During my first dozen to three dozen plays of Beyoncé’s Lemonade, one song kept sticking out: “Daddy Lessons.” Sure, the genre is way different than any of the other songs, but the song also feels extremely personal on an already very intimate album. This is evident from the very start of the song, when the New Orleans jazz horns start playing and the vocals come in with “Texas, Texas, (oh, oh, oh) Texas.” It’s her Texas bama song, the song that is informed by where she came from. In “Formation” she tells us “my daddy Alabama, Momma Louisiana, you mix that Negro with that Creole make a Texas bama” but it’s this song that brings it all together.
While I don’t believe the song is a straight-up history of Beyoncé’s life, I do believe it is based on her lived experience (with artistic embellishment). I’ll be talking about it in relation to Mrs. Knowles-Carter’s life (or at least what we know of it) but with the understanding that it is not a strict non-fiction piece she is sharing.