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My father was a man who could do almost anything and he instilled that credo in my brothers and me. My dad could overhaul a car, install or repair plumbing, build anything and play harmonica, fiddle and mandolin. He was a coal miner, a military despatch rider and a rural mailman. In the mid-fifties he was a part of the Royal Canadian Signal Corps motorcycle display team, the Canadian Daredevils. Their team criss-crossed the country putting on displays of their skills, including the 1956 Calgary Stampede Parade (I have a postcard for that time). That’s where I get my love of motorcycles from.
Growing up in Wasaga Beach my dad was always doing something. I don’t think he had a free minute to himself. He was either working, fixing something around the house or helping out one of the neighbours. He always made sure that my brothers and me helped him do whatever it was that he was doing and we learned a lot of things from him. He did all of these things himself mainly because he couldn’t afford to play someone else to do it. Now even though I can afford to pay someone to fix something or build something, my first thought is to doing it myself - all because my dad taught me a lot of those skills. Unfortunately, the car repair lessons didn’t stick so well with me, although both my brothers are masters, but I do recall enough to get by.
I think that fathers teaching sons (and daughters) is something that is sorely missing in our current culture. Nowadays if a person wants to know how to do something they don’t seek out a trusted elder, they pull up a video on YouTube which may or may not have well thought out and appropriate instructions. I am thankful that I had a father who took the time to teach me things that will help mme on my journey through life. That’s what I hope that this song conveys to the listener.


At My Daddy’s Knee
© 2020 RC Burns
All Rights Reserved

Verse 1
My Daddy was a good man worked hard all his life
He raised four children and dearly loved his wife
He didn’t make much money but we had what we’d need
I learned about life at my Daddy’s knee

Chorus 1
He taught me how to drive a nail and how to use a saw
He told me about right and wrong and to respect the law
To help your neighbours and what it means to be free
That’s what I learned at my Daddy’s knee

Verse 2
Hard as life could be we were always safe and warm
My Daddy’s tender love was a shelter from the storm
He always had a hug or a word to comfort me
I learned about life at my Daddy’s knee

Chorus 2
He taught me how to bait a hook and how to tie a knot
He told me it’s about who you are and not what you’ve got
That makes a better man for all the world to see
That’s what I learned at my Daddy’s knee

Verse 3
The angels came for Daddy when I was just sixteen
To me he never left this world or that’s how it seems
I never will forget that gift he gave to me
I learned about life at my Daddy’s knee

Chorus 3
He taught me how to ride a bike and how to drive a car
He told me to stand tall and be proud of who you are
To think for myself and to be all I could be
That’s what I learned at my Daddy’s knee
At my Daddy’s knee