Every parent knows what it's like to wish that time would just slow down. Raising children is a privilege and as messy and crazy as some of the moments are, time seems to just move all too fast. There are countless musicians over the years who have tried to portray their own feelings about parenthood in their music. John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy," rapper and singer-songwriter Lauryn Hill's "To Zion," Harry Chapin's "Cats in the Cradle," the list goes on and on. Country music in particular is full of touching songs that all capture the emotions that you have while raising a child.
Even songs that country singers didn't personally write still hit home and cue the water works -- Rascal Flatts "My Wish," Kenny Chesney's "There Goes My Life," Taylor Swift's "Never Grow Up," Martina McBride's "In My Daughter's Eyes" and Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance." As a parent myself, any of these songs can easily make me weep and I know I'm not the only one.
We've rounded up 10 of the best songs that country stars have written in honor of their children. Grab the tissues -- you're going to need them.
1. "For My Daughter," Kane Brown
Kane Brown has proven to be a talented songwriter across his two studio albums. But his heartfelt tribute to his unborn child really takes the cake. Brown co-wrote the song with Chase McGill and Tom Douglas and included it on the extended cut of his second album, Experiment.
"I wrote this song when I found out we were officially going to become parents," Brown announced in a statement after welcoming his first child, daughter Kingsley Rose Brown, with wife Katelyn. "I meant every word, and cannot wait to watch her grow up."
2."Anything Like Me," Brad Paisley
Brad Paisley looks forward to a life spent raising a son just like him on the sweet and humorous "Anything Like Me," which he wrote with Chris DuBois and Dave Turnbull.
"He's gonna love me and hate me along the way/ Years are gonna fly by I already dread the day/ He's gonna hug his momma he's gonna shake my hand/ He's gonna act like he can't wait to leave," Paisley sings. "But as he drives out he'll cry his eyes out/ If he's anything like me there's worse folks to be like/ Aw he'll be alright if he's anything like me."
3. "What I Never Knew I Always Wanted," Carrie Underwood
For her 2015 album Storyteller, Underwood co-wrote the song "What I Never Knew I Always Wanted" with Brett James and Hillary Lindsey. While the song was initially a tribute to her husband and infant son Isaiah, the touching lyrics can honestly now be a sweet testament to her two little boys and how even if you initially weren't sure about what you wanted in life, you can't imagine life without your kids after you have them.
"I never really pictured myself getting married and I guess I never really -- I always assumed a family was in the future, but I wasn't, you know, 'Oh my gosh, I can't wait to have kids,' and I kind of took a more laid-back approach to the whole thing," Underwood told ABC's Robin Roberts. "Now I couldn't imagine my life without either one of them."
4. "Ready, Set, Don't Go," Billy Ray Cyrus
This was Billy Ray's lead single from his tenth album Home at Last. He actually performs it with his daughter Miley Cyrus, who had inspired the song a few years prior when she moved out to Los Angeles to audition for Hannah Montana. Home videos with his daughter played in the background of the sweet music video and you definitely feel the conflict of a parent as their kids are growing up and you have to let them go and try new things. The song actually ended up getting re-released as a duet with Miley, marking her introduction to the country music world.
5. "You'll Always Be My Baby (Written for Daughters' Weddings)" Alan Jackson
Alan Jackson wrote the ultimate father and daughter wedding dance song in honor of his three girls he shares with wife Denise -- Mattie Denise, Dani Grace and Alexandra Jane. Just the opening lines of this song alone are enough to send me into a full weeping fit.
First steps, first words
Seems like yesterday you were just a girl
Skinned knees, climbing trees
All those memories so close to me
6. "My Little Girl," Tim McGraw
"My Little Girl" was the first time McGraw co-wrote one of his own songs. Written with Tom Douglas, the song ends up being a sweet tribute to his three daughters he shares with wife Faith Hill -- Gracie, Maggie and Audrey. The song was included on the soundtrack of McGraw's film Flicka, and many scenes from the film were included in the official video. The song is all about how even though the singer's daughter is growing up, she'll always be his little girl. Anyone else getting misty?
7. "To the Guys That Date My Girls," Thomas Rhett
Thomas Rhett is the king of writing personal songs about his family. He's written love songs about his wife Lauren, but this song for his daughters is equally sweet. Rhett co-wrote the song with his father Rhett Akins, Josh Thompson and Will Bundy, on a tour stop in 2019. At the time, his third daughter Lennon Love wasn't born yet, it was just Willa Gray and Ada James (with Lillie Carolina later joining in 2021). I can't wait for Rhett to write even more songs about his kids as they get older...it's inevitable.
The singer told The Boot that he performed the song to the crowd after writing it and knew he had captured something special.
"And I remember, that day in Alabama, I knew we had something special because I played it in concert the same night we wrote the song, and I was just watching grown men hugging their daughters, crying, hearing the song that they just heard for the first time," Rhett said. "Looking out into a crowd, getting to play a song that no one's ever heard, and watching that kind of reaction was really special."
8. "Lady," Brett Young
I was actually speechless the first time I heard Brett Young's song he co-wrote for his wife Taylor and baby girl Presley Elizabeth. It truly is one of the sweetest songs about a little girl out there. Young was inspired by Lee Brice's song "Boy" but wanted it particularly tailored to a girl and how he hoped his daughter would turn out a lady just like her mom. He told The Boot he had the idea for the song before Presley was even born. Talk about the ultimate lullaby for his little girls!
""Lady" is maybe one of the most special songs I've ever written. I knew from the moment that my wife and I even started discussing having children that I was gonna want to write songs for my kid. I thought for sure it would after they were born and I got to know them a little bit--something would inspire me".
9. "The Mother," Brandi Carlile
Carlile wrote this song after her wife Catherine Shepherd welcomed their daughter, Evangeline Ruth Carlile. It turned out to be a truthful and heartfelt tribute about what motherhood is really like and how even in the midst of losing sleep and losing the right to be selfish, it's the most magical experience getting to raise a little one and be a mother.
10. "That's Why I Love Dirt Roads," Granger Smith
Following the tragic passing of his three year old son River in 2019, Granger Smith reworked this song off his album Country Things Vol. 1.
"Some things in 2020, we had some stuff happen to me and the family. We had a family tragedy and I canceled the studio appointment to cut that song," he told Entertainment Tonight Canada.
"And a few months later, after the tragedy, I went back and kind of revisited that song and it took on a new meaning," Smith said. "The lyrics spoke differently to me than they did before and I rewrote the bridge and I changed a few lines around and then it became what it is today, which is, there's a much deeper underlying meaning to 'That's Why I Love Dirt Roads' than it was originally written for."
READ MORE: 15 Country and Americana Songs About Female Empowerment
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