One of the greatest powers of music is the ability of song lyrics to connect us. These connections can strike common chords with individuals around the world and around the dinner table. The messages carried in songs carry messages that contain love and even more challenged relationships. Some songs bring us joy, some can offer the inspiration to redeem ourselves while others remind us of situation left unresolved.
Music is the soundtrack of our lives and is the music for the moments. Here, in recognition of Father’s Day, are a few songs that run the spectrum of the caring, commitment and at time conflicted relationships that come with fatherhood.
Here are five songs for Father’s Day for you to enjoy. Plus three bonus tunes for you Dad’s whose children love and enjoy music as much as you do.
John Mayer, "Daughters" (2003) — Mayer's Grammy-winning song of the year reminds fathers to "be good" to their daughters. It is some very solid advice to be good to all of your children. It really comes down to laying the groundwork for positive relationships with the people they will love as they grow.
Darius Rucker, “It Won’t Be Like This for Long” (2008) — Fatherhood flies by fast. As Darius Rucker sings about how fast kids grow up, the moments not to be missed are happening as we are listening.
Eric Clapton, "My Father's Eyes" (1998) — The song dives deep and takes a look from inside the eyes and shares the longing for a father-son relationship. Apparently, Clapton never knew his father, and of course tragically lost his own son, which was the subject matter for his song "Tears in Heaven."
Harry Chapin, "Cats in the Cradle" (1974) — Probably one of the most recognizable songs that speak to feelings of a child that always wanted but never felt the close father connection. This song, like many on the list, reminds us to take the time to stay connected, even in a busy world. Unresolved conflict only grows more complicated after a loved one dies, as is heart-wrenchingly detailed in this song about a sour father-son relationship.
Mike + the Mechanics, “The Living Years” (1988) — This song gets me every time. Many of us are fortunate to have a good or great relationship with our fathers, but for those who do not or are struggling to find the words to connect, re-listen to this song. It is hard to not want to pick up the phone or go see your father (if possible) after the final verse.
Bruce Springsteen, "My Father's House" (1982) — It is well reported that Springsteen had a rocky relationship with his father. However this song off of Springsteen’s "Nebraska" is about overcoming difficulties and coming together. It demonstrates that even strained relationships can be reconnected in some ways.
Country Bonus Father’s Day Tunes: I included these with the mostly rock and popular songs above as an acknowledgement to the value of listening to the music that your children play and enjoy. One of the best gifts anyone can give another human being aside from love is music. So here are three additional songs as introduced to me by my daughters.
Cole Swindell, “You Should Be Here” (2015) — This is a sad song, but it does remind us that we not only carry the memories of our fathers through our life events but we miss them in the moments that matter.
Zac Brown Band, “My Old Man” (2017) — This is song is a look back at the valuable lessons we can learn from our dads. These are the things we do and the phrases we catch ourselves saying to our children. Our fathers’ influences will always be with us even after they’re gone.
Luke Combs, "Even Though I'm Leaving" (2019) — Life can be challenging, and this song makes it clear that much of the strength that gets us through life is instilled in us by our parents. In multiple verses Combs takes us through childhood to young adulthood and then a son coping with his father's death.
So perhaps take a few moments and Listen Up to five (plus three) songs that capture a range of emotions when it comes to fathers.