Father Figure

Album: Faith (1987)
Charted: 11 1
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • The song is about loving someone in every aspect; wanting to be that everything to his object of affection. The song contains haunting but very sensual lyrics. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Steph - San Antonio, TX
  • Michael wrote this song before his homosexuality was public knowledge. The lyrics are ambiguous, and likely about a man. The video, which starred model Tania Coleridge as his love interest, portrayed the song as being about a heterosexual relationship.
  • Michael directed the video with Andy Morahan, who also worked on the videos for "Faith," "I Want Your Sex" and "Monkey." Michael and Morahan won the award for Best Direction in a Video for "Father Figure" at the 1988 MTV Video Music Awards.
  • The single's B-side is a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Love's In Need Of Love Today."
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 37

  • Victoria Semenenko George Michael's Baby from UkraineFor Arpil from Danette pretention likely Kathy Jeung was "the only one who ever knew" George I remind when he died the only thing she remembered about him was about "he was hilarious" (and bored with her). As THAT calls the only one who ever knew a beloved? Obviously not as for me but who cares I see. Despite me never idealized George as really knew his real traites even if we had platonic distant relation. Like peacefull land mentioned in "The Strangest Thing" lyrics was not just an idiom but about me as Nonviolent Victory appeared in Southern Ukrainian steppes.

    Moreover there's no coherence of "Father Figure" and Kathy Jeung mug just because "Father Figure" song story looks to be a kind of opposite to "I want your sex" trilogy like the story about Beautiful Girl (INXS also released same title song) as a rock star who I basically am like Real Life Victory. Like another fact George and Tania Coleridge made more than 30 tries of kissing ;))) during video shoot 10-13 December 1987 downtown L.A.
  • Victoria Semenenko George Michael's Baby from UkraineSo basically it is Greek-Ukrainian story regarding cultural issues of having ex Greek territories and communities in the South of Ukraine me as Real Life Victory grew up in. Like another fact is still in 90s it was habitual girls get marry at 16-17 so seducing a teenage one was not definately a crime for much older guy. Despite "I want your sex" 1987 video really was emotionaly abusive for kids at the time we had only 3 tv channels where just 1-2 were watched.
  • Victoria Semenenko George Michael's Baby from UkraineAnother point everyone treat things differently but what surely is the fact in his Swedish interview 2007 George told directly that had never thought himself of being a gay artist means write the songs about gay relationships despite as celebrity really was very gay man.
  • Victoria Semenenko George Michael's Baby from UkraineSo a suggestion of April from Donette about George's asian girlfriend likely being "the only one who ever knew him" is basically false for a simple reason if that was really true as that's about true love as attitude never belonged to simply a narcissist Jeung always was. Taking into account "The Strangest Thing" was written long after their separation. So read attentively my comments below about why me as Real Life Victory do belong to Saint George (Georgious Kyriakos Panayiotou true name) story as baby in George Michael songs
  • Victoria Semenenko George Michael's Baby from UkraineFirst of all George never told like his ex asian girlfriend was his only likely "legitimate" one (who cares what any Wikipedia says) for a simple reason right before dating that asian person, he got heavily drunk most of times with, George was dating Pat Fernandez as back vocalist of WHAM! 1983-1984 and was really happy with. Just watch both couples and compare he obviously geniune with Pat but also obviously just bored and drunk with Kathy Jeung.
  • April from DannetteVictoria Semenko this song is not about you nor are any of his songs and its not about underage girls either it is about love maybe a little bit obsessive but he is telling the woman that he will be her everything and he won't leave her crying like men have done in the past read the damn lyrics it's all right there plain and simple stop trying to make George sound like he lusted after kids love can be mistaken for a crime could mean he could be taken as a stalker George did say the original concept for the video was a bit darker but it did not fit the song its a love song and if it were about a man which it does not sound like it is because of some of the wording like put your tiny hand in mine if it were so what for all we know it could be about his relationship with Kathy Jeung in some way his only legit female relationship the only one who knows is George and he preferred to let people draw their conclusions because he wrote about life and we all experience things some of his songs were about his life and things in his life maybe this was too but it was NOT ABOUT AN UNDERAGE GIRL! the part where he says when you think of the ones who have lied said they cared but laughed as you cried beautiful darling don't think of me he means I will never do that to you.
  • Victoria Semenenko George Michael's Baby from UkraineI remain basically "Father Figure" is about seducing teenage girl (11-12 is the age of choosing father figure for kids) so the line about "someone laughed" is about natural childish reaction as I just literally didn't understand at my 11 end 1987 what exactly George ever wanted from me. So just literally laughed at him at the moment as really turned my back that didn't care. Despite in reality watched "Father Figure" video much later in 1989 already at my 13 so being rather mature for.
  • Victoria Semenenko George Michael's Baby from UkraineOh, I'm really "sorry" Helena but in "true" fantasy world are living people like you completely ignoring Real Life causality as TRUE REALITY of things just because the song really was dedicated personally to me at the time for a simple reason I turned exactly 11 that 1987 (video was filmed 10-13 Decemeber that year as I'm born on 2 October) as exactly the age of father figure choice. Means a person you choose normaly out of your family (despite often it could be a relative) for being trusted as helping you to learn smth more about life. As you prpbably completely forgot here it is a classic patriarcal European story where it is considered to be usual as even normal sometimes when much older despite still young man paying attention to a very young as teenage girl. So in my country as Ukraine even still begining 90s it was considered for absolutely normal as even appreciated thing to get marry at 16 you are already developped as mature enough for. All my cousins got married 18-20 as my college classmates were even younger got married.
    As the last remain Saint George is considered to be Victorious in Eastern orthodox Christianity so me as Victoria Anatolian (his official life story happened in Anatolia modern Turkey previously Greek territory as Byzantium) was considered to be his true baby as ALL George's songs really ARE authobiographical to me ;)
    Despite got to admit Tania was really mean to him about sexuality despite they say George admitted himself would still dating women if was not with Kenny at the time.
  • Helena from United KingdomThis reminds me of a young gay man who is in love with an older man, & vice versa it's kind of an obsessive relationship, but not a perverted one. This underage girl crap is just silly. I'm 32 now and even I have a "father figure" in my life. And Victoria Semenenko, sorry but you sound absolutely batty! What kind of fantasy world do you live in?
  • Victoria Semenenko George Michael's Baby from UkraineI've met some people's comments asking how George felt about kissing women at the time as lately he discovered himself gay. In fact taking into account 37 tries of kissing while shoot he felt himself very well as especially there was Tania Coleridge's boyfriend shooting the scene.

    Another point is there was an original cut of the video as Tania reveals in her interview of 2014 where he slaps her (George was truly hurt as angry with me as previously 7 years kid telling him he was not true). But that version was shown only late night in Britain as well that scene was lately cut off the video due to women abuse. As I considered that also correct not being so much angry as upset with just a kid who I was at the moment.
  • Viktoria Semenenko from UkraineAs George's true baby I confirm Tony Velizio from Seatle idea the song is about a teenage girl seduction who I was at the time of middle 80s. The songs was released 1987 I was exactly 11 so that age of 11-12 kids normaly choose a father figure. The video was filmed 1988 looks to be winter means begining of the year I was already 12. But I really watched the video only next 1989 at my 13 so it was distributed by central soviet moscovite Channel 2 at the time USSR just shut.
    The story of the video refers to "Pretty baby" (1978) where Brooke Shields actually acted me as Violet (a reference to Simons color). And such a story described in the film really happened once to me when there was a photographer who came at our home making New Year pictures. He was making so long as for me and I did believe like mum flirted with him means was in love for me.
    So "Father Figure" video story is also about picking up the girl of photographer.

    P.S. I would like also mention that any other of most George's songs are NOT gay oriented or linked anyway despite there's some mentions. As for example to "American Angel" I literally claime a personality stealing by Goss in term of being threatened with knife already happened to my pregnant sister end of October 1998 or other such troubles. Just to confirm it was exactly gay man who tried to stabilize George emotionally as especially ease his mind.
  • Tony Velizio from Seattlein response to Jesse and Dave-- the video shows a cab driver and a young model-- there would be an age difference yes? Maybe he doesn't know her age and so he is concerned but that doesn't deter him from loving her-- The song is about an older man (the cab driver) making love to a much less sexually experienced younger woman. Like Lolita, the common link is obsession- which leads some say to art and perversion.
  • Viktoria Semenenko from UkraineI am very sorry just my previous comment was about "Disco" his unreleased song that I consider as "Father Figure" continue. So "Father Figure" is only a kind of promise.

    By the way I remember well that at the time there were by two versions of video for three of "Faith" album songs mean "I want your sex", "One more try" and "Father Figure". So this shorter version presented here really started with that title picture I call "Just want my baby's blue eyes shine" and another longer one with a strongly dominative image of a girl at the very end called "Won't let you go my baby".
  • Viktoria Semenenko from UkraineThis at certain point real life story happened at the very beginning of 90s and much later in 2000 I started to work at the call center of "Ukrainian Mobile Communications" in Kyiv where served 30 000 people for 4 years. So it is a continue of "Father Figure" story where he wants to love me till the end of time just then I was only 13 when heard it first time and here I'm already almost 15 in 1991. But smth tells me this record was probably made in 1990 I still was only 14 then.
  • Viktoria Semenenko from UkraineI remind in patriarcal orthodox culture Saint George is Bearing Victory upon a snake so that Victory supposed to be exactly me inspite of I am also really a kind of snake proposing knowledge to people just belonging to Simons so Simon was one of establisher of orthodoxal religious tradition in Byzantyne impire (modern Turkey). But like scythian nonviolent victory first of all really was his company he shared my values. (Scythia is a territory of modern Ukraine)
  • Viktoria Semenenko from Ukraine"I've never been a gay artist"
    https://youtu.be/YwOS6cfoDJo
  • Viktoria Semenenko from UkrainePlease, watch some interviews he underlines never was a gay artist but only celebrity. Don't mess such things!
  • Viktoria Semenenko from UkraineBut really cannot say such relation is about true happiness that seen at some pictures inspite of as for woman is important such a man wouldn't dominate real life laws especially as a saint one he also was.
  • Viktoria Semenenko from UkraineAnd unfortunately Daisy from Illinois is absolutely right about sense of relationship just because he was someone strongly dominative but fortunately me as a victory of real life IS NOT sabmassive at all!
  • Viktoria Semenenko from UkraineThis song exactly IS about a wish of making love to underage female!
  • Daisy from IllinoisLearn about BDSM and D/s relationships, then the song will make sense... Nothing perverted about it.
  • Viktoria Semenenko from UkraineFrankly I really hated him for that I just wanted live my teenage as everybody else!
  • Viktoria Semenenko from UkraineI absolutely agree there is nothing about a feeling to another man but only woman and when someones seem it's "about a men" I always have a strong wish to propose cross themselves when it seems!
    But for certain reason I really hate this song and the video especially! Just because for karmic reasons that underage female was me at the moment.
  • Sandy from Adelaide, SaI think that GM was looking for a father figure in his own life. His own father did not make much time for family as he was growing up - he was a very hardworking immigrant. George tended to choose older guys for serious relationships. So I don't interpret it as being about someone underage. The gospel layers in a song that is so sensual are interesting but they blend and sound natural. It's a meeting of the sacred with the profane elements of a relationship.
  • Wendi from DoesitmatterI have always thought it had heavy religious references. He has a religious background and sings about faith in this and other songs. As you know religion is not very accepting of certain lifestyles. Maybe the person he is with also struggles with religion and he is saying that I will be the religious substitute. It's a relationship that is overcoming the judgment of religion. Something like that.
  • Guest from TexasThis is not about a man in love with someone underage. It's obvious that he is obsessed with this woman. He has pics up all over his room follows her to her model shoots and fashion show. Love can be mistaken for a crime...STALKING is a crime. Father figure.. basically he is telling her I will be whatever you want me to be if she will just come back to him. Preacher teacher etc etc.. He loves her that much,but she realizes he is a little obsessive over her. Smh lol now take your hand slap yourself and say DUH. I love this song. :)
  • Marc from -, MdFirst-ever interview with the girl in this video, including what she's doing now and never-published pics: http://noblemania.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-girl-in-video-father-figure-1988.html
  • Mavis from Bloomberg, IlIt is a very beautiful song...But it reminds me more of a Dom/Sub relationship. He wants to be her focus and only him. I'm not sure it's an under aged person necessarily, insomuch as this is a May/December relationship and she is being ridiculed for the HUGE difference in their ages. Because he is the more sexually experienced, and she perhaps, a novice, it is possible that those in her inner circle consider him to be "robbing the cradle" - hence the 'crime' reference, as well as the 'father figure' reference. So often, many May/December relationships involving younger women are judged through the Electra Complex lens, instead of through the lens of those living the relationship. Just like in "Try," there is certainly a teacher/student dynamic, but if the players are consenting adults, is it inappropriate, even if there is sexual "training" happening (as is so often the case in May/December) relationships?
  • Chris from Toms River, NjAnother idea it seems is being overlooked here is that this was also back closer to a time where, when a girl thought her ideal mate would be a guy that was comparable to her father.
  • Susan from Airdrie, -I used to love this song and had bought the cassette of Faith, listening to it over & over as a teenager. I looooved it then, but as an adult, I am sad to say I find it creepy. It does sound like he's having feelings for an underage person.
  • Mare Soir from Oceanside, CaMethinks this song is multilayered. The song seems to be written from the perspective of the third party. It seems that perhaps the artist or protagonist of the song's object of affection was already in love with an older man when they met. They may have met and fallen in love really fast. It probably hit them both like a tidal wave. Then one day the writer of the song was driving down the road and saw his friend with an older man. Thing is; then he disguised himself as a cab driver but the woman was so pre-occupied with the fact she fell in love with one of the most famous men/popstars in the world and realized that she had some shameful facts about her past. So instead of following her heart she spiraled deeper into her vices and fear and went back to the older man to spare her real love; love after all is eternal even if it happens in a second. And her love was so pure that she sacrificed her happiness to save the only man she ever loved from bad publicity, shame and the wrath of him maybe even when he found out about her past X amounts of mistakes. He is writing about a rival. That rival maybe in my imagination old enough to be a father figure. So he is telling her that he can be a better "Father Figure" It's a convoluted tale that can only be heard in the tone of a loved one's voice. Noone will ever really know. I believe the artist is way too private to ever let the world know. Only the artist knows the facts about the song. George Michael is a non-conformist and brilliant.
  • Dave from Saint Louis, MoRead the lyrics. I agree with Jesse. It's about how he's wanting to make love to an underage female. "Love can be mistaken for a crime"; "I will be your father figure / I have had enough of crime"
  • Eric from Beaverton, OrI like this song, but I don't really understand why someone would want to be a father figure to their significant other. It seems to me that a relationship with a significant other would work best if both people are equal in the relationship. If someone wants to be a father figure, then they should have children.
  • Jesse from Madison, WiI love this song for many reasons, it's EXCELLENT! But when I listen intently to the words I feel he's struggling with the desire to love or make love to an underage female, which is very heavily frowned upon in modern American society. I've listened to it dozens of times, and that's basically what I've concluded. Read between the lines on this one.
  • Eric from Bend, OrWhen he sings "I will be your father figure", I used to think he said "I will be your Butterfinger." :)
  • Bender from East West Virginia, VaIf you look close enough at, well, I cant remember when , but the model mouths the word "f@#*" my brother and I thought that was the coolest thing and we would sit and stop and rewind the vid that we taped off of MTV.
  • Danny from Kiev, Otherbeautiful song, I heard it yesterday on the show (25 live stadium tour)
see more comments

Amy GrantSongwriter Interviews

The top Contemporary Christian artist of all time on song inspirations and what she learned from Johnny Carson.

Jimmy WebbSongwriter Interviews

Webb talks about his classic songs "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman" and "MacArthur Park."

Yoko OnoSongwriter Interviews

At 80 years old, Yoko has 10 #1 Dance hits. She discusses some of her songs and explains what inspired John Lennon's return to music in 1980.

Dexys (Kevin Rowland and Jim Paterson)Songwriter Interviews

"Come On Eileen" was a colossal '80s hit, but the band - far more appreciated in their native UK than stateside - released just three albums before their split. Now, Dexys is back.

Best Band LogosSong Writing

Queen, Phish and The Stones are among our picks for the best band logos. Here are their histories and a design analysis from an expert.

Dwight TwilleySongwriter Interviews

Since his debut single "I'm On Fire" in 1975, Dwight has been providing Spinal-Tap moments and misadventure.