Jump to content
  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Oh Father





"Oh Father" is a song by American singer-songwriter Madonna from her fourth studio album Like a Prayer. It was released as the fourth single from the album on October 24, 1989 by Sire Records. It was not released as a single in the UK until December 31, 1995 when it appeared on the 1995 ballads compilation Something to Remembe

Chart performance

The song first debuted at number 55 on the Billboard Hot 100 single chart during the week of November 11, 1989. The song became Madonna's first single since "Holiday" in 1984 not to enter the top ten in the United States, peaking at number 20 on the week of December 30, 1989. This ended her streak of 16 consecutive top five singles and 17 consecutive top ten singles.

Outside the U.S. the song was only a modest hit. It is to date Madonna's lowest charting single in Australia, where it only reached number 59, breaking a run of 20 consecutive top 40 singles.

"Oh Father" was not released as a single in the United Kingdom and Ireland until December 25, 1995, when it appeared on Something to Remember. The song peaked at number 16 on the UK singles chart and number 25 in Ireland. The single was released in the Republic of South Africa in late 1989, yet failed to chart. Upon its re-release there in December 1995, it reached the #1 spot, which it held for 2 weeks.

 Music video

Madonna in the "Oh Father" video.

The music video was filmed during the last week of October 1989 at Culver Studios in Culver City, California and was directed by David Fincher. According to Madonna's brother, Christopher Ciccone's book, "Life with My Sister Madonna", he stated that some of the graveyard footage was filmed in the cemetery in Michigan that her mother was buried in 1963. Shot entirely in black-and-white, the video is said to have taken stylistic inspiration from the Orson Welles film Citizen Kane. MTV world premiered the video on November 11, 1989.

The music video has been honoured by Rolling Stone as one of the "The 100 Top Music Videos", placed at number 66. It is commercially available on Madonna's The Immaculate Collection (1990) DVD/VHS companion. In the 1991 MTV special hosted by Kurt Loder titled "Breakfast with Madonna", Loder described the video as "the most amazing video". He then asked Madonna if her father, Silvio Ciccone, had seen the video. Madonna responded, "To tell you the truth, I don't know if he's seen it. I'm sort of afraid to ask."[citation needed]

  • Director: David Fincher
  • Producer: Tim Clawson
  • Director of Photography: Jordan Cronenweth
  • Editor: Jim Haygood
  • Production Company: Propaganda Films

 Live performance

Madonna performed this song on her 1990 Blond Ambition Tour while kneeling on an altar.

 Formats and track listings

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Oh Father."[1]

1989 Release

CD single

  1. "Oh Father" (Edit) – 4:20
  2. "Pray for Spanish Eyes" – 5:15

7" / Cassette Single [2][3][4]

  1. "Oh Father" (Edit) – 4:20
  2. "Pray for Spanish Eyes" – 5:15

 1995 Release

UK Cassette Single

  1. "Oh Father" (Album Version) – 4:58
  2. "Live to Tell" (Live edit from Ciao Italia) – 6:22

UK CD single (Slim case & Limited Edition 4 postcards)

  1. "Oh Father" (Album Version) - 4:58
  2. "Live to Tell" (Live edit from Ciao Italia) – 6:22
  3. "Why's It So Hard" (Live from The Girlie Show) – 5:12

Chart (1989/96)[5][6][7] Peak
Australia ARIA Singles Chart (1989) 59
Eurochart Hot 100 Singles (1996) 62
Finland Singles Chart (1996)[8] 6
France SNEP Singles Chart (1989) 26
Japanese Oricon International Singles Chart (1989) 12
Irish Singles Chart (1996) 25
UK Singles Chart (1996) 16
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 (1989) 20
U.S. (1989) 15
Single by Madonna
from the album Like a Prayer
B-side "Pray for Spanish Eyes" (1989 release)
"Live to Tell" (live edit) (1995 release)
"Why's It So Hard" (live) (1995 release)
Released October 24, 1989 (Worldwide)
December 31, 1995 (UK)
Format CD, 7", Cassette
Genre Ballad
Length 4:58 (Album Version)
4:20 (Edit)
Label Sire, Maverick, Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Madonna, Patrick Leonard
Producer Madonna, Patrick Leonard
Madonna singles chronology
"Oh Father"
"Dear Jessie"
Alternate cover
1995 UK release cover


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...