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

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Father, Son song meanings
Add Your Thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +3
    General Comment

    This 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 Comment

    My father died in April. I miss the mean old bastard.

    thecrossboneon November 03, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This 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 Comment

    I 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 Comment

    Will 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 Comment

    this 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 Comment

    I 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 Comment

    My 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 Comment

    Feel my dad is still with me from the other side as I listen to this song. Beautiful PG.

    tsma120on June 06, 2014   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Son Şansın - Şarkı Sözleri
This song seemingly tackles the methods of deception those who manipulate others use to get victims to follow their demands, as well as diverting attention away from important issues. They'll also use it as a means to convince people to hate or kill others by pretending acts of terrorism were committed by the enemy when the acts themselves were done by the masters of control to promote discrimination and hate. It also reinforces the idea that these manipulative forces operate in various locations, infiltrating everyday life without detection, and propagate any and everywhere. In general, it highlights the danger of hidden agendas, manipulation, and distraction, serving as a critique of those who exploit chaos and confusion to control and gain power, depicting a cautionary tale against falling into their traps. It encourages us to question the narratives presented to us and remain vigilant against manipulation in various parts of society.
Album art
Gentle Hour
Yo La Tengo
This song was originally written by a guy called Peter Gutteridge. He was one of the founders of the "Dunedin Sound" a musical scene in the south of New Zealand in the early 80s. From there it was covered by "The Clean" one of the early bands of that scene (he had originally been a member of in it's early days, writing a couple of their best early songs). The Dunedin sound, and the Clean became popular on american college radio in the mid to late 80s. I guess Yo La Tengo heard that version. Great version of a great song,
Album art
Ed Sheeran
How would you describe the feeling of being in love? For Ed Sheeran, the word is “Magical.” in HIS three-minute album opener, he makes an attempt to capture the beauty and delicacy of true love with words. He describes the magic of it all over a bright Pop song produced by Aaron Dessner.
Album art
Ed Sheeran
There aren’t many things that’ll hurt more than giving love a chance against your better judgement only to have your heart crushed yet again. Ed Sheeran tells such a story on “Page.” On this track, he is devastated to have lost his lover and even more saddened by the feeling that he may never move on from this.
Album art
Plastic Bag
Ed Sheeran
“Plastic Bag” is a song about searching for an escape from personal problems and hoping to find it in the lively atmosphere of a Saturday night party. Ed Sheeran tells the story of his friend and the myriad of troubles he is going through. Unable to find any solutions, this friend seeks a last resort in a party and the vanity that comes with it. “I overthink and have trouble sleepin’ / All purpose gone and don’t have a reason / And there’s no doctor to stop this bleedin’ / So I left home and jumped in the deep end,” Ed Sheeran sings in verse one. He continues by adding that this person is feeling the weight of having disappointed his father and doesn’t have any friends to rely on in this difficult moment. In the second verse, Ed sings about the role of grief in his friend’s plight and his dwindling faith in prayer. “Saturday night is givin’ me a reason to rely on the strobe lights / The lifeline of a promise in a shot glass, and I’ll take that / If you’re givin’ out love from a plastic bag,” Ed sings on the chorus, as his friend turns to new vices in hopes of feeling better.