When we would reach London, he would test me on what I learned. How long was My Guy? What year was Please, Mister Postman released? While the pop-quiz kept me entertained, it fed my interest and wonderment for music. I would later recognize some of my Dad’s favourites in my favourite Hip Hop tracks. That’s when the bond grew stronger. And it hasn’t stopped growing stronger.
This list might be songs for Fathers, but this list most likely wouldn’t have been created with such interested and passion if it weren’t for my Dad. Few well known, and a couple rare gems paying respect to the Supermen in our lives, our Dad.
Songs for My Father – Horace Silver
Released on the Blue Note label in 1965, the album by Horace Silver Quintet was inspired by a trip that Silver made to Brazil. The album cover (see above) is a picture of Silver’s father, John Travars Silver, which the song is dedicated to. “My mother was of Irish and Negro decent, my father of Portuguese origin”, Silver stated in the albums liner notes. “He was born on the island of Maio, one of the Cape Verde Islands”. Steely Dad would sample the song for Rikki Don’t Lose That Number and was be covered by James Brown and Madlib
Papa Don’t Take No Mess – James Brown
Speaking of the great, James Brown. The crooner laid it all on the track with Papa Don’t Take No Mess. In this 1974 funk jam, that was originally recorded of a rejected blacksploitation film, Brown sings, “Papa didn’t cuss / He didn’t raise a whole lotta fuss. But when we did wrong / Papa beat the hell out of us.”
Father to Son – Queen
Written by Brian May, Father to Son features heavy metal selections and a quiet piano part that May played. The song is written in the father’s perspective when talking or thinking about his son. They added the song to their setlist, but dropped it form live performances in 1975.
My Father’s Eyes – Eric Clapton
This heartbreaking tune from Clapton tells the sad story of Clapton never experiencing a father-son relationship. Clapton lost his son when the tot was 4. Even more tragic, is that Clapton never met his own father. “Bit by bit, I’ve realized,” he sings, “That’s when I need them / That’s when I need my father’s eyes.” The song would make it Number 2 on the Adult Contemporary chart in ’98.
Cat’s in the Cradle – Harry Chapin
The most known gushy father’s day tune, Cat’s in the Cradle was written after Chapin’s son Josh was born. He thought of putting music to his thoughts and came up with the classic cornerstone. It would be Chapin’s only number one hit.. Chapin would have another child, Jennifer, who is also a singer/songwriter. She has released seven albums, the last one being 2013’s Reckoning.