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.
Mothers and their sons share a unique and instinctual bond. It is one that transcends space, time, and all other relationships. It is a never-ending, unbreakable, and exquisite kind of love. This bond begins during pregnancy, continues to grow throughout childhood, blossoms during adulthood, and remains strong even after a son leaves home and marries.
When a son finds his special someone and it comes time for him to tie the knot, the bond between him and his mother may be redefined, but it will never lessen. A son's wedding is yet another opportunity for him and his mother to reinforce the strength of their relationship as he explores his new dreams.
A son's marriage is a rite of passage. It marks the moment when he becomes a husband, matures as a man, and maybe even begins to think about becoming a father. As a mother of three adult sons, I've given ample thought to this special day. I have gathered here an eclectic menagerie of fantastic mother-son wedding dance songs ranging from classic oldies to new and inspirational tunes.
Below are 18 beautiful songs to consider using when you and your newlywed son share your first dance after he is married. I chose them because I feel that they underscore those special feelings that exist between moms and sons. They are bound to touch your heart, and some might even make you cry (tissues optional). I hope you find the perfect song here to acknowledge that bittersweet moment when you and your son celebrate your past and acknowledge your future.
Sons are the anchors of a mother's life.
1. "Godspeed" by The Dixie Chicks
I fell in love with this song even before knowing the backstory. Singer-songwriter Radney Foster wrote this song for his young son after learning his ex-wife would be moving from the U.S. to Europe and taking him with her. Even though they were far apart, the young boy listened to his father's song on a cassette tape every night. This song encapsulates the magical kind of love that lives between a parent and a son.
God bless mommy and matchbox cars
God bless dad and thanks for the stars
God hears "amen" wherever we are
And I love you
2. "I Wish You Love" by Luke Higgins
"I Wish You Love" has a gentle melody and sound similar to that of Micheal Bublé. Although technically written as a breakup song, it has a beautiful sound and touches on good wishes that can apply to both mother and son.
And I wish you shelter from the storm
A cozy fire to keep you warm
But most of all when snowflakes fall
I wish you love
3. "Mom" by Garth Brooks
This is a masterfully written, one-of-a-kind song that celebrates motherhood with a tender, soothing melody and deeply touching lyrics. This is a personal song for country music star Garth Brooks, who wrote it to celebrate his high regard for his own mom.
A loving angel tender tough and strong
Come on child it's time to meet your mom
And when she's talking to you make sure you listen close
She's gonna teach you everything you'll ever need to know
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4. "Baby Mine" by Bette Midler
This song will undoubtedly touch your heart; it is about the strong love a mother feels toward her child. Originally part of the score to the movie Dumbo, this song is a sure-fire tear-jerker.
You're so precious to me
Sweet as can be
Baby of mine
5. "Through the Years" by Kenny Rogers
This song is a real classic and for good reason. Kenny Rogers' distinctive voice tenderly reminds us that our love remains strong "through the years."
I can't remember when you weren't there
When I didn't care for anyone but you
The sweetest days I've found
I've found with you
6. "Stand by Me" by Ben E. King
Here comes another classic that manages to cross the generational divide. It is a catchy tune that reminds us that good relationships involve loyalty through thick and thin, which certainly applies to mothers and their sons.
If the sky, that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
And the mountain should crumble to the sea
I won't cry, I won't cry
No, I won't shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me
7. "93 Million Miles" by Jason Mraz
"93 Million Miles" (which is the distance between the earth and the sun) is a great choice for a mother-and-son dance song. It is a heartfelt and vibrant piece that cleverly uses the distance from the earth to the sun as a metaphor about distance and love.
Oh, my my how beautiful, oh my beautiful mother
She told me,"Son in life you’re gonna go far
and if you do it right you’ll love where you are
Just know that wherever you go, you can always come home"
8. "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack
With a gentle pop and country sound, Lee Ann Womack shares a positive, heartfelt, and emotional wish for a child about appreciating life and making the most of it.
Tell me who wants to look back on their years
And wonder where those years have gone
May you never take one single breath for granted
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance . . . I hope you dance
9. "Ordinary Miracles" by Sarah McLachlan
With her one-of-a-kind sound, Sarah McLachlan sings about how miraculous life is and how these miracles are everywhere every day. It is a song meant to remind us of the beauty and wonder of life. This reminds me of a quote by Theodore Roosevelt: "Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground."
When you wake up every day
Please don't throw your dreams away
Hold them close to your heart
'Cause we are all a part
Of the ordinary miracle
10. "You Are My Sunshine" by Elizabeth Mitchell
With its simple and touching lyrics, this classic song written in 1939 has stood the test of time. This song works so well because it goes straight to the heart. This sweetest of versions is sung by Elizabeth Mitchell along with a talented young boy.
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away
11. "How Sweet It Is" by James Taylor
This well-loved classic, originally sung by Marvin Gaye, has been covered by many artists over the years, including Kenny Rogers, Michael Bublé, and Stevie Wonder. Here's James Taylor's take on this song about an especially sweet kind of love. With its smooth and catchy sound, this song is easy to cherish.
I needed the shelter of someone's arms and there you were
I needed someone to understand my ups and downs and there you were
12. "In My Mother's Eyes" by Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson's distinctive voice and musicality make for a beautiful rendition of this song about honoring a mother for all that she is and does.
God's gift sent from above
One true unselfish love
I found in my mother's eyes
13. "I Will" by The Beatles
This is a feel-good, catchy classic that everyone can adore by none other than The Beatles. its message is one of undying love—no matter what, no matter when.
Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we're together
Love you when we're apart
14. "The Prayer" by Josh Groban and Celine Dion
The lyrics of this powerful duet are written from the vantage point of a child toward their parent. It is a prayer put to music. In the prayer, the child wishes for their parent to guide them through the trials and tribulations of life. "The Prayer" was originally sung by Celine Dion and Andrea Botticelli and has been covered numerous times, but this particular version remains my favorite. The melody and lyrics will remain with you long after the last note ends. "The Prayer" won the Golden Globe for best song in 1999.
I pray you'll be our eyes and watch us where we go
And help us to be wise in times when we don't know
Let this be our prayer when we lose our way
15. "Forever Young" by the Cast of Glee
The song "Forever Young," written and originally sung by Rod Stewart, is about wishing the best for your child. The cast of the TV show Glee put a fresh spin on these heartfelt lyrics that will resonate with both mother and son.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
16. "You'll Be in My Heart" by Phil Collins
With his distinctive sound, Phil Collins sings about remaining in the hearts of those you love no matter what. It is a song about feeling safe and feeling loved.
This bond between us
Can't be broken
You'll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more
17. "Lean on Me" by the Cast of Glee
No matter what, a mother will be there for her son. "Lean on Me" is an oldie but goodie—updated here by the cast of Glee—about being there for those you love, even when times get tough. This popular song has a beat and lyrics that make everyone want to sing along.
If there is a load you have to bear
That you can't carry
I'm right up the road
I'll share your load
18. "I Will Always Love You" by Dolly Parton and Vince Gill
Here, Dolly Parton shares the stage with Vince Gill in a duet about undying love. The love between a mother and son is for "always" and this duet beautifully expresses this sentiment perfectly. While Whitney Houston's version of this song received a great deal of attention, it was originally written and sung by Dolly Parton.
I hope life treats you kind
And I hope you have all you've dreamed of
And I wish you joy and happiness
But above all this I wish you love
© 2015 Tracy Lynn Conway
Tracy Lynn Conway (author) from Virginia, USA on May 16, 2019:
Dawn, thank you for sharing your heartfelt story! It is beautiful how you experience a keen sense of life in response to his death. I wish you all the best on Jeff's wedding day and beyond!
Dawn on May 14, 2019:
My son is getting married on July 26th and I'm already a mess. He and I have always been very close. He is a twin whose brother passed away when they were only 19 months old and Jeff proved to be my greatest source of strength and support. We share a very special bond and we both continue to feel that loss - always will. I am very happy for Jeff but Jason is always in my heart. Very mixed emotions for sure.
Jean Bakula on December 17, 2016:
I also have tears in my eyes, and wonder if that day will ever come! Love Mighty Mom's Lynrd Skynrd song too.
Tracy Lynn Conway (author) from Virginia, USA on March 05, 2015:
Thank you, Mighty Mom, I hope that one day you will share the dance floor at your son's wedding, while your favorite song is playing in the background.
Susan Reid from Where Left is Right, CA on February 18, 2015:
Excellent list! I've got tears in my eyes just thinking about dancing at my son's wedding (should I be so lucky).
I would suggest another (my fave) = Simple Kind of Man by Lynrd Skynrd.
Sends shivers up my spine every time.