I Am My Father's Son
A Memoir of Love and ForgivenessBook - 2009
Listen to Dan Hill's My Father's Son
Daniel Hill IV--known to millions simply as Dan Hill--is one of Canada's most respected and successful singer-songwriters. By age 23, he had already won several Junos and had been nominated for a Grammy, having released three multi-platinum albums in Canada and another platinum album in the United States. But as Dan continued to top the U.S. charts in the '80s and find equal success as a songwriter/producer for the music industry's biggest stars in the '90s, there was still one critic he could never satisfy: his father. From the time he picked up a guitar at age 11, Daniel Hill IV did everything he could to gain the approval of Daniel Grafton Hill III, a man who has been called Canada's father of human rights. But the senior Hill set impossibly high standards for himself and his family, especially for his eldest son. While Dan inherited his father's drive, his own interests lay in another direction. This led to conflict and alienation between father and son, even as Dan achieved international fame and financial success.
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;In I Am My Father's Son, Hill traces this poignant, difficult relationship through vivid family stories, letters, memories and his own award-winning lyrics, often revealing the motivation behind the songs. He tells the story of two parallel lives, alternating between his father's experience of racism in mid-20th-century America and his own search for identity as a young black man in suburban Canada. Dan compares his own fascinating journey through the international music business to his father's pioneering efforts in Canadian human rights. Bursting with humour and pathos, I Am My Father's Son is an intensely personal journey of revelation, examination and, ultimately, forgiveness. It is a story that lays bare the private struggle between two very public figures and at the same time illuminates the universal relationship between fathers and sons.
The strongest man I ever knew
I never was a match for you
always wanted your attention
never knew just how to get it, so I rebelled
tried to be your opposite, I did it well,
strange but true, how our lives are like a circle now
I'm so very much like you
--from Dan Hill's song "My Father's Son"