Every girl dreams about her wedding day, visualizing the perfect dress and crafting the ideal soundtrack to rock all night long—of course, never forgetting the centerpiece of that reel. Next to your first dance, your father daughter dance can steal the show, making those hours scouring articles and lists more than worth it. The tradition is supposed to symbolize the dad saying goodbye to his daughter after giving her away in the ceremony. What could be better than a heartfelt country song to do the trick? Your perfect pick should be sentimental but easy to dance to, showing the loving relationship a dad and daughter have while showcasing your dance moves. We've done the legwork for you, ranking the top songs by from "I don't want my mascara to run" to "I'm ready to bawl."
"Ready, Set, Don't Go" (2007) by Billy Ray Cyrus
From the point of view of a dad scared to let his daughter go, "Ready, Set, Don't Go" shows the faith he has in his daughter by setting up positive expectations for her future. Cyrus sings, "She's at the startin' line of the rest of her life, as ready as she's ever been..." Unlike many of the other songs on this list, it does not directly talk about giving his daughter away at her wedding, but it could easily be implied by the lyrics. The song uses metaphors to explain that while it feels like it is the end for the dad, it is truly just the beginning. This song is perfect for the dad who is not ready to let go of his little girl but knows that she is all grown up and ready to start a new life. Pick this song if you want to focus more on the dance and less on sentimentality.
“Your Daddy’s Boots” (2014) by Dustin Lynch
This song is different from all the others on the list as it is from the point of view of the daughter's new husband. The song talks about how much respect he has for her dad and his recognition that he has a lot to live up to. The title is an idiom expressing that he is going to have a hard time "trying to fill your daddy's boots." It describes dads as the hero and the perfect role model, perhaps playing on the idea that girls "marry their fathers." I recommend this song to daughters who see their dad as their hero and the perfect man. It is a rather new song for someone who wants to do something different. This song is a little slow and a little long, so plan on picking your favorite portion for the big dance.
“Cinderella” (2007) by Steven Curtis Chapman
Perfect for the big event itself, this song is about a daughter dancing with her father, mimicking the Cinderella story but this time with a present, loving father. The dad states that he wants to embrace every moment he has while she is still with him "'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight/And she'll be gone." What makes this song different from the others on this list is that it is literally about a dad and daughter dancing together, focusing on the significance of the dance to a dad who fully realizes he will be giving his daughter away to her prince. In this song, the piano is much more prominent than in the other songs, which some might say makes it better for dancing, perhaps inspiring some to take a dance class or two to really dance like Cinderella. This song is perfect for daddy's princess who wants to feel like Cinderella dancing with her dad as he gives her away. Again, this is a long one, so carefully select the ideal segment pre wedding day—we suggest including the song's classic beginning.
“There Goes My Life” (2003) by Kenny Chesney
While this song is different in that the first two verses provide a sense of regret, as the song progresses after his daughter is born, she becomes "his life, his future, his everything." If you decide to use this song, I would recommend having the DJ introduce you over the first two verses or just skip them entirely. Ultimately, the boy turned father discovers that it was all worth it in the end and that he loves his child more than anything. It is a beautiful and sentimental song, ideal for fathers who have sacrificed a great deal and daughters who appreciate every effort he has made. This pick is more about sentimentality than the actual dance, so make sure to hire an instructor if this is your pick.
“Tough Little Boys” (2003) by Gary Allan
The title can definitely be misleading, but this song won a place on this list as it is actually about how having a daughter turns a father into a "big baby again." The first verse explains that when he was a kid, he had to be tough and not cry, but now that he is a dad, it is different. The next verse goes on to explain that now everything his little girl does scares him. The song, like others on the list, follows his little girl from her first steps and first day of school to giving her away at her wedding. This song is for daughters with very sentimental dads—be warned, they might just start crying. Choose this tune if you want this dance to be just as much about your dad as it is about you.
“My Little Girl” (2006) by Tim McGraw
From the lyrics to the melody to Tim McGraw's beautiful voice, this song meets every expectation of a country girl on her big day. The song harps on the truth that no boy will ever live up to daddy's expectations. Tim writes that he wants to push his little girl to go out and dream big but to remember that he will always be there for her when she needs it. Like many father daughter classics, it traces his little girl's life from birth until her wedding day. This song is a perfect fit for a classic daddy's girl with a father who will never let her fall into the wrong hands. Use this song if your focus is beautiful, sentimental lyrics that will make your and your guests' hearts melt.
Well cowgirls, look no further, this list sums up the best country songs to make you and your dad weep during your father-daughter dance. From songs about growing up to letting go, we have listed the best of the best country music has to offer in father-daughter songs. Go on and continue to be daddy's little girl and wait for the special moment when you get to dance to one of these songs with your big man: it will be well worth the wait.