He Wasn’t There

Father’s Day isn’t until next week, but here’s a Father’s Day song anyway. ‘Father’s Day songs’ isn’t really a thing, which is fine, because we’ve got all the bad holiday music we can handle with Xmas. But people do write songs about fathers and fatherhood, and there may be enough of them for a small compilation album. One of them would be Lily Allen here. As the title plainly states, Allen’s father, the actor Keith Allen, put more effort into carousing than parenting. Allen is known for being snarky, so with that knowledge you would expect her to really lay into old Dad for his poor parenting skills. But she doesn’t. He wasn’t perfect, but he’s her Dad and she loves him. I love the honesty and simplicity of this song. It’s neither idealizing nor angry. She’s just saying that she loves her father despite all his faults. I think that’s a better message than writing some sappy thing about how wonderful and perfect Dad is. Because nobody’s wonderful and perfect all the time in real life. Also, it shows that Lily Allen is more than a cheeky pop star. She’s a fine songwriter and I wish she’d come out with some new music.