10 Songs About the Parent-Child Relationship

By on June 18, 2018

When you have a child, it seems like the entire world makes sense. Your life gains meaning, and you have a reason for living. These songs about the parent-child relationship are all about that feeling. Whether you are a new parent or have five children running under your feet, these lyrics will really resonate with you.

Best Songs Written from a Parent to a Child

1. Father and Son by Cat Stevens

Originally written by Cat Stevens, this song was released in the late 1960s. He had tuberculosis and a collapsed lung, so a plan for a musical set during the Russian Revolution ended up getting shelved. Instead, he made this song that is a dialogue between father and son. Stevens sings the different pitches to keep up both sides of the conversation. It talks about how the child has to find his own path in life. The parent, meanwhile, experiences a blend of love and misunderstanding.

Best Lyrics:

“Look at me,
I am old, but I am happy”.

2. Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder

This is one of the best songs about the parent-child relationship. Written by Stevie Wonder, it has a happy, upbeat feel to it. Motown wanted it to be a short single, but Wonder refused and chose to keep the baby sounds that are a part of the outro of the song.

Best Lyrics:

“I never thought through love we’d be
Making one as lovely as she
But isn’t she lovely made from love”

3. Beautiful Boy by John Lennon

This song is perfect if you happen to have a son. John Lennon’s sons, Julian and Sean had a number of songs written about them. “Hey Jude” was actually originally “Hey Jules” and was written by McCartney to make Julian feel better during his parents’ divorce. Beautiful Boy is unique because it was written for the only child that Lennon had with Yoko Ono. It is like a psychedelic lullaby with a dreamy, sweet quality to it. The track is supported by the sound of steel drums and ends in the sound of a whisper.

Best Lyrics:

“Life is what happens to you
While you’re busy making other plans”.

4. Wild Horses by the Rolling Stones

This song was written by Keith Richards for his son, Marlon Richards. A former lover, Marianne Faithful, said that the refrain of the song was the first thing that Jagger said when he came out of a drug-induced coma. Meanwhile, Jagger’s second wife believed it was written about his first wife, but the real real song was originally written in 1969. It was about having to leave the son behind when he went on tour. This song is quite famous, which makes it a popular choice for songs about the parent-child relationship.

Best Lyrics:

“Wild horses couldn’t drag me away”.

Songs about strained parent-child relationships

5. Sail to the Moon by Radiohead

Written by Thom Yorke, this song was for his son, Noah Yorke. The song has an interesting blend of mood switches with emotional, punchy lyrics, but it also contains a haunting wash. The song is partially about political tension. When you have a child, you are afraid of what the world will be like in their future. At the same time, a child renews your faith in the world. Your child could go on to be the next president and they could change the world. While this track has an dark side to it, the offbeat lyrics are sure to please.

Best Lyrics:

“Maybe you’ll be president
but know right from wrong
or in the flood
you build an Ark
and sail us to the moon”.

6. Glory by Jay-Z

This is one of the more recent songs on this list. This song was written by Jay-Z for his daughter, Blue Ivy Carter. After Blue Ivy was born, Jay-Z released this song within just two days. While it won’t make the list of the world’s greatest songs, it still shows feelings that many parents can relate to. After a child is born, you feel a sense of emotional elation and joy as you look at your baby. Interestingly, this is probably one of the youngest performances ever. Blue Ivy’s heartbeat is the sound that opens the door. At the end of the song, it is her cries that you hear. What other baby can say that they made a hit when they were just two days old?

Best Lyrics:

“The most beautiful-est thing in this world/Is Daddy’s little girl”.

7. Forever Young by Bob Dylan

This classic tune is one of the best songs about the parent-child relationship. Released in 1974, it came at a turning point in Dylan’s career. He had just taken an eight year break from touring and disappeared from the public eye after a terrible accident. This song already has some of the religious overtones of Dylan’s work in the late-1970s. It talks about his blessings, contentment and happiness. Through his son, Jakob Dylan, it feels like eternal youth is never too far away. Since he wrote and performed the song, it has been adopted by just about everyone, so you’ll probably recognize the tune right away.

Best Lyrics:

“May your song always be sung
May you stay forever young”.

Songs That Beautifully Capture Motherhood

8. Stay Up Late by Talking Heads

This song was written by David Byrne for his daughter, Malu Abeni Valentine Byrne. It was on the album, Little Creatures, which was the perfect name for this son’s album. It talks about how gleeful and happy Byrne was to have his new daughter, but his tendency to also treat her like a cute toy or plaything. If you want a more carefree song about being a parent, this is a great option to go with.

Best Lyrics:

“See him drink from a bottle
See him eat from a plate
Cute as a button”

9. Kooks by David Bowie

This song is perfect if you are a David Bowie fan. It was written by Bowie for his son, Duncan Jones. Originally released in 1971, it was a part of the album, Hunky Dory. The song has a breezy, charming quality to it that feels upbeat. Like most of Bowie’s works, it has a quirky, unusual quality to it. It speaks to a common problem for parents. You have great expectations for your child, but you don’t want to place too much pressure on them. In this song, Bowie opens the door to letting his child grow up to be as odd as he likes.

Best Lyrics:

“Soon you’ll grow so take a chance
With a couple of Kooks
Hung up on romancing”.

10. Havin’ a Baby by R Kelly

This is a very literal description of what it is like to become a parent. R Kelly wrote this song for his daughter, Jaya Kelly. If you wanted songs about the parent-child relationship right at the moment of birth, this would be it. The song fairly graphically depicts the baby coming out of the womb and being born. The tune is catchy enough, and the lyrics will be a familiar experience to anyone who has just welcomed a new child to the world.

Best Lyrics:

“This is a blessing to me
To have you build my seed”


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