One minute they were barely learning how to sit up, and the next they’re packing their stuff and moving out. Watching our kids grow up can really feel like a time lapse. On one hand, you want them to stay your baby forever, and on the other hand, you want them to grow up and become whoever they want to be in the world. And knowing when to let go and realize that your kids are now adults is the true test of being a parent.
To celebrate your baby turning into a responsible and successful adult, here are some songs you can add to your playlist. Just keep in mind that if you’re feeling a little of the empty nest blues, these songs might make you shed a couple of tears.
1. Ben Folds – Gracie
Ben Folds’ prowess with touching lyrics and skills with the piano really shine through with this song he wrote for his daughter. He had already written one for his son, Louie, but he knew Gracie needed one to. It’s such a sweet song about how his little girl who is about to be a lady, but not quite yet. He’s telling her how she’s growing up so fast, and soon she’ll ant to be free; but in the meantime, she’s still his baby girl.
Touching lyrics: One day you’re gonna want to go. I hope we taught you everything you need to know, Gracie girl. 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.
2. Tim McGraw – My Little Girl
A father and daughter will always have a unique bond. A man’s protective instincts really kick in when he first sees his baby girl, and at that moment he’s already wrapped around her finger. Tim McGraw perfectly captures how she’ll always be his little girl, and even if she’s all grown up, she’ll always find her way home.
Touching lyrics: You’re beautiful baby, from the outside in. Chase your dreams, but always know the road will lead you home again. Go on, take this old world. But to me, you know you’ll always be my little girl.
3. Stevie Wonder – Isn’t She Lovely
While not exactly about a daughter growing up, we can’t miss out on a chance to include this iconic Stevie Wonder hit. Isn’t She Lovely was written about his daughter, Aisha. It even includes recordings of him and his daughter playing together. It shows just how much Stevie Wonder loves his little girl, even if she was just a minute old at the time!
Touching lyrics: Isn’t she lovely? Isn’t she wonderful? Isn’t she precious? Less than one minute old. I never thought through love we’d be making one as lovely as she. But isn’t she lovely, made from love?
4. Elton John – Blessed
You might be wondering why Elton John would be singing about children when he has none himself. Well, the song was penned by lyricist Bernie Taupin, who wanted to have a child before he grew too old. Blessed is the result of that wish, and it’s his way of saying that his child will be blessed with all the love he could give.
Touching lyrics: 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, promise you that, promise you that you’ll be blessed.
5. Celine Dion – A Mother’s Prayer
You might find the tune familiar. It’s actually a version of The Prayer, but modified to be suited as a mother’s prayer about her daughter. In this enchantingly heartbreaking song, the mother prays for her daughter as she embarks on her own adventure. This song will truly resonate with any mother who has a grown-up daughter.
Touching lyrics: I pray you’ll be my eyes, and watch her where she goes. And help her to be wise; help me to let go. Every mother’s prayer, every child knows. Lead her to a place, guide her with your grace to a place where she’ll be safe.
6. Martina McBride – In My Daughter’s Eyes
When you become a parent, sometimes you wonder if you’re the one taking care of your child or if it’s your child who’s turning you into a better person. In My Daughter’s Eyes perfectly captures this sentiment as Martina McBride sings about how her daughter is the one who gives her strength, who makes her a better person, and makes her realize what life is really about.
Touching lyrics: In my daughter’s eyes, I am a hero. I am strong and wise, and I know no fear. But the truth is plain to see, she was sent to rescue me. I see who I want to be, in my daughter’s eyes.
7. Spice Girls – Mama
We all know how mothers and daughters may often have a strained relationship – there’s a bit of friendship, some rivalry, a bit of conflict, but love is always present. Mothers want the best for their daughters, while willful daughters want to discover the world for themselves. The Spice Girls may have felt this way while growing up, and as a way of saying, “You were right, mom,” they wrote this touching song.
Touching lyrics: But now I’m sure I know why, why you were misunderstood. So now I see through your eyes, all I can give you is love. Mama, I love you. Mama, I care. Mama, I love you. Mama, my friend.
8. No Limitz – The Man You Have Become
There is some truth to the “mama’s boy” trope, but it comes from a place of love. Mothers will always have a special bond with their baby boy. And while there may be times when mothers worry that their son’s staying too far, at the back of their minds, mothers are always proud of having such a strong son.
Touching lyrics: If you are the husband as you have been the son, how lucky will be your bride. When your own special deliveries come, they’ll be so happy at your side… So glad that you’re my son. Keep being the man you have become.
9. Carole King – Child of Mine
This tearjerker of a song is just bursting with maternal pride for her son. Child of Mine is a heartfelt ballad about a mother’s pure love for a son. And while the son may not have been born in perfect circumstances, she’s happy to see her son growing into a man ready to take on the world.
Touching lyrics: You don’t need directions. You know which way to go. And I don’t want to hold you back, I just want to watch you grow. You’re the one who taught me you don’t have to look behind. Oh yes, sweet darling. So glad you are a child of mine.
10. Helen Reddy – You and Me Against the World
Here’s one for all the single mothers out there. You and Me Against the World is a song about a mother who has sworn to protect her child even if no one else is willing to help out. It’s a song about the struggles of a mother taking care of her son through all the trials.
Touching lyrics: You and me against the world. Sometimes it seems like you and me against the world. When all the others turn their backs and walked away, you can count on me to stay.
11. Nichole Nordeman – Slow Down
Parents often get emotional when they see their kids growing up. And when it happens too fast, you just want to capture every minute of them being your little baby. Slow Down perfectly captures this feeling, as the mother begs her child to slow down and just be her baby for a little while longer.
Touching lyrics: Slow down won’t you stay here a minute more. I know you want to walk through the door. But it’s all too fast. Let’s make it last a little while. I pointed to the sky, and now you wanna fly. I am your biggest fan. I hope you know I am. But do you think you can somehow slow down?
12. The Ataris – The Saddest Song
In this day and age, many parents end up separating, leaving the child without one important figure in their life while growing up. In this heart wrenching song talks about a father hoping his child will understand why he’s not around. He hopes that someday, he’ll finally get to know his son in person and not just in letters.
Touching lyrics: Maybe someday you’ll really get to know me, not just from letters read to you. I pray I get the chance to make it up to you. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do.
13. Lauryn Hill feat. Carlos Santana – To Zion
Before the successful release of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, she had to make possibly the most important decision of her life – to pursue her career as a burgeoning artist or become a mother. Lauryn bravely chose both. This song is a celebration of her choice to keep her son as she pursued her musical career.
Touching lyrics: And I thank you for choosing me to come through onto life to be a beautiful reflection of His grace. See, I know that a gift so great is only one God could create, and I’m reminded every time I see your face.
14. Neil Young – Here for You
Neil wrote this song for his daughter, Amber, as she takes her last year in college. It’s a sweet song about a father gently reminding his grown up daughter that she can always come home, and daddy’s always going to be there for her.
Touching Lyrics: When your summer days come tumbling down, and you find yourself alone. Then you can come back and be with me. Just close your eyes and I’ll be there. Listen to the sound of this old heart beating for you.
15. Cat Stevens – Father and Son
This classic folk rock song about a conversation between a father and son is one that resonates through men of all ages. There comes a time when a son must seek his own destiny, even when his father, whose intentions are pure, would like for him to live a more traditional life.
Touching lyrics: I was once like you are now, and I know that it’s not easy to be calm when you’ve found something going on. But take your time, think a lot, think of everything you’ve got. For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not.
We’re quite sure there won’t be a dry eye left in the room once you start playing all these songs!