Though there are more songs written about romantic love, there are many beautiful songs about parenthood. This post shares five of the best parenting songs. Whether you are a mother, father or grandparent, prepare to feel a whole lot of feels from these songs about parenting.
Parenting songs – I’m not crying, you are
I got the inspiration for a post with songs about parenthood on a drive home with my daughter from a morning excursion, or ‘scursion as she calls our outings. I was listening to my usual CBC radio, and the song The Early Days by Old Man Luedecke came on. This song is all about the baby years and how they go by too fast. Well, cue the mama tears as I just had a great morning with my kid, and my heart was already filled up with a ridiculous amount of parental love.
It got me thinking about the other parenting songs I have heard over the years. Yes there are some super sappy tunes out there, but the ones in this list are not that. They are sentimental and sweet but don’t cross over the line into cloying. Most of them are from bands or singers that I already liked before hearing their songs about parenthood. One was a song I came across from a new-to-me artist.
Listen to these parenting songs only if you are prepared to cry wherever you are – not kidding. There are songs about babies, songs about children, songs about having a baby, songs for baby boy from mother, and more. I have shared these parenthood songs with men as well as women, and even a friend who has never wanted kids found these songs touching and relatable.
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Best songs about parenthood
Song 1: Old Man Luedecke – The Early Days
I have been a big fan of Old Man Luedecke since hearing his song “I quit my job” many years ago. I will admit to blasting the song many times and happily singing along to the lyrics as I spent my days at my bakery as a self-employed business owner. (That song would be a great side hustler’s anthem!)
Contrary to his performing name, he is not an old man, and instead is a new father with three young daughters. He wrote an album called Domestic Eccentric about the universality of family life, which was recorded in his log-cabin-turned-studio.
This song, The Early Days, is about those fleeting first few years of parenthood. I am only two years into this journey. I am perpetually tired, and sick more often than I ever was before having her. At the exact same time, I have so many days where I want to record every word my daughter says, because I want to capture and keep this moment forever.
Song 2: Nichole Nordeman – Slow Down
When I think about songs about growing up too fast, this is the first parenthood song that comes to my mind.
I had not heard of this artist before stumbling upon her on social media. Her music is not generally the type I listen to, and I probably wouldn’t have crossed paths with this song if it hadn’t been shared on a parenting group I frequent. I am glad this parenting song was put in front of me though as it is incredibly touching. Her sweet voice is the perfect complement to the lyrics that beseech time to slow down.
I also think of my parents when I hear this song. Though they are not old and they are highly energetic, I am even more aware of time passing since having my daughter. I want time to slow down so I – and she – can have much more time with them.
Song 3: The Shins – Name For You
My love for The Shins hit hard when I first heard their songs in the film Garden State. That was way back in 2004, well before wanting to have kids was any kind of inkling in my head. Back then, The Shins frontman James Mercer didn’t have kids either, but now has three young daughters. His children have influenced his song writing and he has said that the song Name For You was written for them.
The lyrics speak about the ways that women are labeled in society. This is something I think about having a daughter. As she grows up, I really hope to help boost her confidence so she can ignore social labels and just live her own life.
Like Old Man Luedecke, The Shins also worked on their recent album in a unique studio. Mercer bought an old house and it had a carriage house on the property. He converted that carriage house into a studio. There is definitely a trend here with secluded spaces and the deeply personal yet universal songs about parenthood that arise from such environments.
Song 4: Ben Folds – Gracie
Just try to even read the lyrics for this song without your eyes welling up (I dare you). Ben Folds wrote this song for his daughter Gracie and here is a sampling of the lyrics:
You nodded off in my arms watching TV
I won’t move you an inch even thought my arm’s asleep
One day you’re gonna want to go
I hope we taught you everything you need to know
And there will always be a part of me
Nobody else is ever gonna see but you and me
My little girl
My Gracie girl
Song 5: Lauryn Hill – To Zion
Lauryn Hill is hands-down one of my favorite artists from the late ‘90s. Her entire album ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ is outstanding. It won 5 Grammys, and every song could stand alone as a single. In the category of songs for sons from mothers, To Zion bubbles to the top.
Her song To Zion is a deeply personal story about her pregnancy with her son. As much as it is personal and specific, it captures many universal feelings of soon-to-be parents. There is so much both power and vulnerability in this song. It takes me back to those feelings when I was pregnant with my daughter. I felt so scared and vulnerable with wanting to protect this new little life. At the same time I have never felt more powerful than when I was pregnant and during her birth.
Music and nostalgia in parenting songs
Although nostalgia is usually reserved for times further in the past, I find myself getting nostalgic about things my daughter did ten months ago, five months or even two months ago. Remember how teeny she was? How excited she was when she learned how to crawl? Remember when she called spaghetti ‘guppies’?
Music plays a huge part in nostalgia. It can transport you right back to a particular scene in your life more immediately and viscerally than almost anything. Since I haven’t figured out how to slow down time, I am happy to have the memories of these early days with my daughter. And they’re all the more imprinted by the songs we’re listening to as we move through the days together.
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