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. See also Platonic Declaration of Love.
- "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.
- "Deliver Us" from The Prince of Egypt.
- "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 (Collins wrote it about his daughter).
For one so smallYou seem so strongMy arms will hold youKeep 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.
- Mr. Peabody & Sherman has a montage of the title characters' father-son dynamic set to the below-mentioned "Beautiful Boy".
- The villain song of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride is a lullaby from Zira to her son. However, it's more about her hate for Simba than her love for Kovu (who she wants to turn into a Tyke Bomb).
- The Japanese theme for Storks, "Heiwa" by AI, could fit, as it was named after the singer's baby daughter.
- In Brave, the song "Noble Maiden Fair" that Elinor sings to little Merida.
- In Coco, the song "Remember Me" was written by Héctor for his daughter Coco, who turns out to be Miguel's great-grandmother.
- In "Cheer Up, Charlie," from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Charlie's mother sings about how her son's life will get better whether he finds a Golden Ticket or not. (See Theatre below for another adaptation's equivalent song!)
- In "Suddenly", a song added to the film version of Les Misérables, Valjean sings about how happy he is to adopt Cosette and vows to protect her.
- 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 wolfTurn around boldlyFly high, my baby birdMy 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.
- "I Love My Daughter" from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a deliberate parody of the way some father/daughter love songs in particular can come out sounding... wrong. The original version was extremely pervy and apparently hilarious, but it just didn't suit the character of Darryl who really is a good guy at heart, so the broadcast version instead has him desperately try to sing a wholesome fatherly song only to get increasingly flustered when his words come out sounding the wrong way.
- "A Miracle" from Roundhouse seems to be this (it closes out an entire episode where the main family prepares for the arrival of a new baby), though it's sung by the entire cast and not just the parents.
They say, they say, they say that he's got my eyes.
Oh baby, baby, baby, I'm hypnotized.
Oh baby, baby, baby, how I love you.
Please say, please say, please say that you love me, love me too.
He's a miracle, my my my my baby...
- "Remedy" by Adele, dedicated to her son.
- Amy Grant's "Baby Baby", though the lyrics were vague enough for the video to spin it as a romantic song. (One of the laser-karaoke versions featured on Oddity Archive uses it over footage of a woman and a small child playing around in a park.)
- Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness: "Cecilia and the Satellite."
- "Rockabye" by Anne Marie, Sean Paul, and Clean Bandit. It's told by a third person, but it still counts.
- Beyoncé's "Blue" is written about her daughter, Blue.
- Billy Joel wrote "Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)" for his daughter Alexa.
- "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 rememberEvery hug in the morning and butterfly kisses...
- Bob Dylan's Planet Waves has one: "Forever Young", written for his kids.
- Carly Simon's "Love of My Life" was written for her children.
- Céline Dion: "A New Day Has Come" and "Miracle."
- Chicagos Little One.
- "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.
- "I Think About You" by Collin Raye. A father bemoaning the sexualization of women in advertising, thinking about his young daughter.
- Jim Croces Time In A Bottle was written for his then-unborn son, AJ.
- "Kooks", which David Bowie wrote soon after the birth of his son Zowie.
- Disciple has More, a song about the singer's love for his child and his hopes that their life and relationship with God will be even better than his own.
- Ed Sheeran's "Small Bump", in which the narrator sings a lullaby to his unborn child, promising to always love and protect them. The last few lines reveal that the mother miscarried.
- "Mockingbird" by Eminem.
- "Tina" was written for Frank Sinatra about his youngest child.
- 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
- "Mordred's Lullaby" by Heather Dale is the tragic and dysfunctional version.
- "Glory" by Jay-Z, to the point of recording his daughter's first sounds after she was born, including them in the song, and crediting her as "featuring B.I.C." (for Blue Ivy Carter).
- "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.
- "Beautiful Boy" by John Lennon, about his son Sean.
- "You Ruined Everything" by Jonathan Coulton. It's a lot sweeter than the title would have you believe.
You ruined everything... in the nicest way.
- Also by Jonathan Coulton is "When you go", written from a parent's perspective that has to say goodbye to a now grown up child (going away to college, getting married, or going into the military as per Word of God).
- 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."
- "To Zion" by Lauryn Hill is about her first child, Zion.
- "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack is a mother addressing her daughter.
- "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.
- "Lovin' You" by Minnie Riperton is this to her then-infant daughter Maya Rudolph (yes, the same one from Saturday Night Live).
- Paul Williams' "You and Me Against the World," as made famous by Helen Reddy.
Remember when the circus came to town
And you were frightened by the clown,
Wasn't it nice to be around someone that you knew,
Someone who was big and strong and looking out for
You and me against the world,
Sometimes it feels like you and me against the world
And for all the times we've cried I always felt that
God was on our side.
- Aside from the aforementioned "You'll Be in My Heart", Phil Collins has written a couple of these for his own children.
- From But Seriously, there's "Father to Son", about a father offering advice (mostly dealing with women) to his son; Collins' son Simon was growing up around this time.
- Later, Testify features the song "Come With Me", in which the father promises to make the world that much brighter for his children. Collins first came up with the song as a lullaby not long after his daughter Lily was born, and later completed the song and put it on the album after his son Nicholas was born.
- "In My Arms" by Plumb is a promise of protection and love for her son.
- "Sail to the Moon (Brush the Cobwebs Out of the Sky)" by Radiohead mixes this with a little Protest Song.
- Rod Stewart's "Forever Young", which he wrote for his children after realizing that touring was causing him to miss out on their lives.
- "Babyfather" is about the joys of parenthood, and especially the devotion of fathers.
Oh child don't you know
Your daddy love come with a lifetime guarantee
- There's also "The Sweetest Gift", clearly dedicated to Sade Adu's child.
- "Babyfather" is about the joys of parenthood, and especially the devotion of fathers.
- Sandra Boynton's "Snuggle Puppy", going by the illustrations, is one of these sung from a dog to his puppy.
Oh, snuggle puppy of mineEverything about you is especially fineI love what you are; I love what you doFuzzy little snuggle puppy, I love you!
- "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle" by The Smiths is by a father promising to protect his innocent son.
- Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely?" is the singer's thoughts upon knowing he has a newborn daughter. Being blind, Stevie is unable to actually see is daughter, but he just knows she's beautiful anyway. The album version includes audio of his then-infant daughter being born and, later, of him playing with her in the bathtub.
- "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.
- "Never Grow Up" by Taylor Swift.
- "My Little Girl" by Tim McGraw
- "Just the Two of Us" by Will Smith is about his relationship with his son Trey (from his first marriage).
- Ben Folds has two for each of his twins: "Still Fighting It" for his son Noah, and "Gracie" for his daughter of the same name.
- P!nk's "Run" reads as one of these, sung from the perspective of a mother telling her child that, if they feel like there's nowhere else for them to turn, they can always come back to her.
"Take the best of what I've got
You know no matter what
Before you walk away
You know you can
Back to my arms
Back to my arms!"
- Her song "Fucking Perfect" isn't directed at her child specifically, so much as little girls in general, though the music video ends with the singer singing it to her daughter, hoping that she'll have an easier childhood than she did.
- The instrumental piece "Ballade pour Adeline" by Richard Clayderman was originally composed by Paul de Senneville for his daughter.
- 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 certainNo matter what you doThis time tomorrowI 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.
- Fantine also sings lovingly to a hallucination of Cosette at one point.
- 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.
- "I'd Give My Life For You" from Miss Saigon. It's sung by a single mother to her toddler son, about how she loves him more than anything and would gladly give her life for him. She keeps her word at the end of the play.
- "The I Love You Song" from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a particularly depressing one, since Olive's parents aren't actually there, and she's only imagining what she wishes they would tell her.
- "Min astrakan"/"Summer Rose" from Kristina from Duvemåla, sung by Kristina to her newborn son Danjel. The main theme of the song is actually about her love for Sweden, a country he will never see, and how she will tell him all about it but it's ripe with love and affection from mother to newborn.
- "Dear Theodosia" from Hamilton has Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton gushing over their respective children, Theodosia Burr and Philip Hamilton, and promising to build a wonderful nation for them to grow up in.
- "I Can't Wait" from Bright Star sung by teenage parents Alice and Jimmy Ray to their unborn child, as they promise to stand by their child and each other forever. This doesn't exactly go as planned.
- Dear Evan Hansen has the song "So Big/So Small," in which Heidi explains to Evan how his father left them when he was young and how no matter how bad things get, she will always love and be there for her son from here on out.
- A cut song, "In The Bedroom Down The Hall", is a duet between Heidi and Cynthia, in which they both sing of how they're willing to do anything for their sons.
- The Lightning Thief, the adaptation of the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, has "Strong".
- The musical adaptation of Ever After has one combined with a Villain Song in "After All", where Rodmilla sings about the love a mother has for her child. It's not as heartwarming in context, because of the hypocrisy of Rodmilla musing about the "unbreakable" bond between mother and child, while cruelly mistreating her younger daughter Jacqueline and her stepdaughter Danielle. Even when she speaks of Marguerite, her favorite daughter, she's mainly speaking about her hopes that Marguerite will marry the prince and become the queen of France. Not because she wants her daughter to be happy, but because marrying into royalty will make Rodmilla wealthy again.
What would a mother not do for her child?What lengths would a mother not go?Theres a bond that exists between mother and childBut then again...how would you know?
- Roméo et Juliette, de la Haine à l'Amour has Lord Capulet sing about his fatherly love for Juliet after betrothing her to Paris in "Avoir une Fille" ("To Have a Daughter"). The Nurse also has one before she takes Juliet to marry Romeo in "Et Voilà qu'Elle Aime" ("And Now She Loves").
- "He's My Boy" from Everybodys Talking About Jamie is sung by Jamie's mother, about how she will never stop loving her son.
- Cherie's version of Let's Go On from Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure.
- Rakuen has two parents that sing their regarding child a lullaby: Tony and Mom.
Mom: Close your eyes, I am here and everything will be alright. I am right here by your side as we go walking through the night
- "You Can't Get Things to Change" from Episode One of Of Weasels And Chickens, although Aurelia is singing a very pessimistic message to her son.
- Unsurprisingly the subject of the non-interactive movie/game Do You Remember My Lullaby? (the titular lullaby can be heard here). Warning: bring tissues.
- In the first Darkwing Duck episode, "Darkly Dawns the Duck", Darkwing takes in a young girl called Gosalyn to prevent her from being snatched by the crime boss who killed her grandfather. She tells him about a lullaby her grandfather always used to sing her, "Little Girl Blue." Darkwing sings it, foreshadowing the father/daughter relationship that they're going to share for the rest of the series.
- The Dinosaur Train episode "The Good Mom" ends with Mrs. Pteranodon signing a lullaby to her kids about how no matter what happens, she'll always be their mom.
- 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.
- On Glee, Kurt turns "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" into one of these for his father, who is in the hospital after a heart attack.
- "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 mother and how thankful she is for those great moments. The video, which is made up of Taylor's home videos makes it clear the song is dedicated to her mom.
And I didn't know if you knew, so I'm taking this chance to sayThat 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".
- "The Perfect Fan" by the Backstreet Boys
- "A Song for Mama" by Boyz II Men
- "Daddy's Hands" by Holly Dunn
- "Mama's Song" by Carrie Underwood
- "Mother Like Mine" by The Band Perry
- "Dance with my Father" by Luther Vandross
- "Love, Your Baby Girl" by Sugarland
- "Mama" by Spice Girls
- "Just the Way You Are" by Billy Joel was written for his mother.
- "Promise to Try" from Madonna's Like a Prayer.
- "Hey Mama" by Kanye West
- "Silver Thunderbird" by Marc Cohn is an ode to the singer's father. The silver Thunderbird in the title is the car that his father used to drive.
- A more tragic example is "The Living Years" by Mike + the Mechanics; the song is more of an "I wish my father and I could have put aside our differences while he was still alive" kind of song (it's especially sad considering that songwriters B. A. Robertson and Mike Rutherford had both had strained relationships with their then-recently-deceased fathers, and singer Paul Carrack had lost his own father as a child).
- "Father, Son" by Peter Gabriel, about a son who didn't have the best relationship with his father growing up, but still misses him (inspired by Gabriel's troubled relationship with his own father, but the two did reconcile before the latter's passing).
- "Julia" from The Beatles' The White Album, and John Lennon's solo effort "Mother" (from John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band), both written for his late mother.
- "Daddy Lessons" by Beyoncé, in which she reminisces about how her father taught her to be strong and independent.
- "Philomena" by Thin Lizzy is singer Phil Lynott's tribute to his mother.
- "He Wasn't There" by Lily Allen is about a girl glad she didn't give up on her dad when he was a screw up as they have a great relationship now.
- "Not All Heroes Wear Capes" by Owl City was written as a gift to Adam Young's father, talking about how much he loves him and how he's a hero in Adam's eyes.
- In Mame her nephew Patrick tries to cheer her up by pointing out that she's "My Best Girl."
- ''Finale has two:
- "Adjust Your Thinking," Liam's song to his daughter Dani about how everything he does is to protect her
- Krista's part of "Leaving You/Me," a song sung to her son Noah about how she wants the best for him.
- In Roméo et Juliette, de la Haine à l'Amour, Juliet expresses her conflict in the cut song "Pourquoi" ("Why"), expressing her love and devotion to her father after she heard him sing his Parent-to-Child love song, but still resenting him for betrothing her to Paris.
- In Phineas and Ferb, Candace tries to outdo her brothers in giving their mother the best birthday gift, only to find out they arranged for her to sing a song she had been working on as the party's grand finale. It's short, but incredibly sweet.
Mom it's your birthday
Thanks for all the care and love you give
Not to mention the meals
At times I get kinda nervous
And forget to tell you how I feel
- Musa from Winx Club has a more-or-less signature song, "Return to Me," which is all about how playing music keeps the memory of her late mother alive.
- 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 foreverI'll like you for alwaysAs long as I'm livingMy 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. Made much Harsher in Hindsight when the daughter he wrote the song for died tragically after accidentally being run over by an older sibling's car while still a young child. Not only did his daughter never experience those coming of age landmarks in the song, but the entire theme of "All too soon, the clock will strike midnight, and she'll be gone," takes on a much darker and sadder meaning.
- "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.
- "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.
- "I Don't Need Anything But You" from Annie is a duet between her and Daddy Warbucks about how glad they both are that they've been reunited and the adoption has gone ahead.
Together at lastTogether foreverWe're tying a knotThey never can severI don't need sunshine nowTo turn my skies to blueI don't need anything but you!
- Aspects of Love - George sings "The First Man You Remember" to his daughter, Jenny, and she sings it back to him. George initiates the song because Jenny is wearing her mother's dress.
- "Not While I'm Around" from Sweeney Todd is a particularly tragic example. Toby sings it to his adoptive mother Mrs. Lovett, who sings it back to him...right before telling Todd that He Knows Too Much and they'll have to kill him.
- Nothing's gonna harm youNothing's gonna harm you, no sir/TobyNot while I'm around.
- The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee features a song called, creatively enough, "The I Love You Song," reconciling Olive (who has abandonment issues) with her parents; her father works late and her mother is at an ashram in India.
- Billy Elliot has "The Letter" - literally a letter left to Billy by his dead mother, which is (heartbreakingly) sung aloud at one point. At the end of the musical, Billy writes a sort of farewell letter to the hallucination of his mother that's been following him around, using more-or-less the exact same words back at her.
And please Billy/Mammy,Know that I will always beProud to have known you.Proud that you were mine.Proud in everything.
- Everybodys Talking About Jamie has "My Man, Your Boy", initiated by Jamie to his mother, Margaret.
- Steven Universe has a song called "Dear Old Dad", having Greg and Steven mainly reminiscing how Greg used to do things together as Greg stays in Steven's place to heal up his foot.