In the past couple of days, we have been listening again to Coldplay’s ‘Everyday Life’ (the YouTube recording of the songs filmed in Jordan is worth watching – a wide variety of music and a wonderful sunrise and sunset).
One of the songs, is simply called ‘Daddy’. The title of this blog post is taken from the lyrics. The song is quite haunting in its melody. Hearing it once more stirred various thoughts…
Today as I write, is the day on which my Dad was born back in 1934. This is the first time that I can’t wish him Happy Birthday. I am so very thankful for his life including his being a precious father to Julie, Sally and myself. He added so much into our lives and so positively impacted many others too.
Dad, you are missed!
I am also grateful for being able to be a dad – it is a privilege to be so for Anna and JJ. Listening to the song caused me to reflect back over the past 23 and a bit years of parenting. A mix of some smiles and some sighs as I think of my own experience as a father. This said, I am so glad for the journey and all that Anna and JJ have added into our lives.
Hurray for all those fathers out there seeking to do the best they can for their kids. Keep showing up – I know it can be a challenge at times but it makes a real difference! What you do as a dad may not win you any medals or place you on a podium but it is worth it!
(As an aside, I write that with all due respect to all the Olympic competitors – we have been amazed watching performances in Japan).
Of course a big shout too for all the mums, grandparents, uncles, aunts, siblings and others who also embrace caring.
The whole concept of fathering, including the idea of God as Father, is one of the reasons that I am drawn to charities like ‘International Justice Mission’ seeking to help those caught up in human trafficking or ‘Compassion’ helping children weighed down by poverty. The importance of caring for others, including those in situations of need, was modelled to us as we grew up. For Mum and Dad, it was not just sentiment, it impacted their actions, their financial giving, their prayers. In turn this influenced us all also.
Coming back to the song once more, here are some of the lyrics –
Daddy, are you out there?
Daddy, won’t you come and play?
Daddy, do you not care?
Is there nothing that you want to say?
You’re hurting, too
But I need you, I do
(Songwriters: Christopher Anthony John Martin / Guy Rupert Berryman / William Champion / Jonathan Mark Buckland Daddy lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Mgb Ltd)
A Sunday Times interview with Chris Martin included his speaking about the song. I can’t access the original article but apparently he explained that the song was written in relation to three things –
For all those children whose dads have disappeared on them (well it was worded with blunter language than this)
The fact that he himself was often away from his own children and
Thirdly it was written, thinking on the US prison system and how in his view, there is “outright racism woven into so many laws, and kids who, as a result, are denied their fathers”
The interview was published in November 2019 – the same month that I last visited my Dad. How little any of us knew then about the pandemic to come and the impact it would have. Though as Chris Martin alludes to, societal ills like racism have been having a deep detrimental impact for so long, for far too long.
Listening to the words of ‘Daddy’…
- My heart goes out to those who have not known their fathers for whatever reason. Or where knowing their father was/is not healthy for them. Or for different causes, they no longer have contact with their dad.
- My heart goes out to those who have lost their fathers due to war, refugee separation, famine, covid-19 or other cause of death.
- My heart goes out to those separated from their fathers due to human trafficking or even worse to comprehend, sold by their fathers into slavery.
- My heart goes out to those who would love to be fathers but have not been able to be.
- My heart goes out to those fathers who have lost a child.
I know that such words, however supportively meant in a blog, do not lessen the impact any of the above. Yet it seems important to acknowledge these realities. Though I hope in writing this, it does not come across as insensitive at all. I can but apologise if it does.
If any of the above touches close to home, I trust that there are those with whom you can share your journey and receive support and compassion.
‘Daddy’ as a song, is for me, an example of the gift and power of music. It stirred all of the thoughts above plus also a sense of not really knowing quite how to put things into words. Ever had music impact you that way?
Not knowing how to put things into words… Yes, I am at that point right now. How do I end this blog? I think I will simply say if you read this far, thank you!