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Jun. 18 2010 - 7:06 am | 2,253 views | 2 recommendations | 11 comments

Songs for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is fast approaching (What? It’s this weekend? Not next?) and as we (I) scurry to think of something to purchase for our fathers to let them know just how much we love and care about them (not a tie, I swear I won’t buy a tie), I’m reminded of Father’s Days of old when I’d wrap a carton of Lucky Strikes in a tin foil and hand it to Dad as if I was giving him his weight in gold.  I was young. Way too young to realize I was saying “Here Dad, I love you. Have some cancer sticks!” It didn’t get any better as I got older and gave him bottles of Old Spice. “I love you, Dad. I want you to smell like five dollar cologne.” Or razors. “Here, Dad. Joe Namath uses these. Can you be more like Joe Namath please?”  See, it’s so much harder to buy personal, meaningful gifts for Father’s Day than it is for Mother’s Day. Mothers are happy with picture frames stuffed with photos of their adorable, perfect grandchildren (hell no, not pictures of you, just your kids), or maybe we’re happy giving them that. But a Father’s Day gift, according to the media at large, has to be masculine. Something to do with golf or cars or power washing the back deck (Ok, so I bought my dad a power washer for Father’s Day. He wanted it. It’s better than cigarettes, right?).

One nice thing you can do for both moms and dads on their day is write nice words about them. Parents like that. They want it in writing that you actually like and appreciate them.  On Mother’s Day I wrote a nice little ode to my mom in which I thanked her for everything she taught me about appreciating music. Since this is supposed to be a music column, I thought I’d do the same for dad. But my father’s musical taste runs from Rod Stewart to Elton John and even though he throws some Rolling Stones songs in there there’s not much to say. Gee dad, thanks so much for that night you came home from a wedding a little tipsy and serenaded my friends with your acapella version of “Far Away Eyes.”

Well, even if I can’t give my father the gift of a music column dedicated to him, I can at least help you all out by assisting you in making a Father’s Day playlist. Which isn’t as easy as it sounds. There were thousands of mother songs to choose from for my Mother’s Day list (even if they weren’t all complimentary to mothers) but there just aren’t as many artists going out on a limb to praise fathers in song.  So I have stretched the Father’s Day theme here.

For your listening pleasure on Father’s Day, songs for dad. Sort of. You may or may not want to play these on Father’s Day as you sit down to dinner. Some of them, definitely not. Hey, I tried.

The Temptations – Papa Was a Rolling Stone

James Brown – Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag

Notorious B.I.G. -Big Poppa

George Michael – Father Figure

Violent Femmes – Gone Daddy Gone

Tragically Hip – Don’t Wake Daddy

Jane’s Addiction – Had a Dad

Was Not Was – Dad, I’m in Jail

Rolling Stones – Far Away Eyes (just because it’s my father’s favorite song)

Ok, so maybe this should be titled Songs To Not Play on Father’s Day. So much for presenting my father with a meaningful, personal playlist representing my love for him.

Sure hope he likes his power washer.


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    Great selection, Michele. You reminded me how well produced George Michael’s music was, never mind his tabloid lifestyle.
    My dad remains a major influence in my musical taste. He quotes lyrics and is an encyclopedia of 70s classic rock. I never bought him cigarettes, but I remember giving him gifts was always harder than gifts for mom.
    If dads need something, they buy it. Cut that out, dads!

  2. collapse expand

    My favorite Father’s Day tune is Harry Chapin’s Cats In The Cradle. It is the anthem of my relationship with my father when I was growing up, and the instructions for how not to raise my own son. Harry showed me the way and I am forever grateful. We’re goin’ fishing this weekend. The boy is back from college this summer. He is stronger than me now. He gets to lug the gear.

  3. collapse expand

    The Perfect Father’s Day Gift – “A Song”

    One of the most popular songs is called “Little Girl.”

    It’s a song written by E. Walter Smith to be used for the father-daughter dance at weddings. However, lots of daughters, and even wives have discovered that this is the can’t-go-wrong, inexpensive Father’s Day gift… “Little Girl” is one of those songs that can bring a tear to the eyes of even the toughest dad.

    People can listen to “Little Girl” on Smith’s website
    at: http://www.thelittlegirlsong.com

  4. collapse expand

    There was a ’50s song called “Daddy’s Home” that was covered by Jermaine Jackson in the early ’70s. It resonated well with the prevailing mood towards the Vietnam War.

    Although it also figures that the Mother’s Day/Father’s Day discrepancy extends to music as well. You can find a whole library of love songs to Mom, but it’s s struggle to find a song that doesn’t speak ill of the Dad.

  5. collapse expand

    Check out this free song that Darell Scott decided to put out for father’s day. I like it.


  6. collapse expand

    Recent Clapton has some touching father songs, too. Try to listen to “Circus” as a dad without tearing up.

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    Music is my true passion. Listening to it, talking about it, writing about it. Definitely not playing it.

    I live on Long Island. I have two kids (17 and 20) a dog (a miniature schnauzer) and a boyfriend (a transplanted Californian). We all aim to move to California one day. I take pictures, I write stories, I eat sushi and I play video games.

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