Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Son & Daughter: Meaning & Thoughts

forum rss feed
Author

MmP user not visiting Queenzone.com
I like HotSpace FunIt &Delilah
MmP
Champion: 85 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 23 Sep 10, 21:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Any clue on the meaning of the lyrics?. Pretty odd lyrics coming from young starter Brian, but it's really deep. The music, the special touch Freddie gives. I think he gave it depth with his voice. Brian singing it would have killed it.

Any thought on this one?


I have a man-crush on Brian's solo on Delilah
rhyeking user not visiting Queenzone.com
rhyeking
Royalty: 1566 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 23 Sep 10, 23:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I always liked this song.

I never gave a lot of thought to the lyrics and any deep meaning. It seems to me to be about expectations and whether we can live up to them, be they the expectations of ourselves or those we feel from other people, and the expectations we have of the world and the people in our lives. We have parents who expect great things from us, friends who expect our support and a world that expects us to contribute. All of those are external, and we buried under all that we have our own goals and desires, and we try to reconcile them all, which isn't easy.

I've heard it said it's a song about teen angst. I'll buy that, as it still relates to my thoughts on the song. Teens feel that pressure more acutely ("be this!" "be that!" "succeed!" "get good grades!" "get a part-time job!").

pittrek user not visiting Queenzone.com
pittrek
Deity: 10070 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 24 Sep 10, 08:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I always thought that Brian's mother wanted a daughter and made him "feel it" when he was young :-)
That would explain lyrics to some of his songs (e.g. Son And Daughter, Night Comes Down, Tie Your Mother Down ...)

tcc user not visiting Queenzone.com

Royalty: 1580 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 24 Sep 10, 09:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

pittrek wrote:

I always thought that Brian's mother wanted a daughter and made him "feel it" when he was young :-)
That would explain lyrics to some of his songs (e.g. Son And Daughter, Night Comes Down, Tie Your Mother Down ...)


Another example is Sail Away Sweet Sister  :-)

rhyeking user not visiting Queenzone.com
rhyeking
Royalty: 1566 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 24 Sep 10, 10:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Outside of the the one lyric (and by default, the title), I don't see any "sister" connection. I think that's stretching it (and assuming a level of autobiography which isn't nessecarily there), but that's just my opinion. Here the lyrics:
***
I want you...

Tried to be a son and daughter rolled into one
You said you'd equal any man for having your fun
Now didn't you feel surprised to find
The cap just didn't fit
(Edit)The world expects a man
To buckle down and to shovel shit
What'll you do for loving
When it's only just begun?
I want you to be a woman

Tried to be a teacher and a fisher of men
An equal people preacher
Will you lead us all the same?
Well I travelled all round the world and found
A brand new word for day
Watching the time mustn't linger behind
Pardon me I have to get away
What'll you think of heaven
If it's back from where you came?
I want you to be a woman
I want you to be a woman yeah

Babe, you know I'm gonna save the world!

I've just begun...
***

tcc user not visiting Queenzone.com

Royalty: 1580 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 24 Sep 10, 19:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

rhyeking wrote:

Outside of the the one lyric (and by default, the title), I don't see any "sister" connection. I think that's stretching it (and assuming a level of autobiography which isn't nessecarily there), but that's just my opinion.


In the lyrics booklet of The Game CD, there is an extension (To The Sister I Never Had) to the song title Sail Away Sweet Sister.  I thought the extension to the song title was in line with the above joke/comment that his mother had wanted a daughter and made him "feel it".

rhyeking user not visiting Queenzone.com
rhyeking
Royalty: 1566 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 24 Sep 10, 20:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Not saying you're wrong, tcc, I'm just saying it seems to me to be a stretch. I'm aware of the dedication on "Sail Away Sweet Sister" and it certainly applies to that song, but I think it does Brian a disservice as a songwriter to guess that some songs are autobiographical when they may simply be Brian writing as a character. Only Brian knows for sure.

But hey, I could be wrong.

tcc user not visiting Queenzone.com

Royalty: 1580 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 24 Sep 10, 21:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I take the comment about his mother wanting a daughter etc to be a joke about Brian and I was just adding to it.

*goodco* user not visiting Queenzone.com

Royalty: 1128 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 24 Sep 10, 21:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I always that it was written to a supervisor at a wastewater treatment plant


"Discretionary posting is the better part of valor." Falstaff
GratefulFan user not visiting Queenzone.com
GratefulFan
Deity: 3776 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 24 Sep 10, 22:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Slight correction to Rhyeking's lyrics: I think it's "the world expects a man to buckle down and shovel shit', not "the woman expects a man..."

I think one take on the song is that it reflects the feminist movement raging at the time and how he perceived it to have propelled women, or perhaps one woman, to places he didn't like or was uncomfortable with.  'Son and Daughter' to me is just 'Man and Woman', and he feels resentment or disquiet or sadness or something surrounding some of the aggressive social changes of the time.  His was the first generation of 20 something men that had to deal directly with a fairly radical and new face of feminism. He wants his woman to be a woman, whatever that meant to him.  Lots of clear and fairly literal references to this possibility I think.   Themes too of cautioning that a woman might feel disillusioned with where she finds herself at the end of it all, - the references to shovelling shit and wondering what she'll think if she finds that she was happier before in the 'what will you think of heaven if it's back from where you came'.

Here's snip from an interview in 1976:

Circus: Are you more influenced by males or females?

Brian: In music, most of them have been males like Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Clapton and the blues people that preceded them.

Circus: There really aren't too many female guitarists.

Brian: I wonder why. Someone's sure going to do something about it soon. In England, if you're going to advertise for a guitarist, you have to take female ones as well. That's because we now have equal rights for women. For once in me life I agree with the Pope. It's all gone too far. But at the same time it's all probably necessary to go too far in order to find the balance. I'd hate men and women to be the same though. That's my idea of a nightmare world. The duality of the male-female is the whole thing. 


In a way the latter part of his last remark is what I was talking about the other day in the personal section about it being a post feminism thing to be able to comfortably appreciate the differences between men and women.  To be equal but not the same.

That full interview is here: http://queen.musichall.cz/en/interviews/brian-may-circus-magazine-76.html

mike hunt user not visiting Queenzone.com

Deity: 2770 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 25 Sep 10, 00:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Decent song, though not the most original Queen song.   The first 7 songs on queen 1 ruled, but towards the end it lost a bit of steam.  Son and daughter, jesus, and SSOR were good but not as awsome as the earlier songs.  What the song was about I have no idea.

rhyeking user not visiting Queenzone.com
rhyeking
Royalty: 1566 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 25 Sep 10, 09:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yes, GF, you're correct.

That's what I get for cutting and pasting off a Lyric website in a hurry at work.

However, Freddie DOES sing "A woman expects a man..." on the BBC version (3rd Session) at the beginning, so that probably what I was thinking of and why I didn't notice.

Here is a question for those who know more about Queen early live career: Was "Son And Daughter" home to the guitar solo in the live set, circa 1972-1973, the same way it was on the BBC Sessions?

I have the Rainbow bootleg (March 31st, 1974) and it also features the solo in S&D, so by then it was sort of part of the song (Freddie also sings "woman" here too, interestingly).

I wonder if they ever considered including the guitar solo in S&D on the debut album or if it didn't live there yet when they were recording the album in 1972. The album version is the only version I have, really, *without* the solo, which i find kind of interesting.

Kamenliter user not visiting Queenzone.com
Kamenliter
Bohemian: 147 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 02 Oct 10, 16:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

There's an old radio interview with Brian (circa 1977 or so) where someone calls in and asks about the meaning of this song. Brian begins to explain it, getting as far as saying something along the lines that he wrote it while he was in school..and then the interviewer cuts him off about something else and they never return to the question. Very frustrating as it seemed Brian was about to tell us the meaning behind the song.

rhyeking user not visiting Queenzone.com
rhyeking
Royalty: 1566 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 03 Oct 10, 15:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

He said he wrote it in school? As in Imperial College? If that's accurate, it's very interesting. "White Queen" he confirmed to have written in IC about a girl he pined for and said that Smile never worked on it. If he wrote S&D around the same time, it's another song Smile has no record of working on it either during that period.

According the Concertography, it was one of Queen's earliest original tracks (as in not having been a pre-Queen song from Smile or Ibex/Wreckage, or a rock and roll cover).

I'd love to hear that interview. When and how artists wrote songs, lyrically anyway, has always fascinated me.

John S Stuart user not visiting Queenzone.com
John S Stuart
Deity: 4178 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 23 Oct 10, 14:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

If I recall correctly - the official explanation claims it's about being an only child, and that all males are female.


"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."
Holly2003 user is on Queenzone.com
Hot Buttered Soul
Holly2003
Deity: 4706 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 23 Oct 10, 15:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

rhyeking wrote: He said he wrote it in school? As in Imperial College? If that's accurate, it's very interesting. "White Queen" he confirmed to have written in IC about a girl he pined for and said that Smile never worked on it. If he wrote S&D around the same time, it's another song Smile has no record of working on it either during that period.

According the Concertography, it was one of Queen's earliest original tracks (as in not having been a pre-Queen song from Smile or Ibex/Wreckage, or a rock and roll cover).

I'd love to hear that interview. When and how artists wrote songs, lyrically anyway, has always fascinated me.

===========================================================

I thought White Queen was about the moon ...


"With a population of 1.75 million, Northern Ireland should really be a footballing minnow. Instead, they could be better described as the piranhas of the international game" (FIFA.com)
rhyeking user not visiting Queenzone.com
rhyeking
Royalty: 1566 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 23 Oct 10, 16:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Re: White Queen

From Brian May.com, via Queen Vault.com:

Brian May: "White Queen - back in time again - I wrote this at College, where I led a relatively sheltered life, even though the University on the whole was a pretty rampant pace! I had been reading "The White Goddess" by Robert Graves, which explored the role of the idealised Virgin/Mother/Queen/ figure in art through history, and the name for our group, decided just around that time, fitted in with this perfectly - which was one of the reasons I was convinced to go with the name. The personal side is bound up with a girl (of course!) whom I saw every day at College, and was to me the ultimate goddess. It's incredible in retrospect, but because I held her in such awe, in three years I never had the courage to speak to tell her, or even speak to her. The song found its way on to tape much later, on our second album"

ukebloke user not visiting Queenzone.com
ukebloke
Be Gentle, I'm a newbie: 1 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 18 Nov 14, 10:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

If he said he wrote it at school he was probably referring to Hampton Grammar School as, unlike in the USA, the word 'school' isn't used to refer to college / university in the UK but secondary or high school.

The guitar solo seems to have its roots in the Smile song 'Blag', if not earlier, evolving as part of the live version of 'Son And Daughter' before finding its eventual home in 'Brighton Rock'.

As for the meaning there seem to be some potential pseudo-religious references in there:
"Tried to be a teacher and a fisher of men"
"What'll you think of heaven if it's back from where you came?"
"...I'm gonna save the world"

Was the teenage Brian May at least in part wrestling with the concept of God, perhaps even the traditional depiction of the deity as male?

Sebastian user not visiting Queenzone.com
Sebastian
Deity: 6326 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 29 Nov 14, 17:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

FAIK, he did talk about that once on the radio. He said that it was about what happened if people treated boys and girls the same. He then briefly explained that a man and a woman are equals, but they're not the same.


John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
The King Of Rhye user not visiting Queenzone.com

Deity: 2259 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 30 Nov 14, 11:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

GratefulFan wrote:


I think one take on the song is that it reflects the feminist movement raging at the time and how he perceived it to have propelled women, or perhaps one woman, to places he didn't like or was uncomfortable with.  'Son and Daughter' to me is just 'Man and Woman', and he feels resentment or disquiet or sadness or something surrounding some of the aggressive social changes of the time.  His was the first generation of 20 something men that had to deal directly with a fairly radical and new face of feminism. He wants his woman to be a woman, whatever that meant to him.  Lots of clear and fairly literal references to this possibility I think.   Themes too of cautioning that a woman might feel disillusioned with where she finds herself at the end of it all, - the references to shovelling shit and wondering what she'll think if she finds that she was happier before in the 'what will you think of heaven if it's back from where you came'.



Well put..........that;s always how I viewed the song.......never seemed autobiographical.............just cus he says 'you' and not 'I' in the song I guess.............




I'll take you to the Seven Seas of Rhye