I love my dad, but I don’t love my dad.
I love my dad, but I don’t love my dad. Which is to say I did not consult him about a number of personal milestones because my dad doesn’t need to know about the time I had sex with that guy, because that’s weird. Plus, I’m sure he’d like to preserve some false version of me in his mind, and I would like to respect that wish. Now, I always assumed that when it came to father-daughter relationships that this was the natural order of things, but it turns out I was wrong. It’s come to my attention that a disturbing musical trend has emerged from America’s heartland : Daddy-Daughter Purity Songs. These songs, an offshoot of those fabled daddy daughter purity dances, in which daddies take their daughters to a Ramada Inn to do the funky chicken and then make promises to stay pure until they’re ready to marry their future daddy. Sensing an opportunity to make a quick buck, Christian bands have started penning daddy/daughter songs about how much daddies looooooove their daughters and how special and pure, and perfect and pure, and untouched, and pure their daughters are until the day their husbands stick their dicks inside them and ruin them FOREVER. Here are some of the juiciest daddy/daughter vids for your viewing pleasure. How long can you last? That’s what she said…to her fucking dad.
Heartland—”I Loved Her First”
“But I loved her first and I held her first
And a place in my heart will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
And I prayed that she’d find you someday
But its still hard to give her away
I loved her first.”
“I Loved Her First” covers all the necessary daddy/daughter song tropes: possessive father, virginity hints, childhood fantasies, and plenty of double entendres for the rest of us. Yes, it’s all here. Seemingly innocent yet horribly nightmarish, in part due to the word “breathed” and the idea that his “love runs deep”(???!). Or maybe it’s the fact that you can’t help but think of the worst possible thing because this is a song about a man serenading his daughter like they used to date. Fun game: replace the word “love” with “fuck.”
Crystal Shawanda—”You Can Let Go Now, Daddy”
You can let go now, Daddy
You can let go
Oh, I think I’m ready
To do this on my own
It’s still a little bit scary
But I want you to know
I’ll be OK now, Daddy
You can let go.
Crystal flips the script and writes this daddy/daughter song from the daughter’s perspective, but don’t be fooled—it’s the same old story. Crystal’s daddy has been the only man in her life, but now she’s ready to take it to the next step with another man (S-E-X) but she wants Daddy to know that everything’s gonna be OK. Creep factor is very high once again because Crystal, who we can assume is an adult, adopts a little-kid persona all the while implying she’s going to have sex. This is fucking gross for obvious reasons, but mostly because she keeps using the word daddy, and it sounds straight sinister.
Tim McGraw—”My Little Girl”
Someday, some boy will come and ask me for your hand
But I won’t say “yes” to him unless I know, he’s the half
That makes you whole, he has a poet’s soul, and the heart of a man’s man
I know he’ll say that he’s in love
But between you and me
He won’t be good enough
Between you and me, Tim McGraw, you need to relax. “My Little Girl” is less creepy than the other songs until you read into the subtext and you realize he’s literally describing HIMSELF as the perfect man for his daughter. Stop trying to date your daughter, McGraw. “Poetic man’s man”? Come on, that’s not a thing, that’s just a sly way of describing yourself—except what you meant to say was “Overly invested father with penchant to write shitty saccharine songs about his little girl.” But that’s hard to rhyme. I’ll give you that.
Chuck Wicks—”Stealing Cinderella”
She was playing Cinderella
She was riding her first bike
Bouncing on the bed and looking for a pillow fight
Running through the sprinkler with a big popsicle grin
Dancing with her dad, looking up at him
In her eyes I’m Prince Charming
But to him I’m just some fella riding in and stealing Cinderella
The formality of Christian America is endlessly fascinating. All these songs depict this sort of neo-Victorian era where everyone is unnaturally dignified, except instead of looking like Tim Burton’s wet dreams, it’s just shitty beer, T-shirt slogans and evangelical beliefs. Anyway, Chuck Wicks spends more time imagining his future wife as a little kid than he does as an adult—which is unsettling, but at this point to be expected. I will concede one point to Wicks: He uses the word “woman” when describing his future wife, which is an odd transgression in this musical genre. Still, weird though.
Holly Dunn—”Daddy’s Hands”
Daddy’s hands were soft and kind when I was cryin’.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy´s hands.
And God said: “Thou shalt save the best for last. And it was good.” Holy shit Holly Dunn, way to out-do all your Christian brethren! Daddy’s Hands features, well,“daddy’s hands” a particularly menacing image, self-infantilization (What, no goo-goo ga-ga? Way to commit, Dunn), and it even promotes violence against children! This is like Stockholm syndrome set to music, or the musical version of that bible passage about beating your kids with a rod – which, as it turns out, doesn’t work very well. This song really begs the question: how many beatings does one have to endure before they suddenly seems worthy of a country ballad? Well done, Dunn. I wonder if Josef Fritzl’s kids are working on a sort of Jackson 5 revamp? Something to think about, anyway.
So there you have it, five horrible songs about horrible things. You’re welcome.