60 Must-Play Songs About Parents

parents dancing

Photo by Julieta

Aside from the bride and groom, the most important guests at your wedding will likely be your parents. And while they may be used to playing a supporting role, they too deserve their moment to shine. What better way to honor your mom and dad than to dedicate a heartfelt song to them at your reception?

If you want to go the sentimental route, your guests will be sure to tear up when they hear Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings,” or Elton John sing “Can You Feel The Love Tonight.” But if your family is more the joking type, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s “Parents Just Don’t Understand” will have your guests in stitches.

From heart-wrenching tales of unconditional love to feel good classics, here are 60 songs to dedicate to parents at your wedding.

01 of 60

“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”

02 of 60

“How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You),” by Marvin Gaye

Lyrics of Love: “I needed someone to understand my ups and downs/And there you were”

03 of 60

“Wind Beneath My Wings,” by Bette Midler

Lyrics of Love: “You were content to let me shine, that's your way/You always walked a step behind”

04 of 60

“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"

05 of 60

“Parents Just Don’t Understand,” by Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

Lyrics of Love: “You know parents are the same/No matter time nor place”

06 of 60

“I’ll Be There,” by The Jackson 5

Lyrics of Love: “I'll reach out my hand to you/I'll have faith in all you do”

07 of 60

“My Father’s House,” by Bruce Springsteen

Lyrics of Love: "My father's house shines hard and bright/It stands like a beacon calling me in the night” 

08 of 60

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” by Marvin Gay featuring Tammi Terrell

Lyrics of Love: “Cause baby there ain't no mountain high enough/Ain't no valley low enough”

09 of 60

“Can You Feel The Love Tonight,” by Elton John

Lyrics of Love: “And can you feel the love tonight?/It is where we are”

10 of 60

“Dance With My Father,” by Luther Vandross

Lyrics of Love: “I'd play a song that would never ever end/How I'd love, love, love to dance with my father again, ooh”

11 of 60

“I Got You (I Feel Good),” by James Brown

Lyrics of Love: “When I hold you in my arms/I know that I can't do no wrong”

12 of 60

“What A Wonderful World,” by Louis Armstrong

Lyrics of Love: “I see them bloom for me and you/And I think to myself what a wonderful world"

13 of 60

“Song for My Dad,” by Keith Urban

Lyrics of Love: "There were times I thought he was being just a little bit hard on me/But now I understand he was making me become the man he knew that I could be"

14 of 60

“You Are My Sunshine,” by Johnny Cash

Lyrics of Love: “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine/You make me happy when skies are gray”

15 of 60

“God Only Knows,” by The Beach Boys

Lyrics of Love: “I'll make you so sure about it/God only knows what I'd be without you”

16 of 60

“Your Smiling Face,” by James Taylor

Lyrics of Love: “Whenever I see your smiling face/I have to smile myself”

17 of 60

“My Dad,” by Paul Peterson

Lyrics of Love: “He isn't much in the eyes of the world, He'll never make history/No, he isn't much in the eyes of the world, But he is the world to me”

18 of 60

“Your Joy,” by Chrisette Michele

Lyrics of Love: "No one can compare to the way my eyes fit in yours/You'll always be my father, and I'll always be your joy"

19 of 60

“Mama,” by the Spice Girls

Lyrics of Love: "Back then I didn't know why you were misunderstood Mama/So now I see through your eyes all that you did was love"

20 of 60

“The Best Day,” by Taylor Swift

Lyrics of Love: “I grew up in a pretty house and I had space to run/And I had the best days with you"

21 of 60

“Just The Way You Are,” by Billy Joel

Lyrics of Love: “I took the good times, I'll take the bad times/I'll take you just the way you are”

22 of 60

“A Song for Mama,” by Boyz II Men

Lyrics of Love: “Whenever I was down/You were always there to comfort me”

23 of 60

“Stand By Me,” by Ben E. King

Lyrics of Love: “No I won't be afraid, no I-I-I won't be afraid/Just as long as the people come and stand by me”

24 of 60

“Hey Mama,” by Kanye West

Lyrics of Love: "See you're unbreakable, unmistakable, highly capable lady that's makin' loot/A livin' legend too, just look at what heaven do"

25 of 60

“Don’t Stop Believin’,” by Journey

Lyrics of Love: “Don't stop believin'/Hold on to the feelin'"

26 of 60

“Daddy,” by Beyonce

Lyrics of Love: “You've given me such security/No matter what mistakes I make you're there for me”

27 of 60

“Landslide,” by Fleetwood Mac

Lyrics of Love: “Well, I've been afraid of changin'/'Cause I've built my life around you”

28 of 60

“Lovely Day,” by Bill Withers

Lyrics of Love: “Then I look at you/And the world's alright with me”

29 of 60

“Family Affair,” by Mary J. Blige

Lyrics of Love: “Let's get it crunk, we gon' have fun/Up on up in this dancerie”

30 of 60

“I’ll Stand By You,” by The Pretenders

Lyrics of Love: “Nothing you confess/Could make me love you less”

31 of 60

“He Didn’t Have To Be,” by Brad Paisley

Lyrics of Love: "Lookin' back, all I can say about all the things he did for me is/I hope I'm at least half the dad that he didn't have to be"

32 of 60

“The Best Day,” by George Strait

Lyrics of Love: "Dad, this could be the best day of my life/I've been dreaming day and night about the fun we've had, just me and you doing what I've always wanted to”

33 of 60

“We Are Family,” by Sister Sledge

Lyrics of Love: “We are family/Get up everybody and sing”

34 of 60

“Hero,” by Mariah Carey

Lyrics of Love: “When I had you there/But then I let you go”

35 of 60

“Through The Years,” by Kenny Rogers

Lyrics of Love: “Through the years/You've never let me down”

36 of 60

“You’re My Inspiration,” by Chicago

Lyrics of Love: “You're the meaning in my life/You're the inspiration”

37 of 60

“Dear Mama,” by 2Pac

Lyrics of Love: "And there's no way I can pay you back/But my plan is to show you that I understand/You are appreciated"

38 of 60

“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"

39 of 60

“Father and Daughter,” by Paul Simon

Lyrics of Love: “I believe the light that shines on you/Will shine on you forever”

40 of 60

“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”

41 of 60

“Color Him Father,” by The Winstons

Lyrics of Love: “Never a frown always a smile when he says to me 'How's my child?'/I think I'll color this man father/I think I'll color him love"

42 of 60

“Mama’s Song,” by Carrie Underwood

Lyrics of Love: “Mama, you taught me to do the right thing/So now you have to let your baby fly”

43 of 60

“Father’s Eyes,” by Amy Grant

Lyrics of Love: “When people look inside my life, I want to hear them say/She's got her father's eyes”

44 of 60

“A Mother Like You,” by JJ Heller

Lyrics of Love: “I know it won't always be easy/I hope I can love like you do”

45 of 60

“Oh! My Papa,” by Eddie Fisher

Lyrics of Love: “Oh, my pa-pa, to me he was so wonderful/Oh, my pa-pa, to me he was so good”

46 of 60

“The Baby,” by Blake Shelton

Lyrics of Love: "She'd laugh until she cried. I could do no wrong/She would always save me because I was her baby"

47 of 60

“Kind and Generous,” by Natalie Merchant

Lyrics of Love: “You've been so kind and generous/I don't know how you keep on giving”

48 of 60

“Thank You,” by 33Miles

Lyrics of Love: “Thank you for everything/thank you for loving me”

49 of 60

“Always Be Your Baby,” by Natalie Grant

Lyrics of Love: “Now I can stand on my own/But I know you'll never let go”

50 of 60

“Mom,” by Megan Trainor

Lyrics of Love: "Ain't nobody got a mom like mine/Her love's 'til the end, she's my best friend"

51 of 60

“These Three Words,” by Stevie Wonder

Lyrics of Love: “ "When was the last time that they heard you say/Mother or father, 'I love you?'"

52 of 60

“Daddy’s Hands,” by Holly Dunn

Lyrics of Love: “I remember daddy's hands how they held my mama tight/And patted my back for something done right”

53 of 60

“Coat of Many Colors,” by Dolly Parton

Lyrics of Love: "Momma sewed the rags together/sewin' every piece with love” 

54 of 60

“It’s for My Dad,” by Nancy Sinatra

Lyrics of Love: “He always was a rock when I needed one/He gave me good advice when I needed some”

55 of 60

“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”

56 of 60

“Papa Don’t Take No Mess,” by James Brown

Lyrics of Love: "Papa is the man who can understand how a man has to do whatever he can"

57 of 60

“Mother,” by Ashanti

Lyrics of Love: "You taught me strength, and you gave me guidance/ Whenever faith was lost you were there to find it"

58 of 60

“I Learned From You,” by Miley Cyrus and Billy Ray Cyrus

Lyrics of Love: “I learned from you that I do not crumble/I learned that strength is something you choose”

59 of 60

"First Man" by Camilla Cabello

Lyrics of Love: “You held me so tight, now someone else can/But you were the first man that really loved me”

60 of 60

“Speechless,” by Alicia Keys

Lyrics of Love: “I used to know all the words to say, I used to write all the poetry/But now you take my breath away”

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