The Song That Always Makes Dad Cry

Music is a powerful thing.  Perfect melodies can stir the deepest places of our being.  Harmonies can lift the spirit seemingly to the clouds.  Rhythm and cadence can instill confidence in the gravest of circumstances, and words that are sung can hang in the air even as they pierce the heart.  But, there are some songs that – for no apparent reason – can bring upon a man such a flood of emotions.  Songs that do not have perfect melodies or awe inspiring crescendos.  Yet these songs cause a grown man to crumble for no reason except that his dearest daughter is dancing to them.

Such was the case with me this weekend.  I can’t say I wasn’t warned.  Bippity-Boppity-Boo would normally not invoke tears, but as I watched my little girl dance her heart out on an enormous stage my own heart swelled with pride.  The moment she had been anticipating so much, and had worked so hard for, had finally come.  Every arabesque and passe was beautiful.  It seemed like she was dancing under the stars.

Her second routine – tap dancing to the song “My Marvelous Magic Show” –  really had me fighting back the tears.  I watched as she pointed her toes and shuffled her feet.  Even now, I can’t really explain what it was exactly that made those songs so powerful.

I suppose there are other dads and moms who can relate and it is an unspoken thing between us.  We lose no shame in crying to Chopsticks or Three Blind Mice.  In fact, we don’t even press the topic when we gather at work to discuss our weekends.  When asked, we respond with short simple phrases like “she did great” or “it was fun” and the other person who is a mom or dad sort of nods with an understanding look before moving on to the next topic quickly so that the emotions of the moment will soon be forgotten and we won’t embarrass ourselves by crying again in a totally inappropriate environment.

But I will never forget how she looked on that stage.


What song was it for you that you will always remember?


8 Replies to “The Song That Always Makes Dad Cry”

    1. That’s a good one. I had heard it a lot before having kids, and then when I was giving my daughter butterfly kisses at night it really sunk in how special that song could be..


  1. For me it’s Josh Groban’s song Lullabye. If you’ve never heard it you need to. It’s on his Awake album. We used to sing it to Arianna when she was in the hospital for her heart surgery. And it stuck. Over the years Dave would sing it to her at night and when she was upset and even now, at 5, it still calms her down. But when I hear the actual song, it brings tears bc of how it helped us bond with her during that difficult time. I picture her as a newborn again.


  2. This is the one that does it for me:
    “Goodnight My Angel” by Billy Joel. I really listened to the lyrics for the first time when we were pregnant with our first. After she was born and I was staring at her sleeping in the crib, it just seemed like the song was written for us. She’s six now and I still sing it to her whenever either of us needs it.

    -Dork Dad


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