The love we bear our children is like nothing else in this world. It’s filled with love, hope, and sometimes even fear. Below are some songs that describe parents’ relationships with their sons – whether it’s a rocky kind of relationship or one that’s filled with joy.
John Lennon – Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)
John Lennon famously wrote this song for his son, Sean. Sean was John Lennon’s only son with Yoko Ono. Beautiful Boy is a sweet, dreamy track with a tender message. In the song, John Lennon comforts his young son after having a bad dream. And during that time, he gives his son advice about life such as the famous line “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.
Lyrics for sons: Before you cross the street, take my hand. Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
The Beatles – Hey Jude
Yes, there’s a lot of father-son drama in the Lennon family, famously because of John Lennon’s high-profile affair and marriage to Yoko Ono. While Lennon wrote a handful of songs for his firstborn son, Julian, the most famous song about this Beatles kid was written by Paul McCartney. McCartney wrote this song for the young Julian while his parents were in the midst of their divorce.
Lyrics for sons: And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain. Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders, for well you know that it’s a fool who plays it cool by making his world a little colder.
Celine Dion – A New Day Has Come
This song was written by Canadian songwriters Aldo Noba and Stephan Moccio for Celine Dion. The duo knew the hardship Celine endured to have a baby, as well as her joy when her son was finally born. The song is about the excitement one feels when their child is born, and it clearly reflects Celine’s lifelong desire to have children. Years later, Celine would give birth to twins.
Lyrics for sons: A new day has come. Where it was dark now there’s light. Where there was pain now there’s joy. Where there was weakness, I found my strength. All in the eyes of a boy.
Lonestar – I’m Already There
It’s difficult watching your children grow through the eyes of another because you can’t be with them. This song was written by Lonestar lead singer Richie McDonald along with Gary Baker and Frank Myers. It was inspired by McDonald’s phone call to his 4-year-old son Rhett. An in it, he remembers telling his son that even if he’s not there physically, he’s there in spirit.
Lyrics for sons: We may be a thousand miles apart but I’ll be with you wherever you are. I’m already there. Take a look around, I’m the sunshine in your hair, I’m the shadow on the ground, I’m the whisper in the wind, and I’ll be there until the end. Can you feel the love that we share? Oh, I’m already there.
Harry Chapin – Cats in the Cradle
This famous song by Chapin deals with the relationship some parents have with their children. A lot of parents want the best for their kids, leading them to immerse themselves in work to become good providers. However, there are times when a parent can lose his bond with his kids when he’s too busy to be with them. This song painfully illustrates how an absent parent learns too late that his son had been yearning for his company for so long.
Lyrics for sons: I’ve long since retired and my son’s moved away. I called him up just the other day. I said, “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind.” He said, “I’d love to, dad, if I could find the time. You see, my new job’s a hassle, and the kid’s got the flu. But it’s sure nice talking to you, dad. It’s been sure nice talking to you. And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me he’d grown up just like me. My boy was just like me.
Bob Dylan – Forever Young
At the end of the 60s, Dylan had already cemented himself as a legend in the folk rock scene. In 1974, he decided to get back together with his original group The Band, and recorded this hit song. Forever Young is a song about chasing after what’s really important – not fame nor riches, but happiness. This is a message he wishes to pass on to his youngest son, Jakob, who would go on to be the frontman of The Wallflowers.
Lyrics for sons: May your hands always be busy. May your feet always be swift. May you have a strong foundation. When the winds of changes shift. May your heart always be joyful. May your song always be sung. And may you stay forever young.
Eric Clapton – Tears in Heaven
This tragic song was written by Eric Clapton for the movie Rush. However, it was inspired by the death of his son in 1991. He admits that he had never really intended to write a song for his son, but the need to write a song for the movie inspired him to do so. So in turn, the song could be understood both as a father’s song to his son and as a song fitting the context of the film.
Lyrics for sons: Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven? Would it be the same if I saw you in heaven? I must be strong and carry on ’cause I know I don’t belong here in heaven.
Blink-182 – Stay Together for the Kids
In this list, we primarily have songs for sons. However, we just had to include this one that’s written by a son. Two of the band’s members, Tom DeLonge and Mark Hoppus, experienced what it was like to be a child of divorced parents. In the song, the singer acknowledges how parents are humans too, and they make mistakes. And in turn, the singer naively wishes that there was something he could do to prevent the divorce.
Lyrics for sons: Their anger hurts my ears, been running strong for seven years. Rather than fix the problems, they never solve them. It makes no sense at all. I see them every day. We get along, so why can’t they? If this is what he wants, and this is what she wants, then why is there so much pain?
Lauryn Hill feat. Carlos Santana – To Zion
Lauryn Hill, as successful as she may be now, had to face a tough decision during the start of her music career. While her star was on the rise, she found herself pregnant with her son, Zion. The people around her tried to convince her to get an abortion so that motherhood would not get in the way of her career. However, she refused and instead used her experience to write a song expressing how thankful she is to receive the gift of Zion.
Lyrics for sons: How beautiful if nothing more than to wait at Zion’s door. I’ve never been in love like this before. Now let me pray to keep you from the perils that will surely come. See, life for you my prince has just begun. And I thank you for choosing me to come through unto life to be a beautiful reflection of his grace. For I know that a gift so great is only one god could create. And I’m reminded every time I see your face.
Cat Stevens – Father and Son
For the ultimate song about sons, we have the classic Cat Stevens hit Father and Son. The song is actually a conversation between a father and his son. On the one hand, the father is telling him to settle down and take it easy. However, the son is adamant about carving out his place in the world, something the father once wanted to do when he was his son’s age.
Lyrics for sons: 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, why, think of everything you’ve got. For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not.
Which of these songs above would you dedicate to your son?