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Father and Son

Cat Stevens

from the album Tea for the Tillerman released in 1970

jump to: lyrics / notes & tabs / chord progressions / song info

Lyrics

Intro

GC/G (x4, with riff)

Verse v1

G D C Am7 Its not time to make a change, just relax and take it easy G Em Am Am7 D You're still young, that's your fault, there's so much you have to know G D C Am7 Find a girl, settle down, if you want to you can marry G Em Am AmAm7D7 Look at me, I am old, but I am happy G Bm7 C Am7 I was once like you are now, and I know that its not easy G Em Am AmAm7D7 To be calm when you've found something going on G Bm7 C Am7 But take your time, think a lot, why, think of everything you've got G Em D GC/G For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not (intro riff) (Bm7) How can I try to explain? When I do he turns away again Its always been the same, same old story From the moment I could take I was ordered to listen Now there's a way, and I know that I have to go away D C GC/G I know I have to go (intro riff)

Solo

(instrumental verse) (D) Its not time to make a change, just sit down and take it slow 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 to you can marry Look at me, I am old, but I am happy (Bm7) All the times that I've cried keeping all the things I knew inside Its hard, but its harder to ignore it If they were right I'd agree, but its them they know not me Now there's a way, and I know I have to go away I know I have to go

Notes & Tabs

How to Play the Chords

I play this song's chord like this:

e-|---3----3----2---0----3----0----2----0----
B-|---0----1----3---1----1----1----3----0----
G-|---0----0----2---2----0----0----2----0----
D-|---0----2----0---2----2----2----4----2----
A-|---2----x--------0----0----3----2----2----
E-|---3----3----------------------------0----
      G   C/G   D   Am  Am7   C   Bm7   Em 

Two Variations of the Verse Chords

Note that there are two versions of the verse used throughout this song. The only difference between them is a D is used as the second chord in v1, while a Bm7 is used as the second chord in v2. An example of each is here:

Verse, part 1 (with D)
e-|---------3-----------------2----------------0---------------3------
B-|---------0-----------------3----------------1---------------1------
G-|---------0-----------------2----------------0---------------0------
D-|---------0-----------------0----------------2---------------2------
A-|---------2----------------------------------3---------------0------
E-|---------3---------------------------------------------------------
            G                 D                C              Am7 
  "It's not time... to make a change... just relax... take it easy..."
Verse, part 2 (with Bm7)
e-|---------3--------------------2------------0----------------------3---
B-|---------0--------------------3------------1----------------------1---
G-|---------0--------------------2------------0----------------------0---
D-|---------0--------------------4------------2----------------------2---
A-|---------2--------------------2------------3----------------------0---
E-|---------3------------------------------------------------------------
            G                    Bm7          C                     Am7 
     "I was once... like you are now... and I know... that it's not easy..."

The song uses a D-style verse the 1st, 4th, and 5th verses (including the solo). A Bm7-style verse is used for the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th verses.

Intro Riff

The intro of this song is a good example of the very common switch between G and C/G . In my experience, the key to doing this easily is using your ring finger to play the bottom-most E string -- and using that same ring ringer to mute the 5th (A) string. With your pinky on the highest E string, your index and middle fingers are free to take their positions in the C/G chord (exactly like they would in a C chord).

e-|---3--------------3-----3---|-------3-----/5---
B-|---0--------------0-----1---|----1-----1-------
G-|---0-----0--0-----0-----0---|------------------
D-|---0-----0--0-----0-----2---|------------------
A-|---x-----x--x-----x-----x---|------------------
E-|---3-----3--3-----3-----3---|------------------
      G                   C/G 

Alternatively, you could play with barred versions of the C and G chord. This might make the riff part easier (and probably closer to how he actually plays it) but is tougher to pull off in general.

e-|---3-----3--3-----3----3----|-------3-----5----
B-|---3-----3--3-----3----5----|------------------
G-|---4-----4--4-----4----5----|----5-----5-------
D-|---5-----5--5-----5----5----|------------------
A-|---5-------------------3----|------------------
E-|---3------------------------|------------------
      G                   C 

Chord Progressions

Intro

GC/G (x4, with riff)

Verse

"It's not time to make a change..."
| G . . . | D  . . . | C  .  .  . | Am7 . . . |
| G . . . | Em . . . | Am . Am7 . | D   . . . |
| G . . . | D  . . . | C  .  .  . | Am7 . . . |
| G . . . | Em . . . | Am . Am7 . | D   . . . |
"I was once like you are now..."
| G . . . | Bm7 . . . | C  .  .  . | Am7 . . . |
| G . . . | Em  . . . | Am . Am7 . | D   . . . |
| G . . . | Bm7 . . . | C  .  .  . | Am7 . . . |
| G . . . | Em  . . . | D  .  G  . | C/G . . . |
                                     (intro chords x3)

Song Info

Song: Father and Son
Artist: Cat Stevens
Album: Tea for the Tillerman
Year: 1970
Label: Island

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About

My name is David Potsiadlo, and I created Songnotes to share my collection of guitar tabs, chords, and lyrics for my favorite songs.

Since I started playing guitar over 10 years ago, I've often been frustrated by the preponderance of mediocre and incomplete song tabs littered across the internet. To combat this, I started keeping my own collection of notes for each song I learn -- always taking the extra time to make sure accuracy and completeness are never compromised. Years later, my collection grew to the point where I knew I had to share it online with fellow aspiring musicians.

In December 2012, I began designing & developing a website that became Songnotes. Here, I share my personal collection of hand-crafted music notation with all those online. I hope you enjoy.

You can also view my personal website or follow me on Twitter / Dribbble / GitHub / LinkedIn.