Why Can’t My Dad Be Here Today? —by Jinny Batterson
Many of us are still reeling from the brutality of the domestic terror attack at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina earlier this week. It seems especially awful that the gunman chose the week of Father’s Day for his crime. I hope this lyric is not presumptuous, and that the families of all the fallen are beginning to heal as this Father’s Day passes. Wishes for forgiveness and healing, too, for the shooter and his family.
Chorus (in a minor key): Why can’t my dad be here today?
Partly ’cause a hate-filled white man had a gun.
Why can’t my dad be here today?
‘Cause the struggle against hatred’s not yet won.
- Malana’s dad can’t be here today,
Clement’s life was stellar, if too short.
His many talents mostly lost to us,
Regardless of the trial result in court.
2. Alana’s granddad can’t be here today,
The churches he served well all mourn his loss.
Alana’s granddad can’t be here today,
We’re trying still to reckon up the cost.
3. Felecia’s son can’t be here today,
The dad he could become alive no more,
Felecia’s son can’t be here today–
He died to save an aunt who went before.
Altered chorus (switch to major key): Our dads’ ideals are all here today,
And the love they showed their daughters and their sons,
Our dads’ ideals can still strengthen us
‘Til the struggle against hatred’s finally won.
(repeat 1st line of original chorus): Why can’t my dad be here today?