Father’s Day is this Sunday.
And if you’re the least bit worried that daddy won’t appreciate the 6-Pack Jack and Coke or the “#1 Dad” coffee mug you so aptly chose for him this year, maybe you could strike a chord with him a bit with a 90s Father’s Day mixtape.
There are a myriad of country songs about dads.
Something about the themes of simpler times, heartbreak, and heavy drinking always brings us back to dad. So browse my list of country dad songs to get started.
In fact, try playing it for your old man after he’s had a few bourbons on Sunday afternoon. You might just tear a few tears from even the toughest dad.
“Drive (For Dad Gene)” – Alan Jackson
If there is a GOAT of dad songs, it has to be this one. AJ paints not one but three photos of dad giving his child the life-changing experience of driving for the first time.
It’s hard to describe the father-child bond more happily than Alan Jackson.
“Even If I Leave” – Luke Combs
Combs likes to preface this song at his gigs by saying he never really knows what a song will mean to someone else when he writes it. This teardrop follows a father-child relationship through multiple phases of life, and dad is always there to address his child’s fears. Beer never broke Luke’s heart, but this song just might break Dad’s.
“My Boy” – Elvie Shane
Shane put himself on the country music map with this hit about what it’s like to be an all-inclusive stepdad. And anyone with a pulse, in-law or not, can feel this one. (Is daddy still crying?)
“A Boy Named Sue” – Johnny Cash
I won’t spoil Johnny’s classic deadbeat dad story. It will make you laugh, warm your heart, and open your mind to the multitude of parenting techniques that exist in this broken world.
“The Best Day” – George Strait
“Dad, this could be the best day of my life” sings King George as he describes a few perfect days between father and son. It’s funny, I often hear things like “Dad, I HATE you” when I’m doing stuff with my kids. But I’m going to trust the king on this one: that best day for me and my children is out there, somewhere….
“Steak Night at Prairie Rose” – Mike and the Moonpies
The Texas natives tell a moving story about the simple but indelible memories with dad that stay with you. Everyone has their version of “Steak Night at the Prairie Rose”.
For me, it was “Western Bacon Cheeseburger at Carl’s Jr”, which doesn’t quite sound the same, but is still a great memory nonetheless.
“He walked on water” – Randy Travis
Father’s Day is also for grandfathers and great-grandfathers. And all-time country heartbreaker Randy Travis made sure he didn’t forget them with this 1990 single. Grab the tissues, Dad…and Grandpa.
“He’s Mine” – Rodney Atkins
Atkins brings us an anthem about having your child’s back even when they’re wrong. It’s unconditional love with two middle fingers up to the sky. And while this one might not make Dad cry, it will get him going.
“Sinners Like Me” – Eric Church
One of the joys (and horrors) of fatherhood is when you start to see yourself in your children and when you realize your father has seen these same things in himself. Eric Church beautifully lays out the concept of inherited traits so dads can see them with pride.
“Daddy Don’t Pray No More” – Chris Stapleton
Stapleton walks us through the enduring image of dad like only Stapleton can, weaving an emotional and deep story around the unique image of a father bowing his head in prayer. Powerful stuff. (Does daddy always keep it together?)
“Thinking of You” – Dierks Bentley
Dierks was clearly in a life transition when he recorded his ‘Home’ album, ending a record filled with party anthems like ‘Am I the Only One’ and ‘Tip It on Back’ and ‘5-1 -5-0″ with a love letter. The big reveal occurs at the end of the song when Dierks’ daughter, Evie, begins to sing the last verse of the track, revealing that it is a letter to her daughters.
“It’s My Job” – Conway Twitty
This single, released at the end of Twitty’s career, portrays the selfless dad, always there to support and support you when you’re down or unsure of the way forward. Dad has a lot of jobs these days… except cleaning your room (that’s YOU, son).
“The Dollar” – Jamey Johnson
Jamey Johnson’s 2005 debut single came straight from the heart of a working dad. Any dad who has ever missed time with his kids because they were “chasing that dollar” will indeed be guilt-ridden by this one.
“Endless Love, Amen” – George Strait
If Dad isn’t crying yet, fill his glass with bourbon, tell him you love him, and hit him with a final dose of King George. And if that doesn’t work, start at the top and keep pouring. It will get there.
And if you’re a dad yourself, as King George would say, “let me tell you a secret:” you’re a great dad.
Now wipe away those tears and have a Happy Father’s Day.