Sunday, January 21, 2007

Maybe the Peace Train is coming

Now I've been happy lately, thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be, something good has begun

Oh I've been smiling lately, dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be, some day it's going to come
Cat Stevens wrote and sang those words many years ago.
Steven Georgiou, born in 1948 to a Greek father and Swedish mother and raised as a Catholic, became the pop singer Cat Stevens in 1966. Unfulfilled by the trappings of stardom, he spent years searching for a spiritual path. He investigated Buddhism, Taoism, and numerology, but nothing felt right until his brother gave him a copy of the Koran. On Dec. 23, 1977, the musician converted to Islam, soon after changed his name to Yusuf Islam, and then -- as far as the general public was concerned -- disappeared. As far as Yusuf is concerned, "I got a life."
And now Yusuf is back. Interesting story. Read more of it here at the Boston Globe article by Joan Anderman.

I grew up loving the song. I have the Tea for the Tillerman LP album still. I am looking forward to figuring out how to transfer/encode the song from the LP to my iPod (yea, I could probably buy it, but that is the easy way).
The lilting folk-pop on "An Other Cup," Yusuf's first collection of mainstream music since 1978, sounds comfortingly close to his early work. His warm voice has hardly aged. Despite a more explicit spiritual bent, the artist's sentiments remain essentially unchanged. And the timing of Yusuf's return to the spotlight, during a period of bitter discord between Islam and the West, is no coincidence. As a high-profile Muslim with a distinguished musical legacy and a global audience, Yusuf has set out not simply to straddle worlds but to build a bridge between them.
A worthy effort! I hope for the peace train to come.

Cause out on the edge of darkness, there rides a peace train
Oh peace train take this country, come take me home again

Now I've been smiling lately, thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be, something good has begun

1 comment:

  1. Oh Steve. Unfortunately we're both dating ourselves BADLY with our declarations of admiration for this song and album.
    But you've got me interested and I'll be checking out Yusuf/Cat's new album