Carolyn Kruse

Carolyn Kruse

Carolyn Kruse

Thomas Rhett and his father Rhett Akins performing together at Rock the South

Father’s Day is almost here! No need to panic, searching endlessly for a gift. Give dear old dad the gift of music. Play one of these sentimental country songs for dads, and watch him get all emotional. That should put a smile on your father’s face.

I’ll never forget the time I was driving back from Maine with my parents and I played Taylor Swift’s “The Best Day” for my mom. It was Mother’s Day weekend and I held her hand as we both listened and simultaneously teared up.

Songs have the power to unite us, uplift us, conjure up memories and heal us. Spending a few moments alone with you father listening to these songs, or at least one of them, would probably mean the world to dad. He’s bound to have a favorite in this list of country songs for dads.

These Country Songs For Dads Span Decades

On this list of 8 sentimental favorites, you’ll find songs from the 1999 to today. You’ll see some of your favorite artists who’ve written songs from the point of view of being a father or for their fathers.

One of these songs will officially be released this Friday, along with an entire album dedicated to fathers and sons, appropriately titled Fathers and Sons. It’s Luke Combs’ latest project and the father of 2 young sons has been pouring his heart out in songs since becoming a dad. He shared that since his world revolves around his boys, that’s what is inspiring him to write.

Some of these songs will be very familiar to you, while others you will hear for the first time. Take a listen and let us know which ones you connect with the most. The first time I heard the Brad Paisley song, I had all the feels. Even though I had no personal connection to the subject of growing up with a stepfather, he wrote it in such a way that we all could understand.

Happy Father’s Day to all the great dads. Thanks for all you did, are doing and will do. Thanks for letting your little girls stand on your feet to dance. Thanks for throwing the ball around in the back yard with your kids. Thanks for teaching your boys how to be men. And thank you for showing your children how to love and be loved.

  • 1. Things Dads Do- Thomas Rhett

    In 2020, the father of 4, Thomas Rhett, wrote this song with his father Rhett Akins, appropriately. They also had help from writers Matt Dragstrem and Chase McGill. The song details some of the things are dads do for us. Check out these lyrics: 

    “He’ll hand you the keys to a hand-me-down truck
    Take ’em right back when you tear it up
    On your first broken heart, he’ll say, ‘Son, tell ya what
    Let’s talk it out over a beer” 

    He also shares his perspective as a father: 

    The next thing you know, one’s five and one’s three
    And one’s almost one and she’s cutting her teeth
    And you’re in his shoes and you’re starting to do more than a few things dads do



  • 2. Song For Dad- Keith Urban

    Keith Urban featured this gem on his 2002 Golden Road album. He recorded it before he was even a dad. Obviously, he’s got a whole new take now, being the father of 2 girls. The lyrics hold the test of time for honoring our dads, “The older I get the more I can see / How much he loved my mother and my brother and me / And he did the best that he could / And I only hope when I have my own family / That every day I see a little more of my father in me.”


  • 3. My Old Man- Zac Brown Band

    Written by written by Zac Brown, Niko Moon and Ben Simonetti, this 2017 hit ballad is all about Zac’s dad. The opening line, “He was a giant,” shows how Brown’s relationship with his dad started. Always looking up to him and the imposing presence he was. But, by the end of the song, Zac expressed how he sees his son, looking up to him in the same way. “My Old Man” was the lead-off single to the band’s 5th studio album, Welcome Home. 


  • 4. He Didn't Have To Be- Brad Paisley

    “He Didn’t Have To Be” was only the 2nd release for Brad Paisley, off his debut album Who Needs Pictures. His talent for lyrics shines bright in this touching song about a stepdad. It became his first #1 hit, and that was in December of 1999. It was written with Brad’s frequent co-writer and good friend, Kelly Lovelace. It’s written from the perspective of a son of a single mother. The mom starts dating a guy who quickly builds a strong relationship with the kid. It was real life for Lovelace who became a stepdad when he married his wife, Karen. Paisley apparently told Kelly he wanted to write a song that would make Karen cry. (In a good way, of course.) It worked. 


  • 5. Watching You- Rodney Atkins

    There’s a special meaning behind this 2006 Rodney Atkins hit. It was inspired by his own song, Elijah. Atkins found out Elijah had been singing his hit “If You’re Going Through Hell” to his teachers. Ooops. Obviously, not a good choice to share in school. This song became Rodney’s 2nd #1. It tells the story of a young boy in his booster seat spilling his Happy Meal and using a bad word to show his emotions. He tells his father, ” “I’ve been watching you. / Dad, ain’t that cool? / I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you.” Clever and catchy. Share this one with your son or dad. 




  • 6. The Man He Sees In Me- Luke Combs

    Luke Combs’ brand new album is a collection of songs for his sons and from the perspective of being a father, and being a son. The album (out 6/14/24) is called Fathers and Sons.  Not going to lie, I got a little choked up listening to this one. How can you not, with lyrics like: 

    “I hope he never finds out that I didn’t hang the moon
    And I’ve never scared a monster out the closet in his room
    One day between him leavin’ home and driving on my knee
    Maybe I’ll finally be, the man he sees in me” 

  • 7. It Won't Be Like This For Long- Darius Rucker

    In 2009 Darius Rucker took his song about cherishing moments all the way to #1. This one is a story told from the perspective of a father who just had a baby. He and his wife chronicle how much their lives have changed by having a child. From late nights with a baby crying to preschool and beyond. The moral of the story, hang on tight to our babies because they’ll be gone before you know it. 

    “It won’t be like this for longOne day soon you’ll drop her offAnd she won’t even know you’re goneThis phase is gonna fly byIf you can just hold onIt won’t be like this for long” 


  • 8. Drive (for Daddy Gene)- Alan Jackson

    Alan Jackson dedicated this song to his own father, Gene. You’ll find it on his album Drive. It went to #1  in 2002. The song starts out by Alan sharing his experiences with his dad, when he was a kid. His dad would drive him around in an old beat up truck they fixed together. And then they shared boat rides around the lake. But, in the last verse, Jackson turns it around to his own kids, and how he let his daughters drive his Jeep. It’s a clever and emotional gem.


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