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"Mother and Child Reunion" is a song written by Paul Simon and is on his eponymous first album. It was released as a single on February 5, 1972, and reached #4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts.

The song was one of the earliest by a white musician to feature prominent elements of reggae. The title of the song has its origin in a chicken-and-egg dish called "Mother and Child Reunion" that Paul Simon saw on a Chinese restaurant's menu. But the song was written for a dog of Simon's that was run over and killed.

The song was recorded in Jamaicamarker 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.


  • Lead Vocal: Paul Simon
  • Drums: Winston Grennan
  • Lead guitar: Huks Brown
  • Organ: Neville Hinds
  • Bass guitar: Jackie Jackson
  • EP: Larry Knechtel
  • Percussion: Denzil Laing
  • Rhythm guitar: Wallace Wilson
  • Backup singers: Cissy Houston, Von Eva Sims, Renelle Stafford, Deirdre Tuck

In media

"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.

The song was also used in the fourth episode of the American version of Life on Mars, as well as the second season episode of The Sopranos, "Do Not Resuscitate".


  1. Lacitis, Erik (October 7, 1986). - Dig It: 254 Nonstop Hits! (This Offer is Not Available in Many Stores). - The Seattle Times.

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