Hackskeptic’s 500 Greatest Songs: Madonna – Oh Father (1989)

498 – Madonna – Oh Father (1989)
Written by Madonna, Patrick Leonard
Produced by Madonna, Patrick Leonard
Label – Sire

To be honest, 1989’s “Like A Prayer” album was the point at which I realised that Madonna was a serious song writer. Her work with Patrick Leonard was particularly strong, combining the singer’s obvious skill in finding superb pop melodies and Leonard’s ability to create majestic orchestral arrangements. “Oh Father” describes Madonna’s tumultuous relationship with her father. There’s anger, guilt, denial, and a degree of understanding and forgiveness in her words. The single was supported by one of the best promo videos of its time, with flashbacks of the loss of the singer’s mother, and a childhood scarred by fear and loneliness.

It’s funny that way, you can get used
To the tears and the pain
What a child will believe
You never loved me


You can’t hurt me now
I got away from you, I never thought I would
You can’t make me cry, you once had the power
I never felt so good about myself

Seems like yesterday
I lay down next to your boots and I prayed
For your anger to end
Oh Father I have sinned


Oh Father you never wanted to live that way
You never wanted to hurt me
Why am I running away

Maybe someday
When I look back I’ll be able to say
You didn’t mean to be cruel
Somebody hurt you too


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