I'm Clifford Stumme, and I use literary analysis and research to explain the deeper meanings of pop songs. Feel free to leave a comment or to email me at with questions or ideas!

What does "DADDY" by Psy mean?

What does "DADDY" by Psy mean?


SONG MEANING: "Daddy" by Psy is about having a super attractive body inherited from one's father and ladies not being able to resist one's charming advances.

Psy's "Gangnam Style" came out over three years ago, and since then the only thing we in American have really heard from Psy is the song "Gentleman," which was successful but didn't go off nearly as well as the first video. Now Psy's trying again. His new video for his song "DADDY" is certainly zany and weird. I wouldn't say it's as zany or weird as "Gangnam Style," but it tries. It does, however, contain a much more cohesive central idea and pushes that idea to its limits, all the while maintaining a musical style halfway between Korean and American pop.

Meaning of Psy's "DADDY"

To be clear, I think the biggest reason any of us need an explanation for this song is that it's in Korean. Thankfully, and have two mostly excellent translations; the lyrics we'll be dissecting will have come from them.

Of course, the title gives away most of what Psy's new hit is about. It's about fathers, but not just fathers. It's about a boy and his father and grandfather, and the cool thing about this song is that each part is played by Psy--his face is grafted over a child's face, and makeup transforms him into a much older (but still spry) version of himself. The premise of the song is that the oldest Psy is incredibly hot and is popular with the ladies. His son and grandson have inherited his good looks and charm.

The song begins, "I got it from my daddy / Daddy." In the First Verse, Psy sings, "I feel nice, you look nice / The moment I saw you I thought, 'Wow, I found a catch.'" Psy's persona in this video is ever sure of himself and very confident in his own good looks. He sees a woman who is also attractive and goes after her. He encourages her to not "think twice" because "this game's already over." He knows he's such a charmer that she won't be able to resist. He knows that in the end she will agree to his request: "You be my curry, I'll be your rice."

He continues, “My name is Psy,” in English and then in Korean he sings, “In Korean, Park Jae-Sang.” He wants to fall in love with her so he sings, “I want to fall and swim in your eyes.” He then uses the traditional Korean words for brother and sister to continue to show how close he wants to be with her: “Oppa’s [older brother] going to take off, hold on tight Onni [younger sister] / I’m a beautiful lady’s partner.”

Psy Daddy2In the Pre-chorus, Psy sings, “Hold up, wait a minute / From now on, just you and me, we’re players.” Again, he’s explaining his desire for romance and continues by telling her that they’re running out of time: “We are running out of time tonight, turn up louder! /

Oh you beautiful and passionate lady.” He ends the pre-chorus by asking her, “How do you like me now?” He wants to know if she’s impressed.

The Chorus is a call and response between Psy and a singer named CL, from the band 2NE1. She, taking the part of Psy’s intended interest, sings, “Hey! Where did you get that body from?” and Psy responds, “I got it from my daddy!” The focus of the chorus is on this trio of attractive men, and culminates ultimately in Psy loudly celebrating this bond he shares with his father and son.

Psy Daddy4In Verse 2, Psy continues to hit on the girl: “I’m on fire, take you higher / You’re a masterpiece, I’m a relentless buyer / Don’t be a liar, just tell it like it is.” He wants her to not play hard to get and to give in to his charm and good looks. He explains that if she does, “I be yo’ honey, neva’ expire.”

He continues the second verse by describing himself: “In the day I just sleep, in the night I’m a real man.” He bides his time during the day and parties hard (or possibly has sex) at night. He sings, “As soon as I saw you, I fell head over heels / I know just from one look.” He was confident that he wanted to pursue her. He sings that when he’s “having fun, [he’s] like a kid / Oppa [older brother or Psy himself in this case] says, ‘Oh, hey,” going in without turning on the blinkers.” I think the translation may be imperfect here, but I think he’s saying that he’s not turning back and is betting all on her.

Psy Daddy1The Bridge better explains the basic concept of the song. Psy sings, “Listen / My papa was a superman / I got this body from him.” He’s attractive because his father was also attractive. He further describes himself as “[a] gentleman who refuses to be a gentleman.” He’s a “bad boy” who doesn’t play by the rules even though he has the ability to also be very classy and well mannered. He finishes by singing, “The psycho in this district is me.” He’s a crazy man, and now he’s crazy about her.

The Music Video further plays on these ideas of undeniable attraction by showing Psy, his son, and his grandfather blowing over swooning women, being cool, and dancing very well. While I don’t think this video or the basic concept of it have the strength to beat out a behemoth like “Gangnam Style” (almost at 2.5 billion views on YouTube), I do think it’s a fun, silly song that stays true to Psy’s style.

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