Rings Around My Father's Eyes

Album: I Don't Live Here Anymore (2021)
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  • When War on Drugs' bandleader Adam Granduciel became a father for the first time, he started seeing his own dad in a new light. This new perspective fed into his writing for this song.

    There's a rain protecting me
    Rings around my father's eyes
    Light above the morning sea
    Into darkness, I will reach
    Fall into the ocean deep
    Just to bring you back

    Granduciel now has a greater understanding of what fatherhood really entails. "I'd been strumming those open chords for a couple years - I had the melody and I had that opening line," he told Apple Music. "I wanted to express something, but I wasn't 100% sure how I was going to go about doing it - part of the journey was to not be embarrassed by a line or not think that something is too obvious and too sentimental."

    As time went on with the recording of I Don't Live Here Anymore, Granduciel became a dad, and he started seeing fatherhood from the other side. "It's not so much a reflection on my relationship with my own dad," he said of this song, "but starting to think about being a dad, being a protector."
  • I've never really known which way I'm facing
    But I feel like something's changed

    Becoming a father has given Granduciel a greater sense of purpose. "All you can do is live with a sense of grace and a sense of knowing," he told Mojo magazine. "Be true to yourself. Be true to your ideals. Be true to things that you know are inherently important to you. And sometimes, you only learn that by maybe not living it. Maybe you only learn by abandoning these things at times and realizing that you're not living you know. But at least you know it's time to live it for real."
  • Granduciel is a big Bruce Springsteen fan. He was deeply affected by two of the Boss' songs, "Growin' Up" and "My Father's House," about Springsteen's early years and his distant relationship with his dad. The two tracks influenced his writing of "Rings Around My Father's Eyes."

    "Springsteen sings and writes about his life story in a continuing narrative," said Granduciel to UK newspaper The Sun. "Now, having a kid of my own, I wanted to open that door a little bit. For the song, I was thinking about what it means to be a father and a son."
  • War On Drugs recorded the song for their fifth album, I Don't Live Here Anymore. Adam Granduciel co-produced the record with music engineer Shawn Everett, who has also worked with Alabama Shakes, Kacey Musgraves, and The Killers.


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