“Father Figure” by George Michael (1987)

Back to back George, huh? Guess what? There’s a lot of subtext going on in the lyrics here too.

George wants his lover to think of him as a protective figure, like a parent would be. “I will be the one who loves you till the end of time” he vows. That makes his whispery vocal, his constant repetition of the word “baby”, and the line “put your tiny hand in mine” all feel just a little bit icky. But I’m also relatively sure that the vague feeling of ickiness-or at least the crossed wires between parental love and romantic love-were intentional on his part. And, when you break it down, we all look for the kind of unconditional love that a parent is expected to-but doesn’t always-show to a child. Right?

As deliberate as George may have been with “Father Figure”‘s lyrics, the song’s eerie, ambient sound was apparently due to a mistake. “Father Figure” was originally envisioned as a mid-tempo dance cut. However, a programming mistake was made, and when the track was played back, George felt that his song sounded better as what I guess can be called a beat ballad. It’s airy and filled with echo and has a choral, sort of gothic sound to it. I can’t imagine anyone dancing to lyrics like these. But stranger things have happened, I suppose.

“Father Figure”‘s video definitely doubles down on the “creep” factor.

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