Yusuf / Cat Stevens has released a new music video for “Father and Son” from his upcoming album, Tea for the Tillerman², a reimagination of his classic Tea for the Tillerman. Tea for the Tillerman² celebrates the 50th anniversary of the original album and will release on September 18 via UMe.
“Father and Son” is a fitting song to rework since it was already written from the perspectives of both father and son. Fifty years later, he’s fully experienced both sides and that perspective has a new depth to it. In this new version, he uses his vocals from the song’s debut 1970 performance at the Troubadour for the son’s part and his newly recorded vocals for the father’s.
The lyrics cover a father’s advice to his son, such as “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.”
Like the lead single, “Where Do The Children Play?,” the video was directed by Chris Hopewell in cooperation with Black Dog Films and Jacknife Films and uses stop-motion animation to convey its message. In it, a father tries to connect with his son in a very detailed miniature house. The son slams the door to his room and plays guitar and drums while the father watches television, notices the unfinished chess game and pours himself a drink in his ‘World’s Best Dad’ mug alone downstairs. Eventually the two are able to sit and spend some time together on the stairs.
Hopewell was thrilled to have the opportunity to work on a video for the song, “It’s not often in the world of music videos that you get the chance to work with a truly iconic song not to mention artist. This track is so well known worldwide and means so much to so many people.”
The original track is one of Stevens’ most commercially successful hits, and remains popular to this day. Asides from how the song’s relatable lyrics hold up in their original meaning, Stevens thought people could find a new meaning in it, “‘Father and Son’ feels pretty appropriate for what’s going on right now, if you take the father figure as being the establishment.” He stated in the press release, “However, I don’t think revolutions are that kind to the previous order, its main objective is to turn it around and to get rid of them. Whereas I don’t personally believe in that; I believe in a kind of a change that would not necessarily destroy everything.”
This is the third single from Tea for the Tillerman². The second, “On The Road to Find Out,” came with a music video directed by Kimberly Stuckwisch and Melora Donoghue of Invisible Inc. and portrayed the magical realist tale of a man struggling to drag a bunch of different items through the desert.