Posthumous Forgiveness

Album: The Slow Rush (2019)

Songfacts®:

  • Kevin Parker's father, Jerry, separated and divorced from his mother when the Tame Impala frontman was four. After the divorce, his father began a relationship with another woman before returning to Kevin's mom. After Jerry split from her again, his relationship with his son was never the same.

    Jerry Parker died in 2009, at 61, from skin cancer, an event that Kevin previously referenced on Tame Impala's 2012 song "Sun's Coming Up."
  • This poignant song of loss and longing finds Parker exploring his relationship with his late dad. In his early days, his father was his hero:

    Ever since I was a small boy
    No one else compared to you, no way


    After his parents' divorce, Jerry married Rhonda. After their breakup and Jerry's second split with Kevin's mom, the singer lost trust in his father.

    Never speak of the time
    That you left us alone
    Me and Steve on our own
  • Though the song is a typically psychedelic Tame Impala tune, the final stanza is slower and dreamier. It finds Kevin having forgiven his dad for his failures, as he reflects on some of the things he wishes he could share with him.

    Wanna tell you 'bout the time
    I know, I was in Abbey Road


    Kevin learned the guitar by playing rhythm guitar to his father's lead. The Tame Impala frontman is saddened that his dad did not live to see him become a prominent professional musician. He wants to talk to his father and tell him about his life.
  • Kevin Parker had a complicated relationship with his father but only came to really appreciate him after his passing. He explained to NME:

    "He was fair. And I see a lot of him in myself. And in fact, one of the things, since he's died, is that a lot of things I didn't understand about him when he was alive [are] things that I do now. Just from sort of growing up, becoming someone that's not just 21 years old. And so seeing myself approach a situation different to how I used to, and seeing him in me, [but] not being able to tell them that - it's difficult."
  • The song rakes over the coals of Parker's relationship with his father. The Tame Impala frontman told Q magazine he couldn't have written it any sooner. "It was only many years later that I realized that he took the easy way out," Parker said. "He didn't think about what his kids would have to go through. And that filled me with rage. So there was this frustration because he was never going to get a chance to explain himself. For me to forgive him had to be a one-sided conversation."
  • Q magazine asked Parker what made him decide to forgive his father. The singer replied: "He was a human and humans muck up, no matter how old you are. Adults are no better than children at the end of the day. That was the way I forgave him."

Comments: 1

  • Des Parker from United Kingdom Jerry and Rhonda did not have children. Steve is Kevin's older brother. I am Jerry's younger brother
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