Country music is full of songs with strong family themes. Many artists use their music to honor specific people in their lives, especially their parents.
Just as there are country songs out there about moms, there are plenty of songs that offer a tip of the hat to devoted dads. These songs explore the deep bonds dads form with their children, and show how they are willing to do anything for the sake of their families.
These songs are made all the more heartfelt when they are recorded by artists who are fathers themselves. As they raise their own children, they discover how important a dad’s role truly is.
We’ve gathered ten of the most memorable country songs that celebrate dads. We hope you enjoy listening to them.
“It Won’t Be Like This for Long” by Darius Rucker
Released in November 2008, “It Won’t Be Like This for Long” served as the second single off of Rucker‘s first country album, Learn to Live. Rucker served as one of the song’s co-writers, which follows a dad as his daughter grows up.
Through each stage of his daughter’s life, the father is reminded that “it won’t be like this for long.” While the sleepless nights and tugging of pant legs may be annoying now, he knows that they’ll be gone in a flash and he’ll soon be wishing to have those moments back.
“Song for Dad” by Keith Urban
Although it was never released as a single “Song for Dad” was one of the standout tracks on Urban‘s third studio album, Golden Road. Urban was the sole songwriter on the track, which serves as a tribute to his father, Robert.
In the song, Urban notes how he’s starting to pick up on his father’s little habits. At the same time, he realizes more with each passing day how much his father did for him. As he sings, “The older I get, the more I can see, how much he loved my mother and my brother and me.”
“He Didn’t Have to Be” by Brad Paisley
Paisley co-wrote “He Didn’t Have to Be,” which was released as the second single off of his debut album, Who Needs Pictures. The song is told from the point of view of a man who has just welcomed his firstborn child. As he prepares for fatherhood, he thinks of his stepfather who stepped up to raise him, even though he didn’t have to.
Whether you have a stepparent or not, this is one song that will never fail to make you cry.
“Daddy’s Hands” by Holly Dunn
Dunn scored the biggest hit of her career with the self-penned “Daddy’s Hands.” The song was released in 1986 as the second single off of her self-titled album, and it climbed as high as the seventh spot on the chart.
The song is told by a woman who is looking back on fond memories she shared with her dad. Whenever she thinks of these moments, she is always reminded of his hands, and how they “folded silently in prayer” and how they were “workin’ ’til they bled.” Overall, the song celebrates the many hats a father wears in order to make his children’s lives the best they can be.
“My Old Man” by Zac Brown Band
The newest song on this list, “My Old Man” was released by the Zac Brown Band in February 2017 as the lead single off of their album Welcome Home.
Brown served as one of the co-writers on the track along with Niko Moon and and Ben Simonetti. The song is a man’s personal flashback as he remembers what his father was like when he was a kid. Now that he has a son of his own, the man understands just how important being a father is, which leaves him, “Hoping that he some day wants to be like his old man.“
“Watching You” by Rodney Atkins
Atkins released “Watching You” in 2006 as the second single off of his album If You’re Going Through Hell. It climbed to the top of the chart, and became the second number one hit of his career. In addition, the song was named as the number one country song of 2007 once Billboard gathered the data for its year-end chart.
Co-written by Atkins, Steve Dean, and Brian Gene White, “Watching You” explores the close relationship that fathers share with their sons. The narrator sings about his four-year-old son in the song, who surprises him with some of his actions. Whenever he asks his son where he has learned to do those things, he responds, “I’ve been watching you, dad. Ain’t that cool?” We think that’s cool and cute!
“Love Without End, Amen” by George Strait
One of Strait‘s most recognizable songs, “Love Without End, Amen” was released as a single in 1990. The song topped the country charts in both the U.S. and Canada, and remains a fan-favorite to this day.
The touching tune was written by Aaron Barker, who also wrote other number one hits for Strait, including “Baby Blue” and “Easy Come, Easy Go.’ His songwriting talent was placed on full display in “Love Without End, Amen,” which shows how fathers will always love their children, no matter what they do.
But the song’s message doesn’t stop there. It takes a spiritual turn at the end, when the narrator dreams that he has died and gone to heaven. Despite his wrongdoings, God forgives him, proving just how powerful his love can be.
“Just Fishin'” by Trace Adkins
Released in 2011 as the lead single off of his album Proud to Be Here, “Just Fishin'” is one of the most emotional songs in Adkins‘ entire catalog. Fans couldn’t seem to get enough of the song, and sent it clear to the sixth spot on the country chart.
Although Adkins didn’t write “Just Fishin’,” he was easily able to relate to its story about the bond between a father and his young daughter. After all, Adkins is a father to five daughters himself. You can hear his personal connection to the song come through clear as day as he sings the chorus’ closing lines, “But I guarantee this memory’s a big ‘un. And she thinks we’re just fishin’.“
“Drive” by Alan Jackson
Released in 2002 as the second single off of his album of the same title, “Drive” was dedicated to Jackson‘s late father, Eugene. Jackson served as the sole songwriter on the song, which cruised straight into the top spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
“Drive” follows a man through the various stages of his life, as he makes precious memories driving with his father. The first thing he learns to drive was a old boat, but he later moves on to a 1964 Ford truck.
By the end of the song, the man has continued his father’s tradition, and reveals that he now takes his daughters out driving in his Jeep.
“That’s My Job” by Conway Twitty
Twitty released “That’s My Job” in 1987 as the third single off of his album Borderline. The song was one of the most successful of Twitty’s career, and claimed the sixth spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in the U.S. It did even better in Canada, where it peaked at the fourth spot on the chart.
Written by esteemed Nashville songwriter Gary Burr, “That’s My Job” is told from a son’s point of view as he remembers comforting words his father shared with him throughout his life. Whenever the boy needed his father, no matter the reason and no matter his age, his dad would always respond with, “That’s my job, that’s what I do. Everything I do is because of you, to keep you safe with me. That’s my job, you see.”
Listening to Twitty sing, it should come as no surprise why “That’s My Job” is one of the most memorable country songs out there about dads.
Which one of the songs on this list was your favorite? It’s so hard for us to pick just one!