Father and Son

I was raised with some pretty darn good music. But I’ll just let Alasdair tell you about that:

On the CD player, Bowie sings his dramatic piercing tune, of spiders from mars and Ziggy Stardust. It brings me back to a time when my father first made the introduction. We were driving actually. Listen to the words he had said. And I did. I was eight, sifting through Bowie’s mythical, magical, ethereal words, with my father driving the car to someplace I can’t remember.

And later:

With Bowie off settled into his Case Logic abode, The Moody Blues (my mother’s favorite, among others, including Crosby, Stills & Nash, Joni Mitchell and Baez- all of which I was regularly forced to listen to, jumbling around in our massive maroon Econoline van, the one with the beep beep beep when it reversed, like a semi-truck or something. I listened to the lovely, earthy twang, and found that I adored it; and so I had this wonderful balance between the softer folksy rock of my mother and the darker, edgier rock of my father) sing poetically and philosophically about a Question of Balance. Idealistic and passionate, they tell a story of sadness in an otherwise complacent world. In hopeful admission, they search for someone to change their lives. But I exit and pull into the parking lot at Paul’s before I could hear the answer, the solution, the Balance. And before I enter, pop another Lexapro tablet.

It’s true. I had the pleasure of listening to some pretty great music as a lad. As Alasdair pointed to, there a variety. The Doors, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and Led Zeppelin on my father’s side. The Moody Blues, and all of the lovely, folksy melodies of the aforementioned singer songwriters on my mother’s side. I certainly think my mother enjoyed some of the rock tunes, and vice versa.

There were also some tunes I think they shared a more equal level of interest. One particular artist would have to be Cat Stevens.

I love Cat Stevens. Or, as he’s called today, Yusuf.

I’ve been listening to Tea For The Tillerman for the past few days. If I were to make a Top Twenty Albums list, it would certainly make the cut.

I’m especially drawn to the penultimate song, “Father and Son.”

Lyrically, it’s fairly simple. But in terms of its emotive encapsulation and impact, it’s quite profound. The song is basically an exchange between a father and a son: a son compelled to break away from his father’s parental hold and a father who is both confused and saddened by it. But it needs to happen. The son needs to get out on his own, to break away, to find his own path.

I think of this song and it takes me to a place, a memory of my father singing it. I always wondered, was he singing it to me, for me? There were times I suspect he was. I also suspect that’s a good thing. He had, in faint beats, moments of genuine emotion and feeling. In these moments, while my father voiced those sing-song tunes, perhaps that was his expression of love.

And I suppose I’m grateful thankful for that.

a young Cat

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