When You Were King

Grant Macpherson explains the genesis of his songs which explore fatherhood and the role of men in the lives of children.

When You Were King is a new CD that explores fatherhood and the role of men in the lives of their children. Twelve songs, in the acoustic/pop genre, examine many issues that confront today's father. The following is an excerpt from the CD booklet (song titles are in brackets).

"Have you ever looked into a storm filled night and felt a sense of wonder come from within you? I have, but nothing has been so thrilling than my life shared with my children (What you've brought to me). My first child, Kate, was born in Burlington, USA in February 1986 and, three years later, Clare arrived in March of 1989 in Melbourne, Australia. My words cannot adequately convey to you the love I have for them. But for all the love I possess, I can't say that I was blessed with innate fathering skills. My children deny this shortcoming (thanks), but I know there have been times when large differences existed between the father I was and the father I wanted to be.

I needed to change. This began happening a few years ago when I started volunteer work in a hospice where terminally ill men came to die (Family and friends). As I refilled their water jugs many men took the opportunity to tell me about their lives. Almost exclusively they talked about their family and about lost opportunities. Many, for the first time, had finally told their children how much they had meant to them, how much they loved them. The grief that poured from these men when they finally realised what life was all about was distressing. I now understand that the true value of my life will be determined by what people and my children carry of me in their hearts when I am dead. My purpose is to make sure that this legacy will be worth carrying (When I was seven).

Men get so consumed with material success and chasing their myths. But to what cost to them and their children? I've seen men chase their dreams over the proverbial cliff with unpleasant endings on the rocks below (Inside). I've met countless adults who drag the wounds of childhood around like an anchor. They were once children abandoned by their fathers (Crystal tears) or molested by their uncle, or priest (I'm here to tell) or humiliated once too often. How long must this keep going on? What makes things worse is that men give tacit approval to these acts by their indifference, and in the long run we all suffer. Whether they have children or not, all men have the privilege and the duty to influence the lives of children for the better. We need to challenge our beliefs and have some vision of life beyond that defined by society, advertising agencies, our own experience (Monterey Boulevard), fears and ignorance. We need to take responsibility for our own actions and make some attempt to leave the world better off than it was before we entered it.

There are periods in the lives of men when they have great power and influence - when they are King. I've met all types of Kings, some were inspirational, some were reclusive (Fields of our love), some were angry, some were absent, some were weak and, regrettably, some were evil. I know the type of King I want to be. I know the type of father I want to be. Children have the right to grow in a protected, loving environment (Within our love) and guarded from the indignity of emotional abuse (When you were King) and neglect (Everyone whispers). I pledge this right to my girls.

There are many efforts being made today by men for men and there is an enormous amount of information available in the form of books and parenthood and men's groups. To make fundamental changes to what we value, and the way we value it, is complex. The first step, however, simply involves wanting to change. I am ready."

When You Were King will be released mid-June. My hope is that the CD will bring into question (both publicly and in the minds of the men who will listen to this music) some of our current attitudes towards children and fathering.

Contact: (03) 9457 7039

email: gamcp@ozemail.com.au

Web: www.ozemail.com.au/~gamcp.

Grant McPherson, Monterey Music

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