Top 5 Father-Daughter Dance Songs

The “father-daughter” dance is a moment during a wedding reception where you can honor your father with a special dance – and every special dance needs a special song. The song can be symbolic or merely a tribute to your relationship with your father, or you can make it fun and light-hearted by dancing to a song that you used to dance to when you were a toddler. Either way, he’s going to cry, and if he doesn’t – well… he’d better fake it!

The Barnstorm has played hundreds of father-daughter dances, and we thought we’d list a few of our favorites and why we love them!

1) “Wildflowers” – Tom Petty

    • First of all – Tom Petty. Second of all – TOM PETTY. The man just doesn’t know how to write a bad song. Tom Petty once said this was one of the easiest songs he ever wrote, and while it’s certainly beautiful and drenched in metaphorical lyricism, it certainly does feel very “easy,” which is kind of the vibe he was trying to give off. The main message of the song is the want for a loved one to know they’re deserving of a life free of worry. What father doesn’t want that for their daughter?
    • Great Lyric:
      “…Run away, go find a lover.
      Run away, let your heart be your guide.
      You deserve the deepest of cover.
      You belong in that home by and by…”

2) “Daughter” – Loudon Wainwright III

    • I’m a huge Loudon Wainwright III fan, and love this song so much. It’s beautifully written, has moments of humor, but in the end, it will leave you in joyous tears. If you’re thinking to yourself, “Wait, isn’t this the song in ‘Knocked Up’ with Seth Rogen?”… yes, you’re absolutely right. Turns out, Judd Apatow is also a big fan.
    • Great Lyric:
      “…That’s my daughter in the water.
      Everytime she fell, I caught her… Everytime she fell.
      That’s my daughter in the water.
      I lost every time I fought her… Yeah, I lost every time…”

3) “In My Life” – The Beatles

    • Yes, I know this is on EVERY list, but what do you want us to do?? Say “In My Life” by The Beatles is NOT a great Father-Daughter song?! Nope, we won’t do it. It’s perfect. In all seriousness, “In My Life” is a story about how you can love many things, but nothing more than the most special person, making this a lovely message from both a father to a daughter, and a daughter to a father. Again, I will not apologize for putting this song on the list!
    • Great Lyric:
      “…Though I know I’ll never lose affection,
      For people and things that went before.
      I know I’ll often stop and think about them.
      In my life I love you more…”

4) “Isn’t She Lovely” – Stevie Wonder

    • We love this song because it’s not necessarily a daughter’s tribute to her father, but it’s more of a father’s tribute to both his daughter and wife, because the lyrics acknowledge that it took two parents to create this lovely soul of a daughter. And when it comes to wedding receptions, trust us… Everybody loves a little Stevie!
    • Great Lyric:
      “…I never thought through love we’d be,
      Making one as lovely as she,
      But isn’t she lovely, made from love…”

5) “My Little Girl” – Tim McGraw

    • Where are all our country fans at?! Truthfully, I don’t care if you’re a country music fan or not, this song is as beautiful as it gets, and if you’re looking to get the folks in the room crying, this is the one. Barnstorm Disclaimer: If your father is uncontrollably ugly crying a la Kim Kardashian during this song… We’re sorry???
    • Great Lyric:
      “…When you were in trouble, that crooked little smile could melt my heart of stone.
      Now look at you, I’ve turned around, and you’ve almost grown.
      Sometimes you’re asleep, I whisper, I love you in the moonlight at your door.
      As I walk away, I hear you say, ‘Daddy, love you more…’”
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