Well, Father's Day is here, and that's the perfect time to tell good ol' dad how much you love him and what he's meant to you through the years. Unless, of course, you hate his guts, in which case you probably won't want to do that. For many, this day is a bitter reminder of all the things children deserve but sometimes don't get. And if that applies to you, why not ruin Father's Day by spitefully sending dad a song that sums up all his failures? I mean, what's the point of bad fathering if not to perpetuate the cycle of misery?
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"Here ya go, dad. A big box of spiders!"
To that end, I've compiled a list of five songs about crappy dads, each of which would be the perfect way to tell the one you don't love, "Have a crappy day, you sperm-donating d-bag."
#5. "Father Of Mine" -- Everclear
If you remember the '90s and super disposable music, then there's a good chance you loved this song. Oh, and also if you sucked. Odds are definitely higher if you sucked. But for many white boys from Penn State or the University Of Michigan, this will remain the ultimate "fuck you, dad" song. And that's fine. We have plenty of time to talk about how much they and Everclear suck later. This is a column about how your dad sucks and the best songs for ruining his greeting-card manufactured holiday. So in the 5 spot we have "Father Of Mine." A faux grunge pop classic about a dad who left.
It's very easy to place this one in the 5 spot because, of all the dads here, the father of Everclear leader singer Art Alexakis seems to suck the least. Indeed, he seems to have been a super awesome dad for the first 10 years of Art's life. But then, he left. We don't know if he had an emotional breakdown, or if he was married to a hellacious she-beast bent on his destruction, or if he was wanted by the mob and exposing the family to danger. Who knows? Art doesn't say.
Most Cutting Lyric:
My dad he gave me a name
Then he walked away.
Sad song, right? His dad left him and walked away. Even sadder, he left before teaching Art how to shave off that horrific soul patch.
Missed a spot. There's a dab of mediocrity just below your lower lip.
Anyway, compared to the other dads on this list, it seems that Art's dad might be father of the year, but if you're still pissed off at your dad for leaving home, why not visit him and his new wife this Father's Day and slip this song into his hi-fi?
EDIT: Since publication, some have pointed out the lyric in the final stanza about domestic abuse. Yes, obviously, that's a grittier lyric than the one I cited. I was wrong. In my defense, when i re-listened to the song and re-read the lyrics in preparation for this article, I actually got too bored before the very end. That's not a great excuse, but completely true.
#4. "Papa'z Song" -- Tupac
Now, let's up the ante on the venom and discord. No doubt about it, Tupac's dad had more flaws than the pops in entry #5. Or maybe Tupac just writes better lyrics. Actually, I'm pretty sure both of those things are true. Anyway, "Papa'z Song" is a brutal tirade against an absentee, criminal dad:
Pac's dad teaches his kid nothing, seemingly leaving him with no positive memories. Trying to make ends meet, his mom is working all the time and possibly "entertaining" men to help her pay rent.
Most Cutting Lyric:
So don't even start with that "wanna be your father" shit
Don't even bother with your dollars, I don't need it
I'll bury moms like you left me all alone G
Now that I finally found you, stay the fuck away from me.
That's some pretty rough stuff, so you might be wondering why this entry is only fourth on the list. Well, it's because in the final part of the song, Pac raps from the father's point of view, at least showing some regret and circumstances. At least jail was keeping him from his boy, but hey, if you want to send dad the big eff you on his special day, you can always fade the song before you get to that point. Or, hey, maybe your dad is an ex-con. Then you can just let it play, provided his parole officer says it's OK.
#3. "Cat's In The Cradle" -- Harry Chapin
You knew this one was gonna be on the list, right? Maybe the ultimate bad dad song, especially for white suburban people. It's Harry Chapin's O. Henry-esque story of an absentee dad who turns around to find he has an absentee son.
Most Cutting Lyric:
I've long since retired, my son's moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind"
He said, "I'd love to, dad, if I can find the time
You see, my new job's a hassle and the kids have the flu
But it's sure nice talking to you, dad
It's been sure nice talking to you"
And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He'd grown up just like me
My boy was just like me
At first glance, this song might not seem any more vitriolic than the two before, especially since it's not sung from the son's "drop dead" perspective, but I would offer that makes it all the more insulting. Think of it this way. Ever have a really bad fight with your girlfriend or boyfriend? You're yelling and screaming and saying you never really loved them, and somewhere in the back of your mind you still know there's a tremendous amount of feeling. Somewhere there's the possibility that all this hatred could turn to passion on a dime and you'll be having great make-up sex. Well, apply that to these songs. No, I'm not talking about banging your dad.
"Well, then what are you talking about, you pervert?"
I just mean that, when there's screaming there's still a chance for communication and reconciliation. But here, it's all too late and no one even notices. The chance to form a bond has seemingly passed for good. So if this song speaks to you, may I suggest showing up for your dad's Father's Day celebration at wherever super white people who know this song hang out. Yacht club, golf course, Eagles reunion concert -- and pump this number out on your father's boombox, just at the moment your dad might think you actually care about him.