Some love songs
are between boyfriend and girlfriend, or husband and wife. Others
are between good friends. Still others are between parent and child.
These come in several varieties — wishing for success, calming fears and insecurities, saying "thanks for the memories", or just telling the other person how special he/she is.
This is not necessarily a Music trope; it appears in movies and even books as well.
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Parent to Child
- "Baby Mine" from Dumbo is a lullaby sung to Dumbo by his mother after she's been locked up for defending him from a group of rude boys.
Baby mine, don't you cry.
Baby mine, dry your eyes.
Rest your head close to my heart,
Never to part, baby of mine.
- "You'll Be In My Heart" written by Phil Collins for Tarzan. The lyrics do not indicate what kind of love it is about, but in the movie it is sung to Tarzan by his surrogate mother Kala.
For one so small
You seem so strong
My arms will hold you
Keep you safe and warm.
- "Mother Knows Best" from Tangled combines this with Villain Song. She wants Rapunzel to think it's about her love for Rapunzel. It is actually meant to ruin Rapunzel's self-esteem and keep her emotionally dependent on Gothel and afraid of the outside world.
- In The Chipmunk Adventure, Eleanor sings "My Mother", a lullaby about a mother's love to the baby penguin that Eleanor smuggled aboard their hot-air balloon.
- Paul Simon's "Father and Daughter" from The Wild Thornberrys Movie, sung by a father promising to guard his daughter and watch her grow.
- In Mr. Peabody & Sherman, the montage set to John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy" serves as a Parental Love Song.
Live Action TV
- From Coraline, the "twitchy-witchy" song, in which Coraline's father expresses his affection by telling her (goofily) the things he'll do for her and the things he would never do.
- The original version of the lullaby from Holes encourages a child in spite of the troubles that that child will face.
Be strong, my weary wolf
Turn around boldly
Fly high, my baby bird
My angel, my only
- The "Soft Kitty" song in The Big Bang Theory, originally a lullaby sung to Sheldon Cooper by older female relatives (mother and mee-maw), which in times of stress he asks Penny to sing to him.
- In the The Odd Couple episode "The Paul Williams Story", Paul Williams writes a song based on the words Felix wanted to say to his runaway daughter. It brings them back together again.
- Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely?" is the singer's thoughts upon seeing his newborn daughter.
- "Beautiful Boy" by John Lennon, about his son Sean.
- Johnny Mercer wrote "Mandy Is Two" to celebrate his daughter's reaching her second year. One year later, he updated it as "Mandy Is Three."
- "Butterfly Kisses" by Bob Carlisle and others is about a little girl and her father's relationship as she grows up.
I couldn't ask God for more, man this is what love is.
I know I gotta let her go, but I'll always remember
Every hug in the morning and butterfly kisses...
- "Daddy's Little Girl" by Frankie J is about a girl trying desperately to hold on to her dying father.
- "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle" by The Smiths is by a father promising to protect his innocent son.
- "My Little Girl" by Tim McGraw
- "I'm Already There" by Lonestar. A man who's on the road calls up his family and tells his children that he's with them in spirit if not in fact.
- "I Think About You" - Collin Raye. A father bemoaning the sexualization of women in advertising, thinking about his young daughter.
- "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack is a mother addressing her daughter.
- "In My Arms" by Plumb is a promise of protection and love for her son.
- "For Bobbie," written by John Denver, was retitled "For Baby" when Mary Travers heard it as something she could sing to her daughter.
I'll walk in the rain by your side,
I'll cling to the warmth of your hand.
I'll do anything to keep you satisfied,
I'll love you more than anybody can.
- "Kooks", which David Bowie wrote soon after the birth of his son Zowie.
- "Sail to the Moon (Brush the Cobwebs Out of the Sky)" by Radiohead mixes this with a little Protest Song.
- "Sweet Child O' Mine", Guns N' Roses
- "Gracie", written by Ben Folds about his daughter.
- "Memphis, Tennessee" by Chuck Berry, as revealed at the end of the song. Until the last verse it sounds like he's singing about a girlfriend.
- "Mordred's Lullaby" by Heather Dale is the tragic and dysfunctional version.
- "A Woman's Song" by The Style Council - Paul Weller's band after The Jam - is about a mother comforting her baby, after having almost everything taken away from her and only sees consolation in said baby and his/her future.
- Sandra Boynton's "Snuggle Puppy", going by the illustrations, "Snuggle Puppy" is from a dog to his puppy.
Oh, snuggle puppy of mine
Everything about you is especially fine
I love what you are; I love what you do
Fuzzy little snuggle puppy, I love you!
- "Just the Two of Us" by Will Smith is about the father/son relationship.
- "Lose My Life With You" from !HERO: The Rock Opera, which is a duet with Hero and his mother both singing about the main character having to give up the family life he had to become the prophesied Messiah.
- Heartland's "I Loved Her First."
But I loved her first
I held her first
And a place in my heart
Will always be hers
- Carrie (the musical version) has, as you might expect, a fairly twisted version. A few of them, in fact.
- "Father to Son" from the musical Falsettos. Divorced father singing to his son, giving him the advice to go his own way, and he'll be proud.
- In the short-lived 101 Dalmatians the Musical, one of the puppies asks her mother Missus if she's pretty, and Missus sings "My Sweet Child" in response, a song about how she loves her.
- "Mushnik and Son" from Little Shop of Horrors is Mushnik's "proposal" to adopt Seymour as his son.
- Kiss of the Spider Woman - Molina's mother sings "You Could Never Shame Me" to Molina about how she is still proud of him even though he went to jail.
- "My Child Will Forgive Me" from Parade is about a mother trying to cope with her guilt after her daughter is murdered.
- "This Time Tomorrow" from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Aunt Polly, watching her sleeping nephew, muses on time and growing older and promises him that
One thing is certain
No matter what you do
This time tomorrow
I will still be loving you.
- From Sweeney Todd, the reprise of "Johanna". Played with, however, in that Todd muses on Johanna, but ultimately shows no desire to get back to her.
And though I'll think of you I guess, until the day I die,
I think I miss you less and less as every day goes by.
- A couple verses of Cosette's part of "In My Life" from Les Misérables, asking about her past and why they live the way they do.
- In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, "If Your Mother Were Here" is sung by Charlie's parents when he falls into a blue funk over the Golden Ticket search. Each parent thinks the other could do a better job of cheering him up, and both wish they could give the boy the life he deserves because he's such a light in their lives. In the process, the song also affirms their love for each other.
- Unsurprisingly the subject of the non-interactive movie/game Do You Remember My Lullaby? (the titular lullaby can be heard here). Warning: bring tissues.
Child to Parent
Anime and Manga
- Blood-C has Saya Kisaragi with random mundane songs, who often sings about her much she loves her father. Considering she's voiced by Nana Mizuki... well, see below.
- "Simple Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd is the singer's reminiscence about his mother giving loving advice to him when he was a boy.
All that I want for you my son, is to be satisfied.
- "Rock and Roll Lullaby" is B.J. Thomas's account of a man looking back on being raised by a teen mom.
- "The Best Day" by Taylor Swift is a daughter reminiscing about the good times she spent with her father and thanking him for it.
And I didn't know if you knew, so I'm taking this chance to say
That I had the best day with you today
- "Headlights" by Eminem is an apology to his mother for all that he said about her.
- Nana Mizuki has "Shin'ai" and "Yume no Tsuzuki" as Grief Songs for her late father.
- St Vincent's song for her mother, "I Prefer Your Love".
- In A Goofy Movie, Goofy and Max sing the duet "Nobody Else But You", about how they still love each other even though they have trouble understanding each other.
- The verse in Love You Forever sung by the mother to her son. Inverted at the end when he sings it to her.
I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living
My baby/mommy you'll be
- "Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman. A father sings about his daughter growing up, using the metaphor of Cinderella disappearing at midnight. At the end, the grown-up and recently-married daughter leaves him a note echoing the chorus.
- "Ready, Set, Don't Go", a duet between Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus.
- Johnny Cash's "A Boy Named Sue" subverts the trope - the father named his son "Sue" out of misplaced love, to toughen him up and give him lots of fighting experience.