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Best Songs About Parenthood
June 20, 2011 8:56 PM   Subscribe

I saw the recent question about punk rock songs about being a dad, and I'd like to broaden it a bit. I recently found out a couple of dear friends of mine are expecting their first child, and I'd like to make them a mix of the best songs about parenthood. Songs already on the list inside.

Big Papa, Notorious B.I.G
Mama, You've Been on My Mind, Joan Baez & Bob Dylan
Mama Tried, Joan Baez
Mama Told Me Not To Come, Three Dog Night
posted by twiggy32 to Media & Arts (37 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
John Lennon, Beautiful Boy
Stevie Wonder, Isn't She Lovely
posted by k8t at 9:01 PM on June 20, 2011


I can't make it through the Dixie Chicks's "Lullaby" without busting out crying. (Parenting singing to a child, rather than a song about a parent specifically, but that's the one I think of as the most parenty song I know.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:03 PM on June 20, 2011


Talking Heads' "Stay Up Late."
posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy at 9:07 PM on June 20, 2011


David Byrne/Talking Heads: Stay up late.
posted by trip and a half at 9:09 PM on June 20, 2011


"I Feel Just Like a Child" by Devendra Banhart.
posted by lastofthelost at 9:15 PM on June 20, 2011


Bowie - Kooks
posted by pompomtom at 9:35 PM on June 20, 2011


Father singing to his child: Morgan Heritage Miracle
Child appreciating parents-- Morgan Heritage: Papa & Mama
posted by a humble nudibranch at 9:36 PM on June 20, 2011


Johnny Paycheck - I'm the Only Hell my Mama Ever Raised.
Merle Haggard - Mama Tried
Jerry Reed - Alabama Wild Man
Hank Williams Jr - Family Tradition
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:37 PM on June 20, 2011


Johnny Cash - A Boy Named Sue
Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson - Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:43 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Kooks" by David Bowie. Awesomely sweet!
posted by jbenben at 9:51 PM on June 20, 2011


Johnny Cash, A Boy Named Sue.
Reba McIntire, Fancy is My Name
Dolly Parton, Coat of Many Colors
Lonestar, My Front Porch Looking In
posted by not that girl at 10:04 PM on June 20, 2011


Oh, and um EmmyLou Harris, To Daddy
posted by not that girl at 10:05 PM on June 20, 2011


Social Distortion - Mommy's Little Monster

Loudon Wainwright III has a bunch, of various degrees of sweetness, snarkiness, and 'oh god is he really singing a song about slapping Rufus and Martha?'

Rufus Is A Tit Man
Daughter
Another Song In C (which I think is an extended joke about Rutus)
Father and Son

there's a gorgeous he wrote about watching one of his kids being born that's just advice, along the same lines as Vonnegut's "It's cold in the winter and hot in the summer" speech. I can't remember the name though

Bob Dylan - Forever Young
Justin Townes Earle - Mama's Eyes
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:17 PM on June 20, 2011


Ben Folds - Gracie
posted by libraryhead at 10:50 PM on June 20, 2011


"Father to Son" by Queen
"Who Don't Like Kids?" by Sparks
posted by Oriole Adams at 11:45 PM on June 20, 2011


Fucked Up put out a kind of fantasy album- i.e. none of the bands listed never existed. It's called "David's Town" and there's a song called "It's Hard to Be A Dad" that I think hits your mark.
posted by GilloD at 12:27 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Teach Your Children Well- Crosby Stills Nash (and Young?)

I have SUCH a soft spot for both Vienna and Lullaby by Billy Joel as songs about parenting.
posted by elliss at 1:06 AM on June 21, 2011


do they have to be positive or happy songs about parenting? or do they have to be the best songs about parents? because some of the songs on the subject are great but grim

Mother - John Lennon
Mother - Pink Floyd
Up The Wolves - The Mountain Goats
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:48 AM on June 21, 2011


Wild Horses by the Rolling Stones.
posted by tetralix at 4:06 AM on June 21, 2011


Child of Mine - Carole King
posted by kayram at 5:08 AM on June 21, 2011


"Baby Girl" by The Stanley Brothers. There's an excellent cover out there by Ricky Skaggs and Tony Rice.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 5:08 AM on June 21, 2011


This Woman's Work by Kate Bush.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 5:09 AM on June 21, 2011


Younger Generation by John Sebastian

Cats in the Cradle by Harry Chapin

Oh Very Young by Cat Stevens/Yusef Islam
posted by TedW at 5:40 AM on June 21, 2011


Half-serious suggestion for "Baby's On Fire" by Brian Eno, depending on your friends' sense of humor
"Tiny Baby" by Orange Pekoe (really sweet & lush-sounding Japanese fusion jazz)
posted by geneva uswazi at 5:53 AM on June 21, 2011


Beginning of a Great Adventure, Lou Reed
posted by dirtdirt at 6:09 AM on June 21, 2011


Wonder by Colin Meloy (of The Decemberists)
posted by D.Billy at 7:06 AM on June 21, 2011


A Pillar of Salt by The Thermals
No Children by The Mountain Goats
Transistor Radio by Cloud Cult
posted by togdon at 8:19 AM on June 21, 2011


Jonathan Coulton's You Ruined Everything. (It's nicer than it sounds.)
posted by tchemgrrl at 8:28 AM on June 21, 2011


On This Side - Clare Bowditch & The Feeding Set
posted by h00py at 8:33 AM on June 21, 2011


The Tragically Hip - Put It Off

Julie Doiron - Waiting For Baby and, inevitably, Mother
posted by backwards guitar at 9:21 AM on June 21, 2011


"In Metal" by Low
posted by milk white peacock at 10:18 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


"My Favorite Spring" by Tom Paxton (you have to listen to the whole song, it doesn't appear to be about fatherhood until the end).
posted by grizzled at 2:48 PM on June 21, 2011


No Children yt by The Mountain Goats

sorry, you were looking for the 'best breakup songs' thread.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:26 PM on June 21, 2011


Father and Daughter by Paul Simon

Cats in the Cradle Harry Chapin My kids used to sing this ironically when I wouldn't do something with them. Wise asses.

For the parents: I'm an adult now- The Pursuit of Happiness.
posted by JohntheContrarian at 5:51 PM on June 21, 2011


Margaret by The Silos
posted by shakobe at 9:09 PM on June 21, 2011


"Put it There" - Paul McCartney
posted by kumonoi at 11:05 PM on June 21, 2011


sorry, you were looking for the 'best breakup songs' thread.

Au contraire, I find it a lovely lullaby to sing my twins to sleep. If you can't laugh at the occasional misery of parenthood you're fucked, and this song--as I'm sure you know--perfectly captures that and everything else that's fucked about humanity and interpersonal relationships.

Bad day at work? No Children.
Kids pissed in your favorite shoes to make the Cheerios they filled them with float? No Children.
Husband sleeping with the mailman? No Children.
First dance at a wedding? No Children.

It is the perfect song for any and all occasions.
posted by togdon at 9:58 AM on June 23, 2011


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