About the song

John Denver’s Please, Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas). Now that’s a song that tugs at the heartstrings, a poignant reminder that the holidays aren’t always filled with cheer. Denver, known for his folksy charm and optimistic outlook, surprisingly tackled a rather somber theme in this 1975 Christmas classic.

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While Denver’s repertoire is brimming with anthems about mountain ranges and sunshine, Please, Daddy delves into the darker side of the festive season. It’s a song that resonates with those who’ve experienced the disappointment and heartbreak that can accompany the holidays, particularly within a dysfunctional family unit.

The song is sung from the perspective of a young child, a narrator wise beyond their years. The lyrics paint a heartbreaking picture of a Christmas celebration marred by a father’s drunkenness. The child pleads with their father, “Please daddy, don’t get drunk this Christmas, I don’t wanna see my mamma cry“. This simple, yet powerful, refrain forms the emotional core of the song.

Please, Daddy wasn’t penned by Denver himself, but rather by songwriting duo Bill and Taffy Danoff. The Danoffs were known for their introspective folk music, and this song certainly reflects that. It’s a stark contrast to the usual holiday fare filled with joy and merriment.

Despite its melancholic theme, the song’s melody is surprisingly upbeat. Denver’s signature folksy sound, with its acoustic guitars and gentle percussion, creates a backdrop that underscores the child’s innocence and vulnerability. This juxtaposition between the hopeful melody and the heartbreaking lyrics adds a layer of complexity to the song.

Please, Daddy wasn’t a massive commercial hit for Denver, but it has found a devoted following over the years. Perhaps it’s because it speaks to a truth often ignored – that the holidays aren’t always a time for celebration. For some, they can be a painful reminder of family struggles and unresolved issues. The song offers a voice to those who may feel alone in their experience, a testament to the power of music to connect with us on an emotional level.

Read more:  John Denver - Till You Opened My Eyes

Please, Daddy stands as a unique entry in John Denver’s catalog. It’s a song that reminds us that the holidays can be a complex time, filled with both joy and sorrow. It’s a testament to Denver’s artistry that he could tackle such a difficult subject matter with such empathy and grace.

Video

Lyrics

Please Daddy, don’t get drunk this Christmas
I don’t wanna see my Mumma cry
Please Daddy, don’t get drunk this Christmas
I don’t wanna see my Mumma cry

Just last year when I was only seven
And now I’m almost eight as you can see
You came home at a quarter past eleven
Fell down underneath our Christmas tree

Please Daddy, don’t get drunk this Christmas
I don’t wanna see my Mumma cry
Please Daddy, don’t get drunk this Christmas
I don’t wanna see my Mumma cry

Mumma smiled and looked outside the window
She told me son, you better go upstairs
Then you laughed and hollered Merry Christmas
I turned around and saw my Mumma’s tears

Please Daddy, don’t get drunk this Christmas
I don’t wanna see my Mumma cry
Please Daddy, don’t get drunk this Christmas
I don’t wanna see my Mumma cry
No, I don’t wanna see my Mumma cry