Father and Son (song)

Infobox Song
Name = Father and Son

Border =
Caption =
Type =
Artist = Cat Stevens
alt Artist =
Album = Tea for the Tillerman
Published =
Released = November 23 1970
track_no = 9
Recorded =
Genre = Folk Rock
Length = 3:41
Writer = Cat Stevens
Label = Island Records
A&M Records (USA)
Producer = Paul Samwell-Smith
Tracks = # "Where Do the Children Play?"
# "Hard Headed Woman"
# "Wild World"
# "Sad Lisa"
# "Miles from Nowhere"
# "But I Might Die Tonight"
# "Longer Boats"
# "Into White"
# "On the Road to Find Out"
# "Father and Son"
# "Tea for the Tillerman"
prev =
prev_no =
next =
next_no =
Misc =
Audio sample? =
"Father and Son" is a popular song written and performed by British singer Cat Stevens on his 1970 album "Tea for the Tillerman".

The song, whose music is soft with a lilting dynamicism, frames an 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. To echo this, Stevens sings in a deeper register for the Father's lines, while using a higher, more emotive one for those of the son. Additionally, there are backing vocals provided by Stevens' guitarist and friend, Alun Davies, singing an unusual chorus of simple words, and sentences such as, "No", "Go and make this decision", beginning mid-song, so softly, they are only perceivable with a slight increase in volume towards the end of the song.


Stevens originally wrote it as part of a proposed musical project with actor Nigel Hawthorn called "Revolussia", that was set during the Russian Revolution; the song was about a boy who wanted to join the revolution against the wishes of his father. The musical project faded away with the onset of Stevens' recuperation from tuberculosis Islam, Yusuf Yusuflifeline [http://www.yusufislam.org.uk/ Official 2008 Website] 1970 ] but "Father and Son" remained, now in a broader context that reflected not just the societal conflict of Stevens' time, but also captured the impulses of older and younger generations in general.

"Father and Son" received substantial airplay on progressive rock and album-oriented rock radio formats, and played a key role in establishing Stevens as a new voice worthy of attention. In 1970 it was only put on the B-side of Stevens' single "Moon Shadow" (Island Records).

By 2007, Stevens,(now known as Yusuf Islam) recorded the song again in "Yusuf's Cafe Sessions" of 2007 on DVD again with Alun Davies, and a small band playing acoustic instruments. The performance was presented in a video with two close camera shots of his wife and daughter, holding his infant grandchild, as if to make the point that this song really is timeless.

Infobox Single
Name = Father and Son

Artist = Sandie Shaw
from Album =
B-side = "Pity the Ship is Sinking"
Released = 1972
Format =
Recorded =
Genre = Pop
Length =
Label = Pye
Writer = Cat Stevens
Producer =
Certification =
Chart position =
Last single = Where Did They Go
This single = Father and Son
Next single = One More Night

Sandie Shaw's version of the song, released in 1972, became her twenty-ninth and final single on the Pye Records label, which had given her a highly successful string of hits in the 1960s, making her the most successful British female singer of that decade.

Other recordings

On the 1974 album "Junkie and the Juicehead Minus Me", Johnny Cash released a slightly changed version of the song with his stepdaughter, Rosie Nix Adams, with the title "Father and Daughter", with aptly changed lyrics.

In 1995, the Irish boy band Boyzone did a rendition of the song, and it reached #2 on the UK Singles Chart.

Irish Actor Colm Wilkinson (of stage fame; "Les Miserables", "Phantom of the Opera", "Jesus Christ Superstar", and more), released a CD, "Some of My Best Friends Are Songs" on EMI with a cover of "Father and Son" being performed as a duet, with himself and his son, Aron, singing the two parts. Wilkinson, Colm [http://www.colmwilkinson.com/bio3.html Biography of Colm Wilkinson] ]

In 2001 the producers of the film "Moulin Rouge" wanted to use "Father and Son" underneath the opening scene, but Stevens, having converted to Islam, refused on religious grounds given the somewhat racy nature of the film.

2003 saw Johnny Cash revisit the original song with Fiona Apple accompanying during the 'son' verses on disc 3 of the "Unearthed (album)" boxed set.

In 2006, Rod Stewart included his take on "Father and Son" on his "rock standards" album "Still the Same... Great Rock Classics of our Time".


The American rock band The Flaming Lips released a song titled "Fight Test" on their 2002 album "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots". "Fight Test" is musically so similar to "Father and Son," that it resulted in a lawsuit. Sony/ATV Music Publishing, representing Yusuf Islam and EMI Music Publishing, representing the Flaming Lips agreed to divide equally the royalties for "Fight Test" equally between the two parties following a relatively uncontentious settlement. Islam, Yusuf Yusuflifeline [http://www.yusufislam.org.uk/ Official 2008 Website] ] The Flaming Lips' frontman, Wayne Coyne, claims that he was unaware of the songs' similarities until producer Dave Fridmann pointed them out.

Ronan Keating with Yusuf Islam

Infobox Single
Name = Father and Son
Artist = Ronan Keating featuring Cat Stevens|Yusuf Islam
from Album = 10 Years of Hits
Released = December 13 2004
Format = CD single: Worldwide
Recorded = 2004
Genre = Pop
Length = 3:23
Label = Polydor Records
Universal International
Writer = Cat Stevens
Producer =
Chart position =

Misc = Extra chronology
Artist = Ronan Keating
Type = singles
Last single = "I Hope You Dance"
This single = "Father and Son"
Next single = "Baby Can I Hold You"

"Father and Son" was then covered by Irish singer, Ronan Keating, who had been a member of Boyzone, on his greatest hits compilation "10 Years of Hits" (2004). Keating's version was released as a single in the fourth quarter of 2004 and featured re-recorded vocals by Stevens/Islam. Keating credits the song for introducing him to music and for sparking his interest in song writing. "Father and Son" debuted at number two on UK Singles Chart and became Keating's eleventh top ten single. Keating donated all the profits from the single's release to the Band Aid Trust, as Band Aid 20's rendition of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" was the current number one. Keating said that he was very happy to be number two in the charts below Band Aid. The music video for the release shows Keating singing while walking amongst hundreds of stanchions holding father-and-son portraits of all types, joined midway by Stevens/Islam singing the 'Father' parts.

Formats and track listings

These are the formats and track listings of major Ronan Keating single releases of "Father and Son".

CD single #1
#"Father and Son" (New Steve Mac with Strings)
#"When You Say Nothing at All" (French version)

CD single #2
#"Father and Son" (New Steve Mac with Strings)
#"Father and Son" (Metrophonic mix)
#"I Hope You Dance" music video
#"Father and Daughter" music video


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Father and Son — may refer to: *Father and Son (song), a 1970 song written and originally performed by British singer Cat Stevens *Father and Son (book), a memoir by Edmund Gosse *Fathers and Sons, a 1862 novel by Ivan Turgenev *Fathers and Sons (short story), a… …   Wikipedia

  • Father and Son — (Vater und Sohn) ist ein Lied von Cat Stevens. Er veröffentlichte den Song auf dem 1970 erschienenen Album Tea for the Tillerman sowie 1971 als B Seite der Single Moonshadow. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Text 2 Musik 3 Coverversionen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Father To Son — Queen – Queen II Veröffentlichung 8. März 1974 Label EMI/Parlophone; Elektra, Hollywood Records (USA) Format(e) LP, Cassette; CD Genre(s) Rock Anzahl der Titel …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Now and Then (song) — Now and Then Song by John Lennon Released Unreleased Recorded 1979 Genre Rock music Length 4:56 …   Wikipedia

  • Sanford and Son — From the Sanford and Son opening credits: the sign above the Sanfords home and workplace Genre Sitcom Created by Nor …   Wikipedia

  • Matthew and Son (album) — Matthew and Son Studio album by Cat Stevens Released March 10, 1967 …   Wikipedia

  • The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star — Infobox Simpsons episode episode name = The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star episode no = 356 prod code = GABF09 airdate = May 15, 2005 writer = Matt Warburton director = Michael Polcino blackboard = None couch gag = The Simpsons are… …   Wikipedia

  • Steptoe and Son — infobox television show name = Steptoe and Son caption = Harry H. Corbett and Wilfrid Brambell as the leading characters. © BBC format = Sitcom runtime = 30– 45 minutes creator = Alan Simpson Ray Galton starring = Harry H. Corbett Wilfrid… …   Wikipedia

  • Like Father, Like Son — Infobox Album | Name = Like Father, Like Son Type = Studio album Artist = Birdman and Lil Wayne Released = October 31, 2006 (U.S.) Recorded = CMR Studios, New Orleans, 2006 Genre = Southern Rap Length = 95:22 Label = Cash Money Records /… …   Wikipedia

  • My Father's Eyes (song) — My Father s Eyes Single by Eric Clapton from the album Pilgrim …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.