10 Classic Dad Songs to Listen to While Celebrating Father’s Day

todayJune 18, 2023 116 3 5

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By Natalia Velazquez

Music Journalist

With Father’s Day coming up on June 18th, it’s important that we take some time to appreciate the odd-ballish men that helped shape some of us into who we are today. This playlist was made with every stereotype of a dad in mind, from those who knock on every piece of furniture in IKEA, to those who are really particular about their steak temperature. Either way, their love and effort do not go unnoticed.


Careless Whisper – George Michael

To kick off this playlist, I wanted to dedicate this first song to my own father. He is one of my favorite people on this Earth and without him, I wouldn’t have my deep appreciation for cats, art, and obscure music. This is one of his favorite songs, and I know this because every time it comes on, he without a doubt goes: “You know this is probably one of the best songs ever made.” I personally can’t disagree with this statement, the opening saxophone is just so iconic and the passion behind Michael’s voice gets me every time. It’s definitely his go-to karaoke song as well.

If Everyone Cared – Nickelback

This song goes out to all the midwestern dads out there. You just can’t have a Father’s Day playlist without some Nickelback on it. I’m not sure when listening to Nickelback became synonymous with being a father, however, the pattern is quite true. I have noticed this song in particular always being played by many of my friends’ dads. I do understand why it’s such a classic though, it speaks on values of kindness and honesty while delivering it in a cool 2000s rock and roll style.

Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees

This song in particular is one of my personal favorites off this list. Not only does every dad I know love this song, it also transcends higher into the grandfathers. When the opening instrumentals begin playing, I have never seen a father’s eyes not light up with excitement. The 70s must’ve been a great time for dad lore.

Beat It – Michael Jackson

Speaking of dad lore, I can imagine this song playing behind every fight story they might have in their book. For many Gen-X fathers, I understand that Michael Jackson was one of the biggest influences of their time, whose impact is still very relevant in pop culture today. My dad continues to preach about how Jackson was one of the coolest guys of his time.

Escape (The Pina Colada Song) – Rupert Holmes

Let’s be honest, I put this song on here because it is essential in dad pop culture. This song reminds me of all the goofy things that are associated with being a dad. From Adam Sandler movies to jorts to socks and sandals, these are all things related to American dad culture. Just imagine your dad grilling to this song with the jorts and sandals combo on. It just makes sense right?

Simple Man – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Now this song goes out to all my southern-rock-loving dads out there. I feel that this song is a staple in a dad’s playlist as it just speaks to the type of wisdom that is passed down by generations. I think this song can be seen as a father telling his child the story of how he gained the values he has today.

Kyoto – Phoebe Bridgers

Now, I know this one is a bit different from the rest, but hear me out. I thought it was just my dad who enjoyed this song a lot; however, it has come to my attention that there is a subculture of Phoebe-Bridgers-loving dads out there! I feel like what draws dads to this song in particular is Bridger’s soft voice contrasted with her upbeat rock sound. I hope this song continues to become a dad classic through the ages.

Take On Me – A-HA

One of my favorite memories revolving around music is when my dad sat me down to show me some of his favorite music videos. Take On Me by A-HA in particular had a video that stood out the most and just reminds me of that sweet memory. It was just very interesting to think about how this song was important to my father at the same age it became important to me.

Big Poppa –  The Notorious B.I.G

In my experience, I have yet to encounter a dad who does not know at least one bar from this song. Big Poppa has so many iconic lines from an iconic time in music history. Even if your father is not a general fan of hip-hop, this song has got to be an exception. If you ask your dad about the Biggie vs. Tupac debate, I’m sure it will re-spark some forgotten, yet distinct opinions.

Hotel California – Eagles

In my family, this song was a go-to for any road trip, even if it wasn’t through a desert. When my father would get tired he’d say “Play my song I need to stay awake,” and we knew that meant we needed to play Hotel California. The guitar solo for this song remains transcendent, as well as the general story it tells. It’s just one of those songs that I really do feel is timeless.


Thank you to all the amazing dads and father figures out there, because of you the world has better jokes and more ill-advised fashion choices!


Written by: Preethi Mangadu

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