Cat Stevens - Father & Son




"Father and Son" is a popular song written and performed by English singer-songwriter Cat Stevens (now known as Yusuf/Cat Stevens) on his 1970 album Tea for the Tillerman. The song frames a heartbreaking exchange between a father not understanding a son's desire to break away and shape a new life, and the son who cannot really explain himself but knows that it is time for him to seek his own destiny.


Stevens sings in a deeper register for the father's lines, while using a higher one for those of the son. Additionally, there are backing vocals provided by Stevens' guitarist and friend Alun Davies beginning mid-song, singing an unusual chorus of simple refrains.






Lyrics


[Father:]

It's not time to make a change

Just relax, take it easy

You're still young, that's your fault

There's so much you have to know

Find a girl, settle down

If you want you can marry

Look at me, I am old, but I'm happy


I was once like you are now, and I know that it's not easy

To be calm when you've found something going on

But take your time, think a lot

Why, think of everything you've got

For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not


[Son:]

How can I try to explain, cause when I do he turns away again

It's always been the same, same old story

From the moment I could talk I was ordered to listen

Now there's a way and I know that I have to go away

I know I have to go


[Father:]

It's not time to make a change

(Away, away, away)

Just sit down, take it slowly

You're still young, that's your fault

(I know)

There's so much you have to go through

(I have to make this decision)

Find a girl, settle down

(Alone)

If you want you can marry

Look at me, (No) I am old, but I'm happy


[Son:]

All the times that I cried

(Decision, decision, decision)

Keeping all the things I knew inside

It's hard (Why must)

But it's harder to ignore it

(You go and make this decision)

If they were right, I'd agree

(Alone?)

But it's them they know not me

Now there's a way and I know

That I have to go away

I know I have to go