Father-Daughter Dance Songs
I’ve combed the wide world of the internet to find the top father-daughter dance songs going into 2020. Some of these hits will come as no surprise, but a few are unexpected gems. The first dances and the choice of songs are looked forward to, not only by those who are sharing the dance, but also by the guests. You might want to grab a few tissues before playing the list below – naturally there are a few tear jerkers!
My Little Girl – Tim McGraw
This one probably isn’t much of a surprise to most. It’s heartfelt, genuine, and beautiful. This father-daughter song is sung from a father’s perspective. While it is classified as a country song, it is surprisingly loved across all genres.
I Loved Her First – Heartland
This song was tied for first in my search results. Again, it might not be much of a surprise. This father-daughter song, too, is a country song, sung from the father’s perspective. Unlike most on this list, it’s the point of view is the father speaking to his new son-in-law.
Father and Daughter – Paul Simon
This song came in a close second. It’s an easy-going pop song, that’s upbeat. It’s a sweet song from, you guessed it, father to daughter. Our favorite lyric is, “There could never be a father Who loved his daughter more than I love you”.
Isn’t She Lovely – Stevie Wonder
Has there been a wedding that hasn’t played this song since it was released? But seriously, this song is a major hit for a reason. It’s upbeat, R&B/soul vibe, along with such flattering words made it an instant classic. It’s perfect a perfect father-daughter song for a dad wanting to put the spotlight on his little girl!
Butterfly Kisses – Bob Carlisle
Here again country music tugs at our heart strings! This 1997 hit is written from the father’s perspective. Through the lyrics the father details memories of his daughter being a small child, then to 16, and finally her wedding day. This makes for a classic choice for a father-daughter song in our book.
My Girl – The Temptations
C’mon, we ALL know this one! A time-tested classic from the sensational Temptations! If an old school, fun, R&B/soul song is what you’re looking for in a father-daughter dance, this one might be the perfect choice.
The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra
If the dazzling days of swing appeal to you, this classic is at the top of the charts. It’s easy going, easy to add choreography to, and will always be in style.
Daughters – John Mayer
John’s smooth voice and unique rock shot him into fame. In this piece John speaks to the parents of daughters, advising:
“Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers be good to your daughters, too.”
Lullaby – Billy Joel
This song generally can bring deep emotions within the first few words. This contemporary song is a father speaking to his daughter, who is still a child. He sings this gentle lullaby with the accompaniment of a piano. Our favorite lyric of this song is the end:
Goodnight my angel, now it’s time to dream
And dream how wonderful your life will be
Someday your child may cry, and if you sing this lullaby
Then in your heart there will always be a part of me
Someday we’ll all be gone
But lullabies go on and on
They never die
That’s how you and I will be
Unforgettable – Nat King Cole
This popular hit is one I think we all know, or at least would recognize once you hear it. It’s a gentle jazz piece, with touching lyrics that can apply to a daughter from her father. This song is actually so well-loved and respected that the original recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000.
It Won’t Be Like This For Long – Darius Rucker
This country song tells the story of a mother and father raising their daughter. Through the song the wife reminds the father that “It won’t be like this for long”. From the sleepless nights of having a newborn, through to her being married, “grown-up and gone”. It’s a sweet song for a father to dance to with his daughter because it is so relatable.
Landslide – Fleetwood Mac
This song is very interesting because according to Stevie Nicks, it’s wildly misinterpreted. Nonetheless, songs become loved because of what they mean to each individual. If you’re looking for an easy-going song everyone can sing to, this one might be for you.
I’ll Be There – Jackson 5
This chart-topper is yet another I think we all know. Its sweet lyrics remind the one whom you play this for that you’re always there for them. It certainly makes a sweet dedication from a father to a daughter!
One Call Away – Charlie Puth
This pop song is one of the more recently released pieces on this list. Our favorite lyrics come straight from the chorus:
I’m only one call away
I’ll be there to save the day
Superman got nothing on me
I’m only one call away
Gracie – Ben Folds
This rock song is really playful. It’s a father’s song to his daughter, in this case, Gracie. He sings about relatable, adorable moments like her falling asleep in his arms and he “…won’t move you an inch even though my arm’s asleep.” The end of the song finishes sweetly saying,
“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”
Cinderella – Steven Curtis Chapman
This pop song is another that grips the listener, and can easily make your guests well up with tears. We’ve all heard our parents say we’ve grown up so fast. He speaks about dancing with his daughter while he can. He then says:
Well, she came home today with a ring on her hand
Just glowing and telling us all they had planned
“Dad, the wedding’s still six months away
But I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?”
‘Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t wanna miss even one song
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she’ll be gone
Walk With You – Edwin McCain
It’s easy to see why this pop song was mentioned many times during my research. This song is sung from the father to daughter, speaking about her becoming married (and by the end having a child of her own). One of the most touching lyrics is when he opens his arms to the man she chose:
“I can’t help thinking that I’m the lucky one
You’re still my baby daughter
And now I’ve gained a son”
Your Song – Elton John
This song is certainly a masterpiece. It’s a gentle pop song, sweetly stumbling to get his feelings out. Of course, you can feel the depth in how he feels with the lyrics:
“I hope you don’t mind
That I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world”
This song was not only inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, but is also number 137 of the “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time“.
Brown-Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
This song is another that is played at almost every wedding we attend. It’s a rock song that has “remained a staple on classic rock radio, and has been covered by hundreds of bands over the decades.” (Source). It’s easy-going, and most everyone joins in singing when Van says, “Do you remember when we used to sing
Sha la la la la la la la la la la te da.” It’s a catchy feel-good song for sure!
I Hope Your Dance – Lee Ann Womack
This song is incredibly popular at weddings. We’ve heard it used for both father-daughter, and mother-son dances. It’s sincere lyrics and easy tempo make a dedication from a parent to child perfect.
This song is so popular that it won the: 2001 CMA, ACM, NSAI, ASCAP and BMI awards for Song of the Year. It also won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song and was nominated for Song of the Year. “I Hope You Dance” is ranked 352 in the list “Songs of the Century” compiled by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). (Source).
Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion
This last song is a personal favorite of mine. The lyrics are so deep, full of emotion, and gives thanks for that person that has always been there for you. It can be thought of from daughter to father, or visa versa. The last line of the chorus sums it up: I’m everything I am because you loved me.
Still unsure about this one? “Because You Loved Me” received critical acclaim and became a worldwide hit, reaching number one in the United States, Canada, and Australia, and reaching the top ten in many other countries. In the United States alone, it has sold over two million copies. “Because You Loved Me” won the Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television, and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. It was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. (Source).
I hope you found this post enjoyable! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Connect With Us!
To see daily updates of our current weddings and images, follow us on Instagram. You can also follow us on Facebook page, Twitter, and find plenty of inspiration on our Pinterest page.
Interested in having us photograph your wedding? Contact us!