Daddy Day Mixtape: Songs For And About Fathers

June 17, 2011  |  
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As quiet as it’s kept… and it’s not kept that quiet, Father’s Day pales in comparison to Mother’s Day. Every year children put in little to no effort to get dad a tie at the last minute mumble a quick “Happy Father’s Day”and that’s it. It’s a throw away holiday and that’s so not right. If you’re fortunate enough to have been raised by an active father you know what an important role he plays. If you weren’t you should make it a point to celebrate your father figures or men who are doing right by their children. Here are a few songs to get you into the spirit of Father’s Day.

Daddy – Beyoncé

Because you loved me
I overcome
And I’m so proud of what you’ve become
You’ve given me such security
No matter what mistakes I make you’re there for me

If we can say one thing about Matthew Knowles, we know he looked out for his daughter…in a major way. Which is why she felt the need to pen these words in tribute to her father. I love the line about his love helping her to overcome and the fact that she’s watched him mature and develop into a man she’s still proud of.

Papa Don’t Take No Mess- James Brown

Papa didn’t cuss
He didn’t raise a whole lotta fuss
But when we did wrong
Papa beat the hell out of us

The father James portrays in this song completely contrasts with the portrait Beyoncé paints of her father. But in the midst of his faults, you can tell James loves and respects the man. He does what he has to do, he’s a man of few words and he will get with you, if you act a fool. That’s some old school parenting for ya.

Just the Two of Us- Will Smith

From the first time the doctor placed you in my arms
I knew I’d meet death before I’d let you meet harm

If you haven’t listened to this joint in a minute, you should take another listen. This song Will rapped to is oldest Trey is so honest and heartfelt, a message we hadn’t heard from a mainstream rapper. In this track, Will samples a beat from Bill Withers’ romantic song by the same name and made it an ode to his firstborn. In it he explains the love he has for him, his desire to be a good father to him and the lessons he wants him to learn in life. Beautiful.


Nat King Cole & Natalie – Unforgettable by Discodandan
Unforgettable- Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole

That’s why, darling, it’s incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am unforgettable too

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who would argue that this song was originally about the relationship between a father and daughter, but once Natalie jumped on the track for a partially posthumous duet it became the epitome of a daddy-daughter moment. Every year women dance to this sentimental song with their fathers at their weddings. Sweet.

Daddy Could Swear I Declare- Gladys Knight

He loved us all and we knew it
Though he showed it in a very funny way
For most of the time
He was a-cussin’ and fussin’
When he said what he had to say

This song is cute in a borderline dysfunctional way. The lyrics later go on to say that her daddy couldn’t read and couldn’t write but sure could string some four-letter words together. Is it the best parenting technique to cuss in front of your children? Probably not. But at the end of the day Gladys knew her daddy loved her and that’s all that matters.

Patches- Clarence Carter

My papa was a great old man
I can see him with a shovel in his hands, see
Education he never had
He did wonders when the times got bad
The little money from the crops he raised
Barely paid the bills we made

When Clarence Carter wasn’t talking about “Strokin'” something he actually could be quite sentimental. If it weren’t for the uptempo this song would be absolutely tragic. But it’s inspiring to know that a then little Clarence managed to fulfill the wish of his dying father and support his family once he was gone.

Color Him Father- The Winstons

There’s a man at my house he’s so big and strong
He goes to work each day, stays all day long
He comes home each night looking tired and beat
He sits down at the dinner table and has a bite to eat
Never a frown always a smile

This song has been hailed as the National Father’s Day Anthem. Apparently it really does resonate because my own father introduced me to this song from 1969 and references it frequently to describe the grandfather I never got a chance to know.

Dance With My Father- Luther Vandross

Back when I was a child
Before life removed all the innocence
My father would lift me high
And dance with my mother and me and then
Spin me around till I fell asleep
Then up the stairs he would carry me
And I knew for sure
I was loved

This is another tear jerker. In that smooth, melodic voice of his, Luther recalls the memories he shared with his father before the man passed away. If you’ve never seen the video take a couple minutes to check it out. It features several celebrity fathers loving on their children, proving that whether he’s famous or not, there are some good dads out there.

Did I miss any? What are some of your favorite songs that celebrate fathers?

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