A song for Father’s Day

John Hiatt – Your Dad Did

This song is on Hiatt’s Bring the Family album, which is one of my favourites. It’s an album cut in four days by Hiatt on a showstring budget, after he had finally gotten sober following the suicide of his first wife. It’s got some truly wonderful songs on it and a great backing band, including Nick Lowe on bass. What more do you want?

My favourite song on the album is this one. For a more more in-depth look at this song, I recommend this neat blog by Holly Hughes. Basically, this song is about all those times you end up saying something, or doing something, that reminds you of your parents:

The bridge is such a hoot: “You’re a chip off the old block / Why does it come as such a shock / That every road up which you rock / Your dad already did?” I feel the same way whenever I blurt out the exact sentences I hated hearing my mom say. For all the whomping drums, the fuzzy guitar, this is an earth-shaking epiphany: “Yeah, you’ve seen the old man’s ghost / Come back as creamed chipped beef on toast / Now if you don’t get your slice of the roast / You’re gonna flip your lid / Just like your dad did.” In one flash of insight he understands himself, his father, and the world – and accepts it.

Below is a live version, with a home made video accompaniment:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQ5WYPTdqhE

Well the sun comes up and you stare your cup of coffee, yup
Right through the kitchen floor
You feel like hell so you might as well get out and sell
Your smart ass door to door 

And the Mrs. wears her robe slightly undone
As your daughter dumps her oatmeal on your son
And you keep it hid
Just like your did 

So you go to work just to watch some jerk
Pick up the perks
You were in line to get
And the guy that hired you just got fired,
Your job’s expired
They just ain’t told you yet 

So you go and buy a brand new set of wheels
To show your family just how great you feel
Acting like a kid
Just like your dad did

You’re a chip off the old block
Why does it come as such a shock
That every road up which you rock
Your dad already did 

Yeah you’ve seen the old man’s ghost
Come back as creamed chipped beef on toast
Now if you dont get your slice of the roast
You’re gonna flip your lid
Just like your dad did, just like your dad did 

Well the day was long now, supper’s on
The thrill is gone
But something’s taking place
Yeah the food is cold and your wife feels old
But all hands fold
As the two year old says grace
She says help the starving children to get well
But let my brother’s hamster burn in hell
You love your wife and kids
Just like your dad did

 

Happy Father’s Day, everyone.

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