One of the reasons that Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours became their most critically-acclaimed album was thanks to the pure, raw emotion that the band members put into each song. Written and recorded at a time where every member was undergoing some sort of break-up or divorce, Rumours is a reflection of all the pain and heartbreak. The music was a medium through which the band members could express their feelings. “Oh Daddy” is the tenth song off of the album and it is also quite possibly filled with the most emotion. Written by Christine McVie, the song depicts (despite what the title might suggest) a depleted lover; one that struggles to escape a toxic relationship due to a lack of self-worth and an unhealthy dependency on another for happiness.
The song begins with a delicate guitar and a soft melodic keyboard. Christine chimes in singing “Oh, Daddy” accompanied by a faint cymbal and a lethargic bass riff. The drum beat joins in after the first verse. The castanets and a gong are also used to tie together an instrumental atmosphere that’s both sublime and dismal. While beautiful, it could be said that the song lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. There is simply nothing that makes this song stand out.
If the instrumentals weren’t enough to get you feeling something sad, then a close reading of the lyrics will definitely do the trick. The lines “You soothe me with your smile / You’re letting me know / You’re the best thing in my life” make it apparent that the speaker has no sense of self-worth. They depend entirely on their lover for support and happiness. The speaker is at an emotional low point and their life is unfilled. The speaker seems to want out of the relationship but can’t find the strength or the courage to leave, as indicated by the lyrics “and I can’t walk away from you / Baby, if I tried.”
While it may not be the most talked about Fleetwood Mac song, it’s still a well-crafted piece that successfully evokes emotion and feeling in the listener.