"Mother and Child Reunion" is a song by Paul Simon on his album, Paul Simon (1972), his first solo album after Bridge Over Troubled Water. It was released as a single on February 5, 1972, reaching #1 in South Africa and #4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts. Billboard ranked it as the No. 57 song for 1972. It was one of the earliest songs by a white musician to feature prominent elements of reggae.
The song was inspired by Simon's grief over the death of his family's dog, while he has said that the title has its origin in a chicken-and-egg dish called "Mother and Child Reunion" that Simon saw on a Chinese restaurant's menu. James Benninghof writes that Simon predicts the title event, the "mother and child reunion," while the second verse describes the effect of what happened on "the strange and mournful day," but without making clear what it was.
The song was recorded at Dynamic Sounds Studios at Torrington Bridge in Kingston, Jamaica with singer Jimmy Cliff's backing group. Guitarist Huks ("Hux") Brown and bass guitarist Jackie Jackson were also long-time members of reggae legends Toots & the Maytals. Cissy Houston, mother of singer Whitney Houston, sang background vocals on this song.
"Mother and Child Reunion" was featured on The Simpsons 19th season episode "Mona Leaves-a" in which Homer's mother, Mona Simpson, dies, and also on the episode "My Mother the Carjacker" from season 15, during a montage of Mona catching up on Homer's missed childhood.