Tucker's Daughter

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"Tucker's Daughter"
Tuckers Daughter.jpg
Single by Ian Moss
from the album Matchbook
Released7 November 1988 (1988-11-07)[1]
RecordedSeptember 1988
StudioOcean Way Recording, Los Angeles
Ian Moss singles chronology
"Tucker's Daughter"
"Telephone Booth"

"Tucker's Daughter" is the debut single by Australian rock singer and guitarist, Ian Moss. It was released in November 1988[1] almost five years after his group, Cold Chisel, had disbanded for the first time. It is co-written by Moss and Don Walker (also from Cold Chisel).[2][3][4] The song was the lead single from Moss' debut studio album, Matchbook (1989).

At the ARIA Music Awards of 1990 "Tucker's Daughter" was nominated for three awards and won two; Breakthrough Artist – Single and Song of the Year. The song was also nominated for Single of the Year.[5]

Background and lyrics[edit]

The lyrics of "Tucker's Daughter" tell the story of a farm labourer who finds himself the attention of his employer's daughter, but he does not return her affections.

Moss had initially written the music to the song less than a fortnight before recording on his debut album was about to commence. He said, "I was pretty confident I had a good hit here. I was literally running around the house going 'yahoo!', jumping up and clicking my heels."[6]

Walker described in 2005 how Moss had sent him pieces of music including certain phrases that he wanted included in places within the song, "Ian sent "Tucker's Daughter" on a cassette [by] express airmail from Los Angeles where he was, and he had the melody but the only lyric he had was, 'Hey there, motherfucker.' Right through the rest of the song. I couldn't use that, but I recognised that it had a certain percussive force".[7]

In September 2007 Moss told a reporter at The Herald Sun newspaper that he was dissatisfied with his entry at Wikipedia: "About 95 per cent of the stories I read say Don Walker wrote it, but I wrote it too. I wrote the music and the punch line. 'Build me up, tear me down'. I'm not sure how to edit Wikipedia, but I will get on to that and change it."[4]

Music video[edit]

The start of the video depicts Tucker's daughter, a young woman, played by Tasma Walton, walking through a field. Several scenes feature Ian Moss singing and playing his guitar inside a barn. Although Moss does not react to the woman's affection in the lyrics; three black and white scenes during the video depict the two having a romantic encounter.

Track listing[edit]

7" Single (K690)

  • Side A "Tucker's Daughter" - 4:35
  • Side B "Islands" - 4:42


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[8] 2
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[9] 6

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1989) Position
Australia (ARIA)[10] 15
Australian Artist (ARIA) 2


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[11] Platinum 70,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ a b "Australian Music Report No 745 – 7 November 1988 > New Releases: Singles". Imgur.com (original document published by Australian Music Report). Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  2. ^ "'Tucker's Daughter' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 13 February 2017. Note: For additional work user may have to select 'Search again' and then 'Enter a title:' or 'Performer:'
  3. ^ Moss, Ian; Walker, Don (1988). "'Tucker's Daughter'". Mushroom Records. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 13 February 2017. 'Tucker's Daughter' / Ian Moss – Don Walker: [performed by] Ian Moss. 'Islands' / [written and performed by] Ian Moss.
  4. ^ a b "Moss wants no.1 credit". The Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. 17 September 2007. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Winners by Year 1990". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  6. ^ Greg Taylor (20 August 1989). "Moss in charge". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 142.
  7. ^ Kruger, Debbie (2005). Songwriters Speak: Conversations About Creating Music. Balmain, NSW: Limelight Press. p. 285. ISBN 0-9757080-3-1.
  8. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Ian Moss – TUCKER'S DAUGHTER". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Charts.nz – Ian Moss – TUCKER'S DAUGHTER". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  10. ^ "ARIA 1989 singles chart". ARIA. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  11. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.