Music touches my soul. When I am not singing, dancing or playing an instrument, I am writing articles about the songs that I hold dear.
A wedding day is filled with intense and mixed emotions, especially for the father of the bride. The connection between a father and his daughter is tender and magical. Over the course of a daughter's life, her father grows used to being her protector, all the while knowing that one day she will depart into the arms of another. The father-daughter wedding dance celebrates this bittersweet and beautiful rite of passage.
Choosing the perfect song for this rite of passage doesn’t have to be overwhelming, though, and the lyrics of the song don’t have to exactly describe the occasion. The feel and rhythm of the music and the energy and emotion it conveys can matter just as much, if not more, than the lyrics themselves. The songs in this collection have been chosen based not only on their lyrics but on their musicality as well. I hope you find something here that touches your heart and resonates with you.
To a father growing old, nothing is dearer than a daughter.
1. "When You Need Me" by Bruce Springsteen
When it comes to expressing emotion in a gritty and soulful way, it seems that Bruce Springsteen wrote the book (or in this case, the song). “When You Need Me” doesn’t need to grow on you; it is a song you love on your first listen. With his signature melodic folk-rock sound, Bruce sings about being there for a person you love. It is a simple and beautiful song that makes a perfect choice for a father-daughter wedding dance.
If you miss me, I'll be there
To brush the sunlight from your hair
I'll be there to guide you when trouble walks beside you
If you need me I'll be there
2. "My Wish for You" by Rascal Flatts
This song was written by Jeffrey Steele for his youngest daughter when she was a teenager. The song expresses his wish that she hold on to her dreams no matter what challenges she may face and know that she is always loved.
I hope you never look back but ya never forget
All the ones who love you in the place you left
May your dreams stay big and your worries stay small
3. "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra
This standard, originally released in 1936, offers a classy sound and is a perfect song to dance to when dressed for a formal occasion. It has been covered by many artists over the years, but this version by Frank Sinatra is the most popular—and for good reason—it strikes all the right cords.
There is nothing for me but to love you
And the way you look tonight
4. "Daddy Dance With Me" by Krystal Keith
Krystal Keith wrote this song as a surprise to her father, country music star Toby Keith, and performed it for the first time on her own wedding day. It is a touching song that couldn’t be more appropriate for a father-daughter wedding dance.
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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
5. "The Best Is Yet to Come" by Michael Bublé
This is a song that celebrates the hope of tomorrow with a lively big-band sound and a classic musical style that is perfectly suited for a wedding day. A wedding signifies a new chapter, and this song touches on the inherent hope that the future will be more marvelous than we could ever have dreamed of. It is a cover of a song made wildly popular by Frank Sinatra.
Best is yet to come
And babe won't that be fine
You think you've seen the sun
But you ain't seen it shine
6. "A Bird Without Wings" by Damian McGinty
With his angelic voice, young Irish singer Damian McGinty sings about the deep sadness we feel when someone we love is away and we realize just how important and meaningful they are to our lives. This sentiment expresses the bittersweet feelings that a daughter and her father might experience on her wedding day.
You're my guardian angel
My light and my guide
I'd be lost without you
Watchin' over me
7. "Daddy’s Little Girl" by Michael Bublé
This is a slow, sweet, tender, and gentle song about how special “daddy’s little girl” is. Many consider this the “perfect” father-daughter dance song choice. The lyrics of this classic song from 1906 are sung with perfection by Bublé in this version.
You're the treasure I cherish, so sparkling and bright
You were touched by the Holy and beautiful light
Like angels that sing, a heavenly thing
And you're daddy's little girl
8. "My Little Girl" by Tim McGraw
This song perfectly captures the deep love a father has for his daughter while also acknowledging the mixed feelings he has about letting her go as she grows up.
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
9. "You Are My Sunshine" by Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash adds a mature edge to this vintage favorite. This song is one that everyone likely heard as a child and will always remember fondly. It is hard to tire of this sweet melody because it goes straight to the heart and so beautifully reflects the sentiment of undying love that a father feels towards his daughter.
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You never know, dear, how much I love you
10. "Make You Feel My Love" by Adele
Sung from the soul, this song conveys the deepest, most intimate feelings and aptly alludes to the love of a father for his daughter. The power of Adele’s voice draws you in, beckoning you to embrace the unique and awesome feeling of loving someone so dearly.
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love
11. "I’ll Be There" by the Jackson 5
This is a sweet and classic song sung by a young Michael Jackson and family. It's a song whose lyrics speak of always being there for those we love. This popular track has been covered by many artists, so feel free to consider other versions—Mariah Carey's cover is especially memorable.
Whenever you need me, I'll be there
I'll be there to protect you, with an unselfish love I respect you
Just call my name and I'll be there
12. "Nothing Can Change This Love" by Sam Cooke
Sam Cooke, one of the greatest singers and songwriters of all time, uses his distinctive voice as only he can to interpret this song about a never-changing kind of love.
If you wanted to leave me and roam
When you got back, I'd just say welcome home
'Cause honey nothing, nothing, nothing can ever change this love I have for you
13. "Isn’t She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder
This song beautifully expresses the joy a father feels upon receiving the "gift" of a lovely daughter. The song is a celebration of fatherhood and the sense of awe that it brings.
Isn't she pretty
Truly the angel's best
Boy, I'm so happy
We have been heaven blessed
14. "You’ve Got a Friend" by James Taylor
“You’ve Got a Friend” is a smooth, soothing, and now classic favorite from the 1970s, written and originally sung by Carol King. Here, it is sung by the stylistic James Taylor. There is a simplicity about Taylor's singing and his accompanying guitar. The song is about the warmth and reassurance of knowing that you always have a friend. Its lyrics are simple but have profound meaning.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there
15. "Walk With You" by Edwin McCain
Unlike most of the songs on this list, this one was written specifically for a wedding day and is sung by a father to his beloved daughter. It is a celebration of the love he feels towards the daughter he was so blessed to receive. Edwin McCain emphasizes each note with sweet love and devotion.
I can't help thinking that I'm the lucky one
You're still my baby daughter, and now I've gained a son
16. "I Will" by Ben Taylor
“I Will” is a perfect song written by the Beatles about always being there for someone you love, no matter what. “I Will” is sung here by the charmingly smooth Ben Taylor, son of music greats James Taylor and Carly Simon. You might also want to consider the original Beatles version.
I'll Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we're together
Love you when we're apart
17. "True Colors" by Eva Cassidy
Sadly, the great Eva Cassidy passed away before she could record more beautiful songs like this cover of “True Colors.” This is a touching song about loving someone for who they truly are, which applies perfectly to many lucky fathers and daughters out there.
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
18. "You Raise Me Up" by Celtic Woman
The music of this inspirational song is so beautiful that it can stand on its own. In fact, it was originally written as an instrumental. Here, Celtic Woman sing about how others can bring out the best in us, which certainly rings true in a strong father-daughter relationship.
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be
© 2015 Tracy Lynn Conway
Patricia Poet on February 13, 2020:
"I am strong when I am on your shoulders." Sweet, sweet words sung by the Celtic Women. The image this creates makes my heart swell.
Bryan Mathew from Hawaii on April 01, 2016:
I love the song.."Daddy Dance with Me" by Krystal Keith. This song is ful of emotion.