Father to Son

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Father to Son is a progressive rock power ballad by Queen, released on the album Queen II on 1974-03-08; it was composed by Brian May and sung by Freddie Mercury.

The way I understand the song, it describes a king going to battle to fight for his kingdom and make a better life for his son. Fearing he will die, the king writes his son a letter to pass on his wisdom, but his son is too young to understand, or ignores it and winds up making all the same mistakes as his slain father. When the son becomes older and has a son of his own and writes him a letter, but just like the young man, his son doesn't listen either, and the pattern continues forever. However, despite the reoccurring failures and timeless rebellion, minute progress is made and the world continues to turn.

The album Queen II is engineered so that Procession merges seamlessly into Father to Son, which in turn merges seamlessly into White Queen (As It Began). Each of the three songs are composed by Brian May, so I presume they're related in some way and meant to be listened to in a single sitting.

I'm particularly fond of this song, not just because I admire the fantastic music and profound lyrics, but there is also a little bit of envy because I never had a decent relationship with my father, certainly not one where he tried to impart his wisdom onto me. Instead, what I learned from him took the form of a cautionary tale.

Lyrics

A word in your ear
From father to son
Hear the word that I say
I fought with you
Fought on your side
Long before you were born

Joyful the sound
The word goes around
From father to son to son

And the voice is so clear
Time after time it keeps
Calling you calling you on
Don't destroy what you see
Your country to be
Just keep building on the ground
That's been won

Kings will be crowned
The word goes around
From father to son to son

Won't you hear us sing
Di di di di di di di di di
Our family song?
Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba
Now we hand it on

But I've heard it all before
Take this letter that I give you
Take it sonny hold it high
You won't understand a word that's in it
But you'll write it all again before you die

A word in your ear
From father to son
Funny you don't hear
A single word that I say
But my letter to you
Will stay by your side
Through the years
Till the loneliness is gone

Sing if you will
But the air you breathe
I live to give you
Father to son
Father to father to father to son

Joyful the sound
Word goes around
Father to son to son
Kings will be crowned
Earth goes around
Father to son to son

Joyful the sound
Word goes around
Father to son to son
Kings will be crowned
Earth goes around
Father to son to son

Joyful the sound
Word goes around
Father to son to son
Kings will be crowned
Earth goes around
Father to son to son

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