All my fathers

by from the album [ Serpent in Paradise ]
2 minute read

All my fathers

My Daddy was an ordinary man
My Daddy was a God
My Daddy never cried in front of me
He never once reached out

He was always there, but I never knew him
There didn’t seem that much to know
I didn’t see my Daddy come home
And I didn’t see him go

My Daddy was a gambling man
My Daddy was a drunk
My Daddy favoured abstinence
And there was nothing he couldn’t debunk

He hit my Ma
But he never laid a finger on her soul
I wished that he remembered my name
But I loved him on the whole

I had to burn down my father’s house
I had to make him betray me
I had to make him do that to me
So I could learn not to betray

My Daddy was a war-hero,
A poet and a thief
My Daddy was a gentle man
An atheist with unshakeable belief

I remember the stories he never told me
About how he married my Mum
He wore a suit and tie to work
And he was just a vagrant bum

My Daddy was a genius
My Daddy was a fool
My Daddy sang a song to me
About how he could never be cruel

I fished with him, and I rode with him
And I buried him on the hill
I killed him a thousand times in my mind
And he left me that in my will

I lay in the wilderness all forlorn
Too weary to turn back or go on
And when I cried out for a sign one last time
Answer came there none

But then all of my fathers they came down
From a thousand years or more
My ancestors and my spirit guides
And all who had gone on before

Saying: “You are the father now, you are the one
You are the God and the man
Your children will love you, and your children will hate you
And your children will understand

So now I’m older inside my bones
I’m younger inside my soul
I gamble, and I drink, and I sing to my sons
About love, and murder and gold

I’m a fool, a God, a poet and a thief
Like all my fathers of old
They’ll make me betray them
But I’ll remember their names
And no story will be left untold

Serpent in Paradise, All my fathers