Up at eight, you can't be late
For Matthew and Son, he won't wait
Watch them run down to platform one
And the eight-thirty train to Matthew and Son

Matthew and Son, the work's never done
There's always something new
The files in your head, you take them to bed
You're never ever through
And they've been working all day, all day, all day

There's a five minute break and that's all you take
For a cup of cold coffee and a piece of cake

Matthew and Son, the work's never done
There's always something new
The files in your head, you take them to bed
You're never ever through
And they've been working all day, all day, all day

He's got people who've been working for fifty years
No one asks for more money 'cause nobody cares
Even though they're pretty low and their rent's in arrears

Matthew and Son, Matthew and Son
Matthew and Son, Matthew and Son
And they've been working all day, all day, all day!

Matthew and Son, Matthew and Son
Matthew and Son, Matthew and Son


Lyrics submitted by Novartza, edited by tjareth

Matthew & Son Lyrics as written by Yusuf Islam

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Matthew And Son song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +1
    Song Meaning

    To my knowledge, the meaning of this song is regarding areas of the industrial revolution, especially in england where you would have a company that owned a coal mine and essentially owned the adjacent town where most of the workers lived. When Cat Stevens sings about "Matthew and Son" I assume he is talking about the stereotype of these companies. I believe this verse sums up the meaning of the song,

    "He's got people who've been working for fifty years No one asks for more money 'cause nobody dares Even though they're pretty low and the rent's in arrears"

    This is where entire families would work for the same company on a minimum wage with the fear of being fired if they were to ask for more. These scenarios were quite common in England in the 19th century. Only when labour governments became prominent did these conditions change

    frankammanition November 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    A shame no one's commented about this one... Apart from the obvious, I have no clue as to what the writer meant.

    Stroaterson March 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation

    I personally always thought this was a song about gangsters (Mafia?) with Matthew and Son being big shots in the gang.

    On the other hand, my Mum thinks Matthew and Son are oddjob men (?).

    Still open to debate, I think!

    ChristoTraceyon September 29, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation

    The way I look at it Cat Stevens wrote this song thinking how lucky he was to be a successful musician and not a faceless employee of a company. It also sounds like it was written in times of a recession, where workers rights are trampled on because if you don't go that extra bit for the boss, you could be the next one made redundant. This is what I think the song means. It sums up a job I had in the late 80's early 90's Australia when we were in a deep recession. I worked for a really bad company and the boss knew there were no jobs out there so he treated everyone like crap. People asked for a raise he would say "leave the company if you don't like it". Constant threats of redundancy made workers do stuff in their own time. Also don't be late to work or from a break otherwise you got a written warning... It's definitely a song about the struggling working class against the bosses...

    ben72on April 27, 2015   Link

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