Many musicians have written and performed songs about sons. This list includes tracks ranging from slow ballads, happy pop songs, and even raps. If you’re looking for something to play for your child, you’ll love listening to these best songs about sons.
“Cat’s in the Cradle” By Harry Chapin
Song year: 1974
Chapin recorded this folk-rock hit in 1974, and it became his only number-one song, but it made a massive impact. It’s possibly the most well-known song about a father-son relationship.
The father is too busy to spend time with his son but hopes to make time in the future. But, before the father knows it, his son has grown up and has a family of his own.
“Simple Man” By Lynyrd Skynyrd
Song year: 1973
In this rock ballad, a mother talks to her only son about how he should enjoy life and let troubles pass him by. She wants her son to be a simple man so he won’t strive for the superficial things in life.
Instead, all he needs is to find love, trust in God, and feel satisfied with everything he has. Countless artists have covered this beautiful song, so you can find many versions.
“Just the Two of Us” By Will Smith
Song year: 1997
The title might make you think this is a love song because Smith samples from Bill Withers’ romantic song with the same name. But Smith wrote this one for his son, Trey, who was featured in the music video.
He also shows clips of other famous men with their sons in the video. The song is catchy, with emotional lyrics about being a good role model for your son.
“Father, Son” By Peter Gabriel
Song year: 2000
Peter Gabriel wasn’t close to his father when he was a child, so this song is about when he grew up and got to know his dad as an adult.
That gives the song a unique, somber perspective about missing out on that bond in childhood and trying to find it in adulthood. Of course, they’re more alike by this time of their lives, so the relationship is one between equals.
“He Gets That From Me” By Reba McEntire
Song year: 2003
Reba McEntire always sings from the heart, and this song dedicated to her son is especially emotional. So many songs on this list are dads singing to their sons, so it’s great to hear a great tune from a mother’s point of view.
There’s some humor about how he wakes up grumpy juxtaposed beautifully with the sweetness of his love for his mom.
“Little Lion Man” By Mumford & Sons
Song year: 2009
Some people believe this song is about Marcus Mumford’s relationship with his son. Others think it’s a lesson to the kid, or “Little Lion Man,” that remains inside us all as we grow up.
When you hear the song, you’ll see the lyrics truly can go either way. However, when applied to a father-son relationship, it teaches a great life lesson as only a father can.
“Child of Mine” By Carole King
Song year: 1970
Carole King wrote this beautiful piano ballad for her son. Many songs parents write for their children talk about what the parent must teach the child to ensure they grow up to be good people.
On the other hand, King sings about how independent her child is and how he helps her see the world in a fresh, different way.
“Boy” By Lee Brice
Song year: 2017
This song could also appear on the list of songs with “Boy” in the title, but it’s specifically about your son growing up too fast. Many parents worry about their children spiraling out of control as they reach young adulthood.
This country song covers those fears and more. Brice didn’t write this song, but his version will tug at your heartstrings.
“Father Son Blues” By Booker T
Song year: 2013
How do you know a song is about a son if there are no lyrics? “Father Son Blues” by Booker T is an instrumental blues track, but the title gives you an idea of what it’s about.
Booker T’s son, Ted Jones, actually plays on the track with his dad, adding an emotional layer to the song. He was in college when they recorded it but took time away from school to help out his dad.
“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” By Roberta Flack
Song year: 1969
This folk song was initially written by a man who had an affair with the woman singing to it—while they were both married! But Roberta Flack covered it and slowed the song down, changing it from a romantic song to one expressing love for a newborn baby.
When you listen to this track and remember seeing your son for the first time, you’ll feel overcome with emotion.
“A Song for My Son” By Mikki Viereck
Song year: 2010
Mikki Viereck wrote this song for the mother and groom to dance to at his wedding. The music is perfect for the wedding reception dance floor, but you might want to tune out the lyrics, so you’re not crying.
The lyrics remember when the groom was a young boy and give him advice on being a great husband now that he’s grown up.
“Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” By John Lennon
Song year: 1980
John Lennon wrote this song for his son Sean and released it on the last album before his death. The lyrics describe Lennon calming his young son after a nightmare. He then reflects on how much love he has for his son before whispering “Good night” at the end of the track.
Lennon had a son, Julian, with his first wife and wrote a song for him as well. “Good Night” was a Beatles song where Ringo Starr sang lead vocals and whispered “Good night” at the very end.
“Letter to My Son (Call Your Father)” By DMX
Song year: 2021
DMX died while recording Exodus, the album that “Letter to My Son (Call Your Father)” appears on. The song is about a complicated father-son relationship and how it’s not always a positive situation for either person.
He wrote it for his oldest son, who then had to compete with many younger siblings. DMX’s daughter also sings on the album, making it a very emotional release.
“93 Million Miles” By Jason Mraz
Song year: 2012
Many of the songs on this list are about musicians singing to their sons, making this one stand out. Jason Mraz is singing as a son himself, remembering the advice his mother gave him.
She told him to reach for his goals and get past the hard times. She tells her son he can always come home if he ever has trouble.
“The One Thing” By Shakira
Song year: 2014
In this catchy, emotional song, Shakira sings a song dedicated to her son. She starts by singing about how she never had a purpose and felt like she was in the dark for so much of her life.
Then, she says that having her son is the one thing she got right. She’s not in darkness anymore because her son turned it all into the sunlight.
“Anything Like Me” By Brad Paisley
Song year: 2009
This country song from superstar Brad Paisley is for all the dads-to-be that are nervous about the change they’re facing in life. In the song, an expectant father feels excited about the baby until he learns it’s a boy.
He’s worried that his son will turn out like him. But, by the time the track ends, the dad realizes that he should accept himself just as he’ll accept his son for who he is.
“Love Without End, Amen” By George Strait
Song year: 1990
George Strait’s biggest hit ever is “Love Without End, Amen,” a song about a father’s unconditional love for his son.
It starts with a boy getting in trouble for fighting and dreading his dad’s punishment but gets love instead. Then that boy becomes a father, and he continues showing unconditional love.
In the last verse, he’s waiting to get into heaven and experience love from God, his ultimate Father. It’s a beautiful song for fathers and sons to listen to together.
“When You Need Me” By Bruce Springsteen
Song year: 1998
Bruce Springsteen recorded this song in 1987, but it wasn’t released until 1998, which was eight years after his first son was born and four years after his second son.
The lyrics talk about how the parent will always be there for the son, ready to save him just as his birth saved the parent. It’s a beautiful song often played as an emotional mother and son dance at weddings.
“Kooks” By David Bowie
Song year: 1971
David Bowie wrote this song when his son Duncan was a newborn.
The lyrics admit that Bowie is a kook but hopes his son will appreciate his personality and embrace his own kookiness. He shares what they’ve done to prepare their lives for the baby by buying clothes, toys, and a crib.
If you’re familiar with the British indie band The Kooks, you might know they took their name from this song.
“Watching You” By Rodney Atkins
Song year: 2006
This country song starts with a funny story of a young son in a booster seat saying a bad word. His dad asks how he learned that word, and the son says he learned it from his father.
The dad realizes his son is watching and learning from him, so he prays to God for parenting help. The son then starts praying since he saw his dad do it.
“I Got You” By Ciara
Song year: 2015
This song starts as a classic lullaby before showcasing Ciara’s beautiful voice. She sings about how she’ll always support her son, giving him strength and showing him love because that’s how he empowers her.
She’ll crawl over broken glass, take a bullet, and do anything to save him from pain. She admits that life is hard but reassures him that she’s got his back.
“Like Father, Like Son” By The Game
Song year: 2005
For “Like Father, Like Son,” The Game sampled a Family Circle song, and Busta Rhymes sang the hook. The lyrics are about a father who didn’t take the easy path in life and worries his son will have the same experience.
Seeing the ultrasound changed The Game’s life, and he wants to give his son all he can. He wants his son’s life to be better than his own.
“Welcome to the Machine” By Pink Floyd
Song year: 1975
The band says this song is about the original lead singer, Syd Barrett, who left the band in 1968 due to his mental health.
But the lyrics mention “son” twice, so it earned a spot on this list. If you’re looking for something that rocks a bit more than some of the sentimental tracks on this list, you can’t go wrong with Pink Floyd.
When you listen to the lyrics thinking about your son, you’ll appreciate how he asserted his independence, got a guitar, and insisted he was nobody’s fool.
“Sail to the Moon” By Radiohead
Song year: 2003
Ironically, this song has a lot of Pink Floyd vibes, so add it to your playlist right after “Welcome to the Machine.”
The song is for lead singer Thom Yorke’s son Noah, with lyrics wondering what his son will grow up to be one day. He tosses out a few ideas but reassures his son that he’ll do his best no matter what he becomes.
“To Zion” By Lauryn Hill
Song year: 1998
Lauryn Hill wrote “To Zion” for her son with Rohan Marley. The lyrics share her uncertainty when she first found out she was pregnant because she wasn’t sure she’d be a good mother. But she saw an angel who made her realize her son deserves a chance.
After giving birth, the baby became her joy. She explains the love she feels for this boy every time she looks at him.
“You Remind Me of You” By Jack Johnson
Song year: 2013
Jack Johnson’s song “You Remind Me of You” is a sweet song that tells his son what each parent gave him. His mother gave him his looks, eyes, and sweetness. His dad gave him daydreams and an endless supply of love.
This song is a great one to show your son what each parent puts into a new addition to the family and how much love they both feel for their child.
“Let Them Be Little” By Lonestar
Song year: 2004
This country ballad is about how innocent children are and how parents need to take advantage of their time with their little ones. It starts with remembering how small your son was before he started changing so quickly.
It’s important to love them and support them as they grow to become good people. The song ends by reminding parents you have to let them go.
“You Will Always Be My Son” By Anthem Lights
Song year: 2017
This song starts with a dad resting with his newborn son on his chest, giving the mother some time to herself. He thinks about how much he loves his son and starts wondering how his life will change over the years.
He knows he’ll have unconditional love for his son and support him through his mistakes but doesn’t want to let him go just yet.
“That’s No Way to Get Along” By Robert Wilkins
Song year: 1929
Reach way back into the archives for this blues song about a son going home to tell his mama that people aren’t treating him right.
The Rolling Stones later recorded this song as “Prodigal Son” but failed to give Robert Wilkins credit for his songwriting. Eric Clapton has also covered this song, keeping its original title and crediting Wilkins.
“Be Good Until Then” By Butch Walker
Song year: 2010
“Be Good Until Then” is the last track on a relatively upbeat indie rock album by Butch Walker. He stripped away all other instruments and recorded this song with only an acoustic guitar. He wrote the song for his son, passing along advice on being a good person.
However, the advice isn’t specific to his son because the lyrics can help everyone better understand human nature.
“Circus” By Eric Clapton
Song year: 1998
Eric Clapton wrote this song about the last night he spent with his son Conor, who died by falling from a window at the age of four. He wrote the song soon after his son’s death in 1991, but the song wasn’t released until 1998.
Clapton uses minor chords to give this rock song sad undertones. Reviewers say the tempo doesn’t suit the subject matter, but it’s a strong song.
“Lullaby for Wyatt” By Sheryl Crow
Song year: 2008
Sheryl Crow adopted her son Wyatt in 2007. “Lullaby for Wyatt” is a sweet song she wrote to show how much he means to her. She states that she loves him but knows she’ll have to let him go as he grows up.
Nevertheless, she’s determined to show him how he can get the most out of the world, safe in her love. Crow loved motherhood so much that she later adopted another little boy, Levi.
“You Had to Be There” By Tim McGraw
Song year: 2009
This country song tells a story about a man visiting his son in prison. The boy is 21 years old and grew up without his father. He says he started smoking when he was young because his mother was too busy working to support the family.
He resents his dad for not being around and playing catch. He thinks if his father had been around, his life might have turned out differently.
Top Songs About Sons, Final Thoughts
These songs about sons give you a lot to think about in terms of how you can use everyday material to write a killer track.