Dear Dad,

474901_10151460063847844_1347334780_oWe haven’t spoken in, what — nine years now?
I hear about you when I talk to Paul
He told me about the problems you’ve been having
He said it wouldn’t kill me just to call

A guy at work was talking about his parents
He asked me if my folks lived here in town
I told him no — I was too embarrassed
I lied and said, “I wished you were around”

There’re lots of things we never will agree on
You’ll never know half of who I am
“An angry son who did it just to hurt you”
To you that’s all I am, is one of them

It’s taken me a lifetime
To believe what I knew all along
There’s nothing wrong with me, Dad
You’re the one who’s wrong

I got some news to make you happy
John died the other day
And guess who’s got it now — your namesake
So strike the band and have a big parade

The nightmare in your life is finally over
You won’t say it, but I know that’s what you’ll feel
The good news, Dad, in just a few years
You’ll be the only guy in town named Bob O’Neill

Father and son
Father and son
Few bonds as strong in this whole world
As a father and son

Dear Bob,

From the moment that I saw your note this morning
I had a feeling about the news I thought I’d read
I sped through it to see why you were writing
And there it was in black and white to see

I read it all again through very slowly
You can’t imagine what it did to me
Images of you throughout your whole life
Raced around inside my mind to see

I remembered the first moment that I met you
In your mother’s arms, cuddled to her breast
Of all the highlights in my lifetime
That’s right up there with the very best

I thought about that first mitt that I got you
How you’d bring it to those Cub games we would see
I felt again the way I loved you
And the way that you loved me

And I remembered that night up at the cottage
When I walked in on you — you and your friend
I thought of how I felt to see my son
I swear to God I can taste it all again

You saw me as a monster
From that moment in your life
It tore me from my only son
It tore me from my wife

Father and son
Father and son
Few bonds as strong in this whole world
As a father and son

And here I am alone at sixty-six
Living in this big old empty house
And there’s not a single picture on the wall
Of my kid or of my spouse

I still think in my heart that I’m right
That morally your lifestyle is just wrong
But I’m so angry with myself
I let this go this long

You may not believe this
But I need to be there now
I need to hold you in my arms
And show I care somehow

And that’s why I am standing
Right here at your door
Because if I can’t have you in my life
What’s worth living for

So I’m begging you
I want to have something we once had
I want to have a son
And I want to be a Dad

Father and son
Father and son
Few bonds as strong in this whole world
As a father and son


Music and Lyrics by Jimmy Dunne


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