Song of the Day #1,274: ‘Father and Daughter’ – Paul Simon

When I wrote yesterday that I never revisit Paul Simon’s Surprise, I left out one major exception.

‘Father and Daughter,’ the album’s closing track, first turned up on the soundtrack to The Wild Thornberrys Movie before finding a home on Simon’s own album. I suspect he considered it too good a song to relegate to a soundtrack album from a little-seen kids films.

I am a sucker for anything having to do with fathers and daughters, so naturally this song is a favorite of mine. I adore the sound of it as well as the sentiment.

It doesn’t really fit in with the rest of Surprise — that guitar line is more reminiscent of Rhythm of the Saints — but it’s the album’s brightest highlight.

If you leap awake in the mirror of a bad dream
And for a fraction of a second, you can’t remember where you are
Just open your window and follow your memory upstream
To the meadow in the mountain where we counted every falling star

I believe the light that shines on you will shine on you forever
And though I can’t guarantee there’s nothing scary hiding under your bed
I’m gonna stand guard like a postcard of a golden retriever
And never leave ’til I leave you with a sweet dream in your head

I’m gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you’ll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Who loved his daughter more than I love you

Trust your intuition
It’s just like goin’ fishin’
You cast your line and hope you get a bite
But you don’t need to waste your time
Worryin’ about the marketplace
Try to help the human race
Struggling to survive its harshest night

I’m gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you’ll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Who loved his daughter more than I love you

I’m gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you’ll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Loved his daughter more than I love you

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,274: ‘Father and Daughter’ – Paul Simon

  1. Dana says:

    Hear, hear! Couldn’t agree more as to how sweet and wonderful this song is, speaking as another father watching his wonderful daughter shine and grow. Quite honestly, it’s hard to listen to this song, even after the hundredth time, without tearing up a bit. Oh, and on a slight tangent, speaking of heartfelt father daughter/children experiences, run, don’t walk, to “We Bought A Zoo,” which we saw yesterday–critics be damned (those who may not have gushed)–it’s a wonderful film)

    Anyway, going beyond the obvious heart strings that are pulled for us with today’s song, I would suggest that, following up from my comment on yesterday’s song, that this song works more than the rest of the album because it has definition and form–with a consistent rhythm and a distinct chorus. As much as I do appreciate unique songwriting and the discarding of structure at times, there remains something unshakeable about a wonderfully crafted pop song, and lord knows that Simon is better than anyone at delivering that, even if, as he enters his 6th decade of recording, he may be generally less interested in doing so,

  2. peg says:

    Great song, I love it!

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