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Morning Sun
  • TRUE STORIES: Oh! My Pa-pa

  • But take your time. Think a lot. Why, think of everything you've got. For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not. — “Father and Son,” Cat Stevens

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  • But take your time. Think a lot. Why, think of everything you've got. For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not. — “Father and Son,” Cat Stevens
    There’s nothing that’s brings forth the meaning of a relationship like a good song. So this being Father’s Day, I thought I’d share excerpts from some of my favorites and invite you to guess the titles and recording artists. (Answers are at the bottom of the column.)
     
    1) This 1972 Motown hit, written by Whitfield and Strong, about a child asking his mother about rumors about his deceased father’s carrying on, gets this response, “Wherever he laid his hat was his home. And when his died. All he left us was alone.”
     
    2) “Mama sang tenor. Me and little brother would join right in there. In the sky, Lord, in the sky.” This one, penned by Carl Perkins, about a man reflecting on what his black dirt farm family did together after the day’s work was done, was a hit in 1968 for country’s biggest star.
     
    3) “While tearing off a game of golf, I may make a play for the caddy. But when I do, I don’t follow through, ‘cause my heart ….” This tune, about a girl fooling around with the boys — but saving her heart for the one man in her life — was written by Cole Porter and recorded by dozens of artists over the years, including Mary Martin and Liza Minelli. Not to mention a very sultry version in the 1960 movie “Let’s Make Love” by this blond bombshell.
     
    4) “Come here mama....and dig this crazy scene. He's not too fancy .... but his line is pretty clean. He ain't no drag.” In 1965, this song was all over the charts and became this black rhythm and blues artist’s signature tune.
     
    5) “When you comin' home dad? I don't know when, but we'll get together then son. You know we'll have a good time then.” This 1974 song is about the awkward relationship between a son and his too busy father. While wishing to spend time with his father, the son starts to model himself on his father's behavior. The final two verses are a reverse of the roles, where the father asks his grown-up son to visit, but the son responds that he is now too busy to find the time. The father then reflects that they are both alike, saying "my boy was just like me."
     
    6) “Oh, my pa-pa, to me he was so wonderful. Oh, my pa-pa, to me he was so good.” The title’s pretty obvious. It was a #1 hit in 1954 by a young pop artist who hosted his own TV show and later left his first wife to marry another big star when her husband was killed in a plane crash.
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    7) “If I could recall all the heartaches, dear old daddy, I've caused you to bear. If I could erase those lines from your face. And bring back the gold to your hair.”  Many think this love tribute to a father’s sacrifices was written by Simon and Garfunkel, who recorded it on their 1997 album “Old Friends.” Actually it was written and recorded, as a huge hit in 1932, by this western movie star and singer.  
     
    8) “My daddy left home when I was three. And he didn't leave much to ma and me, just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze. Now, I don't blame him cause he run and hid. But the meanest thing that he ever did, was before he left, he went …” Penned by Shel Silverstein and recorded live at Folsom Prison, this song about a man coming to terms with his father and his given name was a mega hit in 1969.
     
    9) To close, here’s some lyrics from a young country phenom’s 2008 touching tribute to her father’s love and understanding through the years. “I don't know why all the trees change in the fall. But I know you're not scared of anything at all. Don't know if Snow White's house is near or far away. But I know I had the best day with you today.”
    Answers: 1) “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” – The Temptations; 2) “Daddy Sang Bass” – Johnny Cash; 3) “My Heart Belongs To Daddy” — Marilyn Monroe; 4) “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” — James Brown; 5) “Cat’s In The Cradle” — Harry Chapin; 6) “Oh! My Pa-Pa” — Eddie Fisher; 7) “That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine” — Gene Autry; 8) “Boy Named Sue” — Johnny Cash; “The Best Day” — Taylor Swift.
     
    J.T. Knoll is a writer, speaker and prevention and wellness coordinator at Pittsburg State University. He also operates Knoll Training, Consulting & Counseling Services in Pittsburg. He can be reached at 231-0499 or jtknoll@swbell.net
     
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