33 Heartwarming Father-Daughter First Dance Songs
Father’s Day is right around the corner and we couldn’t help but reflect on the important role that dads play in a wedding. Whether they’re walking you down the aisle or giving a tear-jerking toast, one of the most touching moments is always the father-daughter dance. Long gone are the days of you dancing on top of his feet as a young girl—now’s your time to create a special moment shared between the two of you. Because of this, we took the time to sort through timeless classics, country ballads, and nostalgic tunes to compile 33 songs (in no particular order!) that were inspired by this unbreakable bond. And we even created a Spotify playlist with all of them for you, so the only thing you have to do is crack open a beer with dad, hit play, and turn up the volume.
33. “I Loved Her First” by Heartland
This classic country ballad’s sentimental lyrics are sure enough to bring the waterworks to your guests. What was once nominated for an Academy of Country Music Award for Single of the Year is sure to pull at the heartstrings of your guests.
Favorite lyrics: “I knew the love of a father runs deep. And I prayed that she'd find you someday. But it's still hard to give her away. I loved her first.”
32. “Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)” by Billy Joel
No list is complete without hit-maker Billy Joel. This sweet song was actually written about the bedtime conversations between him and his daughter, Alexa. This song was his way of reassuring her that he will never leave her, no matter what.
Favorite lyrics: “I promised I would never leave you. And you should always know, wherever you may go, no matter where you are, I never will be far away.”
“I promised I would never leave you. And you should always know, wherever you may go, no matter where you are, I never will be far away.”
31. “Dance With My Daughter” by Jason Blaine
If there’s a song that impeccably describes dancing with your father, this is it. It may be the perfect father-daughter song, as it was inspired by the lasting memory of Blaine dancing with his daughter while he still can.
Favorite lyrics: “Gonna dance with my daughter. Spin her around under the lights 'Cause I'm just a father, making the most of this moment in time. Before she lets me go, I'll hold her close. Caught in this race against time, right now all I want is to dance with my daughter tonight.”
30. “Daddy” by Beyoncé
While we’re sure there will be no shortage of Queen Bee songs at your wedding, this is one that you won’t want to miss. From her popular 2003 album, Dangerously in Love, Bey belts touching lyrics about her childhood perspective on her father.
Favorite lyrics: “I want my unborn son to be like my daddy. I want my husband to be like my daddy. There is no one else like my daddy. And I thank you (thank you) for loving me.”
29. “I Will Walk With You” by John Fogerty
If easy listening and touching lyrics are what you’re going for, this song is it! The upbeat instrumentals and tender words make this song an easy one to enjoy and sway to.
Favorite lyrics: “I will walk with you and love you for all time. Travel this ol' world, your little hand in mine. I'll never be far from you, this I promise you.”
“I will walk with you and love you for all time. Travel this ol' world, your little hand in mine. I'll never be far from you, this I promise you.”
28. “Because You Loved Me” by Céline Dion
No favorite lyrics are needed for this tune because we’re sure you know every word! It even won the 1997 Grammy Award for “Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television.”
27. “I’ll Be Your Man (Song For A Daughter)” by Zac Brown Band
Zac Brown shared via Twitter in 2015 that from the moment he knew he was going to have a daughter, he’s been preparing himself to have to let her go. In preparation for that, he composed this song for his daughters to have, even when he’s not around. Aww!
Favorite lyrics: “There was a time when I thought I knew love, until you came into this world. Time keeps on flying, but you're always gonna be my baby girl.”
26. “My Girl” by The Temptations
Iconic and popular. This song needs no introduction or explanation! Plus, we’re sure many of you’ve spent plenty of Sunday mornings dancing around your living room with your dad to this classic number.
25. “Butterfly Fly Away” by Miley Cyrus & Billy Ray Cyrus
Hannah Montana fans, please stand up! Not only will this song put you in a nostalgic mood while you reminisce on your childhood, but this father-daughter duet is one of our favorites and we’re sure it’s one of yours too!
Favorite lyrics: “You tucked me in, turned out the light. Kept me safe and sound at night. Little girls depend on things like that.”
“You tucked me in, turned out the light. Kept me safe and sound at night. Little girls depend on things like that.”
24. “My Darling” by Wilco
Released in 1999 by Wilco, this beautiful yet sleepy melody is quite simple. The song lyrics aren’t very complex but they depict the love a parent has for their children with perfect delicacy.
Favorite lyrics: “Because we made you, my darling. With the love in each of our hearts. We were a family, my darling, right from the start.”
23. “Father and Daughter” by Paul Simon
This song was originally written for The Wild Thornberries movie and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song! The song details a man’s love for his daughter and the role he plays as the father in her life.
Favorite lyrics: “I'm gonna watch you shine, Gonna watch you grow, Gonna paint a sign. So you always know, as long as one and one is two, ooh ooh, there could never be a father loved his daughter more than I love you.”
22. “Daddy Dance With Me” by Krystal Keith
The lyrics for this one speak for themselves. We’re sure there won’t be a dry eye in the house if this is your song of your choice.
Favorite lyrics: “Daddy dance with me. I want you to see the woman I’ve become. Daddy don’t let go. I want you to know I’ll always need your love. Today I became his wife, but I’ll be your baby girl.”
“Daddy dance with me. I want you to see the woman I’ve become. Daddy don’t let go. I want you to know I’ll always need your love. Today I became his wife, but I’ll be your baby girl.”
21. “Stealing Cinderella” by Chuck Wicks
Another country classic that’s held close to the hearts of many. If your partner and father have a close-knit relationship, this tune will be a nice tribute to these two important men in your life.
Favorite lyrics: "Now, ain't she something, son?” I said, Yes, she is quite a woman. And he just stared at me. Then I realized that in his eyes. She would always be playing Cinderella, riding her first bike, Bouncing on the bed. And looking for a pillow fight, Running through the sprinkler, With a big popsicle grin, dancing with her dad looking up at him.”
20. “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler
While these lyrics are up to interpretation, Midler is singing to the most important and influential person in her life, which very much could be a father or father figure. Besides, the slow melodic pace is perfect to sway around the dance floor, holding each other close.
Favorite lyrics: “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.”
28. “Ballerina Girl” by Lionel Richie
Lionel famously wrote this song for Nicole Richie when she was four or five years old after seeing her in her ballet class. At the time, she was not yet his daughter and then went on to adopt her at the age of 9.
Favorite lyrics: “You are more than now. You are for always. I can see in you my dreams come true. Don't you ever go away.”
19. “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw
Tim McGraw famously has three daughters with country-sensation Faith Hill. While his girls were too young for this to be written about them getting married, the touching lyrics made this song the perfect addition to the movie Flicka.
Favorite lyrics: “Someday, some boy will come and ask me for your hand, but I won't say yes to him unless I know he's the half that makes you whole, he has a poet's soul and the heart of a man's man.”
“Someday, some boy will come and ask me for your hand, but I won't say yes to him unless I know he's the half that makes you whole, he has a poet's soul and the heart of a man's man.”
17. “Daddy’s Little Girl” by Michael Bolton
This endearing song is quite popular to play on your wedding day—and we know why! From the smooth saxophone to Bolton delivering lines like “You’re the end of the rainbow, my pot of gold,” you’ll want to share this moment with your dad at some point of the night.
Favorite lyrics: “You’re the end of the rainbow, my pot of gold. You’re Daddy’s little girl to have and hold. A precious gem is what you are. A ray of hope, a shining star.”
16. “Dance Like Yo Daddy” by Meghan Trainor
This upbeat pop tune isn’t for everyone—but it is for those who want to incorporate a fun and upbeat first dance that’s sure to have your guests grinning and dancing along!
Favorite lyrics: “My daddy told me how to do my own thing. He said to let it out, long as you find your groove (Be a dancing fool). Go ahead and find your groove (Be a dancing fool). Make sure you stand out in the crowd and show them all what you can do (Be a dancing fool).”
15. “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder
Another upbeat melody to bring some fun to the moment. Wonder even won the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and it’s in the Grammy Hall of Fame. Wow!
Favorite lyrics: “You are the sunshine of my life. That's why I'll always be around. You are the apple of my eye. Forever you'll stay in my heart.”
“You are the sunshine of my life. That's why I'll always be around. You are the apple of my eye. Forever you'll stay in my heart.”
14. “Forever” by The Beach Boys
This track can be heard on the 1970s album Sunflower. Brian Wilson, one of the band members, describes the vocals led by Dennis Wilson (brother) as “the most harmonically beautiful thing I’ve ever heard.”
Favorite lyrics: “Let the love I have for you. Live in your heart and beat forever (together my love) Forever.”
13. “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King
Another song that needs no introduction or favorite lyrics—it’s a classic for a reason. If you aren’t choosing it for your first dance, we’re sure you’ll choose to play it at some point in the night.
12. “Right By You (for Luna)” by John Legend
The bond between John Legend and mini-look-alike Luna Legend is one we’ve loved to watch grow in recent years. In true Legend fashion, there’s no shortage of melodic piano chords and heartfelt lyrics in this song he wrote for his daughter when she was only seven months old.
Favorite lyrics: “And if angels don't have answers to your prayers. Oh, I will be there, oh I will be there.”
11. “My Little Girl” by Jack Johnson
Johnson’s laid-back acoustic sound and emotional connection to this song is one that’s worth a listen. It was written for his baby girl when she was just an infant.
Favorite lyrics: “Hey little girl, look what you've done. You've gone and stole my heart and made it your own. You've stole my heart and made it your own.”
10. “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars
While this tune isn’t directly about a father-daughter relationship, it is about friendship, which is an important part of the dynamic between two people. Mars beautifully belts words that describe the feeling of having a friend who will go to the end of the earth to be there for you.
Favorite lyrics: “If you tossin' and you're turnin' and you just can't fall asleep. I'll sing a song beside you. And if you ever forget how much you really mean to me, every day I will remind you, oh.”
“If you tossin' and you're turnin' and you just can't fall asleep. I'll sing a song beside you. And if you ever forget how much you really mean to me, every day I will remind you, oh.”
9. “Gracie” by Ben Folds
If your name is Grace, this one’s for you! Ben Folds once told MTV News that he writes songs for very small audiences, and in this case, it was only for one. While the lyrics seem specific to their relationship, Folds goes on to say that we all have similar experiences and this song would be universally understood.
Favorite lyrics: “One day you're gonna wanna go. I hope we taught you everything you need to know, Gracie girl.”
8. “First Man” by Camila Cabello
Pop-sensation Camila Cabello wrote this song directly to her father as a way to ease his worry about her relationship. The reassuring lyrics and sincerity in her voice make for a touching moment for you to share with your dad!
Favorite lyrics: “I swear on my heart that he’s a good man. I promise he loves me. He’d never hurt me. You held me so tight, now someone else can, but you were the first man that really loved me.”
7. “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts
This popular country ballad has quite a story behind it! While Rascal Flats popularized the song, it was originally penned by Jeffrey Steele and Steve Robson. Steele had already written a song about three of his other kids, and his youngest daughter, Justine, would always taunt him about how he played favorites since there wasn’t a song about her. Steele joked and said, “You know what, I’m going to write a song about you today!” (to which he clarified that his songs don’t typically materialize that quickly). But sure enough, he met with Robson that same day and the rest is history.
Favorite lyrics: “I hope you never look back, but you never forget all the ones who love you and the place you left. I hope you always forgive and you never regret and you help somebody every chance you get. Oh, you'd find God's grace in every mistake.”
6. “Unforgettable” by Natalie Cole & Nat King Cole
This father-daughter duet is unforgettable. Out of all of Nat King Cole’s children, Natalie is the one who followed in his footsteps most. She dropped over 20 studio albums and has made quite a music career for herself.
Favorite lyrics: “Unforgettable in every way. And forevermore (And forevermore). That's how you'll stay (That's how you'll stay). That's why darling, it's incredible that someone so unforgettable thinks that I am unforgettable too.”
5. “It’s for My Dad” by Nancy Sinatra
The title says it all! It’s a catchy song that encompasses the relationship between her and her musician father, Frank Sinatra.
Favorite lyrics: “Always a partner, a playmate, and a teacher. Ready with a joke when times were sad. And in my teens, sometimes he was a preacher. This song's not for you folks, it's for my dad.”
4. “Fathers & Daughters” by Michael Bolton
Yet another song by ballad-king himself. If there’s anyone that can create a sentimental moment, it’s Michael Bolton.
Favorite lyrics: “If I could catch a star for you, I swear I'd steal them all tonight. To make your every wish come true and every dream for all your life.”
“If I could catch a star for you, I swear I'd steal them all tonight. To make your every wish come true and every dream for all your life.”
3. “Daddy’s Little Girl” by The Shires
Crissie Rhodes wrote this melodic and heart-wrenching ballad about her father who passed away when she was only eight years old. She explains that it was a great way for her to get her feelings out over something that wasn’t talked about much—and we couldn’t agree more!
Favorite lyrics: “When I count my blessings, I know where to start. He might not hold my hand no more, but he'll always, always hold my heart.”
2. “It Won’t Be Like This For Long” by Darius Rucker
This catchy tune is sure to remind us that we should never take things for granted because one day, they’ll be the moments you miss most. Rucker sends out this message with his words and was inspired by the singer's daughters.
Favorite lyrics: “One day soon she'll be a teenager and at times you'll think she hates him. Then he'll walk her down the aisle and he'll raise her veil.”
1. “Tupelo Honey” by Van Morrison
Van Morrison told Rolling Stone that this song is about a woman giving birth to a child. He expresses his love for the woman and the newfound happiness found in having a kid. Tune in and vibe out to this ‘70s-esque beat that feels familiar and soothing.
Favorite lyrics: “She's an angel of the first degree. She's as sweet as tupelo honey. Just like the honey, baby, from the bee. She's my baby, you know she's alright.”
Hero photo courtesy of Cavin Elizabeth Photography