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John Mayer Gets It

June 4, 2012

June is the month we celebrate fathers.  According to those who keep track of these things, Father’s Day isn’t as popular as is Mother’s Day.  There aren’t as many cards sold, dinners bought, etc. Maybe it’s just because men aren’t as sentimental about those things.  Maybe fathers are underappreciated.  Or…maybe there is another, more concerning reason. And, John Mayer wrote a song about that reason.

When I first heard the song “Daughters” by John Mayer, it really struck a cord with me (no pun intended!) as I know too many women who have had to struggle through their entire life without the love, protection and involvement of a father. So that you’ll know what I’m referring to, here are the lyrics:

Daughters

I know a girl,
She puts the color inside of my world
But she’s just like a maze
Where all of the walls all continually change

And I’ve done all I can
To stand on her steps with my heart in my hands
Now I’m starting to see
Maybe it’s got nothing to do with me

CHORUS
Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

Oh, you see that skin?
It’s the same she’s been standing in
Since the day she saw him walking away
Now she’s left, cleaning up the mess he made

On behalf of every man
Looking out for every girl
You are the god and the weight of her world

The lyrics are an admonition to fathers (and to a lesser extent mothers) to love and nurture their daughters as they are being raised because the relationship will affect their future relationships with men as adults. On VH1’s “Storytellers” in 2010, Mayer said that he wrote the song about an ex-girlfriend who had trust issues because of the way her father had treated her. The father’s neglect and poor parenting lead to the decline and eventual split of Mayer’s relationship with her.

I bolded and highlighted the final lyric: you are the god and the weight of her world. And, what Mayer is specifically talking about is what I’ve realized and believe to be true about the father/daughter relationship: a father is his daughter’s “first love.” She is the first man she loves – the first one she depends upon and needs.  When that “first love” – her father – either disappoints and/or deserts a young girl, it has everlasting consequences – none of them good.

So, as we look forward to celebrating fathers, if you’ve got a good one – please let him know. And, please don’t take him for granted.  You have something that so many others would give anything for.  If, sadly, your father is M.I.A., then you have my sympathy.  Father’s Day won’t be easy. But, it is just a day – which will, thankfully, pass.

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