Ronan Keating - Father And Son (w. Yusuf)

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Music video by Ronan Keating, Yusuf performing Father And Son. 

(C) 2004 Polydor Ltd. (UK)

"Father and Son" is a popular song written and performed by English singer-songwriter Cat Stevens (now known as Yusuf Islam) on his 1970 album Tea for the Tillerman. The song 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.

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 words and sentences such as "No" and "Why must you go and make this decision alone?".

Cat Stevens originally wrote "Father and Son" as part of a proposed musical project starring British actor Nigel Hawthorne, called Revolussia, that was set during the Russian Revolution, and could also have become a film; the song was about a boy who wanted to join the revolution against the wishes of his conservative farmer father. The musical project faded away when Stevens contracted tuberculosis in 1969. He was close to death at the time of his admittance to the King Edward VII Hospital in Midhurst, West Sussex. After a year-long period of convalescence in the hospital and a collapsed lung (which might have been the result of too much fast living after first achieving fame) the project was shelved, 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).

Interviewed soon after the release of "Father and Son", Stevens was asked if the song was autobiographical. Responding to the interviewer from Disc, he said, "I've never really understood my father, but he always let me do whatever I wanted—he let me go. 'Father And Son' is for those people who can't break loose."

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Stevens has said he is aware that "Father And Son" and several other songs mean a great deal to a large number of fans.

"Some people think that I was taking the son's side," its composer explained. "But how could I have sung the father's side if I couldn't have understood it, too? I was listening to that song 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."

By 2007, Stevens (then 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.

"Father and Son" was covered by Boyzone frontman Ronan Keating and released as the second of three singles from his greatest hits compilation album, 10 Years of Hits (2004). The song features guest vocals from Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens). The song peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Keating's eleventh top-ten single. Keating donated the profits from the single to the Band Aid Trust. Incidentally, "Father and Son" was the song that Keating sang when he first auditioned for Boyzone.
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Artist: Ronan Keating
Video title: Father And Son (w. Yusuf)

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Category: Rock & Alternative
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