Oh Father

Composed by Madonna / Patrick Leonard

Song Review by

"Oh Father" is one of the most personal songs Madonna has ever performed, and arguably her finest ballad performance ever. It wasn't a particularly big hit, possibly because of the despondent yet ultimately hopeful lyrics, or the fact that its string quartet plus slide guitar arrangement is so unlike what was expected from Madonna, but the melody is simply lovely, one of the prettiest of her career. The upward modulation of the chorus, accompanied by some overdubbed self-harmonies that feature a very controlled and effective use of Madonna's highest register, is sheer brilliance, giving the song a steely resolve that removes any taint of self-pity from the verses.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Like a Prayer 1989 Rhino / Warner Bros.
The Immaculate Collection (The Best Of Madonna) [Video] 1990 Warner Reprise Video
No Image 1990 Sire
Something to Remember 1995 Rhino
Immaculate Collection/Something to Remember 2001 WEA International 4:59
The Complete Studio Albums (1983-2008) 2012 Rhino 4:58
Original Album Series 2012 Rhino / Warner Music 4:58
No Image Phantom Import Distribution / WEA International
Like a Prayer Sire
The Party's Right Here Goldfish 2:09
blue highlight denotes editor's pick