Cat Stevens originally wrote "Father and Son" as part of a proposed musical project starring Nigel Hawthorne, called Revolussia, that was set during the Russian Revolution, and could also have become a film; the song was about a boy who wanted to join the revolution against the wishes of his conservative farmer father. The musical project faded away when Stevens contracted tuberculosis in 1969. He was close to death at the time of his admittance to the King Edward VII Hospital in Midhurst, West Sussex. After a year-long period of convalescence in the hospital and a collapsed lung, the project was shelved, but "Father and Son" remained, now in a broader context that reflected not just the societal conflict of Stevens' time, but also captured the impulses of older and younger generations in general.
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