Melody of Lyrics: PSY - Father

Friday, April 26, 2013

Welcome back to my Melody of Lyrics series, which I haven't done for a month now. Whoops... 

Anywhoo, while everybody is crazy about PSY's new single "Gentleman", I've decided to make today's post about one of his less popular songs - "Father". The song, which is a non-album single, came out on the summer of 2012 (first performed at the ‘Summer Stand Wet Show‘) but was unfortunately overshadowed by "Gangnam Style"-s success. But for those who think of PSY only as the funny horse-dance guy, I'd say "Father" is a great way to see a more serious side of him.

English translation:

He only looked forward as he lived
At some point, his children have grown up and won’t listen to him
He gave up his youth to fill up the rice bowls of his children
As he looks at the photo of his children, he tries to make one more dollar

He swallows his tears, risks his life, brushes it off though it’s hard and gets up
At this rate, what if he faints?
“I’m Superman kids, don’t worry”

He can’t say anything even if his superiors press down on him
He can’t avoid it even when his juniors try to usurp him
The world is scary, he wants to run away
Damn, but he holds it in every single day
“I live because of these kids, oblivious to everything, playing and kicking and rolling around in my arms.”
“Though it’s hard, I’m leaving. Hey honey, hey kids, your father is leaving for work”

* Father, now I finally realize
How did you live like that?
Please don’t be lonely any longer
Now let’s go together

To his children who became students now he says,
“There’s only one thing I want from you guys
Please become rightful and healthy and kind and polite
I’ll try to be better than the other fathers so
Whether it’s after school academies or private tutoring,
I’ll compete with the other fathers and win
So I can do everything for you
I need to make a lot of money so be good to your father”

The kids make many friends and share many stories
They see and hear about their friend’s fathers who do more for them and compare
They compare other fathers who buy their kids more things
They become more and more ill-mannered as time passes
And the naggings increase and though it’s lonely, he leaves
“Hey honey, hey kids, your father is leaving for work”

* Repeat

“Honey, much time has passed.
Our first is a working man and our second is in college
Now I want our family to be together but
Because I’m the father, it’s difficult to start a conversation
My tears welled up from the difficult world
The kids look so busy
I need to take a walk, honey
Please come with me”

* Repeat

I want to follow you

(Translation from pop!gasa. All credit goes to the translator.) 

Brief discussion of the lyrics:

In this song, PSY expresses gratitude to his father who has gone through much hardship to provide a good life to his family. 

The lyrics describe how PSY's father had to give up many things and work hard every day, yet knowing that he does it for his children kept him going, even on the days when he just wanted to run away. However, his children don't know how to appreciate their father's hard work and compare him to other fathers who buy more things for their children. Although father is sad, he continues to go to work and continues to sacrifice the time he could spend with his children. Years pass and the kids grow up, but now it's them who are too busy to spend time with their old father. 

Although, PSY may not be the best singer, he has perfectly voiced the emotion in this song. And with these heartfelt lyrics we can see just how grateful PSY now is to his father. But, there is still a sad undertone to it. We all know the song "Cat's in the Cradle", where a father spends his life working and misses out on his son growing up. In the end, he sees that his son is too busy spend time with him and realizes that son has grown up to be just like him. The moral is that the father should not have worked so often and miss his son growing up. 

However, with PSY's "Father" we kinda see another side to this same problem. Because although father might want to see his children grow up, he also has the obligation to work his hardest to provide a good future for them. The thought of having to work instead of playing with his children is painful, but like PSY says with these lyrics, that is a father's hardship. Although he says he's Superman, unfortunately he still cannot do everything and be with his children even when he wants to be. 

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