My Father

Album: Who Knows Where the Time Goes (1968)


  • Judy Collins' father, Charles Thomas Collins, was a blind singer, pianist and radio show host. This song, which tells the story of a miner who goes to live in France, is fictional but inspired by her dad. Sadly, he died a month after Collins wrote the song and never got to hear it.
  • Collins recalled the story of the song to Mojo magazine:

    "I wrote it in April '68. I called (folk singer) Tom Glazer and sent it to him, but didn't call my father; and my father died on May 4th, he never heard it. He had fallen sick on a trip to Hawaii in March and when he came back he couldn't shake it. So this was troubling me as I wrote the song. But it's very much about that romantic view of life that he had. He'd always promised us that will live in France. France was a big deal to him the idea of France as the goal. Literature, Revolution, art, philosophy - France was the place."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Martin Page

Martin PageSongwriter Interviews

With Bernie Taupin, Martin co-wrote the #1 hits "We Built This City" and "These Dreams." After writing the Pretty Woman song for Go West, he had his own hit with "In the House of Stone and Light."

La La Brooks of The Crystals

La La Brooks of The CrystalsSong Writing

The lead singer on "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Then He Kissed Me," La La explains how and why Phil Spector replaced The Crystals with Darlene Love on "He's A Rebel."

Zakk Wylde

Zakk WyldeSongwriter Interviews

When he was playing Ozzfest with Black Label Society, a kid told Zakk he was the best Ozzy guitarist - Zakk had to correct him.

Carol Kaye

Carol KayeSongwriter Interviews

A top session musician, Carol played on hundreds of hits by The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Frank Sinatra and many others.

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat WorldSongwriter Interviews

Jim talks about the impact of "The Middle" and uses a tree metaphor to describe his songwriting philosophy.

Kevin Godley

Kevin GodleySongwriter Interviews

Kevin Godley talks about directing classic videos for The Police, U2 and Duran Duran, and discusses song and videos he made with 10cc and Godley & Creme.