“Kid Rock”: Songs about kids

Even the wildest rock ‘n’ rollers settle down at some point. This new maturity is often signaled by the birth of a child, which inevitably leads to a song about the birth of a child, which leads to music videos with kids, which leads to an appearance on ‘Yo Gabba Gabba’.

Sometimes not.  Sometimes they just write songs about kids….and here are some:


-“Memphis, Tennesee”  Chuck Berry

The most deceptively heartbreaking song on this list.  He’s calling the operator to try to get in touch with “his Marie”.  You automatically think it’s a love interest, although he mentions an “uncle” which is odd.

Then in the next verse he tells how her mother pulled them apart, which still sounds like it was a lover.  But he does mention Marie had “hurry home drops on her cheek that trickled from her eye.”  Hmmm.

Then he nails you.  Marie is only 6 years old, and obviously his daughter, and the mother, in fact was his own wife.  Or ex-wife.


-“A Boy Named Sue”  Johnny Cash. 

This song made famous by Johnny Cash tells the funny story of what might happen if a father named his kid Sue.  Just a funny song on how you can screw up your kid in one easy stroke.


“Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)”  John Lennon. 

Feeling guilty about neglecting his first son, the ex-Beatle deliberately took time off to be with his second. An older, more mature Lennon wrote this touching 1980 tune, which starts out with comforting words to a sleeping Sean. Given that Lennon was murdered less than a month after the song’s release, the line “I can hardly wait to see you come of age” is especially heartbreaking.

-“Father Of Mine”  Everclear. 

Everclear sounds so angry on this one, you’d almost thought the guy had been named Sue. It’s tough growing up with a bad dad


-“Cat’s In The Cradle”  Harry Chapin. 

Most people with busy lives can relate to this one. The dad’s too busy for the son. But when the son grows up, he’s too busy for the dad.  Karma, anyone?


‘Isn’t She Lovely,’  Stevie Wonder

On tour in 2007, the soul legend introduced his now-grown daughter Aisha to crowds as the infant he wrote about in this 1976 classic. The recording kicks off with baby Aisha crying. Later, she can be heard playing in the bathtub as Stevie says, “Come on — get out of the water.” Today, that lovely baby is one of her father’s backup singers.


‘Father and Daughter,’ Paul Simon

 The man who gave us ‘Mother and Child Reunion’ wrote this gentle song for the 2002 animated feature ‘The Wild Thornberrys Movie’ and later included it on his album ‘Surprise.’ Simon, who has three children with Edie Brickell, sings, “There could never be a father who loved his daughter more than I love you.” Sure, it’s a bit sentimental, but the subdued melody makes it more sincere than purely sappy.


‘Father and Son,’ Cat Stevens

In this song, the father doesn’t want his son to leave the nest, but the son badly wants to make it on his own. Singing from the two perspectives in alternating verses, Stevens portrays hope on the father’s part and frustration on the son’s.  

Any other songs about kids to add to the list?

Should NOT have named him "Sue"


3 responses

  1. Dave

    Analog Kid- Rush (Signals album)

    January 26, 2012 at 5:34 pm

  2. Shawn Ryan

    “Watching Scotty Grow” by Bobby Goldsboro (Sorry, but it had to be brought up)
    “Saturday Morning Confusion” by Bobby Russell
    “Teach Your Children” by Crosby, Stills & Nash
    “Hell is for Children” by Pat Benatar
    “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton
    “Clair” by Gilbert O’Sullivan
    “House at Pooh Corner” by Loggins & Messina
    “The Greatest Discovery” by Elton John
    “Enter Sandman” by Metallica
    “Hey Jude” by the Beatles
    “Anna Rose” by Vienna Teng
    “Lullaby for a Stormy Night” by Vienna Teng
    “What’s the Matter Here” by 10,000 Maniacs
    “Luka” by Suzanne Vega

    January 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm

  3. Tres

    Third verse of The Ocean (Led Zep)
    Stay Up Late (Talking Heads)
    Lots of the first side of The Wall (Pink Floyd)
    I Am A Child (Neil)
    See Emily Play (Floyd)
    Billion Dollar Babies (Alice Cooper)
    Little Billy (The Who)
    I Kill Children (Dead Kennedys)
    School (Supertramp)
    Cassidy (Grateful Dead)
    Problem Child (AC/DC)
    Don’t Stand So Close to Me (The Police)
    Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl (Var.)
    Hailie’s Song (Eminem)
    I’m A Boy (The Who)
    Jessica (Allman Brothers Band)

    January 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm

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