Being Dad

Being a father is fraught with danger…

Music Wars May 7, 2012

A tragedy has befallen me.

I was in the car; Missy was strapped in. It was time to educate my daughter in the fine art of my kind of music.

We had tried David Bowie when Missy was a lot younger and actually she was right, the newer stuff was rubbish.  So I brought out an old favourite: Van Morrison. Mindful she is a one-year-old, I didn’t subject her to the earlier, more soulful albums, I went straight in with “The Best of Van, volume 1”.

To my horror, half way through “Bright Side of the Road” Missy started to cry. Realizing I need to turn this around, I dropped the atomic bomb of my kind of music, The Beatles White album. Screaming – and not in a Beatlemania kind of way – resulted. Missy didn’t want to go back to, nor indeed anywhere near, the USSR.

A beaten man, the CD was duly changed, and home I drove, gently weeping, while Missy giggled and laughed to “the wheels on the bus go round and round”.

When Missy is older, I expect she will stare at me through the rear-vision mirror as I drive her and friends somewhere, desperately demanding with her eyes I turn off Bob Dylan, and put on the latest boy band – who’s pants are too low and voices too high.

Will I become the embarrassing dad that my Dad was? (Note: Burt Bacharach is not a pop star). In a way, I hope I do. It gives kids something to moan about, and will be excellent material in 20 years if Missy decides to become a columnist.

“My Dad was so uncool, he use to listen to The Rolling Stones”. It will be a tragic day indeed when the ‘Stones become “uncool”.

Or maybe she will come around and in 20 years we will be at a concert together, the “Steel Wheelchair” tour.  At least Keith Richards will be the same – he already looks 90.

But the reality is the generation gap is a constant, I thought my Dad’s music sucked, he thought his Dad’s did, and Missy will think mine does. The exceptions to this rule are nursery rhymes. They seem to be a cross generational phenomenon. Songs I remember as a child delight Missy now. It’s quite strange to me that Lennon & McCartney, arguably the greatest songwriters of the modern era will be one day thought of as third-rate while: “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, will live on into eternity as a classic.

Now when Missy and I get in the car, it’s all about the ants marching in ones and twos and threes, the Grand old Duke of York going up that hill and down again, and that boat will be row, row, rowed.

Maybe that’s just as well, Does Missy honestly need to hear a Beatles album that includes Yoko on backing vocals? Maybe I should have tried Sgt. Pepper’s? I can see my wife shaking her head, telling me to give it up – I just can’t compete with that decrepit McDonald fellow, and his farm that seems to have every animal imaginable!


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