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Daughters

by

John Mayer



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Mayer explained the meaning behind this song when he appeared on the VH1 program Storytellers in 2011, when he explained that he was very frustrated with so many beautiful women who have "daddy issues." Said Mayer: "I loved a girl a lot, but she couldn't trust men. And if you trace it back, it was the first man in her life she couldn't trust. I know this song sounds like I'm just sitting around the house, spitballing, thinking of really lofty things to think about, but it really is the result of tracing it backwards to find out how I could possibly love this person. And the answer is: you can't. Because someone else didn't before you."
Part of the inspiration for this song was a Chris Rock comedy bit where he talks about how a father's main responsibility is to keep his daughter "off the pole," meaning to make sure she doesn't become a stripper.
This won for Song Of The Year at the 2005 Grammy Awards.
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Comments (35):

This song is nearly perfect. The part I have a problem with is when he gets to the "boys" part. Men don't have mommy and/or daddy issues? C'mon Mayer.
- jey, brooklyn, NY
I heart this one dearly.Can't watch the video though or I just get all caught up in John Mayers sexy lips and the song just fades away.....
- Sara, union city, TN
All I want to know is this: I'm in love with a woman like the one in the song. What do I do?
- Jim, Temecula, CA
Everyone comments on how this is about fathers being good to their daughters. its true that that is what it is about, but he also brings up that men in generall need to be good to women. "On behalf of every man
Looking out for every girl
You are the god and the weight of her world". when he says this i wonder if he is trying to say that men need to do a better job setting an example to other men and to women.
- kirt, salt lake, Afghanistan
For the morons who think John Mayer is 'preaching' you either have a guilty conscience or aren't listening to the song. He's not telling you HOW to raise your daugther he's just telling you if you don't the football team will.
- James, Richmond, VA
It's quite simple what he's saying. He's saying, what all guys know, he never met a sexually immature woman who's father gave a damn about her. And saying to mothers many of you know what its like to bare that burden and even if you don't you choose the loser who abandoned your daugther so don't call your daughters whores and sluts because they only way they found to make a man give a damn is to have sex with them. It's quite simple. Fathers love your daughters because a woman is never going to be with a man any better than her father, you set the bar for man behavior what is a man. If you're not there or if you show no interest, she will spend a life chasing men who aren't available and show no interest...and mothers since you choose these men, probably because you yourself had no male bar setter in your own life...don't resort to 'tough love' probably as your mother did to you.
- James, Richmond, VA
How I interperterted this song is that it's a song being sung by a guy to the father of the girl he loves, saying that he loves her so to be kind, because she will love like her father does, and if her father doesn't, then the guy has no chance with the girl... if that makes any sence.
- Nicole, Creswell, OR
I. personall,y love this song. My father abondonded me at a yound age, and I'll never forgive him for that. But this song can tell alot of my life and what I've been through. And it send out a good message for all the good fathers out there.
- morgan, williamsburg., VA
i think he's just saying how dad's take tehir daughters for granted
- tori, new orleans, LA
John might be young, and be in a situation to avoid the common pitfalls of life. But purely looking at the wording. He is right on. Let go of your hang ups about sexism or what does he know about being a parent. Maybe he hit on something (even if by chance) that bites at you. You should have had this "wisdom" being a parent and such. I have been around the block too many times. It is what it is, and I say this from experience. I dated a girl that came from true 21st century slavery. Because her father and mother in her life provided "love" for their own purpose. As a house worker to the mother and eye candy for the father with a goal to keep her home for ever.. As an adult she is with no question what she was made to be. Basically a child in an adults body. You raise your children with love and you are good to then in a way so they can become better people and go on and make the best of life. And boys will be strong and soldier on. As men we are survivors. Sorry to say this but a woman can find a man to take care of them. Men it is not that easy. And what the Daughter was not provided for as a child. It will become your responsibility to bridge the gap. You have to be the god and carry the weight of her world. Holding your heart in your hands as her walls of her mazes are constantly changing. And you know what. Don't beat yourself for it failing. This poor dysfunctional girl. Maybe it's got nothing to do with me. It is a sweet song, has depth, and insight. John Mayer using his talents hit a home run with a blind fold on. Does not change a very real life message.
- Chaz, Sebastian, FL
I don't think that John Mayer is saying that it's okay to abuse boys coz they'll get over it. I think that he's saying that Boys will handle things differently to girls "Boys will be strong and boys soldier on" that is really self-explanitory.
- Laura, Palmerston North, New Zealand
This song was written in New Zealand
- Laura, Palmerston North, New Zealand
"you are the god and the weight of her world" - shame he put that in, 'cause if you really think that, abuse hits even harder... he is no god, but man, and he is responsible for his girl. Be responsible, fathers!
- Marc, Zwolle, Netherlands
I was abused by my mother and abandoned by my father. The song is meaningful to me, because I had a very hard time in relationships because of it. I, for one, am very glad he wrote this song, and it touches me every time i hear it.
- Regina, Hazel Park, MI
this is so true. My father left me when i was 5. I like this boy but I'm afraid of getting hurt. And he doesn't understand why i won't be with him. This song makes me cry. God my father is a dead beat.
- Skye, Brooklyn, NY
John Mayers was not being sexist nor was he favoring one gender over another. But tell me, how often does a boys relationship with a woman differ on account of his mother? Not often, it happens but not as much as how a daughter looks at her father. If a father hurts a child, hurts a mother before a child, that child will forever have those images intertwined in their mind, boys too, but due to the fact that they will grow to men, they see it differently, a woman on the other hand, will grow with a fear all men can be as cruel as her father. Whether he is or isn't, that fear will always live inside her.
Thank you John Mayer, you took my heart in your hand, sang a song that opened me up a little bit more, and a little bit farther in thoughts of my father.
- Jasmine, Albany, CA
i don't get it. John Mayer is not telling you how to raise your children. its his point of view. and theres different topics and he choosed that one. no need to change the lyrics.. its a great song. Just try to wrhite a good one, beleive it, its Hard !!
- Charlotte, New-York, NY
I really never thought it that way actually, Eddie. But you sure got a point. But, hey the man just try to convey good messages. He's trying. We can't blame a man for trying, eh?. But anyway, i do think that Mr. Mayer here probably needs a training on gender-sensitive issues. Boys and girls do have equal rights to be protected from violence, abuse and exploitation. So boys are not stonger, they are children just like girls. So the lyrics need a bit of adjustment otherwise people will assume it's alright to abuse boys!(NO!!). Peace.
- Hilds, Jakarta, Indonesia
All of the above may very well be true. I think, however, that the approval of abusing boys is a very disturbing message concealed in this song.
- Charles, Aurora, CO
this song is about how a girl broke up with him and saying to people to raise your children right if you raise your child wrong then they will turn out to be terrible.
- megan, alanta, GA
Eddie - Well said. Of course, I have 2 daughters. John Mayer's songs may provide a snippet of altruism, although sometimes it appears he lives life in contrast to what his songs are trying to convey. However, with that said, I believe he does this as a result of being rich, famous, and carefree, with no kids. A Corrupted mind? Perhaps...
A talented singer/songwriter? Most definitely. Peace.
- Ryan, Thunder Bay, Canada
Semantics, Bre. If you're not being a "good parent" and not "giving them skills to be productive members of society", then you're not loving them enough. You're just as bad as Bozo singing the damn song...here he(Mayer) is running around with a different young lady every week(I'm sure he's being very good to them, if you know what I mean) and he has the audacity to tell me to be good to her? For what purpose, John? So that when you get your hands on her you can sweet talk her "wonderland" body into your bed each night? Hopefully, I'll raise her to be smart enough to make her own decisions not to be used and "womanized" by rock stars like you. Bre, wake up and stop defending this yahoo just because you tap your foot to this tune. "Being good" to our daughters is not an area I want John f****n' Mayer giving me advice on. The two of you should go play guitar in a corner somewhere and let me raise my kids on my own. Thanks
- Eddie, Philadelphia, WA
Eddie, he doesn't tell fathers to love their daughters. He tells them to be good to their daughters. There's a difference. It's easy to love your child. It's harder to be a good parent and give them skills to be productive members of society.
- Bre, Bloomington, IL
PUH-LEASE! This song is so annoying. I don't need John Mayer telling me to love my daughter. What a smacked A**. Hey John, thanks for your advice, pal, but I was pretty sure what to do with my daughter on the day that she was born. What are you going to sing next, "People, water you plants, so they can grow up to be bigger plants"? Stick to the singing, I'll worry about my family.
- Eddie, Philadelphia, WA
I think its a lot more simple then having an alcaholic father and growing up messed up. Yes John Meyer sings about this in the song but I think simply it means to love your Daughters as they are growing up and be there for them always, plain and simple
- John, Gaithersburg, MD
I love this song, it's very moving for me.
- Sara, Traverse City, MI
me think this song rock on dude!!!!
- Mali, New York, NY
This song is pretty good but John Mayer said that he never wanted it to be a single because he said it would make him look like a teenybopper. The record company released it anyway.
- Sam, Portsmouth, VA
This song is so cute...the way that it explains the family cycle is awesome. I love that he says that how a child is treated is often how they will turn out as an adult because that's pretty much the truth. I love it...John Mayer does some amazing work.
- Rachel, Sullivan, MO
this is a really deep song for people who can relate 2 this song, me being one of them. its about a daughter and father who had a dysfunctional relationship, and the relationship she had with her father affects the relationships she has with men.
- Alyse, Chicago, IA
I like this song its really good I can relate to it and its the song that made me like John Mayer
- sarah, Chicago, IL
Where do I start?! This is the theme song of daughers of an alcoholic father, like me. The day you realize that the bad things you do and the bad ways you treat the man you value in your life have nothing to do with him, you are on your way to realizing what this song's meaning really is.
This guy has figured it out. That 'it has nothing to do with me.' Ingenious! He doesn't have to wimp out and leave his girl or cheat on her to get the love he desperately craves, just assuming she hates him...it's not about him! He figured it out. He sees what her dad did to her....she is like a maze where the walls are always changing...."I'm good!" "No I'm not!" "Yes I am!" "No I'm not"...that internal dialog you have as the adult daughter of an alcoholic dad (or mom).
We all must stop these scars of the past from hurting us in the present and future. The first step is to have epiphanies like this song describes, for both people in a relationship where the girl has baggage she inherited from her dad.
- Mary, Ann Arbor, MI
Anyone who has grown up with a disfunctional father, or one who has walked out on their family, can easily relate to this deep song. The lyrics are extremely powerful but the overall sound of the song adds to the feeling one gets when listening to do. I too would agree with what people have already stated, that parents have an amazing ability to either help/hinder their children. It is sad that songs like this are so easy to relate to for so many children and adults alike in this country.
- Kara, Narragansett, RI
I really appreciate this song because when I first listened to it on the radio I was like "yeah it's a good song". Then they overplayed the heck out of it and I hated it, though I really love John Mayer. Then I listened to the words, and realised what a beautiful and well written song it was. I think it is an important song because (how I interpreted it was that) a father has a role in a child's life and they should realise and repect it, which some people do not. And in the end of the song it is about the choices a woman makes when effected by her past, how she should treat her child well because someday they will grow and have children of their own. Your past effects you, and I really felt this song conveyed the message that to some point you can take responsibility for what has happened to you and stop it from continuing on and effecting you in other parts of your life.
- natalie, redding, CA
I like this song becuz it shows us how much fathers should treat their daughters and i'm sure everyone who reads this in one time or another has got into an argument with their father and i think this song shows you it and what it can do to a person.
- Lora, North Platte, NE
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