Track of the Day: 'Father and Son'

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

After a brief hiatus this week, a reader brings us back to our series on parenthood songs (featuring thus far James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, and Paul Simon):

A few years back, I was reveling in my first listen to Yusuf’s Cafe Session, a DVD of one of the first concerts by the former Cat Stevens after he resumed making music. His gentle, soulful songs were as resonant as ever.

But when he was a couple of verses into “Father and Son,” the tears welled up as I realized I was now on the other side of that story, my kids now the 20-somethings forging their own ways, as distinct from my world as it was once from my parents’ path. That tune always had a lot of empathy for both of its voices, which might be the hallmark of a powerful parenting song.