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A Father Bonds With His Tween Daughter Through Music

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My 12-year old daughter is obsessed with Taylor Swift.

She has every album and has memorized every song. The walls of her room are covered with Taylor Swift posters and lyrics, and she wears her Taylor Swift t-shirt at least once a week.

Although my wife finds my daughter’s obsession a bit peculiar, I fully understand it because I was the same way when I was a kid. The source of my obsession was a short, sex-obsessed man, with an affinity for purple.

I remember the first time I listened to a Prince album. It was the summer of 1982 and the album was Controversy. My 12 year old mind could barely understand all the things I was hearing, but I knew two things for sure:

  1. This guy rocked.
  2. I could not let my mother catch me listening to this album. (Note: my mother was deeply religious and didn’t want my sister and I listening to any devil music.)

To listen to the album, I had to sneak the cassette into my cousin’s Trans Am and listen on the car stereo. I spent countless hours enduring the Texas heat just to listen to Prince’s music. My favorite songs were ControversyDo Me Baby and Let’s Work. By the end of the summer, that cassette tape was worn out and I had to buy another one.

I simply couldn’t get enough of Prince. I saved my allowance so I could buy his previous releases For You, Prince and Dirty Mind. Unfortunately, my mother caught me listening to Dirty Mind one day and forbade me to listen to that filth anymore. I obliged because I didn’t want her to discover the rest of my Prince stash.

Later that year, Prince released the seminal 1999 album and I was one of the first in line to buy the new release. Since then, I have purchased every album that Prince has released and I’ve seen him in concert twice. I even had front row seats to one of the concerts thanks to my wife’s sleeping outside the ticket office.

I’m a bit dismayed that I can’t share my love of Prince’s music with my daughter because of some of the lyrical content. But I can share her appreciation for Taylor Swift. A couple of years ago, I took her to Swift’s concert. If there were an award for greatest dad ever, she certainly would have nominated me for it. We had a great time and secured our bond though music. Sometimes, we’ll spontaneously start singing Taylor Swift songs in the car. My wife and sons shake their heads. I guess they’ll never understand.

Connect with Fred on his blog Mocha Dad or via Twitter and Facebook. You can also read more of his posts on Babble.

photo by Chance Agrella via freerangestock.com.

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