This is a belated Father's Day post. I've been thinking about a lot of songs lately to do with fathers. Most of the ones I know are silly or sappy or just not very good. But I did remember these two which actually are among my faves!
My father was not perfect by any means, but he did his best and he was there for his daughters. Knowing we were loved gave us the confidence to make good choices out in the world. The best choice I made was in choosing my husband. I knew he would make a wonderful father and I was so right!
I have never been a big fan of country music (although there are a lot of songs I do enjoy) but when I heard this one several years ago at a friend's house -- I had to buy the album!
I Think About You / Collin Raye
This next song has haunted me for years. The Kinks really suit their name. They are such a strange blend of black humour and earnestness. This song seems creepy at first, then almost a parody, but by the end you realize it is sincere and heartbreaking.
Art Lover / The Kinks
This is an excerpt from Creem Online : The Kinks -- Ray Davies Unravels The Kinks (Dec. 1981)
an interview by Bill Holdship
Let's talk about "Art Lover". That song is ambiguous in the same way that "Lola" was. At first, it sounds like it might be about some sort of pervert, but I think there's a lot more going on there.
I had great trouble when I first ran through that song in the studio with the guys. I gave them a chord sheet, and they were really pissed off by this time because we'd already done something like 15 tracks. They said, "Oh fuck. He's not going to do another track!" And I said, "Just play the chords." I looked at their faces when we did the playback. First of all, they were just worried about what they were playing. The second playback, they listened to the words, and they looked like "What the fuck's he writing about?" I originally had put in a line that said something like "Sunday parents with their kids knowing they're just alone" which made it, obvious that it was about someone who was divorced and only had his kid on a Sunday. So I left it out because I wanted to leave the song ambiguous. I think ambiguity is a good tool, a good weapon I used it in songs like "Waterloo Sunset". And I think it just about works because it says "I'm not a flasher in a raincoat." One of the reasons they're not putting it out as a single in England is because the BBC has said there's a flasher in a raincoat, but it says "I'm not a flasher." So it does sound like a pervert to begin with, but I think it does work in the end and you realize what the song's about.
It's a good song. It's a sad song. And I'd love it to be a single. I wouldn't care if it bombed and died a death because I believe in that song so much.
There seems to be some of your old themes or images in the song. Sunny afternoon, children, a river...
But it's part of my life. I do go jogging in Regent's Park. When I'm in New York, I go in Central Park. Running is an important part of my life. In fact, I think running has saved my life. I've been laid-up twice on this tour, and had to have injections to go onstage because my voice is completely gone and everything. The doctor examining me said the only good thing about me is my heart; I have an athlete's heart. It saves me. So I do go running in the park, and I do see these things. I do see little people feeding the ducks. And on Sunday it's different because you can see these sad people trying for one day to make it a special event for their kids. And the kids are bored because they know the parents are putting on an act. I think that's the saddest thing in the world.
ELLIOT ABBOT: It's a rough song for parents.
RAY: It's a rough song for anybody. It's a rough song for ducks.
Here is a fictional Dad who has been estranged from his child, through marital
and wartime strife.
and wartime strife.
Richard Armitage as John Porter greeting his daughter in Strike Back