Walking down the sidewalk in Carpinteria, CA with Ryan one day we came upon a yard sale. I bought an old copy of War and Peace.
When I got home a letter fell out of it. This guy writing to someone about all his regrets, that he divorced the woman he loved cause he thought he was going to prison, that he regretted that he'd never met his son, that the cancer he had could never hurt him the way he missed her. It was unbelievable, all this pain.
It stayed with me. I wrote about the son, the one that got left, that had nothing to do with what happened.
I know a lot of people who have never met their father, or not till later in life. I have a friend who saw the back of her dad's head once when someone pointed him out to her as they passed in a car. That's all she got.
I got to meet Nick Flynn on tour, and read his book Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. He writes about being a boy and wondering if he'd met his dad but didn't know it. That inspired a lot of the feeling of this tune.
The song is all the feelings of love and anger that go with being left by family. How in the end, there is always a piece of the heart that is theirs, no matter what they do to you.
I have never met my father
They say he left us for another
Her name was Wanda, her name was prison, her name was free
And my name’s lonely, My name’s orphan My name’s please
If you see me walking I look at faces
I wonder if your blood’s in me
You’re just a stranger, a fellow walking down the street
And if you see me, smile gently keep going
Heaven Help the Day you ran from home
Cause I don’t know if I want you home
If I want you back who left me all alone
Yah I don’t know if I want you home
Heaven help the day you come
I’d make you worry, I’d make you want me,
I’d make you sit at home, wonderin’ where I’d gone
I’d make you love me, I’d make you love me then I’d leave you all alone
Heaven help the day you come back home
Copyright Jessica Peters Malmberg 2009