It’s not time to make a change,
Just relax, take it easy.
You’re still young, that’s your fault,
There’s so much you have to know.
Find a girl, settle down,
If you want, you can marry.
Look at me, I am old, but I’m happy.
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.
How can I try to explain, when I do he turns away again.
It’s always been the same, same old story.
From the moment I could talk, I was ordered to listen.
Now there’s a way, and I know that I have to go away.
All the the times that I cried, keeping all the things I knew inside,
It’s hard, but it’s harder to ignore it.
If they were right, I’d agree, but it’s them they know not me.
Now there’s a way, and I know, that I have to go away.
I know, I have to go.
In the last stanza where the son is speaking, I found two different versions of one of my favorite lines. One is the way it’s written above: “If they were right, I’d agree, but it’s them you know not me.” Meaning, of course, that, from the son’s point of view, the parents are clearly wrong. It’s not me that has the problem, it’s my parents, and they just don’t see it.
The second version is a bit more nuanced and is I think the way it’s sung in the original. The line goes like this, “If they were right, I’d agree, but it’s them they know not me.”
What an interesting way of putting it! This time around, the son is saying, “Well, allright, they could very well be right, but they’re right in dealing with themselves in this manner. So, yes, maybe taking it easy, slowing things down, thinking through things a little bit more is the way to go, but that’s the way to go for them. I’m a completely different person and they’ve never really gotten that about me.”
All in all a truly beautiful song. There’s truth in both sides, but this truth somehow doesn’t carry across to the other person to where they both feel as if their way, and only their way, is the correct way. I find it very interesting that the video for the song shows a little girl with her grandfather when the song is called “Father and Son,” but I think that that again carries across to the universality of the song. It’s about a father and son, sure, but the ideas and emotions also extend to many, many different types of relationships.