I am doing an essay on a poem versus song. I have chosen "My Little Girl" by Tim McGraw. Can you please give me the father's perspective of the child growing up. Thank you.

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This song, "My Little Girl," was co-written by Tim McGraw and was nominated as the best song of the year in 2006. It is "spoken" by a father to his daughter and is written from the perspective of time by a loving father who is looking back on his life with his "little girl."

The first lines of the song are written not to his daughter but to himself. He has to remind himself to "hold on easy" even as he allows her to go and live her own life. As a kind of opening purpose statement, he tells her what this song is about:

Gonna tell you how much I love you

Though you think you already know.

In the first two stanzas, the father remembers several poignant moments that he still holds dear, even after many years. First, when she was born, he remembers seeing her all cuddled up in something pink and thinking she "looked like an angel." It was at that moment that she had him "wrapped around [his] finger." He also remembers the times when his daughter was in trouble but looked at him with her "crooked little smile" and melted his heart (implying, of course, that she may not have gotten too much in the way of punishment.)

Then the father just "turn[s] around" and she is nearly grown up; her childhood has passed by that quickly for him. She is still living at home, though, because when he passes by her door at night and thinks she is sleeping, he whispers that he loves her. Now he reveals that he hears her response as he is walking away: "Daddy, love you more." 

Finally, the father makes his daughter a promise as he looks to the future. He tells her that he will not let any young man marry her unless

...he's the half

that makes you whole, he has a poet's soul, and the heart of a man's man.

Even then, when the young suitor protests that he loves her, in his deepest heart, the father knows "he won't be good enough"--and he shares that secret with his daughter.

This chorus is repeated three times, so it is clearly the theme of the song. He wants her to know that she is beautiful because of who she is on the inside, that even though he wants his daughter to chase her dreams she is always welcome to come home again, and that even as when she is a successful woman she will still be his "little girl."