Everclear’s lead singer Art Alexakis told Songfacts in 2003 that he wrote the song about witnessing his parents divorce and his father leave at a young age, and then going through his own divorce from his child’s mother. “I was a child of a broken marriage; my daughter was the child of a broken marriage, and it was hard to watch it happen to her,” he said at the time. “That was me trying to make sense of it.”
Similarly, Clarkson’s parents divorced when she was a kid, and she reflected on her strained relationship with her father on her 2004 Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit “Because of You.” The Grammy-winning singer recently filed for divorce from her husband, Brandon Blackstock, which she opened up about on The Kelly Clarkson Show in December. They share two kids together: 6-year-old daughter River Rose and 4-year-old son Remington Alexander.
“Father of mine/ Tell me where have you been?/ You know I just closed my eyes/ My whole world disappeared/ Father of mine/ Take me back to the day/ Yeah, when I was still your golden girl/ Back before you went away,” she somberly crooned while switching out the “golden boy” lyric for “golden girl.”
“Father Of Mine” is from Everclear’s third studio album, 1997’s So Much for the Afterglow. The song reached No. 4 on Billboard‘s Alternative Airplay chart the following year.
Watch Clarkson’s Kellyoke cover of “Father of Mine” below.