My Father’s Day

This was posted in May 2009 on MyT. It was fathers day yesterday and my father-in-law died in October so this was the first year my husband had been without his father. It set me thinking again about fathers and their influence.

Today is my father’s birthday. He would have been 81, if I have calculated correctly, but he died sixteen years ago and so never knew either of his grandchildren in this branch of the family. I went to his funeral about 5 months pregnant with my first child.
Remembering him always brings up a confusion of emotions. To summarise he was an intelligent man, but a difficult person to live with; he had set views and needed to control everything around him, particularly being obsessive about time keeping. My Mother’s relaxed attitude about this in particular drove him up the wall. He had many positive values however, being very loyal, very moral and fair. If we didn’t know something he made us look it up.  And he always did what he felt was best and right.
But he couldn’t stand pop music. He wouldn’t tolerate it within his hearing. It hurt his ears, he said. I had to play my Queen, Rick Wakeman , Pink Floyd and (very few) other records while he was out, as we only had one turntable in the house. I had a small transistor radio, but had to play it quietly in my room.
I remember once having a Queen record for Christmas (Night at The Opera, from my boyfriend at the time) which I had never heard it all the way through. I was allowed to play it to my Aunt, Uncle and cousins when they arrived for Christmas lunch, as a special treat, only to be completely shamed into taking it off again when Freddie Mercury sang,
“But now you can kiss my ass goodbye
Feel good are you satisfied?”

He did put a lot of wonderful stress on ‘ass.’
The look on Dad’s face.
So it’s rather ironic that listening to Queen always brings back such a vivid picture of my Dad.
Thinking about this led me to thinking about other lyrics. Some fantastic and some completely not. There are some that stop me in my tracks. What about Candi Staton’s, ‘Young Hearts Run Free?’ which is completely ruined with,
“Encourage the babies every time they say
Self preservation is what’s really going on today…” –What?

Do  you have any lyrics that stop you in your tracks, or lyrics that mean something very special?

Author: Sarah

No time to lose. No, time to lose. Make time to stand and stare.... Did you see that?

24 thoughts on “My Father’s Day”

  1. Can’t actually believe you can decipher all that gobbledegook, are they supposed to be words in English?
    I have to admit I have never bought a record in my life, waste of money.
    I grew up in virtual trappist silence, people talked but we had no TV or record player and the radio was always on the Home service.

    Still prefer it that way, I like to hear the world around me. With all the clatter of so called music, phones, radios, noise, noise, noise I’m not surprise most people are ‘stressed’ and have ADS!

  2. “Good evening, I would like a large Vodka Martini. About three fingers of vodka, just pass the dry vermouth over the top of the glass. Oh and a twist of lemon peal please.”

    Barman. “Certainly sir. Will there be anything else?”

    “Yes, I would like a large Christina please.”

    Barman. “I’m sorry sir, I’m not familiar with a Christina. What are the ingredients?”

    Well, it’s the same sort of drink as a Martini just different ingredients. Three fingers of Battery Acid, a shot of Arsenic and a twist or your sourest lemon peal.”

    “Barman. Good Lord sir. Surely you are not going to drink that are you?”

    “Of course not, it’s for the lady in the corner over there. The one with the steam coming out of her ears.”

    I have missed you these past few days CO. 🙂

  3. Nym, Minty. Nice lyrics as well:-

    The Living Years lyrics

    Every generation
    Blames the one before
    And all of their frustrations
    Come beating on your door

    I know that I’m a prisoner
    To all my Father held so dear
    I know that I’m a hostage
    To all his hopes and fears
    I just wish I could have told him in the living years

    Crumpled bits of paper
    Filled with imperfect thought
    Stilted conversations
    I’m afraid that’s all we’ve got

    You say you just don’t see it
    He says it’s perfect sense
    You just can’t get agreement
    In this present tense
    We all talk a different language
    Talking in defence

    Say it loud, say it clear
    You can listen as well as you hear
    It’s too late when we die
    To admit we don’t see eye to eye

    So we open up a quarrel
    Between the present and the past
    We only sacrifice the future
    It’s the bitterness that lasts

    So Don’t yield to the fortunes
    You sometimes see as fate
    It may have a new perspective
    On a different day
    And if you don’t give up, and don’t give in
    You may just be O.K.

    Say it loud, say it clear
    You can listen as well as you hear
    It’s too late when we die
    To admit we don’t see eye to eye

    I wasn’t there that morning
    When my Father passed away
    I didn’t get to tell him
    All the things I had to say

    I think I caught his spirit
    Later that same year
    I’m sure I heard his echo
    In my baby’s new born tears
    I just wish I could have told him in the living years

    Say it loud, say it clear
    You can listen as well as you hear
    It’s too late when we die
    To admit we don’t see eye to eye

  4. toc
    Thank God there are a few left that appreciate vitriol and black humour. If you think I’m bad you should have met my father and my son.
    So we’ll have three of those drinks please and send the bill to that guy down the bar with a fire extinguisher down his trousers!

  5. CO, the pleasure is all mine and I would foot the bill (no fire extinguisher in my pants) as well. Doing the job I did in the army and later in another life, black humour was the only thing that kept you going and kept you sane.


  6. Too true, I have always been very fortunate that I have known a succession of men who actually appreciated it. My current husband was actually divorced by his ex because of his terrible dark sense of humour, being an oilman logistician you can see why these days, but she wasn’t cutting any slack. Her loss, my gain. I found him wandering about on Haverfordwest railway station looking lost all the way from Texas!
    (Note, public transport in Pembrokeshire defies all logic especially on Sundays!)

  7. Ah well I was close to my father, until he married the harpy from hell (his 4th wife, I think)then he wasn’t allowed to talk to me.

    23 years later he died and I was told not to go to the funeral, so being an awkward SOB I went along, just to piss em all off.

    The only part that did get through my thick stick and needle me was when I saw the will (written on her orders) in which he acknowledged his 2 children, ie my sisters, but refused to acknowledge me. On this item he incurred the wrath of his remaining siblings, who all said “if he had said Rick can go and f*** himself” it would have made sense.

    But it is a long story and one I may even write about sometime.

  8. How sad that she had so much influence. Do you have children of your own? And if so has your experience changed the way you are a parent to them>

  9. I was reminded on Sunday that my father died ten years ago. I tried, at the time, to grieve – I couldn’t. He refused to have anything to do with me for twenty-five years because I wouldn’t take ‘sides’ in my parents’ divorce. When we met again after all that time, he expected a wonderful ‘family reunion’ with grandchildren who had never known him. He did not understand that such relationships have to be built and maintained over the years, and that the gap of 25 years for me (and my children) could not be bridged simply because he was my ‘father’.

  10. Pseu yes I have a daughter of 23. she is still at home and still as daft as ever. we go out a lot together, when she was younger it was swimming, table tennis etc. now we cycle most evenings after work. so yes we are close.

    Boa strange world isn’t it. looks like we had similar experiences.

  11. Boa given those circumstances I’m sure no one would grieve. Yet as we age I reckon we start to fully comprehend that our parents were only human and then maybe start to understand more how and why they failed as parents. All we can do is hope that we don’t fail in similar ways.
    Rick, it sounds as though you and your daughter have a special relationship.

  12. My father was both a control freak and abusive. As soon as I was big enough I beat the living daylights out of him and threatened him with worse if he ever touched my brother and sister again. All of us children left as soon as we possibly could, and went as far away as we could, me to the Army, my brother to the Merchant Navy and my sister to Australia. And yes, Pseu, it affected the way I brough up my children because I was always conscious of th way my father had behaved to me and my brother and sister and always a bit worried about any possible signs of similar behaviour in myself – like father, like son. I hasten to add that there wre none! I am also fortunate in having a good relationship with all of my children, even though they’re grown and flown and we’re scattered across the globe, we see each other as often as we can and they still come to me for advice sometimes. These days, of course, I can talk my own issues through with them and get some advice back, too. 🙂

  13. I often look at these sort of blogs and don’t comment, but it seems that I’m not alone in having a somewhat jaundiced view of the behaviour of some members of their family! The answer is, as a few here have indicated, to ‘get over it’, move on and try not to make the same mistakes with the next generation.

  14. Bravo, how did your mother cope? And did you maintain a relationship with her?

    You are right, Boa. My father’s ‘controlling moods’ are nothing compared with the history of other folk, but it did make me refuse to be a sulker and always to try to bring things out in the open.

  15. Pseu, denial. I went home on leave once when my father was in hospitel for a minor operation adn ried to talk to her about it but it was like being on parallel tracks. She transferred most of her affection to her dogs.

  16. I loved my father, he was my hero. My biggest regret when he passed away was all the questions I wished I had been able to ask him. He passed away at the age of 73 in 1990. Not a day goes by when I don’t think of him.

  17. The one question I always wanted to ask my Dad was whether it was true that he really ate an Italian. He was in SOE in Albania during the war and things got tough. Legend within the family has it that one winter they were out of food when they came across the frozen body of an Italian soldier. How they knew he was Italian , I don’t know, but I don’t suppose it would have tasted very different. In any event, I never got round to asking him to confirm the story. Pity really.

  18. make the most of your parents while they are alive, for when they go you will miss them.
    My mother was a pain in the bum, she died just before Christmas and yes we do miss her. Even though I was raised by my father she was always there.

    As for kids, well they grow up too quickly, yet not fast enough at times.

    Then we have siblings, I could strangle my 2 sisters at times, but despite a very broken childhood we stick together.

  19. I can’t really comment on all this; too close to the bone at the moment. But I found your experiences and testimonials, if that is the right word, very moving.

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