Matthew and Son
|"Matthew and Son"|
|Single by Cat Stevens|
|from the album Matthew and Son|
|Released||December 30, 1966|
|Format||45 RPM vinyl single|
|Genre||Folk-rock, baroque pop|
|Cat Stevens singles chronology|
"Matthew and Son" is a single written, composed, and performed by Cat Stevens. It was selected as the title song for his 1967 debut album. Stevens was a newly-signed teenage singer-songwriter, was performing to elaborate arrangements quite different from the skiffle which had, in part, inspired him to begin writing and performing.
The song, according to Stevens, took its name from the tailor, Henry Matthews, who made suits for Stevens, who thought up the story of the worker who is the main character in the song.
Stevens later commented, "I had a girlfriend, and she was working for this big firm, and I didn't like the way that she had to spend so much of her time working. The riff seemed to fit the words, Matthew and Son. There was a bit of social comment there about people being slaves to other people."
The selection itself is about a business called Matthew And Son; workers there, some of whom have fifty years of experience with the business, are wage slaves, and none of them dares ask for raises or promotions to higher-paying work despite a commonality of financial hardship ("He's got people who've been working for fifty years|No-one asks for more money 'cause nobody dares|Even though they're pretty low and the rent's in arrears"). They receive few breaks in their routine, and their food is generally poor ("There's a five minute break|And that's all you take|For a cup of cold coffee and a piece of cake").
|Year||Chart||UK Chart Position|
- Cat Stevens - Guitar, Piano
- Alun Davies: Guitar, backing vocals
- John Paul Jones: bass guitar
- Nicky Hopkins: keyboards
- Arranger: Allen Tew