Mokyo – “Daddy”

Mokyo – “Daddy”

Back to Mokyo’s last M/V and more precisely on one of the possible interpretation of the lyrics and the meaning behind the visual

Just a warning, this is only a personal interpretation, one of the way to analyse it!

I should also notify that there are references to abuse, violence, death and suicide, so I don’t recommend you to read it if those are triggering topics for you.

An artist with a personal universe

Mokyo is definitely talented and intriguing, after the really touching Something dedicated to his mother (I talked about it in the last Recap’ of the week), the artist gave us a new intense work in a quite different register.

Musically speaking, this track is once again pretty hybrid in its sonority. It can almost be reminiscent of English independent Pop/Rock/Folk, but this aspect honestly doesn’t really matter compared to the meaning behind what Mokyo produced.

It’s quite delicate not to do assumptions while talking about this track since if it’s dedicated to people suffering from domestic violence (In the description it’s indicated that “This is for people suffering from domestic violence”), the title is also none other than Daddy. It wouldn’t be the first time for Mokyo, Something was already on a really personal register.

In this way, if it turns out that this song is indeed a sort of catharsis for the artist, a catharsis for a harsh familial context, then one might point out the irony, the sarcastic tone, the disdain meant behind the title as Daddy is a rather affectionate and childish term in comparison of Dad which is more neutral. Faced with a violent father, the name Daddy can be seen as a way to maintain the subterfuge of a familial farce, to do as if this violence wasn’t real by overdoing it.

And hence, the lyrics are really explicit, their senses taking an even stronger turn as you realize the reality Mokyo is truly depicting here.

A bitter Reality…

There is this common metaphor of the game, for the person who is the source of the violence, it’s a game they are playing. For them, this cruel situation can be a pleasure, but as Mokyo reminds us, for most games, several players are actually required, and the victims that are unwillingly trapped would prefer to lose, to lose in order for the game to take an end.

“Your Attitude makes everything turn its back on you, A game ever so cruel I would rather lose”

But in a situation of abuse, the violence is never exclusively physical and this is what the following lyrics seem to express:

“Saying f*ck your name, Saying you’re to blame, Saying run away, You wouldn’t make it”

This series of sentences is quite ambivalent since it can be approached through at least two perspectives.

At first one might think that the protagonist is speaking to the abuser, but with the last two verses, one can also understand that the protagonist is in fact talking to himself, or that Mokyo is directly talking to the victim for instance. In this case, the “Saying f*ck your name, Saying you’re to blame” can be seen as self-hatred, self-hatred precisely induced by the violence.

The violence is so unbearable and unjustified that the victim comes to hate them and feel guilty. They start to think that they are responsible for the violence, that they are the only ones at fault, almost that they deserve it.

… On a macabre background

The next part is more complex to analyze.

“They always gave a safe place to stay, They elevate, So I celebrate”

When he says “They always gave a safe place to stay, They elevate” one can think that Mokyo is talking about the parents, it’s a commonplace, and as with the “Daddy”, the “So I celebrate” can eventually be interpreted as a cynical remark from the artist.

Quite like “Society says that parents are supposed to be a safe place, so we should celebrate that. We should celebrate that since society says so, if it says this then it must be true

Then, I must admit that I don’t really know what to think about the:

Feeling like the World’s a-dorable! A breeze of friendly wind blows

First, because I’m French and not 100% fluent in English, I don’t know if “World” is in this case the subject, and therefore, if it must be understood as the fact that this is the world which is adorable, or if it is a genitive and in which case it would be like ‘Feeling like the adorable of the world”, but I don’t think that it’s really making sense….

Then comes the “A breeze of friendly wind blows”, and as surprising as it may seem, it’s not impossible for this sentence to be seen as a metaphor for domestic violence.

He sings those lyrics in English, and if one can say “The wind blows”, a blow is also a punch. And it’s the emphasis above all on “friendly wind” which could suggest that. It can remind one of the violence of passion, a justification, the aggressor freeing themselves from the guilt. Like “If I do that to you, in fact, it’s for your well-being

Even more with the really explicit metaphor which follows:

“In my eyes, Like the rain, Now My Life, Is all in red”   

Except that it’s clearly blood drops that are running on Mokyo’s neck at 1.17min or 2.33min as he is singing those lyrics.

This description might also be understood as a final state of grace. By keeping on being beaten, the victim falls into a state of numbness, everything becomes soft, and welcoming, like cool summer heat, but red is still the last thing the victim sees…

A consuming hate

From 1.20min, it’s quite a repetition of the same lyrics, with some nuances though which are really highlighting all the ambivalence and cruelty the reality domestic violence can lead to.

Hate, it’s one of the feelings the victim can feel toward the aggressor. Strong feelings of hate that can change into a want to see the abuser finally suffer too, for them to suffer or even to straightly disappear.

“Go off and die motherf**ker, I won’t miss you, Not once in my life You were someone to cling to”

The track even concludes with a litany of “I want you die right now”, which is also represented with the shot at 3.13min, in the act of burning the picture/video of what seems to be the father.

Except that while singing the last verse, Mokyo ends abruptly with an “I want you.”.

As if he didn’t have the time to finish his verse, as if he was cut. And it’s on these same lyrics that you can see him walk with conviction in the water, a gaping hole on the torso he already had while he was leaving a cemetery at the beginning of the M/V, and then falling, headfirst, a really unequivocal aureole appearing. 

And if this M/V is indisputably filled with death imagery with a cemetery, ravens, blood, etc. More than death, it’s undeniable that suicide is also present.

A Sour final

First, the sheep at 1.55 and at two other times in the M/V can refer to a certain image of the sacrificial ritual. Maybe not as far as seeing in it a reference to Genesis, to Abraham, and the sacrifice of his son Isaac. However, when it comes to symbolism, the sheep are commonly used to symbolize purity, the innocence. For Christians for instance, it symbolizes the Christ who sacrificed himself for humankind.

And this feeling of purity is also present in the second to last act of the track, with another litany but this time of “Rise and Shine, Bright out, But I could die right now”.

The victim only asks to shine, to be fulfilled, to be free from this situation, but they are caught up by a cruel reality, a continual fear.

In this way, and it’s this time shown by the visual, it seems that the only way to finally reach liberty would be for the victim to put an end to the violence by themselves, through suicide.

There is here a romantic representation of the suicide, especially from 2.29min, the shot with the wings first, then the one with the inscription “Peace”, as if death were the only way to get peace, and once again, this final sequence in which Mokyo moves with conviction, falling headfirst into the water and dying.    

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Listening to this song allowed me to reach the catharsis you’re talking about.

    When you are or have been victim of domestic violence you can often feel lonely and misunderstood. It’s like being in a dark room with only your pain for company. You don’t hear anything, you don’t see anything but the darkness.

    You know you’re not the only person on earth who feels this way, but that loneliness doesn’t go, and you’re alone in your struggles.

    Then suddenly you hear his voice, his music. And just as some animals hear sounds that humans cannot, “Daddy” have this secrey sound frequency that only those who have experienced this kind of violence can hear.

    And suddenly, you don’t feel so lonely anymore. Someone else gets it. Someone who has taken his pain and made something beautiful out of it.

    Oh, it’s a long comment.

    1. Thank you for your comment, it means a lot!

      I’m sorry that you had to go through something similar…
      Growing up in a stable environment is a real chance that is sadly not that common.

      It’s like you said, you know that there is always worst, but it still doesn’t make your reality easier to cope with, and I genuinely believe that music is a medium that can make this kind of reality more bearable.
      I wouldn’t have described it so beautifully, how this song in particular can bring a glint of comfort to the mind.

      Thank you once again, I wish you a lot of happiness!

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