10 Songs About Absentee Father

The 10 songs about absentee fathers have emotional and heartfelt lyrics about pain caused by fathers not being there. Some songs revolve around fathers walking out, while others deal with a father’s emotional or supportive abandonment. A couple of the ten songs deal with a father passing away, and the pain of not having a dad because of death. If you are looking for a song to have a good cry too, or sing at the top of your lungs with, listen to these ten songs about absentee fathers.

  1. “Dear Father (Complete Unknown)” by Sum 41. Released in 2007, lead singer Deryck Whibley wrote “Dear Father (Complete Unknown)” about his father’s absence throughout his life. The song’s emotional lyrics about abandonment are touching, “I learned the things you never showed me, took the chances you’d had blown. To this day the one and only, you remain a complete unknown.”
  2. “Father Of Mine” by Everclear. This was written by singer Art Alexakis whose father was absent from his life, but sent $5 in a card every year which angered Art more. In an interview, Alexakis said, “It was kind of a catharsis to put those feelings into words, it’s a way for me to get things out of my system.”
  3. “He Wasn’t There” by Lily Allen. The lyrics revolve around Lily’s true life where her actor father, Keith Allen, was not around for most of her childhood. This is one of the best songs about absentee fathers where the lyrics are a true story, and you can hear the emotion from Allen’s singing.
  4. “The Story Of My Old Man” by Good Charlotte. Band members Joel and Benji Madden are twin brothers who had an absentee father growing up. The lyrics revolve around their alcoholic father who left their family. The opening lyric is, “I don’t know too much about too much of my old man. I know he walked right out the door, we never saw him again.”
  5. “Why Should I Cry For You?” by Sting. One of the best songs about having an absentee father because Sting wrote it to deal with the death of his dad. After his father passed away, Sting felt that he never got to say all the things he wanted to, so the song was written about not having his father around anymore.
  6. “Perfect” by Simple Plan. Some fathers might be there physically, but not emotionally. Drummer Chuck Comeau’s parents weren’t supportive of his career choice, so he and lead singer Pierre Bouvier wrote this song to prove to his parents that he made it. Having an emotionally absent father made him determined to be successful.
  7. “Cat’s In The Cradle” by Harry Chapin. The song is written from a poem that Harry Chapin’s wife wrote when he was absent for the birth of their son. It turned into a song that tells of a father and son who can’t schedule time to be with each other, and it serves as a warning against putting one’s career before family.
  8. “Walking Away” by Lifehouse. Lead singer Jason Wade wrote this song about his father who walked out on him. Having an absent father hurt Wade, and he let his emotions show in the lyrics for “Walking Away.” The chorus for the song is, “Hey, remember me, I remember you walking away.”
  9. “From Underneath” by Hawk Nelson. Written about the pain that Hawk Nelson feels because he had an absentee father, he expresses to his father how much he missed, and how he wants to forgive his father for not being there. Nelson wants to erase the past, and look toward the future.
  10. “Your Biggest Mistake” by Ellie Goulding. Released in 2010, the song is autobiographical for Ellie Goulding whose father left the family when she was only five. In an interview Ellie says, “I don’t really speak to him, and I think I got everything into that song that I could.”
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