4 Songs that Will Bring a Tear to the Eye of Any Parent

When it comes to parenthood two things are absolutely true: there is nothing harder and there is nothing more beautiful. Between the bottle feedings, the diaper changes and the photo taking, new parents learn that the road is rocky but the journey is lovely. And when it comes to music, there are a number of songs that offer commiseration and that important emotional recognition and connection parents need in order to feel like they’re not alone as they try to raise infants into mature, good-hearted adults. 

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Here below, we wanted to share four songs that make it clear how lovely (and arduous, at times) parenthood can be. Five songs that touch on the bliss and work it takes to be the person your child needs. 

“You Were Born,” Cloud Cult

This soft-spoken, acoustic-driven song perfectly sums up those early morning feelings when the sun is just starting to rise and you’re looking down at your newborn as she/he drinks from her bottle or just lays there, sleepy-eyed. Bolstered by piano and cello and violin strings, this song from Cloud Cult’s 2010 album Light Chasers describes heartfelt affection as well as the shared, confusing feelings about what it means to be alive. In the end, the message the singer imparts to his child is this: You were born to chase the light.

You were born into a strange world
Like a candle, you were meant to share the fire
I don’t know where we come from, and I don’t know where we go
But my arms were made to hold you, so I will never let you go

“Cat’s in the Cradle,” Harry Chapin

Written by Harry Chapin and wife Sandra, this song appeared on Chapin’s 1974 album Verities & Balderdash. In December of that year, the song hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also earned Chapin a Grammy nomination. As far as its lyrics and sentiments, the track is about parenthood but also the traps working people can have when it comes to their offspring. Any ambitious parent knows the difficult balance between career and family. In the song’s opening verse, the father doesn’t have time for his son. In the final verse, the son doesn’t have time for his retired father. It’s ironic and sad, but also a reminder of what’s important: It’s OK to slow down from your work to make time for those who you love. Sings Chapin in the sentimental opening verse, 

My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch, and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talking ‘fore I knew it, and as he grew
He’d say “I’m gonna be like you, dad”
“You know I’m gonna be like you”

“Blue,” Beyoncé

In 2013, Beyoncé released her self-titled debut album. Two years prior, she gave birth to her child Blue Ivy, who came into the world on January 7, 2012. To honor her daughter, Queen B released the song “Blue” on her 2013 album. On it, she talks about how hard her life can be but how seeing her young daughter is the spirit-lifting relief she often needs. Singing over a down-tempo piano line, Beyoncé bears her soul. The song closes the album and even features young Blue, who speaks briefly to her mother, saying, “Mommy, mommy!” In the accompanying music video, Beyoncé shares some heartfelt footage of her and her young one.

Sometimes these walls seem to cave in on me
When I look in your eyes, I feel alive
Some days we say words that don’t mean a thing
But when you holding me tight, I feel alive
Make it last forever
Come on, baby, won’t you hold on to me, hold on to me?
You and I together
Come on, baby, won’t you hold on to me, hold on to me?

“Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy),” John Lennon

Anyone who has seen the 1995 movie Mr. Holland’s Opus, knows this song well. Or if you’re just a fan of the former Beatle John Lennon, this is assuredly a fan favorite. Either way, the song is an ode to the love that springs from parenthood. Released on Lennon’s 1980 album Double Fantasy, the final record he released before his death, the song was inspired by Lennon’s young son Sean, whom he had with wife Yoko Ono. It’s a lullaby that’s meant to calm the boy after a nightmare and get him back to sleep. Rich with melodic production and Lennon’s lilting voice, it’s a perfect offering to sooth a young child distraught in the middle of the night.

Close your eyes
Have no fear
The monster’s gone
He’s on the run
And your daddy’s here
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful boy

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