311Yep, we’re dating ourselves, but in searching for the perfect gift for Father’s Day, we were reminded of one of our favorite all time gifts to give: The Mix Tape.

Before CD burners and playlists, mixed cassette tapes were a staple of our adolescence, cherished reminders of a mega party, a summer love, or a road trip. Prized not only for their cool song compilations, but the labor-intensive process (Stop. Rewind. Pause.) and inventive packaging (Cover Art? Check. Hand scribbled notes? Check.), a good mix tape is a little bit luck, a whole lot of work, and a big dish of love, thus the perfect ode to parenthood.

Whether you want to dig out your boombox and go totally old school, burn a CD, or make a big splash with a new iphone booted with a personal playlist, we’ve come up with a few songs about parenthood that will surely bring a tear to dear old dad’s eye (he always was a softy). For additional inspiration, we’ve tapped a few local music gurus (who happen to be dads) for their top parenting playlists. Feel free to add your own to the mix.

RT Playlist:

Arms Wide Open (welcome to the world) by Creed
Isn’t She Wonderful by Stevie Wonder
Teach Your Children by Crosby, Stills & Nash
Fatherhood by Peter Himmelman
Ordinary Miracle by Sarah McLachlan
Shimmer by Shawn Mullins
Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
Bridge over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel
Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross
Daddy’s Little Girl by Karla Bonoff
My Father’s Eyes by Amy Grant
Watching Scotty Grow by Bobby Goldsboro
Circle Game by Joni Mitchell
Sweet Child of Mine by Guns and Roses
Little Creatures by Talking Heads
Have a Little Fun with Me by Glen Phillips
Father & Daughter by Paul Simon

From Drew Holloway, Recess Monkey rock star and super dad:

When I Grow Up to Be a Man by The Beach Boys
Hold Me My Daddy by XTC
Waitin’ for a Superman by The Flaming Lips
Song for my Father Stanley Jordan
A Father and a Son by Loudon Wainwright
Stay at Home Dad by Justin Roberts

From Rob Wolf, Mercer Island soccer dad, That Baby DVD music producer and all around musical genius (PS, if you’re rushed for time, you can just buy That Baby DVD, as it includes many of our favorites):

Daughters by John Mayer
Father to Son by Cat Stevens
Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
Beautiful Boy by John Lennon
The Things We Handed Down by Marc Cohn –
Stay Up Late by Talking Heads
Just The Two of Us by Will Smith
Living Proof by Bruce Springsteen
Pony Boy by Bruce Springsteen
Little Wonders by Rob Thomas