4 Songs for Father
It’s that time again of the year where our timelines are filled with throwback pictures of all sorts of fathers—and if there’s one thing I’ve noticed about musical theater, it’s that it has lots of love for this particular type of character. I mean ever since (and maybe even way before) the stern-turned-sweet Captain Von Trapp graced the stage, from billionaire businessman Mr. Warbucks all the way to the modern dads of today, we have seen this male hero of the household in so many different roles in different shows. Now, as we celebrate another day for our dear fathers, here are four musical theater songs I think best represent the incredibly crucial role this leading man plays both on stage and in real life.
1. Hey, Kid (from If/Then) – Kitt & Yorkey
This life is what you make it. It’s cliché which means it’s true.
And kid, it makes my life to know I helped make you.
As a father, kid, I may not have a clue
but your mom and me will somehow muddle through.
Everything has a first time—and fatherhood is one of those things that are most terrifying to enter into (I mean I can just imagine, you know) without knowing what to expect. This beautiful anthem from If/Then captures perfectly what every first-time father must have felt like when his child first held his finger, as well as the moments that led up to it. Plus it’s one of those pieces that just can’t help but make you feel good.
2. Bring Him Home (from Les Miserables) – Schönberg & Boubil
An absolutely beautiful piece and not to mention beautifully done. Jean Valjean is the father figure of the ages—desperately doing what he can against all odds to make sure his daughter gets the happy and peaceful future she deserves, even if it means him dying to save the only remaining hope to that life there is. I’ve always found a perfect contradiction to this piece because it bursts with so much urgency in terms of the message it carries yet is masked by how calm and delicate the music was written. Kind of similar to how fathers usually are with their feelings.
3. Dear Daddy (from Welcome To My Life) – Bobby Cronin
I think one of the things we can get from this piece is realizing just how much influence a father can have in a person’s life. He is the strength and the motivation of one to keep going after whatever it is that he or she might want and “Dear Daddy” is a wonderful summarization of exactly that, albeit tear-jerkingly so.
- A Light in the Dark (from Next to Normal) – Kitt & Yorkey
I have a well-deserved bias for this piece. Maybe because of the heart-wrenching story that wraps it up or the character that gives it life, “A Light in the Dark” for me is what a father is and/or what every father should aspire to be. Through the course of everything this family has gone through, Dan shows us that it’s not just about being present, patiently tolerating everything that’s happened, rather it’s about keeping the house together and doing whatever it takes to make it into a home.
Today is the day where we get to celebrate the Joshes, Valjeans, Daddy(s), and Dans in our lives. With these four songs, let them take on center-stage once more and get the spotlight they deserve.