songs my father taught me: father’s day 2016 redux;

I think that, once you’ve been blogging for a certain number of years, you can be forgiven for trotting out the same old posts once in a while. Not least because Father’s Day is fast approaching, and my dad explicitly requested a mention in my blog as part of this year’s birthday card poem.

I very strongly connect my interest in music to my relationship with my dad. His role was more one of enabler rather than educator – he supplied me with the Best of Boney M cassette tape that was the only thing I had to listen to on the Sony Walkman I got for my seventh birthday; he let me pick out my first CDs from his Brittania Music Club subscription (did I mention I’m in my 30s?); it was his extensive music collection from which I picked out the classics that have become some of my musical touchstones. But there was a little musical education in there too – and I like to think I get to return the favour these days, whether it’s buying him that Jesse Malin album I’m certain he’ll like, or loading up his iPod with things to listen to by the pool on yet another one of his holidays.

A couple of months ago he mentioned that Neil Young was playing Glasgow, and did I know if it was one I might be reviewing? I didn’t, in the end, which was probably just as well – I can’t imagine my dad putting up with or particularly enjoying the two hours and 45 minutes worth of jam sessions my boss endured for the Telegraph. Neil Young is probably the one artist of my dad’s that I’ve never properly warmed to (discounting that Best of Michael Bolton he had hidden away in his CD collection), but I couldn’t put together a Father’s Day playlist without including what is probably his favourite song (and not an “old man” joke).

My dad actually took me to one of my first ever concerts: Nanci Griffith at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. We’ve actually seen her twice in the same venue – I remember on one of those occasions she was playing with Buddy Holly’s old backing band, the Crickets. I can’t have been any older than 14 the first time we saw her play there, and I remember feeling really grand in such a fancy venue with my handsome daddy. Nanci was one of those artists I discovered through my dad’s music collection, and although I don’t really listen to her very much these days I still know all the words to those songs whenever they do come up. I’d love to see her live again someday.

We also saw Fleetwood Mac together once, back when the SECC was the best Glasgow had when it came to large-scale arena shows. Cue mutters of sixty quid a ticket for one of those fold-out plastic chairs they put out on the floor of the hall (which was, at least, cheaper than the last time the band played the Hydro…). My dad loved Albatross, but since I’m a classic lineup girl and this is my playlist I’ll go for another song that I know he loves.

For my final Father’s Day pick, I’m going for a song I brought into his life – although, now I come to mention it, I have a feeling I only bought him the Bruce Springsteen Seeger Sessions album because he’d seen a documentary about it on BBC Four. Assuming that was the case though, that makes this pick even more appropriate – sometimes I feel as though the only reason I keep up to date on any music documentaries at all is because of him keeping them on the Sky box for me until the next time I come around to dinner.

True to form, my dad will be sunning himself in Stallis this weekend – so consider this my Father’s Day gift to him. Happy Father’s Day, Daddy, and thanks for everything x

This post is a collaboration with HMV, but all opinions are my own and unbiased.



  1. trona
    June 15, 2016 / 1:57 pm

    I have my mum to thank for my eclectic music taste. My dad only ever had one album, a Led Zep one but my mum exposed me to lots of music growing up x

    • June 17, 2016 / 5:14 pm

      Awwww 🙂 My mum was definitely the bigger music fan growing up, but she never got the chance to listen to it much with the three of us wee ones running around! x