Original Song – “Papa”

Papa is a song I wrote that tells the fictitious story of a young person’s difficult relationship with their father.  Their father was a drifter who lived a hard life of drinking, gambling and womanizing while neglecting his wife and his family – both emotionally and financially. Despite this rocky and stormy relationship the young person never gives up hope and confirms, “But you know I still loved him so.”  The song hits a high point with the young person acknowledging that, “My Papa was a dreamer, And a ladies man, He always had ideas, But never had a plan, He spent his life dreamin’, Gamblin’ his life away, But you know he always dreamed, I’d live my dreams one day, And you know I still love him so.”


“Papa” is a song of mine from Set 4 using my acoustic 12-string Ovation guitar, and this song just seemed to nicely click in one take. “Papa” speaks to human fallibility, weakness, good intentions gone wrong, dreams, forgiveness and love within the fictitious setting of a relationship between the singer and his/her father. Enjoy! ♡ 🙂 Mark


(Note: Emailed versions of these songs lose their chord alignment and formatting, so refer to the original post and/or the scanned lyric sheet as your guide!)

"Papa" - "Pages Of Life", Collected Works Volume XII, Copyright 1992, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved


“Pages Of Life”, Collected Works Volume XII, Copyright 1992, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved

Verse One:

     D              C

My Papa was a drifter

     G                   D

He was a gamblin’ man

     D                C

He lived a life of drinkin’

          G       D

I could never understand

  D                    C

I never knew my Papa

  G                        D

I never knew him at all

     D              C

My Papa was a drifter

   G               D

A man I never saw     (x3)

            C        G                  D

But you know I still loved him so     (x4 and End)

Verse Two:

     D              C

My Papa was a gambler

     G               D

He never had a dime

D                  C

Always out of money

     G                    D

He never spent the time

     D                    C

To take care of his wife

G       D

Or his family

           D                          C

He was always runnin’ from trouble

       G                         D

And never saw much of me     (x3)

            C        G                  D

But you know I still loved him so     (x4)

Verse Three:

     D              C

My Papa was a dreamer

G                D

And a ladies man

     D              C

He always had ideas

      G               D

But never had a plan

     D                C

He spent his life dreamin’

G                     D

Gamblin’ his life away

            D                     C

But you know he always dreamed

    G                          D

I’d live my dreams one day     (x3)

             C        G                D

And you know I still love him so     (x4 and Repeat Verse One to End)


4 thoughts on “Original Song – “Papa”

  1. Mark,
    Truly sadly beautiful, I know you understand what I mean by that. You know I can hear it in my head & it has been added to WMDJ so I can listen to it when I wish.

    Sadly, it reminds me of my maternal uncle (may he rest in peace). He was the man described in this song, yet he too always wanted his son’s as well as myself to live out our dreams one day. He was taken too soon and I miss him very much … I can remember the good parts of him and good times with him through this song. Thank you 🙂

    With Love in Christ,


  2. Jade,

    I’m sorry you lost your uncle. It’s important to cherish and remember the happy times you had with him. Sad times are often best forgotten, as so much water under the bridge. Relationships are difficult and none of us are perfect…his heart may have always been in the right place for you and your family…it’s just that all of his (and our) actions don’t always reflect our heart’s attempt to do the right thing.



    • Mark,

      No need to be sorry, God called him home for a reason. It is difficult for me today as he passed away on July 4, 1976. It was a car accident taking one of my Great Aunts to Church, she lived … my Uncle Adam was killed instantly.

      I upset most of my great aunts at the funeral as I wore a pink sundress and not black. I truly believe to this day that my uncle would have wanted us to celebrate his life & not mourn his death. That didn’t set well with my elder Russian Orthodox great aunts. If you are a Russian Orthodox Christian it is expected of you to wear black when someone passes for 7days, at least a black armband to show that you are in mourning.

      So, today is hard for that reason and today is also my best friend’s birthday, may he rest in peace. Again taken too soon … when I was living in England and he was in California.

      Thank you again for this beautiful addition to WMDJ, it plays quite frequently as I am not allowed to do much due to some medical complications.

      God bless you my friend,


  3. Jade,

    I agree with you choice of wearing pink to your uncle’s funeral – I’m sure he must have been smiling down on you from heaven! I’ve always believed that funerals should be renamed as ‘celebrations’ of a person’s life in a way that you always wanted to be able to remember them by. Every person mourns in their own way and black doesn’t define my approach either, Jade.

    So let’s change the mood from somber to joy and focus instead on your healing and recovery so you can once again use your beautiful voice to sing along with WMDJ loud and clear!

    Love in Christ!


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