I figured it was appropriate to pull out the mack-daddy of father/daughter songs today. I have a few others I love (and I promise to feature one on June 20, my other daughter’s birthday) but ‘Gracie’ by Ben Folds is the one song to rule them all.
Appearing on Folds’ Songs for Silverman, this is one of the songs that caused fair-weather fans to dismiss him as soft. Those morons hadn’t been paying much attention to the rest of his career.
‘Gracie’ is full of the sort of simple but powerful lyrics that Folds excels at. Lines like “I would never try to make you be anything you didn’t really want to be” and “you’ll be a lady soon but until then you gotta do what I say.”
One image that resonates with me comes toward the end of the song: “You nodded off in my arms watching TV. I won’t move you an inch even thought my arm’s asleep.” I have so many memories of exactly that situation with both of my daughters. And now they’re both so big — the idea that I once held their whole bodies in my arms is surreal.
But the line that hits me the hardest is the one that bookends the song. “And there will always be a part of me nobody else is ever gonna see but you and me, my little girl.” So true, and it’s the most important part of all.
Happy birthday, Fiona!
You got your momma’s taste but you got my mouth
And you will always have a part of me
Nobody else is ever going to see
Gracie girlWith your cards to your chest walking on your toes
What you got in the box only Gracie knows
And I would never try to make you be
Anything you didn’t really want to be
Life flies by in seconds
You’re not a baby Gracie, you’re my friend
You’ll be a lady soon but until then
You gotta do what I say
You nodded off in my arms watching TV
I won’t move you an inch even though my arm’s asleep
One day you’re gonna want to go
I hope we taught you everything you need to know
And there will always be a part of me
Nobody else is ever gonna see but you and me
My little girl
My Gracie girl