Michael Esper and Collin Kelly-Sordelet as father and son in the 2014 Sting musical The Last Ship.
Michael Esper and Collin Kelly-Sordelet as father and son in the 2014 Sting musical The Last Ship.
(© Joan Marcus)

If you're looking for a song to score your Father's Day, but all you can come up with is this, TheaterMania is here to help. We've compiled a list of five of musical theater's best paternally oriented tunes to bring a tender tear to dear-old-dad's eye. This could also be the gateway to making your dad obsessed with Hamilton by the time your birthday rolls around.


1. "Soliloquy" – Carousel
"You can have fun with a son, but you gotta be a father to a girl." This is the main lesson we learn from dad-to-be Billy Bigelow in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel. While we believe you can also have fun with a girl (and probably should be a father to a son), we still think the song is pretty cute.
2. "Dear Theodosia" – Hamilton
Dear Theodosia is quickly becoming one of the modern anthems of musical theater-loving fathers everywhere. The song is a duet between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton who sing to their respective children. Goes to show that fatherhood transcends anything — even differences of opinion about the Federalist Papers.
3. "The Night the Pugilist Learned How to Dance" — The Last Ship
Gideon Fletcher may have been an absent father for most of his son's life. But if he never did anything else for young Tom Dawson, he definitely taught him (and the rest of us) the word "pugilist." We suppose he, with the help of Sting's Tony-nominated score, also taught Tom how to woo the ladies with suave moves. It takes a special kind of father to turn a night in jail into a bonding moment/dance lesson.
4. "Fight the Dragons" — Big Fish
Not all fathers are perfect, but sometimes we discover that even their negative qualities have bright sides. In Big Fish, for instance, Will Bloom finds out that there are lessons to learn from his father's tall tales. They might get a little tiresome, but they sure made for a great song.
5. "New Words" — In the Beginning
The Maury Yeston musical In the Beginning gives a good-natured ribbing to the first five books of the Bible. However, it does take a break from the comedy for this poignant father-to-son ballad. It does admittedly steal a thing or two from "Hey Diddle Diddle" — but a good "moon"/"spoon" rhyme never goes out of style.