Review on Cat Stevens's Song "Father and Son"

"Father and Son" is a very popular song written and performed by Steven Demetre Girogiou, known for his stage name Cat Stevens (now known as Yusuf Islam) from his successful 1970 album ‘Tea for the Tillerman’.
The song talks about the perpetual dialogue between parents and their children. It’s about a father who seems unable to understand his son who (son) wants to go away and make it afar, without the assistance or help of his parents. The son feels that it’s high time to seek his own ‘new’ future.
This feeling of knowing that it’s time to make one’s own life usually haunts adolescents, although it’s not always explicable for them. The son says: «how can i try to explain... » Simply, because the brain of an adolescent undergoes major changes, pushing him to seek a new way of behaving. Since his parents fail to cope with these new changes, the adolescent begins to seek another outlet, and that must be sought away from home. Parents should understand that their children are undergoing significant changes, and these changes taking them to another phase, which is adulthood. But some parents, because they love their children so much, fail to understand that it is time a child has to grow. This reminds of Metallica's Mama Said, which is apparently about a mother who can't let her son be the man he wants to be. ''Mama let your son grow'' explains all this, because adolescence simply means growing up, and the mother is not letting her son grow. The son in Cat Stevens' Father and Son is also trying to make his father see that he is not able to listen to his orders anymore.
If you listen to the song you will feel that the sound pitch of the son when he talks is higher and more stirring than that of the father. Obviously, this shows the natural and physical being of generation gap between the two societal entities.
Although the song dates back to 1970, it still means a great deal to everyone up till now. People believe that this song is timeless and universal with its consistent theme.
Talking of the consistency of its theme to Rolling Stone* magazine, Yusuf Islam (known as Cat Stevens at that time) said: ‘I was listening to that song [Father and Son] recently and I heard one line and realized that that was my father’s father’s father’s father’s father’s father’s father’s father speaking.’
However, what’s, I believe, admirable about this song is that you can make your own understanding out of it. So what’s your understanding? Write to us a comment or email us.


By Abderrazak BADDOU




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