The Tie That Binds Us

The GRAMMY Parents' Day playlist
  • Photo: Steve Granitz/
    Jaden, Willow, Will, and Jada Pinkett-Smith
  • Photo: Shirlaine Forres/
    MGMT's Andrew VanWyngarden
  • Photo: Kevin Mazur/
    Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder
  • Photo: Jason Squires/
    Creed's Scott Stapp
  • Photo: Jason Squires/
    DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith
  • Photo: John Shearer/
    John Mayer
  • Photo: Rick Diamond/
    Martina McBride
  • Photo: Michael Caulfield/
    Loretta Lynn
  • Photo: Kevin Mazur/
    Rod Stewart
July 22, 2011 -- 10:50 am PDT

Every second Sunday in May is reserved for the women who have been around to lend their advice, compassion and hardworking hands to us — aka mom. Then there's mom's counterpart — aka dad — who's celebrated on the third Sunday of every June. Now it's nearing the end of July and we're inching up on yet another holiday that celebrates both the mothers and the fathers — Parents' Day.

Music has long been filled with many celebrity parent/child relationships. There's Coldplay's Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow with Apple and Moses; Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale with Kingston and Zuma Nesta Rock; Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman with Sunday Rose; and who could forget Frank Zappa's unique spawn: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan, and Diva Thin Muffin.

To celebrate parents everywhere, in 1994 the National Parents' Day Coalition and former President Bill Clinton signed into law the resolution establishing the fourth Sunday of every July as Parents' Day. According to the resolution, the holiday was established for "recognizing, uplifting and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children."

So parents, we know sometimes you just don't understand your children and the shenanigans they get into, but for all the trouble you've been through, this GRAMMY playlist is for you.


"With Arms Wide Open" (iTunes>)
Creed, Best Rock Song, 2000

With lyrics written by frontman Scott Stapp in anticipation of the birth of his first child, this Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 track is the embodiment of parenthood and new life. The song was later commercially released as a single to benefit Stapp's With Arms Wide Open Foundation "to promote healthy, loving relationships between children and their families."


"Parents Just Don't Understand" (iTunes>)
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Best Rap Performance, 1988

Psst, hey parents. DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince don't seem to think you understand, but check out this tune. It might clue you in on how not to "ruin" your kid's "rep."


"Daddy's Hands" (iTunes>)
Holly Dunn, Best Country Vocal Performance, Female nominee, 1986

Nothing sounds sweeter than a song about a daddy's love. The song also tells the truth about parenting and how it sometimes isn't easy ("Daddy's hands were hard as steel when I'd done wrong"), but that a parent's love for a child never fails ("But I've come to understand/There was always love in daddy's hands").


"My Front Porch Looking In" (iTunes>)
Lonestar, Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals nominee, 2003

The theme of this Billboard No. 1 Country Songs track is simple and true: Home is where the heart is. The father figure depicted couldn't be more qualified for parenting. He's not concerned about meaningless adventures that exist outside of the home. Instead he's focused on the family of three he sees from his "front porch looking in."


"Coal Miner's Daughter" (iTunes>)
Loretta Lynn, GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, 1998

Well, she was born a poor coal miner's daughter, but she had the love of her daddy and the smile of her mommy. That love took her far enough to win three GRAMMY Awards, a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award and a GRAMMY Salute To Country Music honor in 2010.


"In My Daughter's Eyes" (iTunes>)
Martina McBride, Best Female Country Vocal Performance nominee, 2004

McBride's lyrical take on parenting describes the relationship between a mother and daughter as a two-way street. In her daughter's eyes, McBride describes how she herself is seen ("In my daughter's eyes I am a hero/I am strong and wise"), and how she sees herself ("I see who I want to be/In my daughter's eyes"). In the public's eyes, the song was strong enough to break into the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100.


"Daughters" (iTunes>)
John Mayer, Song Of The Year, 2004

This is Mayer's best attempt to lend some advice "on behalf of every man, looking out for every girl" on this GRAMMY-winning track, encouraging fathers to nurture their girls as that relationship will often deeply influence future relationships, namely romantic ones. Of course, Mayer's looking out for himself too, because he's left to "clean up the mess" of a relationship tainted by poor parenting. (And this includes mothers too, Mayer points out.)


"Kids" (iTunes>)
MGMT, Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals nominee, 2009

This track takes the playlist on a twist as it's taken from the perspective of kids. "'Kids' was a result of us being 19 years old, in this fantasy college world, which is a little bit like childhood because you don't have much responsibility," Ben Goldwasser told The Independent in 2008. They were responsible enough to garner a nomination for Best New Artist at the 52nd GRAMMY Awards though.


"Daughter" (iTunes>)
Pearl Jam, Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal nominee, 1994

This track claimed the top spot on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart in 1994 despite not exactly painting a picture-perfect home. In the words of Miley Cyrus, "nobody's perfect," not even parents sometimes.


"Forever Young" (iTunes>)
Rod Stewart, Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male nominee, 1988

Based on a song with the same title written by Bob Dylan, this song sums up what every parent must say when their children begin talking, walking, dressing themselves, and eventually driving: "May you stay forever young." The song also lends timeless words of advice that wish courage, strength and wisdom for people in all seasons of life.


"Kids Say The Darndest Things" (iTunes>)
Tammy Wynette, Best Country Vocal Performance, Female nominee, 1973

Wynette sings about all the "darndest things" kids say on this track, while dropping hints that lead you to wonder who's teaching the kids to say all these darndest things. There's a child who plays dress-up just to say she "wants a divorce" and a first-grader who learns a four-letter word. There's also a mother who cries all night long and a father who's never home. These kids could use some of the "darndest things" Al Green says, such as "let's stay together."

What song reminds you of your parent, or if you're a parent, your child? Drop us a comment and let us know.

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