The Story Behind One Of The Great Dad Songs Ever

Just in time for Father’s Day!

By kncitom on June 17, 2020
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – OCTOBER 28: Paul Overstreet performs at the Ryman Auditorium on October 28, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

The famed singer and songwriter Paul Overstreet is my guest on this month’s Write You a Song podcast, in which I speak with different songwriters and get the stories behind the hits. 

And one of the stories Paul shared goes hand in hand with the upcoming Father’s Day weekend. “Seein’ My Father in Me” was a number one hit in 1990 for Overstreet as a singer, and it remained a country radio staple for years after. 

If you’ve never heard it, the title says it all: a man grows older and starts to see that he’s slowly doing all the stuff his dad used to say and do that he would chaff against. It’s a song about love, wisdom and maturity that a lot of guys, myself included, could relate to on a very personal level.

So I was surprised when Overstreet said the song wasn’t written specifically about his dad, with whom he didn’t have a close relationship. 

My dad left when I was young“, Overstreet said. “and so we had kind of an on-again, off-again relationship. Not that it was bad. It was just kind of non-existent.”

Overstreet says the idea for the song actually came from its co-writer, Taylor Dunn, who approached him with it. Immediately, Overstreet said he understood the possibilities.

As soon as he told me what it was, I could see how it would start and end….and the middle…and I just had a vision for it.”

Overstreet says he knew Dunn’s dad, and loved him and the bond that the two had, and it came to him that the song could actually be a blend of both of their stories.

So I thought about my father and our relationship, and just how tough that was. And if you could get both of those elements into that song, you’d pretty much capture everybody’s relationship with their parents.” 

If you haven’t heard the song before, or haven’t heard it in years, check it out. It still holds up

(video embedded with permission from Paul Overstreet)


And to hear Paul talking about the song in a little more in detail, click the audio bar below the video (or check out the whole podcast episode here)


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