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Any Major Fathers Vol. 1

Any Major FathersSunday is Father’s Day in many countries. There are a lot of songs that are about fatherhood, or about being the children of fathers. This mix includes just a few of them.

Some are obvious (“Father And Son”), others not immediately so, such as Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”, which Stevie Nicks has said is about her dad. Some of the songs are about fathers, others are from the perspective of fathers. As a father myself, I have a particular fondness for the latter category, songs like Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy”, and especially Gil Scott-Heron’s wonderful “Your Daddy Loves You”.

Not all songs speak of love and respect; some acknowledge tension between fathers and their children. For example, Springsteen declares his independence from his dad. But the biggest fuck-you to a father is in The Cardigan’s quite brutal song. Clearly their father was nothing like that of The Winstons or George Strait. Loudon Wainwright III, whose daughter Martha has in a song called him pretty much every bad word, nails the difficult type of father-child relationships with this line: “maybe it’s hate, but probably it’s love”.

Even though I lost my father many years ago, I’m still always deeply moved by Luther Vandross’ “Dance With My Father”. But the sentiment isn’t only for my loss, but also for the emotion my eventual passing might provoke (especially since I actually was a dancing father).

And then there is the tale of divorced dad, O.C. Smith’s touching “Daddy’s Little Man”. Bet he wishes that he had married Gladys Knight instead of his ex.

The mix ends on a light note, with Shel Silverstein’s follow-up to his hit song “A Boy Named Sue”. Here the story is presented from the perspective of Sue’s father. Be assured that the father of a boy named Sue deserves no “Dad of the Year” beer mugs.

I have plenty left-overs for another mix next year. In the interim: Happy Fathers’ Day to all us dads.

As always: CD-R, covers etc. PW in comments.

1. Ben Folds – Still Fighting It (2001)
2. Ron Sexsmith – Michael And His Dad (2011)
3. The Cardigans – Don’t Blame Your Daughter (Diamond) (2005)
4. Conner Reeves – My Father’s Son (1997)
5. Luther Vandross – Dance With My Father (2003)
6. John Lennon – Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) (1980)
7. Bruce Springsteen – Independence Day (1980)
8. Loudon Wainwright III – A Father And A Son (1992)
9. Emmylou Harris – To Daddy (1978)
10. George Strait – Love Without End, Amen (1990)
11. Dan Fogelberg – Leader Of The Band (1981)
12. Gil Scott-Heron/Brian Jackson – Your Daddy Loves You (1973)
13. The Winstons – Color Him Father (1969)
14. O.C. Smith – Daddy’s Little Man (1969)
15. Clarence Carter – Patches (1970)
16. Gladys Knight & The Pips – This Child Needs Its Father (1973)
17. Bobbie Gentry – Papa, Won’t You Let Me Go To Town With You (1967)
18. Fleetwood Mac – Landslide (1975)
19. Everything But The Girl – The Night I Heard Caruso Sing (1988)
20. Kristin Chenoweth – Fathers And Daughters (2011)
21. Cat Stevens – Father And Son (1970)
22. Shel Silverstein – Father Of A Boy Named Sue (1978)


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  1. halfhearteddude
    June 12th, 2014 at 07:25 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. Max Frost
    June 13th, 2014 at 00:51 | #2

    “When Dad Was Around” by Dick Curless, man, I try to listen to that song about once a year and end up in tears every time. Maybe for your next mix.

  3. dogbreath
    June 17th, 2014 at 11:03 | #3

    I’m not a father nor did I think I had any paternal instincts, but this year my partner’s daughter did the whole thing with a Father’s Day card and present and I confess it gave me a very good feeling. So maybe this fine compilation will assist in the thawing out of my latent paternalism! Many thanks as always……

  4. PL44
    June 17th, 2014 at 21:45 | #4

    Prima Thema! Danke für all die Anregungen. Seit ich Vater bin hat sich die Sicht auf alles geändert und die von Dir beschriebenen Gefühle sind mir so vertraut.
    Dein Blog ist jedes Mal ein Highlight, wenn ich vorbeischaue. Wie zum T…. hast Du Dir all die Infos zusammengesucht oder recherchierst Du jedes mal, z.B. die Sachen zu dem Drummer oder anderen Sessionmusikern ?!
    Zu dem Thema fiel mir noch Frankie Vaughan’s `Father of girls´, Queen’s `Father to son´ oder Wall of Voodoo’s “Me and my dad” ein.

    Alles Liebe aus Dortmund.

  5. PL44
    June 18th, 2014 at 00:04 | #5

    Da ich noch arbeiten muss (23.48 Uhr…) höre ich gerade nebenbei quer durch meine Musik. Die sind mir noch aufgefallen für ‘ne Fortsetzung der Vater-Reihe: Clinch – Hallo Vater (da Du ja perfekt Deutsch sprichst und zu der Zeit in der BRD aufgewachsen bist, bestimmt was für Dich), Marc Cohen – Silver Thunderbird und Paul Peterson – My dad.

  6. Ace K.
    July 9th, 2014 at 03:13 | #6

    Don’t know any man of my generation (and I suppose class) whose view of being a father was not affected by Harry Chapin’s “Cats In The Cradle.” Seriously.

    Ace K.

  7. Kevin Killion
    June 21st, 2015 at 17:23 | #7

    Despite the one song, John Lennon was a terrible, absent father.

  8. stonefish55
    June 21st, 2015 at 21:06 | #8

    Another excellent Fatherly song, which an old lady told me about quite a number of years ago, is “The Man In The Picture” by the Bobkatz. She asked me if I knew it because she’d heard it many years before and although she didn’t know what the song was or whom it was by, it had brought a tear to her eye. I managed to track it down and put it on a cd for her and I could see why she’d liked it so much. Worth a listen.

  9. halfhearteddude
    June 22nd, 2015 at 17:38 | #9

    Oh, I like that Bobkatz song. They sound like they’re Australians.

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