Father, son
Locked as one
In this empty room
Spine against spine
Yours against mine
Till the warmth comes through

Remember the breakwaters down by the waves
I first found my courage
Knowing daddy could save
I could hold back the tide
With my dad by my side

Dogs, plows and bows
We move through each pose
Struggling in our separate ways
Mantras and hymns
Unfolding limbs
Looking for release through the pain

And the yogi's eyes are open
Looking up above
He too is dreaming of his daddy's love
With his dad by his side
Got his dad by his side

Can you recall
How you took me to school
We couldn't talk much at all
It's been so many years
And now these tears
Guess I'm still a child

Out on the moors
We take a pause
See how far we have come
You're moving quite slow
How far can we go
Father and son

With my dad by my side
With my dad by my side
Got my dad by my side
With me

Lyrics submitted by Arbiter

Father, Son Lyrics as written by Peter Gabriel

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Father, Son song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentThis is a beautiful song. When I last saw Peter Gabriel in concert (have seen him 3 times now), he talked about this song. He and his father had never been really close. As he grew older, his father developed some sort of painful disability, and one of the best therapies was for Peter and his father to sit back to back, arm linked to arm. They would rock back and forth, helping his father strengthen and keep flexible.

    As he put it, (and I confess I don't remember all of the details), it was one of the most special times in his life, he took off a long period of time just to be with and help his dad, and they grew closer than they ever had been. You could tell from how he spoke, that is was a very personal, emotional and powerful time for both of them.

    Like everything PG does, there is a an amazing depth of emotion carried in very few words.
    stonehenge18on July 30, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General CommentMy father died in April. I miss the mean old bastard.
    thecrossboneon November 03, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is gorgeous... obviously about the relationship between a father and son. Listening to it really makes me think about my relationship with my dad. It brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it.
    nosebleedon May 12, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI was never really close with my father. In some ways, I resent him throughout my childhood but when i listen to this song i cry. Im not sure why maybe because I guess I'm still his child and one day he is going to get older and he's going to die and i'll regret never speaking to him even when he tries to reach out to me. I want my dad by my side.
    Texas93on February 26, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWill Gregory who is Alison Goldfrapp's collaborator,collaborated with Peter on this...great song,my father has been gone for 24 years...
    redshiftdazzleron July 30, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is amazing.

    i know i definitely i wish i could how much he means to me and for this reason this song really gets me. the way that it is describing their developing relationship and how much a father and son learn from eachother is very touching.

    'Out on the moors.
    We take a pause.
    See how far we have come.'
    - shows how the relationship between the father and son matures over time, how it is something that has to be worked at and nurtured. the 'guess i'm still your child' really captures how even though we may grow apart, parents will always be a large part of you and will always be very important.

    brings a tear to my eye!
    eureka!on July 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment*could tell my dad
    eureka!on July 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI was moved to tears the very first time I heard this. I didn't know my birth father very well. He died when I was six, but what I do remember was fond. I had a step-dad by the time I was 8, and I tried to distance myself from him, but I remember calling him Dad immediately. This song made me feel so terrible for how I've treated my stepfather. Because he's been everything a father should be. I love my Dad.
    Cotygeekon August 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy interpretations may be a little different than others, but this is what PGs words mean to me:
    "spine against spine" speaks of the times I disagreed or argued with my dad as if facing opposite directions in our opinions...
    "'til the warmth comes through" meaning the eventual reconciliation as the warmth of love penetrates that ego and emotional stubborness
    "Remember the breakwaters....." the moment I first realized my dependence upon Dad's support...
    "Dogs, plows and bows" reminds me of family times (pet dogs, bows of gifts) working times (plows = labor)
    "Struggling in our seperate ways" as we each grow into our own identity with our own struggles and problems
    "Mantras and hymns" I think of the times my dad would repeat and drive into me core values and life's messages he thought I had to remember, including religious values (hymns)
    "unfolding limbs" I think of the opening arms of his unconditional acceptance and forgiveness
    "release thru the pain" enduring hard times for the sake of the family
    "looking up above...he too is dreaming...his daddys love" speaks to me of the generations passing down the love of fatherhood and also in a way of a God the Father relationship we have
    "So many years, now these tears...still your child" made me feel that no matter how many years I am always connected and that same child who found his courage at the waves...
    "we take a pause...how far we've come...moving quite slow..how far can we go..." is my reflection upon it all and recognizing our mortality and contemplating the love that is shared with my dad

    My father died last week. This song touched me in a profound way. I wrote the lyrics on a picture of my dad surrounded by me, my wife and 4 kids. It was a picture of the last time I saw him. I put it in his coffin so it is with him forever.
    Woodysingon August 02, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFeel my dad is still with me from the other side as I listen to this song. Beautiful PG.
    tsma120on June 06, 2014   Link

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