20 Songs About Divorced Parents

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Written By Julia Mehalko

Julia is a music journalist with a passion for retro songs. She holds a degree in journalism from University of Nevada.

Divorce is a tough experience that can impact all involved — especially children. In this article, you’ll find 20 songs about divorce parents. Some of these songs are told from the point of view of these divorced parents, while others are told from the point of view of children affected by divorce.

These songs can help address any sadness, anger, or confusion felt about divorce or broken families. So, if you’re looking to make sense of anything in the aftermath of divorce, these are the songs for you.

1. “Help Me Understand” by Hank Williams

“Help Me Understand” by Hank Williams, first released in 1953, tells the story of a young girl who is trying to make sense of her parent’s divorce. She misses her father, who has gone away, and she often finds herself praying that he’ll come home and be with her and her mother again.

As a result, this song details the life of a broken family. Williams sings about how this divorce possibly didn’t need to happen. However, things got out of hand, words were said that couldn’t be taken back, and the parents ultimately decided that they needed to end their relationship. 

2. “American Hearts” by Air Supply

Air Supply released “American Hearts” on the 1980 album Lost In Love. In this song, the band tells a story about a couple who falls in love and weds. When they’re younger, they swear they’ll be together forever and be the parents they want to be — and not like their own parents.

However, over time, things change. They go through their own personal struggles. As a result, they feel they can no longer be together and end up getting a divorce.

When thinking about their children, the band sings, “They’ll care for their children / Protect them with pride / And that’s how the dream will survive.”

3. “Waves” by Joey Bada$$

“Waves” by Joey Bada$$ also discusses divorced parents and how this impacts children. In this rap song, Joey Bada$$ talks about a lot of different topics, including his family. For example, he opens the song by talking about his mother and how much she worked to try to help her children have better lives.

Because his parents split up when he was younger, his mother had to work a lot of jobs to make ends meet. He explains this when he raps, “I’m sure by now you can assume he never lost / Unless with some form of divorce or a corpse.”

4. “Family Portrait” by P!nk

P!nk’s 2002 song “Family Portrait” is one of the best sad songs about divorced parents. P!nk details her own life and upbringing. She was raised in a family where her parents fought often, and then eventually they got divorced. However, P!nk missed her father when he left and sings throughout this song how she felt as a child.

P!nk sings about how happy her entire family looks in their “Family Portrait”. As a result, she sings about how she’d like to pretend to be happy, as they do in this picture.

5. “Love for a Child” by Jason Mraz

“Love for a Child” by Jason Mraz follows the singer’s upbringing as a child of divorce. He sings about his own experiences and how he felt as if his parents didn’t pay enough attention to him once they got divorced. Instead, they were too busy paying attention to their newly single lives.

Mraz also sings about coming from a broken home and how this made him act older than he should’ve. Even though he was a child, he wanted to be an adult — and acted as one.

When describing his upbringing, he sings the lyrics, “It’s kinda nice to work the floor since the divorce / I’ve been enjoying both my Christmases and my birthday cakes.”

6. “Stay Together For the Kids” by Blink-182

Blink-182’s 2002 song “Stay Together For the Kids” is told from the point of view of a child with divorced parents. Two members of the band had divorced parents, so they put their own feelings and emotions into this song.

This song discusses a lot of different situations that come with having divorced parents. For example, at one point in the song, the singer questions why his parents can’t get along now that they’re divorced. He can get along with both of them — so why can’t they?

7. “Generation Love” by Jennette McCurdy

Jennette McCurdy’s song “Generation Love” mainly explores her generation and what they may be known as one day. She’d like them all to be known as the generation of love, thanks to all of the things they’ve been put through.

As she explains what so many people of this generation have in common, she mentions that many of them come from broken homes with divorced parents. She sings the lyrics, “We are children of divorce / And victims of dysfunction.”

8. “Starting Over Again” by Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton released her song “Starting Over Again” on her 1980 album Dolly, Dolly, Dolly. This country song opens with the lines, “Momma moved out, Daddy sold the house / They split up the money and went on their way.”

As the song progresses, we learn more about this family dynamic. The divorced couple has kids who are all grown up, so they don’t have to worry about custody battles. However, that doesn’t mean their lives are better now that they’ve obtained this divorce.

Instead, Parton sings about how lost they are now. Even though they wanted this divorce, they find that starting over is quite hard to do.

9. “Rich Girls” by Fitz and The Tantrums

“Rich Girls” by Fitz and The Tantrums details two women that the singer falls in love with. One is a rich girl, while another is a poor girl. When he sings about the poor woman, he explains that she comes from a broken home and needs more money.

He explains her life story in these few lines, “Shonie came from a broken home / Her mamma sick and her daddy’s long gone / Got a job but it don’t pay no bread.”

10. “You Can’t Give Up On Love” by Alan Jackson

“You Can’t Give Up On Love” by Alan Jackson, which appears on his 1994 album Who I Am, also talks about divorced parents. Throughout this song, Jackson tells listeners that they should always fight for love. Even if a relationship isn’t working out at first, he believes people should fight for it as best they can.

As he talks about these feelings, he mentions how he feels many people come from broken homes. He sings, “Looked out my window and what did I see / It’s another broken family / The kids are stayin’ with mama at home / Daddy’s livin’ in a house all alone.”

11. “16 on Death Row” by 2Pac

2Pac’s 1997 song “16 on Death Row” follows the rapper as he talks from the perspective of a young man struggling to make ends meet because of the life and area that he was raised in. After robbing and murdering someone, this young man is now facing prison time.

Through this story, 2Pac sings about broken families and divorced parents. He raps, “Dear Mama, these cops don’t understand me / I turned to a life of crime ‘cause I came from a broken family.”

12. “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” by Tammy Wynette

As you can see from the title of this song alone, “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” by Tammy Wynette is about what happens when two people divorce. First released in 1968, this song follows the point of view of a woman who is getting a divorce from her husband. We learn about her children and their family situation, as a result.

Because they don’t want their little child to know that they’re divorcing, they spell out the word. Wynette sings about how this breaks her heart. At the end of the song, she even regrets getting a divorce in the first place, as she doesn’t want to hurt her child!

13. “For the Kids” by Waylon Jennings

“For the Kids” by Waylon Jennings opens with the lyrics, “You work like a slave for the kids / And I’d go to my grave for the kids / But we watched our love fade as we suffered that state / With this bargain we made for the kids.”

Jennings then goes on to sing about how divorce is terrible for children. However, he also realizes that sticking together when their marriage isn’t working would harm the children as well. All in all, he feels as if he can’t win.

14. “Every Other Weekend” by Reba McEntire and Kenny Chesney

“Every Other Weekend” by Reba McEntire, which features Kenny Chesney, follows the point of view of two divorced parents. Both of these parents discuss how they take care of their children, though it’s hard to see their children go to the others for the weekend.

They also sing about how much they miss each other, now that they’ve divorced. However, they feel that they can’t admit this — or admit that they still love each other.

15. “New Day” by Jay-Z & Kanye West

Jay-Z and Kanye West’s 2011 song “New Day” follows the two rappers as they talk to their unborn sons. Through this idea, they also talk about divorce and potentially raising their children separated from their mother.

Jay-Z sings about how he will never leave his children as his own father left him, even if his marriage isn’t perfect. He raps, “Promise to never leave him even if his mama tweakin’ / ‘Cause my dad left me and I promise never repeat him.”

16. “Highway 20 Ride” by Zac Brown Band

“Highway 20 Ride” by Zac Brown Band, which appears on the 2008 album The Foundation, tells the story of a man who drives every other Friday to go see his son. In this song, we learn that this man has divorced his wife. As a result, his ex-wife now has full custody of his son, so he can only see him every other weekend.

Regardless, the man finds himself counting down the days until he gets to drive on that highway again, on his way to see his child.

17. “Confessions of a Broken Heart (Daughter to Father)” by Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan’s 2005 song “Confessions of a Broken Heart (Daughter to Father)” is an autobiographical song where Lohan sings about her broken family and difficult upbringing. This song mainly talks about her father, who she loves yet has a difficult relationship with.

Lohan sings about how she never wanted her father to leave. However, he did. As a result, she now feels as if she doesn’t know him at all. She even questions if he ever loved her.

18. “Secondhand Smoke” by Kelsea Ballerini

“Secondhand Smoke” by Kelsea Ballerini details Ballerini’s feelings about her parents’ problematic relationship. She sings about how she always used to hear them fighting when she was growing up. Ballerini can clearly see their flaws and that they shouldn’t be together.

However, she also struggles with looking back on her upbringing. As she’s the daughter of both of them, she’s scared she will have all their same issues and flaws now that she’s older.

19. “Kids Say the Darndest Things” by Tammy Wynette

Tammy Wynette also sings about divorce — and how it can impact children — in her 1973 song “Kids Say the Darndest Things”. In the first verse, Wynette sings the lyrics, “Last night, dressed up in high-heel shoes / And wearing my old hat / My four-year-old said, ‘I want a divorce’ / Now where did she hear that?”

As the song continues on, we learn more about what her children say — and more about the problems in her own marriage.

20. “Miss You-Miss Me” by Dolly Parton

At last, we’ve come to the final song on this list! Dolly Parton’s 2014 song “Miss You-Miss Me” tells a story from the point of view of a child suffering as a result of her parents’ divorce. The child clearly suffers and feels as if her parents don’t love her anymore.

Parton sings the lyrics, “Daddy when you left, did you remove yourself / From every sweet remembrance of me? / I’m always missing you, I hope you miss me too.”