Fathers & Daughters

Sorry for my extended absence…life has a way of throwing you some crazy curve balls when you least expect them!

As the days close in on our big day, it’s time to make some game day decisions—like what song I’ll dance to with my dad.

Over the years, I’ve shared so many dances with my dad. From dances in the kitchen when I was little and dancing on his toes, to bat mitzvahs and family weddings, they are special moments in my life I’ll never forget.


Personal photos: Clockwise from top left to bottom—at home in the kitchen (circa 1985?), my sister’s bat mitzvah, my bat mitzvah (1993—rocking that sweet bow), and my brother’s bar mitzvah

The dance itself is very important, but finding the song was equally important to both of us. My dad has shaped my musical personality, he has always been on the cutting edge of the musical world, and has introduced me to some of my favorite musicians and always encouraged my siblings and I to be adventurous in our musical taste. My dad’s musical taste ranges from classic rock to hipster indie rock to heavy metal and almost everything in between. I knew finding a song to dance with my dad to at our wedding wasn’t going to be the easiest task, mostly because I knew how opinionated he’d be about it. It needed to be something that wasn’t too overdone, not too trendy, but not too obscure that we couldn’t actually dance to it. And I preferred that it would be lyrically moving.

I used a similar tactic that Mr. Ly and I used for choosing our first dance song. I sent him an email with five choices, and hoped he liked at least one of them.

My top five dance with my dad songs:

How You’ve Grown—10,000 Maniacs

“My, how you’ve grown.”

I remember that phrase from my childhood days too.

“Just wait and see.”

I remember those words and how they chided me,

when patient was the hardest thing to be.

Because we can’t make up for the time that we’ve lost,

I must let these memories provide.”

It’s a sweet sounding song…but the lyrics are more about missed time, not really about the bond between father & daughter.

When You Need Me—Bruce Springsteen

“When you need me call my name

‘Cause without you my life just wouldn’t be the same

If you want me come sunny skies or rain

When you need me just call my name”

I really liked this song, and I thought that Bruce Springsteen would be a good representation of our born and bred Jersey family. But when it came down to it, as much as we both like the song—it just didn’t have the right fit for us. (As it so happens, it fits Mr. Ly and his mom much better—they might be using this for their mother/son dance!)

Father & Daughter – Paul Simon

“I’m gonna watch you shine

Gonna watch you grow

Gonna paint a sign

So you’ll always know

As long as one and one is two wooo

There could never be a father who loved

His daughter more than I love you”

My dad would chose this song to dance to for every single father/daughter dance if he could. But he danced with my sister to this song at her wedding, and he wanted to choose something that would be special for my wedding. I was fine with sharing the song, and if we couldn’t agree on anything else, we’d have gone with this too.

You are the Sunshine of My Life—Stevie Wonder

“You are the sunshine of my life

That’s why I’ll always be around,

You are the apple of my eye,

Forever you’ll stay in my heart”

I love this song. It reminds me of when I was little, and I definitely remember dancing to this song with my dad so many times. I think it would be great—but my dad wanted something a little more current.

Daughter—Louden Wainwright, III—WINNER!

“every thing she sees she says she wants

every time she wants i see she gets

thats my daughter in the water

every thing she owns i bought her

every thing she owns

that’s my daughter in the water

every thing she knows i taught her

every thing she knows

every thing i say she takes to heart

every time she takes she takes apart

that’s my daughter in the water

every time she fell i caught her

every time she fell

that’s my daughter in the water

i lost every time i fought her

yeah i lost every time

every time she blinks she strikes somebody blind

every time she thinks, it blows her tiny mind

that’s my daughter in the water

who’d of ever thought her (who’d of ever thought)

that’s my daughter in the water

i lost every time i fought her

yeah i lost every time”

This is the song my dad and I will dance to at my wedding. With all the songs out there, this one spoke to both of us. It’s such a good blend of what we both wanted, and I can picture us both singing along as we sway to the upbeat tune. It’s the perfect song for me and my dad.

Does anyone else’s dad put a lot of thought into your father/daughter dance? What songs are you dancing to?


Mrs. Lyre

Wedding Date:
January 2013
Lives Intertwined: Pictures of the Newlyweds
What Miss Sword Will Do to Save Money
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  1. Member
    Merelymere 476 posts, Helper bee @ 8:25 am

    I love that song!
    My brother and fiance’ are handling the reception entertainment and are the contact people for the DJ. I decided I wanted my Dad to choose the song and surprise me, so I asked him to work it out with my brother and fiance’. Dad chose one- he told my brother what it is- and I’ll find out at the reception 🙂

  2. Member
    AstoriaK 1563 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:30 am

    I danced with my dad to this song! It really spoke to us, too! It was faster paced and I just loved the line “Everything she knows I taught her”, which is very true for our relationship!

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    tampa wedding photographer, Guest @ 9:16 am

    How sweet! i love these photos!

    tampa wedding photographer

  4. Member
    dragonlover 578 posts, Busy bee @ 9:19 am

    I absolutely love the photos.

    I’ve given it some thought – and its the one important song for our wedding that’s not picked out.

    I was daddy’s little girl until about age 6/7 when his attitude towards life hanged, and since then our relationship is tense at best.

    So yeah… a song is difficult.

  5. mswallaby Bee
    mswallaby 2070 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:22 am

    What a sweet song! My dad and I put a lot of thought into our song, too, and decided on “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw – the lyrics fit our relationship perfectly.

  6. mspony Bee
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 9:31 am

    Love that song, this will be such a special moment to share with your dad!

  7. Member
    brooklynwife 907 posts, Busy bee @ 9:57 am

    Love that song, fellow Philly bride. And my SIL and her father just danced to it too at my brother’s wedding.

    BTW, I’m glad you’re back, I was wondering where you went. I hope all is well with you and planning is going as well!

  8. graywolf Bee
    graywolf 725 posts, Busy bee @ 11:33 am

    your choice is great. wolfman and i just had the hardest time with a mother-son dance and there’s a ton of good threads on the boards for slightly more obscure songs!

  9. Member
    macmint83 142 posts, Blushing bee @ 1:40 pm

    Just have to say those photos are beautiful.
    As the only daughter in my family – I have three brothers – I freely admit that I have my daddy wrapped right round my little finger. I just can’t come up with a song though, Its lovely that your dad had a say in this choice, it’ll be something really special to both of you.

  10. Member
    ZoetheMrs 907 posts, Busy bee @ 2:31 pm

    Adorable pics and I love your song choice! That is the song I would have chosen for my dance with my dad, but he surprised me by requesting “Daddy’s Little Girl” by Michael Bolton lol. It was a little cheesy, but when else can you be as cheesy as you want if not at your wedding? 🙂

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