Top 10 Songs About Bad Fathers

While most people will be celebrating father's dad, some aren't quite as fortunate. Click to see our list of songs about horrible dads.

While searching through my music selection for tracks that were fitting for father's day, it was quite apparent that most musicians sing about their dads whom they dread. Since not everyone was blessed with a loving and caring father, here are ten songs that will help the rest of you vent out your frustrations with music.


Madonna - Papa Don't Preach

It was quite common in the olden days (and it's still the case in certain countries) that a daughter would seek approval from her dad before dating a man. In Papa Don't Preach, the rebellious Madonna wants to keep her baby despite her father's disapproval.

Choice Lyric: "You always taught me right from wrong
I need your help daddy please be strong"


Jane's Addiction - Had a Dad

What is it with rock stars and having bad fathers? In Had a Dad, Perry Ferrell sings about a son being left behind by his father.

Choice Lyric: “I had a dad, big and strong
I turned around, I found my daddy gone"


George Michael - Father Figure

Unlike the rest of the songs on this list, Father Figure is not really about awful dads; instead it's about a man trying to seduce a younger woman by volunteering to be her (creepy) fatherly figure.

Choice Lyric: "I will be your father figure, Put your tiny hand in mine"


The Temptations - Papa Was A Rolling Stone

We've decided to choose the more popular The Temptations cover of this classic song by Undisputed Truth. The lyrics speak of the death of a father that the singer never had the chance to meet. The family was left alone, their father was a rolling stone.

Choice Lyric: "I never got a chance to see him.
Never heard nothing but bad things about him."


Violent Femmes - Done Daddy Gone

The song talks about a father whose daughter grows up, leaves him and never returns. The lyrics make allusion to the daughter not having any more respect for her father.

Choice Lyric: "Cause it's gone daddy gone, the love is gone.. away"

We've saved the best for last, keep reading to see which singer's dad tops the list of awful fathers.


Nirvana - Serve The Servants

It's no secret that Kurt Cobain had much resentment for his dad. In Serve The Servants, Kurt finally speaks his mind and dismisses his father's ability to be a good parent and references his folk's "legendary" divorce.

Choice Lyric: "I tried hard to have a father, but instead I had a dad"


Pearl Jam - Alive

According to frontman Eddie Vedder, Alive is part fictional, part real. It tells the story of a teen who finds out that his father was really his step dad and that his biological one was dying. Fun fact: Alive is actually part one of a three song trilogy: after Alive, listen to Pearl Jam's Once and then Footsteps for the full story.

Choice Lyric: "What you thought was your daddy, was nothing but a (lie).."


Neil Young - Old Man

This classic by Neil Young tells of a man who begins to realize that he's become very much like his father: Alone and in need of company.

Choice Lyric: "Old man take a look at my life, I'm a lot like you,
I need someone to love me, the whole day through"


Morrissey - The Father Who Must Be Killed

The song by Morrissey gets a 10 on 10 for subtlety. In case you didn't realize, sarcasm is pretty hard to portray online.

Choice Lyric: "Stepchild, there's a knife in a drawer in a room downstairs
And you, you know what you must do"


Harry Chaplin - Cat's In the Cradle

Cat's In The Cradle is told by the father's perspective. It's about a dad who chronically makes broken promises to his son. In the end, the son grows up and promises to visit his father but never does which brings us to the choice lyric below..

Choice Lyric: "My boy was just like me"

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Fathers Madonna George Michael The Temptations Violent Femmes Jane's Addiction Harry Chaplin Nirvana Pearl Jam Neil Young Morrissey Top Lists

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