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Father's Day playlist

A classic album from Johnny Cash featuring the definitive version of 'A Boy Named Sue.'
A classic album from Johnny Cash featuring the definitive version of 'A Boy Named Sue.'
Columbia Records

Any playlist of songs for Father's Day is bound to yield a mixed bag of sentiments and emotion. It’s just the basic nature of songwriting. Among the songs in this playlist, Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Oh Daddy’ is touchingly sentimental, Peter Himmelman’s ‘This Father’s Day’ is a loving emotional tribute, Johnny Cash’s ‘A Boy Named Sue’ is confrontational and Pearl Jam’s ‘Alive’ is, well, complicated.

While all of these songs have a lyrical connection to Father's Day, the least obvious is ‘Box Of Rain,’ a remarkable song by The Grateful Dead. Phil Lesh composed the music as a song to sing to his dying father. For the words, he turned to Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter who upon hearing the music wrote the words as fast he could move his pen. While driving to the nursing home, Lesh practiced the song and then sang it for his father. The term “box of rain” is a reference to the Earth and just sounded better than “ball of rain”.

To listen to this playlist, click the ‘video’ button on the left side of the page, then click on the player to hear all of these songs in their entirety.

Father's Day playlist

  1. Oh Daddy - Adrian Belew
  2. Box Of Rain - Grateful Dead
  3. A Boy Named Sue - Johnny Cash
  4. Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag - James Brown
  5. Daddy’s Eyes - The Killers
  6. Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own - U2
  7. Bang The Drum Slowly - Emmylou Harris
  8. Wake Me Up When September Comes - Green Day
  9. This Father’s Day - Peter Himmelman
  10. Papa Was A Rolling Stone - The Temptations
  11. Alive - Pearl Jam
  12. Cats In The Cradle - Harry Chapin
  13. Father And Son - Cat Stevens
  14. Oh Daddy - Fleetwood Mac
  15. Father And Daughter - Paul Simon
  16. To Daddy - Emmylou Harris
  17. My Father’s House - Bruce Springsteen
  18. Father Of Mine - Everclear
  19. Daddy - PJ Harvey
  20. Papasan - Lush
  21. My Father - This Mortal Coil


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