Daddy What If

Album: Lullabys, Legends And Lies (1973)
Charted: 41
Play Video


  • This song featured a 5-year-old Bobby Bare, Jr. going back and forth asking his dad questions like, "What if the sun doesn't rise today?" The song is about the relationship between the father and the son.
  • This was written by Shel Silverstein, a popular children's author who was also a prolific songwriter who wrote hits for many Country artists, including Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn. It was very rare for a Country singer to record a whole album of someone else's songs, but that's what Bare did on Lullabys, Legends And Lies, as all the songs were written by Silverstein.
  • Bobby Bare Jr.'s went on to become artist in his own right, and always begins his concerts with a song written by Silverstein. Bare Jr. considers Shel one of his mentors, as far as songwriting and discipline are concerned. (Thanks to Mitch Myers for speaking with us about this song. He is author of Silverstein Around the World, which contains many more stories about Shel. Check out our interview with Mitch Myers.

Comments: 4

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1974 {February 17th} "Daddy, What If" by Bobby Bare peaked at #2 {for 2 weeks} on Billboard's Hot Country Singles* chart, for the two weeks it was at #2, the #1 record for both those weeks was "Another Lonely Song" by Tammy Wynette...
    "Daddy, What If" reached #5 on the Canadian RPM Country Singles chart...
    Between 1962 and 1985 the Ironton, Ohio native had sixty-nine records on the Hot Country Singles chart, thirteen made the Top 10 with one reaching #1, "Marie Laveau", for one week in July of 1974...
    Four of his sixty-nine charted records were duets, one each was Jeannie Bare, Rosanne Cash, Charlie Daniels, and Lacy J. Dalton...
    Robert Joseph Bare will celebrate his 86th birthday in two months on April 7th, 2021...
    * And from the 'For What It's Worth' department, the remainder of the Hot Country Singles' Top 10 on February 17th, 1974:
    At #3. "I'm Still Loving You" by Joe Stampley
    #4. "There Won't Be Anymore" by Charlie Rich
    #5. "A Love Song" by Anne Murray
    #6. "That's The Way Love Goes" by Johnny Rodriguez
    #7. "World of Make Believe" by Bill Anderson
    #8. "Sweet Magnolia Blossom" by Billy 'Crash' Craddock
    #9. "I Love You, I Love You" by David Houston & Barbara Mandrell
    #10. "There's A Honky Tonk Angel" by Conway Twitty
  • Ariel from Home/lakebay, Wathis song made me and my dad cry
  • Mixermatt from Bloomington, MnOops, I have to open my eyes, it was not 1968 it was1973
  • Mixermatt from Bloomington, MnThe first time hearing the song it brought tears to my eyes and I was about the same age a Booby Bear Jr. And the was about around 68 or about the 1970's.
    As time went and I got older, and the tune " Daddy What If " was stuck back in my mind. With luck and for the love of music I have I was able to track down this great tune by a farther and son.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," Kiss

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," KissSong Writing

After cutting his teeth on hardcore punk videos, Paul defined the grunge look with his work on "Hunger Strike" and "Man in the Box."

John Waite

John WaiteSongwriter Interviews

"Missing You" was a spontaneous outpouring of emotion triggered by a phone call. John tells that story and explains what MTV meant to his career.

Thomas Dolby

Thomas DolbySongwriter Interviews

He wrote "She Blinded Me With Science" so he could direct a video about a home for deranged scientists.

Daryl Hall

Daryl HallSongwriter Interviews

Daryl Hall's TV show is a hit, and he's been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - only one of these developments excites him.

Randy Houser

Randy HouserSongwriter Interviews

The "How Country Feels" singer talks Skynyrd and songwriting.

Real or Spinal Tap

Real or Spinal TapMusic Quiz

They sang about pink torpedoes and rocking you tonight tonight, but some real lyrics are just as ridiculous. See if you can tell which lyrics are real and which are Spinal Tap in this lyrics quiz.