by Amy Gold
Father daughter songs have long been a tradition, particularly at wedding receptions. The relationship between a father and his little girl is a unique one, full of much emotion, and can sometimes be quite complex. Many songwriters have acknowledged that fact by writing musical tributes to the special love shared by fathers and daughters.
One of the most common places we see that emotion expressed is at a wedding reception. At this time more than ever, a bride will want to take a few minutes to consider everything her father has done for her and meant to her. It will usually be one of the first dances of the evening, after the bride and groom dance for the first time, and it is a moment that generally requires a lot of thought.
The choices for father daughter songs are vast. From golden oldies like Mike Douglas' "The Men In My Little Girl's Life" to contemporary hits like Heartland's "I Loved Her First," there is no shortage of songs devoted to the father/daughter relationship, no matter what form it might take. Whether you've had a smooth ride or bumps along the way, you can find a song with lyrics that express exactly what you want to say.
These songs can come from many perspectives. Some are from the bride's point of view, showing how she's looked up to her father as a hero and always will. Others come from Dad's point of view, thinking back on his daughter's life and everything she has meant to him. Moving from that idealized relationship into another, more adult, stage of life is never easy and sometimes it helps put those feelings to music.
Still other songs let a grateful daughter show her love and thanks to the father who has watched over her and cared for her all her life. A perfect example of this type of song is Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings" with its lovely statement of gratitude for an endless source of support and strength.
Of course, when it comes to father daughter songs, nothing stands out quite like The Mills Brothers' "Daddy's Little Girl." Though it has been over half a century since it was first a hit, its lyrics still find the mark for many dads and daughters. If you're looking for the perfect song to capture your relationship with your father or daughter, the options are plentiful. Don't let any more time go by and make sure you let your feelings be known. It can make for one of the most memorable and beautiful moments you'll ever share, and one that can last a lifetime.
- Daddy's Little Girl - The Mills Brothers
("Daddy's Little Girl" also became a hit for Dick Todd in 1950, and this pop classic later also charted for Al Martino in 1967.)
- My Daddy Is President - Little Jo Ann
- Turn Around - Dick And Deedee
- The Men In My Little Girl's Life - Mike Douglas
(This song made its debut on the charts on Christmas Day of the previous year.)
- Father Of Girls - Perry Como
- Coal Miner's Daughter - Loretta Lynn
(This song topped the Country charts and was the title song from the autobiographical movie in which Loretta Lynn was played by Sissy Spacek, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress in that role.)
- Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast - Wayne Newton
- Follow Your Daughter Home - The Guess Who
- Daddy What If - Bobby Bare
- (One More Year Of) Daddy's Little Girl - Ray Sawyer (Dr. Hook)
- Isn't She Lovely - Stevie Wonder
(This song, in which Stevie Wonder celebrates the birth of his daughter Aisha, is from his 1976 album, "Songs in the Key of Life.")
- Through The Years - Kenny Rogers
- Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
(Although "Wind Beneath My Wings" first charted for Lou Rawls in 1983, Bette Midler's version, which topped the charts and was part of the soundtrack for "Beaches" in which she starred, is the best known version of this song. "Wind Beneath My Wings" later also became a chart hit for Gerald Levert in 1996.)
- Oh Father - Madonna
- I Loved Her First - Heartland
(This song topped the Country charts and was Heartland's debut song.)