The mother-of-the-groom dance is a time-honored tradition at many weddings and though it’s not necessary to include one at your reception, the mother-son dance is a sweet moment for the groom to honor and recognize his mom or any mother figure in his life. And let’s be real, mom has probably been looking forward to this moment for a long time.
The mother-son dance typically happens around the time of the father-daughter duet, which is usually after the bride and groom’s first dance. However, you can always switch things up—some couples even use the family dances to transition between different parts of the reception like from cocktail hour to reception or from reception to the opening of the dance floor).
The song for the mother-son dance can be hard to pin down, so consider what artists, genres, or memories are beloved by both mother and son when trying to find the right music. Maybe mom introduced her son to The Beatles; maybe they both love country music?
Although the first dance is usually a slow down-tempo tune, that doesn’t mean the groom has to waltz with his mother. Uptempo mother-son dances are always a crowd-pleaser!
To help you make a decision, we gathered 81 mother-of-the-groom dance songs. From classics to modern hits, these songs span generations, linking mother and son through music for the perfect dance.
“Mother Like Mine,” by The Band Perry
Lyrics of Love: “She's our father's one great love/She's the one he wanted most/She's the light in the window of the house I grew up in”
“Mama Hold My Hand,” by Aloe Blacc
Lyrics of Love: “Momma, hold my hand/I don't think I can cross this road by myself”
“Bridge Over Troubled Water,” by Simon & Garfunkel
Lyrics of Love: “When you’re weary, feeling small/When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all, all/I’m on your side, oh, when times get rough”
“God Only Knows,” by The Beach Boys
Lyrics of Love: “I may not always love you/But long as there are stars above you/You never need to doubt it/I’ll make you so sure about it”
“Home,” by Jack Johnson
Lyrics of Love: “So I, try, to understand, what I can’t hold in my hand, and where ever we are/Home is there too”
“I Say A Little Prayer,” by Aretha Franklin
Lyrics of Love: “I run for the bus, dear/While riding I think of us, dear/I say a little prayer for you”
“Because You Loved Me,” by Celine Dion
Lyrics of Love: “You were my strength when I was weak/You were my voice when I couldn't speak/You were my eyes when I couldn't see”
“Lean On Me,” by Bill Withers
Lyrics of Love: “Lean on me/When you're not strong/And I'll be your friend/I'll help you carry on”
“Days Like This,” by Van Morrison
Lyrics of Love: “When everything falls into place like the flick of a switch/Well my mama told me there'll be days like this”
“Letter to My Mother,” by Edwin McCain
Lyrics of Love: “Mama, how do I write the words to you/You were the only one who loved me true”
“You’ll Be In My Heart,” by Phil Collins
Lyrics of Love: “For one so small/You seem so strong/My arms will hold you/Keep you safe and warm/This bond between us/Can’t be broken/I will be here/Don’t you cry”
“The Wish,” by Bruce Springsteen
Lyrics of Love: “And if it's a funny old world, mama, where a little boy's wishes come true/Well I got a few in my pocket and a special one just for you”
“Beautiful Boy,” by John Lennon
Lyrics of Love: “Out on the ocean sailing away/I can hardly wait/To see you to come of age/But I guess we’ll both/Just have to be patient/‘Cause it’s a long way to go”
“I’ll Stand By You,” by The Pretenders
Lyrics of Love: “I’ll stand by you/I’ll stand by you, won’t let nobody hurt you/I’ll stand by you/Baby, even to your darkest hour, and I’ll never desert you”
“93 Million Miles,” by Jason Mraz
Lyrics of Love: “Son in life you’re gonna go far/If you do it right/You’ll love where you are/Just know that wherever you go/You can always come home”
“Forever Young,” by Rod Stewart
Lyrics of Love: “May good fortune be with you, may your guiding light be strong/Build a stairway to heaven with a prince or a vagabond”
“Small Bump,” by Ed Sheeran
Lyrics of Love: “You are my one, and only/You can wrap your fingers round my thumb and hold me tight”
“Thank You Mom,” by Good Charlotte
Lyrics of Love: “I'm sitting here, I'm thinking back/To a time when I was young, my memory is clear as day/I'm listening to the dishes clink/You were downstairs, you would sing songs of praise”
“Landslide,” by Fleetwood Mac
Lyrics of Love: “Oh, mirror in the sky/What is love?/Can the child within my heart rise above?”
“Sweet Pea,” by Amos Lee
Lyrics of Love: “Hey, sweet pea/Apple of my eye/Don't know when, and I don't know why/But you're the only reason I keep on coming home”
“Wildflowers,” by Tom Petty
Lyrics of Love: “You belong among the wildflowers/You belong in a boat out at sea/You belong with your love on your arm/You belong somewhere you feel free”
“(They Long To Be) Close To You,” by The Carpenters
Lyrics of Love: “On the day that you were born the angels got together/And decided to create a dream come true/So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair of gold and starlight in your eyes of blue”
"Sweetest Devotion," by Adele
Lyrics of Love: “The sweetest devotion/Hitting me like an explosion/All of my life, I've been frozen/The sweetest devotion I've ever known"
“Take Your Mama,” by Scissor Sisters
Lyrics of Love: “When you grow up, livin’ like a good boy oughta/And your mama, takes a shine to her best son/Something different, all the girls they seem to like you/Cause you’re handsome, like to talk and a whole lot of fun”
“Mother,” by Sugarland
Lyrics of Love: “She’s your mother, you love her/There won’t be another/Place like her again that you call home/She stands here to help you/there’s nothing she won’t do”
“The Best Day,” by Taylor Swift
Lyrics of Love: “I'm five years old/It's getting cold/I've got my big coat on/I hear your laugh/And look up smiling at you/I run and run”
“Teach Your Children,” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Lyrics of Love: “The one they picks, the one you’ll know by/Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry/So just look at them and sigh/And know they love you”
“My Mother’s Eyes,” by Frankie Valli
Lyrics of Love: “I’ll walk the straight and narrow/To reach my goal/God’s gift sent from above/A real unselfish love/I found in my mother’s eyes”
“Your Song,” by Elton John
Lyrics of Love: “And you, you’ll be blessed/You’ll have the best/I promise you that/I’ll pick a star from the sky”
“In My Life,” by The Beatles
Lyrics of Love: “All these places had their moments/With lovers and friends, I still can recall/Some are dead, and some are living/In my life, I’ve loved them all”
“The Baby,” by Blake Shelton
Lyrics of Love: “I guess she was tired by the time I came along/She'd laugh until she cried, I could do no wrong/She would always save me because I was her baby”
“I Look To You,” by Whitney Houston
Lyrics of Love: “I look to you/I look to you/After all my strength is gone/In you I can be strong"
“The Man I Want To Be,” by Chris Young
Lyrics of Love: “I wanna be a good man/A 'do like I should' man/I wanna be the kind of man the mirror likes to see/I wanna be a strong man”
“A Song For Mama,” by Boyz II Men
Lyrics of Love: “Mama, Mama you know I love you/You know I love you/Mama, Mama you're the queen of my heart”
“Hero,” by Mariah Carey
Lyrics of Love: “And then a hero comes along/With the strength to carry on/And you cast your fears aside/And you know you can survive”
“Mother,” by Overcoats
Lyrics of Love: “Mama, don’t you love him so?/Just wanna light the way wherever he goes/And kiss his forehead when he needs to know/He’ll have a home with you/You won’t be alone”
“Sweet Joy Of Mine,” by Joy Williams
Lyrics of Love: “Oh, my darling, sweet love of mine/I’ll hold you all through the night/I gave you your name; you gave me back my life/You’re the heart of me, oh, sweet love of mine”
“My Wish,” by Rascal Flatts
Lyrics of Love: “My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to/Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small/You never need to carry more than you can hold”
“Hey, Ma,” by Bon Iver
Lyrics of Love: “Tall time to call your Ma/Hey Ma, hey Ma/Tall vote, you know you mope it up/Well, you wanted it your whole life/You're back and forth with light”
“Humble and Kind,” by Tim McGraw
Lyrics of Love: “Go to church ’cause your mamma says to/Visit grandpa every chance that you can/It won’t be wasted time/Always stay humble and kind”
“Old Pine,” by Ben Howard
Lyrics of Love: “We stood/Steady as the stars in the woods/So happy-hearted/And the warmth rang true inside these bones”
“Step,” by Vampire Weekend
Lyrics of Love: “Wisdom's a gift, but you'd trade it for youth/Age is an honor, it's still not the truth/We saw the stars when they hid from the world”
“Home,” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
Lyrics of Love: “Oh, home, let me come home/Home is wherever I'm with you/Oh, home, let me come home/Home is wherever I'm with you”
“Only One,” by Kanye West feat. Paul McCartney
Lyrics of Love: “And when you cry, I will cry/ And when you smile, I will smile/And next time when I look in your eyes/We'll have wings and we'll fly"
“Montezuma,” by Fleet Foxes
Lyrics of Love: “Oh, how could I dream of/Such a selfless and true love/Could I wash my hands of/Just looking out for me”
“Do I Make You Proud,” by Taylor Hicks
Lyrics of Love: “My heart is full/Of endless gratitude/You were the one/The one to guide me through”
“Handprints On The Wall,” by Kenny Rogers
Lyrics of Love: “Days go by so quickly/Summer turns to fall/Seems like only yesterday/That you began to crawl/So don't be afraid to take that step/I'll catch you when you fall”
“That’s What Mamas Do,” by Jason Matthews
Lyrics of Love: “And when she bows her head to pray/You can bet she's saying one for you/That's what mamas do/They raise you/Ground you build their whole world around you”
“My Mother’s Eye,” by Etta Jones
Lyrics of Love: “One bright and guiding light/That taught me wrong from right/I found in my mother's eyes”
“He Gets That From Me,” by Reba McEntire
Lyrics of Love: “His curly hair and his knobby knees/The way the sun brings those freckles out/Talkin’ talk never miss a beat/Yeah he gets that from me/He gets that from me”
“Stand By Me,” by Ben E. King
Lyrics of Love: “When the night has come/And the land is dark/And the moon is the only light we’ll see/No I won’t be afraid/Oh, I won’t be afraid/Just as long as you stand, stand by me”
“What A Wonderful World,” by Louis Armstrong
Lyrics of Love: “I hear babies cry/I watch them grow/They'll learn much more/Than I'll never know/And I think to myself/What a wonderful world”
“There You’ll Be,” by Faith Hill
Lyrics of Love: “In my dreams, I’ll always see you soar above the sky/In my heart, there will always be a place for you, for all my life/I’ll keep a part of you with me”
“Time After Time,” by Cyndi Lauper
Lyrics of Love: “If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me/Time after time/If you fall, I will catch you, I’ll be waiting/Time after time”
“I’ll Be There,” by the Jackson Five
Lyrics of Love: “I’ll reach out my hand to you/I’ll have faith in all you do/Just call my name and I’ll be there (I’ll be there)"
“Loves Me Like A Rock,” by Paul Simon
Lyrics of Love: “Oh, my mama loves me, she loves me/She get down on her knees and hug me/Oh, she loves me like a rock/She rock me like the rock of ages”
“Child of Mine,” by Carole King
Lyrics of Love: “Although you see the world different than me/Sometimes I can touch upon the wonders that you see/And all the new colors and pictures you've designed/Oh yes, sweet darling, so glad you are a child of mine”
“Then They Do,” by Trace Adkins
Lyrics of Love: “I look over at their pictures/Sittin' in their frames/I see them as babies/I guess that'll never change/You pray all their lives/That someday they will find happiness”
“You Raise Me Up,” by Josh Groban
Lyrics of Love: “You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains/You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas/I am strong, when I am on your shoulders/You raise me up to more than I can be”
“Blessed,” by Elton John
Lyrics of Love: “And you, you'll be blessed/You'll have the best, I promise you that/I'll pick a star from the sky/Pull your name from a hat/I promise you that, I promise you that”
“Have I Told You Lately,” by Rod Stewart
Lyrics of Love: “Have I told you lately that I love you/Have I told you there's no one else above you/You fill my heart with gladness/Take away all my sadness/Ease my troubles, that's what you do”
“Unforgettable,” by Nat King Cole
Lyrics of Love: “Unforgettable/That's what you are/Unforgettable/Tho' near or far”
“Wind Beneath My Wings,” by Bette Middler
Lyrics of Love: “Did you ever know that you're my hero/And everything I would like to be/I can fly higher than an eagle/For you are the wind beneath my wings"
“Mother,” by Pink Floyd
Lyrics of Love: “Mama's gonna keep baby healthy and clean/Ooh baby, ooh baby, ooh baby/You'll always be baby to me”
“My Love, My Life,” by ABBA
Lyrics of Love: “You are still my love and my life/Still my one and only"
“Simple Man," by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Lyrics of Love: “You'll find a woman and you'll find love/And don't forget, son, there is someone up above"
“Mama Said,” by The Shirelles
Lyrics of Love: “Mama said there'll be days like this/There'll be days like this, my mama said"
"I'll Always Love My Mama," by The Intruders
Lyrics of Love: “I'll always love my mama/She's my favorite girl/I'll always love my mama/She brought me in this world"
“Sweet Child O' Mine," by Guns N' Roses
Lyrics of Love: “She's got a smile that it seems to me/Reminds me of childhood memories/Where everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky"
“Never Alone,” by Lady A
Lyrics of Love: “Wherever you fly/This isn't goodbye/My love will follow you, stay with you/Baby, you're never alone"
"Mama Said," by Lukas Graham
Lyrics of Love: “When mama said that it was okay/Mama said that it was quite alright/Our kind of people had a bed for the night/And it was okay"
“River," by Leon Bridges
Lyrics of Love: “In my darkness I remember/Momma's words reoccur to me/Surrender to the good Lord/And he'll wipe your slate clean"
“Hey Mama," by Kanye West
Lyrics of Love: “You know I love you so, I'll never let you go/I wrote this song just so you know no matter where you go Imma love you"
“A Mother’s Prayer,” by K. Michelle
Lyrics of Love: “Last night I prayed on a fallen star/That you never have a broken heart/Though the world is cold, just remember who you are/And I pray that you never have a rainy day”
“God Made You Beautiful,” by Beyoncé
Lyrics of Love: “When you were born, the angels sighed in delight/They never thought they'd see such a beautiful sight/You took the breath and the world was right again/Tears were shed, how we had been blessed”
“Close Your Eyes” by Michael Bublé
Lyrics of Love: “Close your eyes/Let me tell you all the reasons why/Think you're one of a kind/Here's to you/The one that always pulls us through”
“Nobody’s Love,” by Maroon 5
Lyrics of Love: “You can make a grown man cry/If you ever said, ‘Goodbye’/Never let you go, oh, why?”
"You Are the Sunshine of My Life," by Stevie Wonder
Lyrics of Love: “You are the sunshine of my life/That's why I'll always stay around/You are the apple of my eye/Forever you'll stay in my heart”
“You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” by Randy Newman
Lyrics of Love: “You got troubles, I've got 'em too/There isn't anything I wouldn't do for you/We stick together and see it through/'Cause you've got a friend in me”
“The Rainbow Connection,” by The Muppets
Lyrics of Love: “What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing/And what do we think we might see?/Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection/The lovers, the dreamers, and me”
"The Wonder of You," by Elvis Presley
Lyrics of Love: “Oh oh oh/When no one else can understand me/When everything I do is wrong/You give me hope and consolation”
Do I have to do a mother-son dance?
Nope! Whatever you're comfortable with on the dance floor is entirely up to you. If you're not super keen on a dance, there are plenty of other ways to honor your mom whether it be writing her a hand-written letter, incorporating her into your thank-you speech, or even inviting her to be a part of your bridal party entrance.
When should the mother-son dance happen during the wedding day?
Traditionally, the mother-son dance comes after the couple's first dance and the father-daughter dance. This series of honorable dances typically kicks off the reception after the bridal party entrance commences. But, there are truly no rules, and there are many moments throughout the day that you could have the mother-son dance.
What makes for a good mother-son dance song?
Choosing a song that is meaningful and personal to your relationship is what makes for a good (and memorable) mother-son dance. If the two of you are super goofy and outgoing, opt for an up-beat song that shows off your personalities. Or, pick one that sparks nostalgia and fond memories from childhood.