With the amount of rumours surrounding the Fleetwood Mac album Rumours, the truth of Christine McVie’s inspiration for writing “Oh Daddy” – one of the most solemn sounding songs on the album – is hard to suss out.
Considering the relationship troubles she was having at the time of the album’s creation with then-husband and bass guitarist, John McVie, it could be assumed that “Daddy” is representative of him. “And I can’t walk away from you, baby, if I tried,” Christine belts out as lead guitarist Lindsey Buckingham continues his soft strum in the background, giving the lines more impact. These lyrics give the implication of a hard relationship to escape from, though Christine’s relationship with John does eventually end with the couple divorcing in 1977 (the same year Rumours came out). However, in 1976, Christine was also having an affair with Fleetwood Mac’s lighting director, and some have claimed that he is who the song is actually about.
“Oh Daddy / If I can make you see / If there’s been a fool around / It’s got to be me.”
With a chorus like that and all the circumstances surrounding her life, it’s hard to know whether this is the singer’s way of calling herself a fool for being in an affair with the intended lover, or for having an affair on him. Either way, when listening to it, you can’t help but feel a weight on your own heart from Christine’s deep sorrow that’s shining through.
Christine herself has said that the song was actually written for Fleetwood Mac’s drummer Mick Fleetwood, father of two daughters at the time. In fact, Fleetwood has said this song is one of his favourites.
No matter what you believe – that this is a song about lovers or family – no one can deny the soulful way Christine’s passionate voice and the smooth backtrack seem to resonate to the core of their soul.