With Amy Winehouse's father-in-law calling for a boycott of her music, you can imagine the great new material Ms. Winehouse could work up for her next album. Oh, the anger and the indignity! Songs about innuendo and the press, drugs and sobriety, weight issues and family relations, the list is long and mighty. If Amy decides to apply herself, there can't be a sophomore slump. If anything, she's been given the gift of controversy. Anything she sings will be analyzed, scrutinized, 24-hour Martinized! (A really excellent dry-cleaning process I must say).
But when it comes to parents, not everyone is a natural born Sylvia Plath. So, should Amy decide to take on her stepdad, she can always sidestep things ever so slightly with a cover!
Here are the five I would consider if I were Amy Winehouse. Though, last check in the mirror, I was sadly still me.
Fleetwood Mac--"Oh Daddy": This is the kill them with kindness technique. No one would see this coming. "Why are you right when I'm so wrong?" Maybe her dad-in-law is right. Maybe people should boycott her records until she gets herself right. Assuming, of course, that she's currently wrong. Personally, I don't know. I haven't had any sleepovers with Amy, so what she's doing with her personal time remains a mystery to me. But I would be curious to find out. In the words of Blondie or Al Green, "Call Me."
Wayne Newton--"Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast": This could be one of her role-playing tunes where she sings in the voice of the father who can't turn away from his sniveling little daughter. Of course, if Amy wants to play the victim card, she can add her own little spot where "daddy" doesn't come back to the family but walks as fast as he can out the door, leaving his daughter to years of therapy and abandonment issues that clearly show: IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT. The blame game is a my-t-fun game!
Lou Reed--"My Old Man": Lou's got a handful of "Sucky Parent" songs, whether they're killing sons, taking children away, or just being generally annoying. He's also got a medicine chest full of drug songs, a closet full of kinky sex tunes and a subway car full of songs about New York City. This guy's a singing metaphor! This song is so specific in its details--and yet allegedly not all that biographical, according to at least one biography writer (and he should know)--that the highlight is the class roll-call ("Reagan, Reed and Russo") at a public school in Brooklyn.
Angry Samoans--"My Old Man's A Fatso": In their day back in the 1980s, the Angry Samoans were poets on the level of Byron, Shelley and Roget. And while they never managed anything as ambitious as an actual thesaurus, they did manage to pen this ode to a father who, recollected in tranquility, turns out to be more like a slumlord who insists his children work menial jobs in order to live under his roof. Such oppression should never be taken lightly and isn't as the singer lets you know that despite dad's unrepentant arrogant swagger, he is, at heart and stomach, a "fatso." Take that, dad!
Descendents--"My Dad Sucks": At 38 seconds, "My Dad Sucks" could be, for the right artist, a short little album capper, much as "My Mummy's Dead" worked so well for John Lennon at the end of his Arthur Janov therapy session Plastic Ono Band. Song ends with two of life's most eternal questions: "Why can't he leave me alone? Instead of running my life?" Sometimes the people who pay for the food on the table can be really irritating.