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Strictly Country Magazine A Northwoods Country Father's Day title

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Take a moment to celebrate your Father...

   He never thought he would be married let alone become a father, but here he was holding his new born daughter.  She was no more than an hour old and she already had her little hands wrapped around his finger and his heart.

   She watched every morning as he left the house. Mamma said he had to work, but she was too young to understand the word – work.  She just knew that he left only to return hours later; tired.  But it didn’t matter how tired he was, he still took time to play with her. 

   “A cup of tea…Daddy?”

   She couldn’t wait! It was her first school dance and mommy bought her a new dress.  It was a beautiful white and pink dress that made her feel like a Princess.  She slowly walked down the stairs to her Prince Charming – Daddy so they could go to their Daddy Daughter dance.

   “Sweetheart, you look like a Princess…”

   It was her first date with a boy and she was nervous and excited at the same time.  All of her girlfriends had already had their first kiss from a boy and she was hoping tonight her date would kiss her.  She heard the doorbell ring and quickly gathered her coat and purse.  Making her way downstairs to the living room she could hear her father drilling her date.

   “Oh…Dad…”

   She knew she was in trouble as soon as she arrived at the party.  College was so different from High School.  Someone handed her a soda, but the soda was laced with alcohol.  It didn’t matter, it tasted good.  She had one too many and didn’t know what to do.  She walked outside and made a call she hoped wouldn’t ruin her social life.

   “Dad…I’m in trouble.  Can you come get me?”

   It was the most important day of her life, her wedding.  She spent the better part of two years planning for the big day.  She had planned every miniscule detail with one exception – her father.  One look at the tears in his eyes…

   “You are the most beautiful bride I have ever seen…”

   She couldn’t wait!  The whole drive she had been planning on what to say to him.  Sure she visited just last week, but she wasn’t sure.  Now she was and after telling her husband she quickly got in her car and drove to her parent’s house.

   “Dad…I’m pregnant!”

   He had helped her so much in her life.  He was her rock, the man she could always depend on.  Now, who would she ask?  Who will advise her on life?  Who would wipe away her tears?  She stood by the casket…

   “I love you daddy…”

 

   Moments.  That is what life is all about.  Small moments that create a story.  The story that is our individual lives.  One thing is for certain, our lives intertwine with others especially our parents. 

   The lucky ones grow up with their biological parents.  Some children are taken away, if they are lucky they will gain a second chance through adoption.  Some children – well they only dream of the warmth brought by parents.

   Nonetheless, it is Father’s Day and whatever your story tells we thought we would share the stories about Father’s through song.  Over the years we have encountered a wide variety of songs regarding Dads and Grandpas.  We have compiled an on going list of Songs For Dad in our Northwoods Country Father’s Day honoring fathers every where.  You can view Strictly Country’s list to the right.  Please check back as we continue to find songs to add.

   Instead of going through the entire list, we thought we would point out the more notable songs… 

   In 1986, a new female vocalist by the name of Holly Dunn released her self entitled debut album.  The album featured ten cuts, but none more notable as “Daddy’s Hands.”  Dunn wrote the song as a tribute to her father, who was a minister.  The single earned several accolades for Holly and went on to become her signature song.  Dunn expressed how the song was a father’s day gift to her dad, but it had tapped into what she called “a well of emotions” and soon became a fan favorite.  "…people like hearing about a family relationship that's stable and loving." stated Dunn during an interview.

   Holly Dunn went on to record a total of nine albums with her last in 2003 before she retired.  She passed away on November 14, 2016, from ovarian cancer.

   It was “Achy Breaky Heart” that made Billy Ray Cyrus a house hold name.  But many of you do not know that Mr. Cyrus is a composer of some of the most heartfelt songs.  In October 2012, Cyrus released his album Change My Mind.  The album didn’t do as quite as well as Billy thought it would, but it did contain the song “That’s What Daddy’s Do.”  In this heartfelt ballad, Cyrus captures the true authenticity of what it is like to be a father.

   In 2015, Bluegrass entertainer Donna Ulisse graced us with an incredible album called Hard Cry Moon.  Donna entertained us with twelve beautiful cuts that earned her a nomination for the Spirit Award’s Album of The Year.  It did not win; nonetheless it was named President’s Choice Award.  Upon this award winning album we find “Papa’s Garden;” a song that invites the listener to stroll down memory lane.

   Some of the best songs in country music are story songs.  These are songs that include a narrative that is backed by an instrumental medley.  Perhaps the most notable narrative song comes from Johnny Cash with “A Boy Named Sue.” Now you are probably wondering why we include this song, but listen closely to the story Johnny tells and you shall find your answer.

   Another narrative song that we include on this list comes from The Gentlemen of Bluegrass with “Father’s Table Grace.”  This song almost reminds us of the character Ward Cleaver from the ever popular television show Leave It To Beaver.  This is a well written and performed song about life’s little lessons.

   Many of us on the staff grew up with family members who were musically talented.  Back in the day, before a thousand channels of television and internet, we spent evenings sitting around enjoying the musical styling’s provided by family.  In 2007, Charlie Daniels teamed up with a wide variety of fellow artists to create his album called Deuces.  Much like many of us, Charlie grew up listening to folks perform.  He captures this part of his life in his song “Daddy’s Old Fiddle.”  On the album he gains help from Ms. Dolly Parton to create a fun, proficient song that is sure to get your toes tapping.

   Another fun song we add to this list comes from a new entertainer by the name of Shawn Byrne with “Beer Tree.”  In 2016, Shawn released his album Slow Bullet which went on to earn him the Pete Huttlinger Spirit Award For Music Excellence.  “Beer Tree” is a comedic song that Shawn shares about a prank his father pulled on him.

   We cannot let Father’s Day go by without a song honoring all of the Father’s who serve in the Armed Forces.  Steve Holy honors these brave men by mentioning them in his song “Heart of A Hero.”

   Alzheimer's disease and dementia can rob you of your loved ones.  It is something I believe we all worry about, especially when it comes to our parents.  Kenny Chesney captures the struggles in his song “While He Still Knows Who I Am.”

   As much as we wish they could live forever, some day our father will pass away.  There are several songs on this list that speak of the heartache that comes with death.  Rusty Rierson talks about it in his song “Souvenirs” while Reba McEntire and Billy Dean sing about not knowing one’s father in Richard Leigh’s “The Greatest Man I Never Knew.”

   Shortly before his passing George Jones teamed up with his daughter Georgette Jones in a wonderful song called “You And Me And Time.”  This song captures the story of a daughter and her estranged father and how they finally come together to create the relationship they both always wanted.

   Kevin Fowler captures the entire story of what it’s like to be a father with his song “Daddies And Daughters.”

   We close out this article with a prolific song called “Thanks Again.”  Performed by Volume Five, this heartfelt ballad is the perfect song for this holiday, Mother’s Day, and most importantly the Father / Daughter and Mother / Son dance at any wedding.

    There is one song missing on our list.  Perhaps we have yet to come across it.  Of course we are talking about a song about two fathers.  Many children today are being raised by two fathers.  Whether they are a father and a step-father or a gay couple…we miss a song such as this.  Perhaps one of our writer friends could create a song that could touch the souls in these situations.

   We also are missing a song about fur fathers too!

   In a perfect world, we would have all the time we need to spend with our fathers.  Perhaps that is what the great beyond is all about.  Until then, take time this Father’s Day to spend with your father’s, grandfathers, or those whom you consider your fathers.  Tell them how much you appreciate them, but also take the time to listen…

© Strictly Country Magazine
June 18, 2021

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Strictly Country Magazine A Northwoods Country Father's Day songs

A Boy Named Sue - Johnny Cash

Becky Brown's Daddy - River County

Beer Tree - Shawn Byrne

Call Me Daddy - Billy Ray Cyrus

Daddies And Daughters - Kevin Fowler

Daddy Doesn't Pray Anymore - Chris Stapleton

Daddy Doesn't Pray Anymore - Volume Five

Daddy Made Moonshine - Nothin' Fancy

Daddy Was A Badass - Jesse Dayton

Daddy Won't Sell The Farm - Montgomery Gentry

Daddy's Hands - Holly Dunn

Daddy's Home - Bobby Cyrus

Daddy's Money - Ricochet

Daddy's Old Fiddle - Charlie Daniels featuring Dolly Parton

Dirty Black Coal - Ralph Stanley & Ralph Stanley II

Drive (For Daddy Gene) - Alan Jackson

Family Man - Craig Campbell

Father's Table Grace - Gentlemen of Bluegrass

Granddaddy's Gun - Aaron Lewis

Grandpa - Justin Moore

Grandpa's Way of Life - Mark 'Brink' Brinkman

He Believed - Aaron Tippin

He Did - Adam Hood

Heart of A Hero - Steve Holy

Just My Dad And Me -

Man In The Mirror - Mark Chesnutt

Mom, Dad & Me -

My Father's Son - Jonmark Stone

My Last Name - Dierks Bentley

My Old Man's Son - Eli Young Band

Papa's Garden - Donna Ulisse

Richest Man - John Berry

Something To Be Proud of - Montgomery Gentry

Souvenirs - Rusty Rierson

Thanks Again - Volume Five

That's What Daddy's Do - Billy Ray Cyrus

The Farmer & The Lord - Bill Anderson

The Greatest Man I Never Knew - Reba McEntire

The Greatest Man I Never Knew - Billy Dean

The Last of A Dying Breed - Neal McCoy

The Letter (To Daddy) - Kelly Pickler

The Man In Those Shoes - Tammy Jones Robinette

They Don't Make 'Em Like My Daddy Anymore - Loretta Lynn

This Close To Heaven - Bobby Pinson

To Daddy - Dolly Parton

When Daddy Was A Strong Man - Tracy Lawrence

While He Still Knows Who I Am - Kenny Chesney

You And Me And Time - George Jones featuring Georgette Jones


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