy for me because the minute I knew I was gonna have a daughter I’ve been preparing myself to have to let her go, and that’s heavy, and now when I listen to that song, if I really listen to it it’ll get me… again.”

9. “Right By You (For Luna)” — John Legend (2016)

John Legend and his wife, model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen, are a true power couple, and he wrote this smooth, funky song for their daughter, Luna.

Legend actually wrote the song before Luna was born, and said, “When I played it for her and Chrissy for the first time, I just started crying because it felt so real to me and felt so appropriate for how I feel as a new father.”

10. “Letting You Go” — Jason Isbell (2020)

Jason Isbell wrote this twangy ballad for Mercy Rose, his daughter with musician Amanda Shires. In an interview, Isbell admitted that capturing the big emotions of fatherhood without getting saccharine was a challenge.

He ultimately decided that he had to “go simple, and just tell the story and do it in a way that was reminiscent of a traditional country song like Billy Joe Shaver, Willie Nelson or Waylon Jennings would sing.” He certainly captured that classic sound!

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