Daddy

Album: My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy (1969)

Songfacts®:

  • The lead single from Dolly Parton's fourth solo album tells the story of a middle-aged man who is preparing to leave his wife for his much younger mistress. Dolly plays the part of his heartbroken daughter who begs him to reconsider. The singer saw the scenario play out many times in real life.

    "'Daddy' is nothing but the truth," she explained in her 2020 book, Songteller. "When I wrote it, I knew that so many men want to go chasing younger women. My mama used to say, 'They are just chasing their youth.' And I think that's true. They can't bear the fact that they are getting older."

    She continued: "That song relates to so many things I've seen within my own family and amongst my friends. I wrote it from a child's standpoint: 'After all that Mama's been to you, how can you do this, just throw her over for a younger girl?' Addressing it from a child's point of view works because everybody suffers when there is an affair or a divorce."
  • This peaked at #40 on the Country chart.
  • Although this isn't specifically about her dad, Dolly told Interview magazine he did have several affairs and even had children with other women. She wrote a similar song, "To Daddy," a fictionalized account that contemplates her mother's feelings about being emotionally neglected. It was recorded by Emmylou Harris in 1977.
  • My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy peaked at #6 on the Country chart, her first foray into the tally's Top 10 as a solo artist. It was also her first solo album to make a showing on the US albums chart, where it peaked at #194. She didn't reach the Top 20 until 1977 with Here You Come Again.

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