- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 15, 2006

Talk about double standards: Can you name one song in the history of American popular music that’s mean about mommies? Oh, but dads — they regularly take lyrical beatings and find reprieve only at their daughters’ wedding receptions. Because it’s Father’s Day weekend, we thought we’d call attention to this invidious trend, with the qualification that sometimes dads truly are meatheads.

Cats in the Cradle — Dad is overworked and distant from the moment his son is born. He misses the little tyke’s first steps. He begets a cycle of neglect. It’s been sure nice talking to you, too, Harry Chapin.

Papa Don’t Preach — This, well, preachy, 1986 hit seems a bit nasty in retrospect because it is intimated that the titular father is urging his daughter either to abort her child or give up the baby for adoption against her will. The Material Mom kept her baby, of course — and then had another with a different papa.

Papa Was a Rolling Stone — The deadbeat — and literally dead — papa of this Temptations staple deserves no defense. Sorry, brother; you really should have laid your head at home.

A Boy Named Sue — Ditto the runaway dad of this Johnny Cash classic penned by Shel Silverstein. He split home when his son was 3, leaving behind only an “old guitar and an empty bottle of booze.” It was an act of tough love, the father later tells his son. Sure — tell that to all the well-adjusted dudes named Bill and George.

Papa — Prince painted an ugly paternal picture with this 1994 track. This papa was abusive not only toward his son, but dandelions and passing cars, too.

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