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Cat Stevens — Father & Son
Album: Tea for the Tillerman
Avg rating:
8.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 766









Released: 1970
Length: 3:36
Plays (last 30 days): 1
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

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

It's not time to make a change
Just sit down, take it slowly
You're still young, that's your fault
There's so much you have to go through
Find a girl, settle down
If you want, you can marry
Look at me
I am old, but I'm happy

All the times that I've cried
Keeping all the things I knew inside
It's hard
But it's harder to ignore it
If they were right, I'd agree
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
Comments (101)add comment
Teaser and Firecat is my favourite. album of his. Tea for the Tillerman 2nd Catch Bull at Four 3rd All classics in their own tradition. Thanks Bill and Rebecca!
Teaser and Firecat is my favourite. album of his. Tea for the Tillerman 2nd Catch Bull at Four 3rd All classics in their own tradition. Thanks Bill and Rebecca!
This song is always a sure 10 Still leaves me glassy eyed after all these years Thanks Bill
My father passed away in 1964 when I was 6...I think on some level that I've lived my life trying to make him proud.  His last gift to me was an Etch a sketch...I spent countless hours creating art that I felt would please him.  I never stopped missing my Dad
Reminds me of Fight Test by the Flaming Lips (joke)
Loved his early albums
Talk about leaving at the top of your game, Cat sure did. I had all his albums and loved them all. 
Love it but makes me sad too - hits too close to home.
One of the few songs that has always - always - made me cry. First as a teen, and now as a father.

And then I revel in my humanness. Or maybe it's relief.
{#Sunny}
 Kaisersosay wrote:
Song makes me cry at my desk. It played the on the way home from the hospital, after losing my son.

 
With you in spirit, my friend.
Ironic that much of history has been filled with art for the glory of God, yet somehow Cat gave up art for the glory of God. Unfair to be mad at him after leaving us this, but I still am a bit.
Song makes me cry at my desk. It played the on the way home from the hospital, after losing my son.
I love the Johnny Cash and Fiona Apple cover of this song. You should play it some time Bill :)
This album is on my top 10 of all time list. Right along side Exile on Main Street.
 mgabriel wrote:
I mainly stopped listening after the whole SaIman Rushdie intifada thing, but this is one great song.  Loved this album, used to listen to it driving Vermont country roads, thinking deep (for 22 or so) thoughts.  Thanks for playing it.

 

Stop listening as you like but Cat/Yusuf has repeatedly denied calling for Rushdie's head.  He said his comments were simply an interpretation of Islamic Law (or as a bad joke gone awry).  Sort of like some would tell you that the Bible says homosexuals are an abomination.  All open to interpretation but.... doesn't sound like a great reason to stop listening to such a great musician.
Wow. My dad played this a lot when my brother and i were boys in the 70's.

Now i have 2 boys.

This now pulls on my heartstrings from both directions.

Love, love, love this song.   
Any Cat Stevens makes me happy. Would love to go see him play, now that he's doing a little tour (the first time I feel like he's sort of back to "ok, I'm the Yusuf Cat".  However, tickets are being scalped in multiple hundreds..  just soo wrong.
I mainly stopped listening after the whole SaIman Rushdie intifada thing, but this is one great song.  Loved this album, used to listen to it driving Vermont country roads, thinking deep (for 22 or so) thoughts.  Thanks for playing it.
zeitlos  schön   werde ich immer wieder gern anhören :-)
 yofitofu wrote:
Timeless, gorgeous music...... 
Yes, I saw him live in the 60's (ages me), and he was wonderful.  I wonder (without much mystery) why he has ben so marginalized for the past forty years.
Timeless, gorgeous music......

Beautiful song and lyrics, sorry it was difficult for you with your dad, but glad you are happy now :-)

 


 schayler wrote:
I used to listen to this song on a loop, knowing I needed to come out to my dad, but not knowing how.  I always felt Stevens was speaking directly to me when he sung this, especially, "All the times that I cried, keeping all the things I knew inside.  It's hard, but it's harder to ignore it."  Now "old," and out, I am indeed happy.

Never heard this song on RP before.  Stopped me in my tracks. 

 
Thank you for sharing your experience. Peace.
Brilliant.
we siblings played this record till the grooves wore out back in the day..
My dad used to like this song. I still remember him singing along to this. He's gone now and I hear this song with fond memories and a tear in my eye. Thank you RP.
Hate this song! As a kid I heard this over and over and over at a local shop on my summer holidays. Now it just pains my ears. Not that it's a bad song per se, just that I hate it!
Love this song.  
One of a kind. Of its type.
Timeless, and brilliant.
 casey1024 wrote:
One of my favorite albums. Ever.

 
I agree with you. My young kids are learning the words now too. Its very special music to me.
one of the few who practice's' what he preaches.....{#Wave}
I am forced to listen to way too much of today's pop music. It's cliche, but it's also accurate to say that they don't write them like this anymore.
OH WIE SCHÖN  {#Good-vibes}
This song takes my breath away. 10+
One word: FANTASTIC!
 
I remember going to a "New Age Mass" in the church basement at St. Augustine's Parish with my parents one summer Sunday and Father Tom, a young and very hip new priest with no fear or compulsion to conform, sat and played and sang songs from Cat's records (3 were big at that time), and blew us all away.  My parents and those of other kids didn't quite know what to make of it, but I was sure won over!
Poooor poor lost cat. Bye bye.
 "Look at me; I am old, but I'm happy."

- Nice Self-Actualized line from a more experienced POV....

But, I think Yusuf identified with the younger, more naive POV.

After all "I know that it's not easy, To be calm when you've found something going on."
 
Lots "Going on" in this life therefore:

It's not time to make a change,
Just sit down, take it slowly.
You're still young, that's your fault,
There's so much you have to go through.
Find a girl, settle down,
If you want you can marry.
Look at me, I am old, but I'm happy.

Timeless song......

PS: Don't let the "Goings On" of life steal your happiness + Peace to Cat Stevens - thanks for the music

unclehud wrote:
Forty years ago, one of the strongest lines in this tune said: "Look at me; I am old, but I'm happy."

That line was like a lightning bolt then, just as it was fifteen minutes ago: the highest goal of a human life. 

 


Beautiful.

I remember how bummed my dad was when Cat stopped making music. I'm glad he's since concluded that his music is not in conflict with his spirituality.
This song brings tears to my eyes. My son just graduated elementary school and I swear it was just yesterday, that I held him in my arms.
super album, schöner song

The entire album is a true masterpiece, start to finish.

 
I relish the memory of seeing him at the height of his Cat Stevens fame in a small venue.  He and and an accompanying guitarist.  It was wonderful.
Great music like this is timeless.
 schayler wrote:
I used to listen to this song on a loop, knowing I needed to come out to my dad, but not knowing how.  I always felt Stevens was speaking directly to me when he sung this, especially, "All the times that I cried, keeping all the things I knew inside.  It's hard, but it's harder to ignore it."  Now "old," and out, I am indeed happy.

Never heard this song on RP before.  Stopped me in my tracks. 

 
Blessings to you.
Hundreds of listens later, I still get chills listening to this song.  As a son who lost his father at a young age and now as a father to sons it expresses that relationship spiritually.
 schayler wrote:
I used to listen to this song on a loop, knowing I needed to come out to my dad, but not knowing how.  I always felt Stevens was speaking directly to me when he sung this, especially, "All the times that I cried, keeping all the things I knew inside.  It's hard, but it's harder to ignore it."  Now "old," and out, I am indeed happy.

Never heard this song on RP before.  Stopped me in my tracks. 
 

Wonderful story.
I used to listen to this song on a loop, knowing I needed to come out to my dad, but not knowing how.  I always felt Stevens was speaking directly to me when he sung this, especially, "All the times that I cried, keeping all the things I knew inside.  It's hard, but it's harder to ignore it."  Now "old," and out, I am indeed happy.

Never heard this song on RP before.  Stopped me in my tracks. 
Forty years ago, one of the strongest lines in this tune said: "Look at me; I am old, but I'm happy."

That line was like a lightning bolt then, just as it was fifteen minutes ago: the highest goal of a human life. 
A timeless, generational spanding song. So wistful, heartfelt. We've all been there, but few able to put it as loving as Cat did. 
This s—— is that good, but it brings me too far back!!!!!!
...guitar class in high school, can't remember teachers name, but I can see him jumping all over the room
making sure we got these chords right!!
Telling us how the son is singing back to his father.....
...I'm getting old....
Thank God they caught this guy at the airport.  What a beautiful song.
 
Dear PSD, thank you for taking me to this wonderful treasure to mine ear. 
 bachbeet wrote:
The fact that Cat lost his way and turned to Islam does not diminish this song in the least for me.  I just wish he had kept putting out songs instead of basically turning his back on the art.
 
"Lost his way"?  I expect he'd say he'd found his way.  Still, I also wish he'd kept making music like this.  
This man held the world within his larynx for some rather idyllic and innocent years of my childhood; how lucky I was to have this (and Donovan and Carole King had that vibrato thing going then too) in the background of so much accelerated change...and thanks RP for keeping the connections alive and pulsing!
Love this song.  My mom played this around the house when I was a kid.  Sunday mornings she would always turn on the record player to something like this. 
The fact that Cat lost his way and turned to Islam does not diminish this song in the least for me.  I just wish he had kept putting out songs instead of basically turning his back on the art.
Cat, your music brought us higher than the sky, sometime near godfather ; Why di you leave us so soon ?
 floydginger wrote:

Makes me want to go and get my 12 year old son out of school and take him to the beach where he can enjoy his youth and I can enjoy him.

 
Do it man. You won't regret it.
For a thematic pairing, "Dialogue Part 1 & 2" by Chicago...

Makes me want to go and get my 12 year old son out of school and take him to the beach where he can enjoy his youth and I can enjoy him.


 Geecheeboy wrote:
When I was a teenager I thought he was singing about me and my father.  Now, as a grandfather, older than my own father ever lived to be, it sounds much different. I wish I could talk to the "old man" now.
 

Great sentiment. I hear you all the way.
 alanthecowboy wrote:

WOW!  Hoping I wasn't the only one who thought Cat was ripping off the FLips...

 
Yeah... no, it's the other way around. :(
what a great song!!!  brings back so many good old memories! 
Just magnificent!
"See the World
Find an old fashioned girl . . ."

 dresher_lite wrote:
Wore out the grooves on this album. My first intro to really good music when I was just 11 or 12. His work of music goes beyond Tea for the Tillerman and anyone who listens to his classics knows that he is one for the ages. Just dosn't get old. I remember I had Catch Bull at Four on 8 track!  It looped around and around while I was getting loopy cruising my old delta 88. Ah, the music of my youth.{#Roflol}
 
Lol I was just about to write how I wore a hole in this album when I was a kid...  I never got into much else he did, but who cares - great, great record.


Wore out the grooves on this album. My first intro to really good music when I was just 11 or 12. His work of music goes beyond Tea for the Tillerman and anyone who listens to his classics knows that he is one for the ages. Just dosn't get old. I remember I had Catch Bull at Four on 8 track!  It looped around and around while I was getting loopy cruising my old delta 88. Ah, the music of my youth.{#Roflol}
 ziggytrix wrote:
THE TEST IS OVER - NOW
 
WOW!  Hoping I wasn't the only one who thought Cat was ripping off the FLips...


It is worth recalling here that after the lapse of more than 45 years after the entry of Singer-songwriter Cat Stevens on the music scene, then 18 y old, and despite all the hardships and hiatus that across Stevens life , it remains one of the most listened artists, most wanted,  and most popular of Planet Earth. His charisma, attitude, humility, aesthetic sense, super-magnificent melodies, their lyrics expressing deep feelings,  his unique voice, finds an echo in people. Is a inspiration for new generations of musicians. It's not that there are so many human beings who pass through a lifetime and be worthy to continue to deserve the admiration and support of audiences around the world. Their songs persist.

Notable instruments: Baldwin PianoEpiphone Casino, Epiphone EJ-200, Fender RhodesFender TelecasterGibson Everly Brothers, FlattopGibson ES-335Gibson J-200Hagstrom BJ12Ovation electro-acoustic Guitar.




THE TEST IS OVER - NOW
This song irritates me to no end....
When I was a teenager I thought he was singing about me and my father.  Now, as a grandfather, older than my own father ever lived to be, it sounds much different. I wish I could talk to the "old man" now.
One of my all time favorite songs!
As a retired military member and defender of the faith(s!) - this is a great song!

Beyond that... enjoy your lives people! 

Cat/Yusuf, peaceful travels and thanks for some great music! 
 anotherlistener wrote:

Seriously? I'll address this one item at a time. 

1) Name a single religion that does not rely on obedience to authority?  They all (with a VERY few exceptions) speak of the ultimate authority of a God.

2) Monks renounce worldly possessions, as well as nuns and many priests.  Also, missionaries generally have little by the way of worldly possessions.  Does this mean that they have sunk "into the netherworld of worldly renunciation and religious fervor"?  Many artists were influenced by their religions ideals, and for that they are not known for being a follower of that religion unless they want to be known as such. 

3) Isn't that generally an indication of a good song/artist?  The Beatles had many songs that had a different feel than what was popular at the time.  Were they good in in spite of that?  I always felt that they were great because of that.

It really sounds like you are saying that you like this song in spite of the fact that Cat Stevens became a Muslim.  Am I completely off the mark here?

  

   Addressing: #1  The SOTIL of the Hannu religion do not recognize any absolute authority.  The Grand Imperial Omnipotent Hannu, while being the only recognized deity, is also recognized as being flawed. i.e. Absolute power does NOT equal perfection.   #2  The SOTIL (followers of Hannu) do not renounce worldly possessions but neither do they revel in them.   #3  "Variety is the spice of life."   Diversity in music keeps things interresting.   Just like some musicians or artists burn-out on drugs or the trappings of wealth, it seems like Cat/Yusuf burned out on religion. 
 

 
And I'm sure all 3 followers are better for it..  {#Jump}  Sorry, just a little (very little) religion humor. 

I just find making assumptions based on a person's religion leads to things like profiling, jihad, extermination attempts, and general ignorance.


Seriously? I'll address this one item at a time. 

1) Name a single religion that does not rely on obedience to authority?  They all (with a VERY few exceptions) speak of the ultimate authority of a God.

2) Monks renounce worldly possessions, as well as nuns and many priests.  Also, missionaries generally have little by the way of worldly possessions.  Does this mean that they have sunk "into the netherworld of worldly renunciation and religious fervor"?  Many artists were influenced by their religions ideals, and for that they are not known for being a follower of that religion unless they want to be known as such. 

3) Isn't that generally an indication of a good song/artist?  The Beatles had many songs that had a different feel than what was popular at the time.  Were they good in in spite of that?  I always felt that they were great because of that.

It really sounds like you are saying that you like this song in spite of the fact that Cat Stevens became a Muslim.  Am I completely off the mark here?

  

   Addressing: #1  The SOTIL of the Hannu religion do not recognize any absolute authority.  The Grand Imperial Omnipotent Hannu, while being the only recognized deity, is also recognized as being flawed. i.e. Absolute power does NOT equal perfection.   #2  The SOTIL (followers of Hannu) do not renounce worldly possessions but neither do they revel in them.   #3  "Variety is the spice of life."   Diversity in music keeps things interresting.   Just like some musicians or artists burn-out on drugs or the trappings of wealth, it seems like Cat/Yusuf burned out on religion. 
 

 bam23 wrote:
As this came on, I realized that the fellow once known as Cat always had the quality that seems somehow, in retrospect, compatible with a 1) religious worldview that relies ultimately on obedience to authority. If one were to predict, in 1970, which popular musician would head 2) into the netherworld of worldly renunciation and religious fervor, Cat seems a likely candidate. 3) His music had a distinctly different feel than what was popular at the time. This is a good song, for all that.
 
Seriously? I'll address this one item at a time. 

1) Name a single religion that does not rely on obedience to authority?  They all (with a VERY few exceptions) speak of the ultimate authority of a God.

2) Monks renounce worldly possessions, as well as nuns and many priests.  Also, missionaries generally have little by the way of worldly possessions.  Does this mean that they have sunk "into the netherworld of worldly renunciation and religious fervor"?  Many artists were influenced by their religions ideals, and for that they are not known for being a follower of that religion unless they want to be known as such. 

3) Isn't that generally an indication of a good song/artist?  The Beatles had many songs that had a different feel than what was popular at the time.  Were they good in in spite of that?  I always felt that they were great because of that.

It really sounds like you are saying that you like this song in spite of the fact that Cat Stevens became a Muslim.  Am I completely off the mark here?

One of my favorite albums. Ever.
The favorite of mine from this album. "from the time I could talk I was ordered to listen" always gave me chills as I grew and tried to find my path..
Forgot how good he was till religion messed with his head.
Great song for this season of graduation. Thanks for playing this.
Thanks Bill !
Terrific album...It always brings me back to high school guitar class, and learning basic chords to this one!!

As this came on, I realized that the fellow once known as Cat always had the quality that seems somehow, in retrospect, compatible with a religious worldview that relies ultimately on obedience to authority. If one were to predict, in 1970, which popular musician would head into the netherworld of worldly renunciation and religious fervor, Cat seems a likely candidate. His music had a distinctly different feel than what was popular at the time. This is a good song, for all that.
If I was stuck on a long ride in a space ship and and could only take 10 CD's this would be one.  Brings me back to my lazy ass youth of college...
So happy to hear this one!
 Steve_Snodderly wrote:
Such an amazing album.  We are fortunate.
 
One of my all time favorites also.  
Yusuf was on a TV talk show the other night,looking good and saying good stuff.

Great song.
A beautiful, moving song. Perfect.

I heard the first few notes and my whole day got soooo much better.
Thank God the Bush Administration caught him at the airport. (from Jon Stewart)
Having a son I find this song says things to him that I can't quite put to words. I never ordered him to listen, but he always has, even at 20  :)
From a mom
 
wow, this has really been a day FULL of new uploads!  Thanks Bill!

Such an amazing album.  We are fortunate.

Cat Stevens - "Father And Son" Live on Earth Tour (1976)

A very popular Cat Stevens song, played live on Earth Tour 1976, Father and Son.

"I miss my dad..even the times when we argued. This song helped me deal with his loss. Peace to everyone."

"Why there must be always some persons who can't see the differance between music and politic or religion? Cat Stevens / Yusuf Islam is making music with his soul. He is living the music! Just listen and forget all the other stuff and be happy!! "         Zedisch

 




Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) - "Father & Son" Live (2007)

Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens Sings Father & Son On BBC.

"Damn this people dosent now how to enjoy this peaceful song no matter what The Religion is something personal so stope acting like stupides im a Muslum and i have a lot of friends Christian and Jew and other people that don't belive in but after all we are human we can understand each others so please enjoy the music and if you are going to write something about religion just don't posted and keep it for you'r self . remember Religion it's something private we shell respect people faith."       kurtcobainb