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Songs about Fathers and Sons

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1. Menomena – Heavy Is As Heavy Does

“Among six billion people
I want the ones who never wanted me”

That’s probably the most devastating and sincere line that I’ve heard for years. There is no hope for a future healthy relationships with the father, only a monologue of a defeated son who’s sought all his life for his father’s approval. The adjective heavy fits perfectly in here, when dealing with such a great deal of emotion evolving in our family complexity and the constant insecurity and loneliness, even throughout the adulthood.

2. The Twilight Sad – That Summer, At Home I Had Become the Invisible Boy

This is an interesting choice for a song title and it serves well its atmosphere and tension. We can see a dysfunctional home with “a strong father figure” but in contrary to Menomena, this lyrics is terrifying and the images could be taken out of a horror movie.

“Kids are on fire, in the bedroom”

This text can be very enigmatic and elusive, but the primal emotion is out there and you can feel it in every word and note.

3. Johnny Cash – A Boy Named Sue

Mr. Cash was always a great storyteller. This song is a developing tale, somewhere in the middle between a grotesque comedy and an old time western. In a nutshell, the boy named Sue suffers from being a laughing stock because his girly name. He sees it as a sick joke from his abandon old man. After years to come he decides to have his revenge. Look out for the live version in Folsom part and you’ll understand it’s much more than a song – it’s a story only someone like Johnny Case can tell without being boring for a second.

4. Neil Young – Old Man

I put this in here only because I think many people still believe this song is about Young’s father, Scott Young – will it isn’t. On his infamous acoustic show at Massey Hall in 1971, Neil introduced a first version of this song to the audience. He told about the ranch he just bought around that time. There was an awkward moment when his father asked him if this song is actually a tribute to him. When he heard the actual story his comment had only one vowel: “oh”.

5. Wolf Parade – You Are a Runner and I Am My Father’s Son

Following Menomena’s song there’s a line:
“You ate up all my breadcrumbs,
Now I’m lost alone inside your cave”

The son feels he’s got nowhere to go or follow because his father hadn’t left any trials. In here the vibe is a bit different but not as different as you may think – the son hints he’s going to follow his father’s footsteps blindly, although his father already had left his family. The title suggests the narrator is no different from his father now.

 

 

 

 

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