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Poetry and Music for Father’s Day


Only a dad with a tired face,
Coming home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame
To show how well he has played the game;
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come and to hear his voice.

Only a dad with a brood of four,
One of ten million men or more
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,
With never a whimper of pain or hate,
For the sake of those who at home await.

Only a dad, neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd,
Toiling, striving from day to day,
Facing whatever may come his way,
Silent whenever the harsh condemn,
And bearing it all for the love of them.

Only a dad but he gives his all,
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing with courage stern and grim
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen:
Only a dad, but the best of men.

“Only a Dad” by Edgar A. Guest. Edgar Guest was born in 1881 and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Edgar began working after school when he was eleven to help support the family after his father, Edwin, lost his job. At 13, he began working as a copy boy for the Detroit Free Press. Edgar’s father died when Edgar was just seventeen. Subsequently, Edgar dropped out of high school to work full time at the newspaper, where he worked his way up from copy boy to the news department. He worked for the newspaper for almost 65 years. He also broadcast a weekly program for NBC radio for over a decade, published more than 20 volumes of poetry and was referred to as “the poet of the people.”1


“Dance with My Father” written and performed by Luther Vandross. Vandross wrote “Dance with My Father” as a tribute to his father who died when Luther was seven. The song recalls Luther’s childhood memories of his father dancing with his mother. The song earned Vandross Song of the Year at the 2003 Grammy Awards.2




Alisa Williams is Spirituality Editor at
Photo Credit: Jason Nelson /


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