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'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.
Watch 'Isn't She Lovely' Live
'Baby Baby,' Amy Grant
Most people hadn't heard of Grant when she released 'Next Time I Fall' with Peter Cetera in 1991, but she had been a star in the Christian music world since she was a teen. With one mainstream hit under her belt, she decided to attempt a full-on crossover five years later. Her album 'Heart in Motion' was less about spirituality and more about everyday life, cheesing off some of her faith-based faithful. Still, 'Baby Baby,' written about her newborn daughter, was a huge hit.
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'Stay Up Late,' Talking Heads
In the '70s and '80s, Talking Heads were experimental, avant-garde and, well ... just kinda weird. You wouldn't have expected these art-school rockers -- famous for frontman David Byrne's big suit and 'Psycho Killer' -- to record a baby song. Of course, being a Talking Heads baby song, it represents the infant as a sleep-deprived tiny alien creature to observe curiously. 'Stay Up Late,' from 1985, recently appeared in the movie 'Baby Mama.'
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'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 sentimental 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.
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'My Baby,' Britney Spears
The end of the past decade was a difficult time for the pop queen, who lost her beloved aunt, her hair and -- some have said -- her marbles. Then, in a crushing blow, she also lost custody of her two young sons. Just when it appeared she had gone off the deep end for good, Spears lost weight, obtained visitation rights and made an impressive musical comeback. In this song from 2008, she credited her children with helping her turn her life around.
Watch the 'My Baby' Video
'Prayer for You,' Usher
When Usher was a grown man, his father apologized for being a sub-par dad, then asked his son for forgiveness. That conversation inspired this song, in which Usher sings to his infant son Usher Raymond V, "I'll do my best to be there for you every day/To be what my father wished he was to me." Sadly, Usher Raymond III, who struggled with drug and alcohol addictions, died a few months before the song's 2008 release.
Watch the 'Prayer for You' Video
'Kooks,' David Bowie
Bowie was inspired to write this silly 1971 song after the birth of his son, who bore the silly name Zowie Bowie. The song offers Zowie guidance from David and then-wife Angela: "A couple of kooks/Hung up on romancing," adding, "If you stay with us/You're gonna be pretty kooky, too." Zowie, who as an adult goes by the more sensible name Duncan Jones, has retained just enough kookiness to make it as a successful film director.
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'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 treacly, but the subdued melody makes it more sincere than purely sappy.
Watch 'Father and Daughter' Live
'Original of the Species,' U2
Bono was thinking about the Edge's daughter Hollie back when she was a newborn when he was writing this 2004 song, which reportedly made the Edge cry. Driven musically by the U2 guitarist's piano playing, this dreamy number is a "be who you are" song, Bono has said, that reminds all people they are one of a kind. Obviously, Hollie is not a twin.
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'Gracie,' Ben Folds
After writing 'Still Fighting It' for his son Louie, Folds felt it only fair to write a song for his daughter, lest he invite accusations of favoritism. While his hit song 'Brick' was about how not to make babies, this one from 2005 is more hopeful: "One day you're gonna want to go/I hope we taught you everything you need to know." The video featured photos of dads with their daughters, inspiring viewers to offer a collective awwww.
Watch 'Gracie' Live
'Flowers for Zoë,' Lenny Kravitz
In this 1991 lullaby for his daughter, Kravitz created a utopian scene full of flowers, rainbows, oceans and angels. Originally released as a B side to 'I Built This Garden For Us' in 1989, it eventually became a hit on its own. Today, Zoë Kravitz is an actress and singer, who -- with genes from model-pretty parents Kravitz and Lisa Bonet -- couldn't help but be gorgeous.
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'Sail to the Moon,' Radiohead
At one time, frontman Thom Yorke told MTV he couldn't stand fathers who yakked on and on about their kids. Then something strange happened: He had a kid. Radiohead's 'Hail to the Thief' album from 2003 was largely inspired by children's stories, he said, including this not-annoying lullaby, written for son Noah.
Watch 'Sail to the Moon' Live
'Precious,' Annie Lennox
In 1988, Lennox's first child, a boy whom she named Daniel, was stillborn. Suddenly aware of how fragile the human condition is, Lennox said she could relate to others experiencing hardships across the world. To honor her son's memory, she began supporting several charities, like Amnesty International and Greenpeace. When she gave birth to a healthy girl called Lola two years after Daniel, she was inspired to write this 1992 song.
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'Time in a Bottle,' Jim Croce
"There never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do": Those words rang tragically true when Croce was killed in a plane crash three months before this song's release in 1973. The singer had decided to take a break from touring to spend more time with his wife and infant son, AJ, who inspired this track. First, though, he would fulfill his obligations to previously booked venues. After a gig in Natchitoches, La., his plane clipped a tree and crashed, killing everyone on board.
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'Dancing Boy,' Harry Chapin
Four years prior to this 1978 song, Chapin had a US No. 1single with 'Cat's in the Cradle,' about a father who neglects his son. Later, he would write this number, introduced onstage as "a short story about the 'Cat's in the Cradle' kid, my son." Josh Chapin once said he used to dance while his father played music in the studio, inspiring this song.
Watch 'Dancing Boy' Live
'Dear Jessie,' Madonna
In 1989, at the height of her success -- and in a move toward more serious subject matter -- Madonna released this song, which was a hit in the UK but never released in the States. A pop lullaby written for collaborator Patrick Leonard's daughter, the song's lyrics featured rainbows, pink elephants, mermaids and turtle doves. In the video, Madonna appeared as a Tinkerbell-like animated fairy.
Watch the 'Dear Jessie' Video
'Lullaby for Wyatt,' Sheryl Crow
When she adopted a two-week-old boy in 2007, Crow had just survived a rough patch that included a bout with breast cancer and a separation from Lance Armstrong. On the otherwise politically charged 2008 album 'Detours,' she addressed Wyatt in this soft ballad, proclaiming, "The world could fall apart/But you're my heart."
Watch the 'Lullaby for Wyatt' Video
'Sarah,' Thin Lizzy
Phil Lynott, lead singer of Thin Lizzy, wrote this soft rocker after the birth of his first daughter, singing, "When you came into my life, you changed my world." Unfortunately, Lynott didn't change his world, which included addictions to heroin, cocaine and alcohol. Seven years later, his habits would catch up to him. He died at age 35.
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'Here for You,' Neil Young
Okay, this isn't exactly a song about a baby. But as Young learned, they sure grow up fast. His daughter was 21, in her last year of college, when he penned this one. The theme: I'll always be there for you, but I won't hold you back. Young had reason to be sentimental. Shortly before writing this, he'd suffered a near-fatal brain aneurysm, and his own father had died.
'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. If only the dad had heard Neil Young's 'Here for You.'
Watch 'Father and Son' Live