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blueiiznh's avatar

Can you help me out with some songs or poetry about Father-Son?

Asked by blueiiznh (16598 points ) January 7th, 2013

My Dad passed away last year at this time. I know I have been and will be a bit off because of missing him, especially through the Holidays and leading up to the anniversary of his passing.
I have plenty of songs that remind me of him, but any links to songs or poetry in the Father-Son genre would be appreciated.

Examples:
Andrea Bocelli – Con Te Partiro
Andrea Bocelli / Katherine McPhee – The Prayer
Cat Stevens – Father Son
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here

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15 Answers

muppetish's avatar

First to come to mind was “Persimmons” by Li-Young (which is about so much more than a father and son, but it’s wonderful.) He wrote a few other pieces about his father, too.

Buttonstc's avatar

The one which springs to mind is “If ” by Rudyard Kipling

It bbegins with “If you can keep your head when others around you…”

And ends with “then you are a man, my son”

I have not yet mastered copy/paste on this device yet Sorry but its easy enough to find.

Pachy's avatar

What came immediately to my mind is a song I’ve loved since my own dad died—My Old Man written by the late Steve Goodman and sung by him on the original version, then covered by one of his greatest admirers, John Prine. This link will take you to Goodman singing it on Youtube.

synapse's avatar

“Sweet Child of Mine” by Guns ‘N Roses. This was the music for the mother/son dance at my son’s wedding. The version by Sheryl Crow is very nice, also.

Pachy's avatar

Also, listen to The Living Years by Mike and the Mechanics. Wonderful lyrics. This, and the one I suggested above, are two of my alltime favorite songs and always make me think of my dad.

gailcalled's avatar

This does not speak specifically to the father-son relationship, but I find it a comforting poem when grief wells up.

Dirge without Music

Edna St. Vincent Millay

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—- but the best is lost.

The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

A father sees his son nearing manhood.
What shall he tell that son?
“Life is hard; be steel; be a rock.”
And this might stand him for the storms
and serve him for humdrum monotony
and guide him among sudden betrayals
and tighten him for slack moments.
“Life is a soft loam; be gentle; go easy.”
And this too might serve him.
Brutes have been gentled where lashes failed.
The growth of a frail flower in a path up
has sometimes shattered and split a rock.
A tough will counts. So does desire. 
So does a rich soft wanting.
Without rich wanting nothing arrives. 
Tell him too much money has killed men
and left them dead years before burial:
the quest of lucre beyond a few easy needs
has twisted good enough men
sometimes into dry thwarted worms.
Tell him time as a stuff can be wasted.
Tell him to be a fool every so often
and to have no shame over having been a fool
yet learning something out of every folly
hoping to repeat none of the cheap follies
thus arriving at intimate understanding
of a world numbering many fools.
Tell him to be alone often and get at himself
and above all tell himself no lies about himself
whatever the white lies and protective fronts
he may use against other people.
Tell him solitude is creative if he is strong
and the final decisions are made in silent rooms.
Tell him to be different from other people
if it comes natural and easy being different.
Let him have lazy days seeking his deeper motives.
Let him seek deep for where he is born natural.
Then he may understand Shakespeare
and the Wright brothers, Pasteur, Pavlov,
Michael Faraday and free imaginations
Bringing changes into a world resenting change.
He will be lonely enough
to have time for the work
he knows as his own.

By Carl Sandburg

Bellatrix's avatar

I remember hearing this after my father died and just breaking down and crying. It isn’t about father’s and sons but .. well listen and see what you think.

THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT
“Time”

Time, flowing like a river
Time, beckoning me
Who knows when we shall meet again
If ever
But time
Keeps flowing like a river
To the sea

Goodbye my love, Maybe for forever
Goodbye my love, The tide waits for me
Who knows when we shall meet again
If ever
But time
Keeps flowing like a river (on and on)
To the sea, to the sea

Till it’s gone forever
Gone forever
Gone forevermore

Goodbye my friends, Maybe forever
Goodbye my friends, The stars wait for me
Who knows where we shall meet again
If ever
But time
Keeps flowing like a river (on and on)
To the sea, to the sea

Till it’s gone forever
Gone forever
Gone forevermore

ZEPHYRA's avatar

@gailcalled – amazing!!!! It is really breathtakingly beautiful.

gailcalled's avatar

^^^Millay lived and wrote for many years just down the road. There is now a Millay artists’ colony on the land. It is wonderful to have poets, playwrights, novelists, and musicians collected in one spot nearby.

zensky's avatar

So that’s why you’ve been such an ass lately. But I am sorry for your loss and I can imagine how hard it must be around the holidays.

I immediately thought of Father and Son by Cat Stevens.

Another tear jerker would be Cat’s in the Cradle. I love the original but Ugly Kid Joe did an interesting cover.

Edit: Batman said it first – but try the UKJ version.

How about something completely different? One of the most beloved songs by one of the most popular singers here is called simply Father.
Here it is because most people treat scriptures like software agreements. They don’t read them. They just scroll down to the bottom and click “I agree.”

Sunny2's avatar

FATHER WILLIAM

by: Lewis Carroll (1832–1898)

“YOU are old, Father William,” the young man said,
“And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head—
Do you think, at your age, it is right?”

“In my youth,” Father William replied to his son,
“I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “as I mentioned before,
And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door—
Pray, what is the reason of that?”

“In my youth,” said the sage, as he shook his gray locks,
“I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment—one shilling the box—
Allow me to sell you a couple?”

“You are old,” said the youth, “and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak—
Pray, how did you manage to do it?”

“In my youth,” said his father, “I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw
Has lasted the rest of my life.”

“You are old,” said the youth, “one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose—
What made you so awfully clever?”

“I have answered three questions, and that is enough,”
Said his father; “don’t give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I’ll kick you down-stairs!”

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@blueiiznh I was thinking Cats in the Cradle and The Living Years too, but they were already covered. I lost my father a long time ago at a very young age. Go easy on the first few anniversaries, they’re always tough. Over time the hurt gets a little easier to deal with. It never goes away. And try to keep every memory or picture to remind you of the good times. My mother cleaned house of just about everything involving my father. That makes me sad to this day. I’m sorry for your loss.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

You can go to YouTube and search for “Color Him Father” by The Winstons. It’s a beautiful, moving, yet long-forgotten hit from about 1970.

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