British singer-songwriter Greg Holden takes a heartbreaking look at a father's fragmented relationship with his openly gay son in his latest tune, "Boys in the Street."
"He tried to change me, say I'm embarrassing my country," Holden sings over an acoustic guitar. "How could I do this to my family, do I wanna grow up being lonely?"
The sentiment of the song recalls Harry Chapin's 1974 classic, "Cat's in the Cradle," while the almost staid visuals contrast with the poignant lyrics, with father and son depicted as stiff, seemingly emotionless mannequins. The tune appears on Holden's 2015 album, "Chase the Sun."
While the father comes to embrace his son, Holden doesn't conclude the tale neatly: "My daddy's dying, and he's finally realized I'm not lying/We sit in silence but we're smiling, because, for once, we're not fighting."
Holden is best known as the co-writer of the smash single "Home," which was performed by "American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips. Earlier this year, he described "Boys in the Street" as a "simple story about a gay kid and his dad" in a Yahoo interview, noting, "Some of it is [inspired by] the relationship between me and my stepfather. We didn’t have a great time growing up. But a lot of it is about friends of mine who have had those kinds of experiences."
He then added, "I wanted to try and write about it, because a lot of them can’t.”