Paul Simon – Mother and Child Reunion

One of my favorite Paul Simon songs. The lyrics, melody, and the reggae feel make this song a classic. Paul’s songwriting is world class…the structure to his songs are great as well as is his guitar playing. The song peaked at #4 in the Billboard 100 and #5 in the UK in 1972.

Simon wrote this in response to the Jimmy Cliff song “Vietnam,” where a mother receives a letter about her son’s death on the battlefield. Simon recorded “Mother and Child Reunion” in Jamaica using Cliff’s musicians, hence the very authentic sound. Simon said of the song that it “became the first reggae hit by a non-Jamaican white guy outside Jamaica.”

From Songfacts

Simon came up with the title after seeing a chicken and egg dish called “Mother and Child Reunion” on the menu at 456 Restaurant in Chinatown, New York. 

This was Simon’s first single as a solo artist.

Paul Simon was ahead of the trend when he released this reggae-infused song: Johnny Nash went to #1 US later in 1972 with “I Can See Clearly Now,” and Eric Clapton topped the chart with “I Shot The Sheriff” (a Bob Marley cover) in 1974.

Mother and Child Reunion

No I would not give you false hope
On this strange and mournful day
But the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away, oh, little darling of mine

I can’t for the life of me
Remember a sadder day
I know they say let it be
But it just don’t work out that way
And the course of a lifetime runs
Over and over again

No I would not give you false hope
On this strange and mournful day
But the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away, oh, little darling of mine

I just can’t believe it’s so
Though it seems strange to say
I never been laid so low
In such a mysterious way
And the course of a lifetime runs
Over and over again

But I would not give you false hope
On this strange and mournful day
When the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away

Oh the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away
Oh the mother and child reunion
Is only a moment away

Oh the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away
Oh the mother and child reunion
Is only a moment away

Oh the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away
Oh the mother and child reunion
Is only a moment away

Author: badfinger20

Guitar, Bass, song writer,

10 thoughts on “Paul Simon – Mother and Child Reunion”

  1. Brilliant song. Love it. I am probably in minority opinion but (And I stress I DO like Simon & Garfunkel a lot) I think Simon’s early solo work, say ’72 through ’75 was best stuff he ever did with or without Art G.

    Liked by 2 people

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