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Our top 10 Father Daughter Dance Songs list presents the best Father Daughter Dance Songs for weddings and other occasions. Speaking from personal experience as a daughter mostly raised by her father since she was seven years old, there is no bond between family members that is more powerful than what’s shared between relatives. My mother experienced a brain aneurysm when I was six years old and was rushed to the hospital just before my father arrived from work. As a small child, I did not know we were scheduled to attend a weekend family reunion, so when the news got out this severely dampened what was supposed to be a festive occasion. What’s worse was the reunion was scheduled during the weekend of Father’s Day as it was meant to also celebrate that occasion as well.
Under normal circumstances, the bond between father and daughter is strong enough as it is without a tragedy becoming part of the relationship’s scenario. In the case of my relations with my own father, we relied on each other over the years. I was his only daughter and he was my only father. While I do have a half-brother, he and my father had very little to do with each other as he was mostly raised by my grandmother as my own mother was too young at the time to do that task on her own, and the father of her son permanently abandoned the two of them before he was even born.
When asked to put together this article together, this is a subject close to my own heart as a daughter that was raised by a widowed father. Although my father was hearing and speech impaired, this oddly enough didn’t stop his love for music. No, he couldn’t hear any of the lyrics or how awesome the instruments played but he could lip-read and he could feel the vibrations. There had been the odd occasion he would ask me to turn down the music so that he wouldn’t feel the rumble of the bass so much. I say had because my father passed away in 1993 at seventy-two years old due to a heart stroke he was unable to survive.
With both my father and our mutual love for music in mind, especially the rock genre, the list of ten favorite songs that make awesome father-daughter dance songs for any occasion is dedicated to all the men who look upon their daughters as the most cherished person in their life, as well as the women who look up to their fathers and feel the exact same way.
Ten Favorite Father Daughter Dance Songs
#10 – I’ll Stand by You
From The Pretenders is the power ballad, “I’ll Stand by You.” What makes this 1994 song from the album, Last of the Independents, so great is the role of people looking out for each other, including a father and daughter relationship. “I’ll Stand by You” became a top twenty single among a multitude of nations and was a number sixteen hit on the US Billboard Hot 100.
When this song was released, it became a favorite song for fathers and daughters to dance to at weddings as the proud and tearful papa dances with a young lady who has just become a loving wife to her new husband. “I’ll Stand by You” was so inspirational since its release that it has become an awesome song of support as artists such as Carrie Underwood and Shakira have performed versions of it on behalf of charitable organizations.
#9 – You’ll Be in My Heart
Although the song “You’ll Be in My Heart’ by Phil Collins revolved around a gorilla mother taking in a human infant to raise as her own, this song easily applies to the scenario of a father doing the same with his daughter as he raises her from the stage of infancy to an adult. In the 1999 soundtrack and animation film, Tarzan, “You’ll Be in My Heart” was a ballad that was originally written for his ten-year-old daughter and was titled “Lullaby” before becoming one of the most impressionable songs from Disney’s musical repertoire.
The tale of a bond that cannot be broken is as accurate as it gets when it describes the relationship of a father and his daughter. “You’ll Be in My Heart” became a winner for Best Original Song at the Golden Globe Awards as well as the Academy Awards. With the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), it also became a certified gold hit. On the music charts, this single became a number one hit in the US Billboard Adult Contemporary and the Canada Adult Contemporary categories. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it charted as high as number twenty-one. On a global scale, it was at least a top forty hit among the nations of Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Scotland, Switzerland, and the U.K.
#8 – Isn’t She Lovely
Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” was a song all about his daughter as she was the apple of his eye since the day she was born. The proud papa not only poured all his heart and soul into this single, proudly proclaiming the beauty of his daughter but the best of his lyrical talent. This was obvious as it became one of the most recognizable hits of his career. Stevie Wonder’s sharing of his experience as a father as he raises the earliest moments with his daughter became a number jazz and pop standard due to its popularity since its 1976 release.
On the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, it became a number twenty-three hit as of January 1977 and has since sold enough copies as a song to become certified gold with the U.K.’s BPI and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Not only has “Isn’t She Lovely” served as a father’s celebration of his daughter’s birth but as a song of homage to women of all ages and makes a great tune for these two family members to dance to.
#7 – Father and Daughter
“Father and Daughter” was a song performed by Paul Simon as he expresses his love and concern as any dad would when it comes to the fate of his child’s future. As a father and daughter dance song, this makes an excellent choice as this brilliant ballad has been a fan favorite ever since it was first released as a single in 2002. Originally, it was written for the animation film, The Wild Thornberrys Movie, but has since seen an alternate version appear on Paul Simon’s 2006 album, Surprise. It was the second release of this song that earned Simon a top forty hit in the U.K., peaking as high as number thirty-one on its Official Singles Chart. The expression of love for his daughter as a proud father, performed by the legendary Paul Simon, is definitely a song worth slow dancing to for any occasion.
#6 – In My Life
“In My Life” by the Beatles serves as an ideal song expressing the love between a father and his daughter as they go through life’s challenges as individuals and as a family. No matter what happens in a person’s lifetime, the bond between a father and daughter is unbreakable and unmatchable. From the 1965 album, Rubber Soul, this incredibly powerful song was originally designed to sing about a Liverpool, England, bus route before it was restructured as a reflection on the relationships that served as key influences in a person’s life.
Although there’s no direct specification between a father and daughter referenced in this song, it remains one of the best to dance to between these two members of the family. Regarded by many critics and fans as one of the greatest songs of all time, “In My Life” has been covered many times over by a wide variety of artists. There have been versions that have been altered to go into specifics such as father-daughter relationships but none compare to the brilliance of this Beatles original. Deservedly so, “In My Life” became a certified gold hit by the BPI even though it only charted as high as number seventy-eight on the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it was a number nine hit but in the hearts of many fans, “In My Life” will always be number one in their books.
#5 – When You Need Me
Bruce Springsteen’s “When You Need Me” was a 1987 song he released from his album, Tracks, depicting the tale of a father and daughter going through a difficult time in their lives. Within the song, they learn to trust each other enough to lean on one another as the father and daughter bond is one of those unbreakable relationships that stand the test of time. As a father, his daughter becomes his whole world, and will drop everything just to make sure she has the best life possible.
If he can make that happen for her, he will go as far as sacrificing himself to do so. From the daughter’s point of view, that feeling of protection from her own father is so profound that there is no other man in the world that can match the superhero status she has placed him on. As a dance song, “When You Need Me” deserves the honor of a father and daughter to enjoy without needing a special occasion to do so.
#4 – Here for You
Neil Young’s “Here for You” was a song he wrote for his daughter who had grown to become a young lady before her proud papa’s eyes. Even as she becomes a married woman, raising a family of her own, she will always be his little girl and he will always be there for her. Beautifully played, this easy-listening gem not only serves as a musical note to his daughter that he is proud of her but also offers an open invitation she is welcome to come back should she feel the need to return home. As a father-daughter dance song, “Here for You” from Young’s 2005 album, Prairie Wind, may not be a charted hit but is a fantastic piece of lyrical genius as he laid out his vulnerability to a young woman who will always be daddy’s little girl.
#3 – Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)
There are not very many rock songs written by a father to his daughter, so when such an occasion arises, this alone deserves attention. In the case of Billy Joel’s “Lullabye,” this is a rare and special treat. If there was ever that perfect ballad for a father and daughter to dance to, this would be it. This is, of course, assuming one is able to refrain from crying.
This RIAA-certified gold hit became a number eighteen hit on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and peaked as high as number seventy-seven on the US Billboard Hot 100. In Canada, it was a number twenty-seven hit and charted as high as number forty-three in New Zealand. Singing as a father who lyrically bids his daughter goodnight, it also serves as a reality that little girls eventually grow up to become fine young women who embark on a life journey of her own as she claims her own independence. Even there, she will always be daddy’s little girl.
#2 – God Only Knows
Released in 1966, “God Only Knows” became one of the Beach Boys’ best-known songs. From the album, Pet Sounds, this love song continues to be praised to this day, regardless of whoever happens to perform it. Although this can also pass as a romantic ballad between a man and a woman, it also serves its purpose as a father-daughter dance favorite. Within a genre that doesn’t exactly favor the idea of using God as part of a song’s title, it works here as he was credited for the reason behind the relationship, to begin with.
On the US Billboard Hot 100, “God Only Knows” became a number thirty-nine hit and has since been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll. To this day, it remains one of the greatest songs of all time with publications such as Billboard Magazine and Rolling Stone. Although there is the admittance he may not always love the woman whom he’s addressing, this isn’t a far stretch as sometimes the daughter has been known to test her father’s patience.
As a reference to my own personal story I just shared at the beginning of this article, I certainly gave my own father a series of good reasons to reconsider his love for me as his daughter. However, even trials that have been known to exist between fathers and daughters, it’s still not enough to completely sever the bond shared between them. That’s what makes this song a standout favorite. In addition to peaking at least within the top ten among the music charts belonging to the nations of Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, and the U.K., it became certified gold with the BPI.
#1 – Old Time Rock n Roll
In “Old Time Rock n Roll,” Bob Seger seems to lyrically instruct his kid to avoid playing any kind of music that isn’t classic rock and roll. For a father and daughter team that wants to kick up their heels and show off their dance moves, classic rock style, “Old Time Rock n Roll” is the definite choice to go with. From the album, Stranger in Town, “Old Time Rock n Roll” instantly became a sentimental favorite after it was released as a single in 1979. During an era that was heavily influenced by disco music, Seger’s lyrical defiance against the kind of music his daughter would be more likely to play can be classified as epic.
“Old Time Rock n Roll” has so many awards and accolades that to call it an all-time cult favorite would be an understatement. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it was a number twenty-eight hit in 1979 and peaked as high as number thirty-one in Canada. When the 1983 Tom Cruise movie, Risky Business, came out, it renewed the popularity of “Old Time Rock n Roll” that ushered in a new fan base. The dance scene performed in the movie sparked some fathers and daughters to come up with their own versions to jazz things up at weddings when it was their time to take the dance floor.
Bob Seger’s genius number became a double-platinum seller with the RIAA after reaching the two-million sales mark. However, what truly makes “Old Time Rock n Roll” deserving of the number one spot is the unconventional approach to celebrating the relationship between a father and his daughter, proving not even an age gap is enough to break up one of the most powerful bonds a human being will ever experience.
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