after years of loving.. adding page while listening to this.. (as he honors Mohammad):
dreaming about the world as one
social fiction to address ticking time bomb (of inequity) – mohammed
world as one via a nother way
1976 concert – peace train at 1:13
Published on Jun 1, 2016
“While the world faces incomprehensible numbers and statistics created by the refugee crisis the tragedy and story of a single soul gets missed.
It was difficult to stand by just watching this tragedy without trying to do something. I simply decided to help humanize the narrative and lend my voice to the call for keeping hearts and doors open to every refugee, especially youngsters, who have lost what future they might have once hoped for.”
Yusuf Cat Stevens
1 June 2016
HE WAS ALONE (Lyrics)
He was alone,
When he was twelve,
Only his thoughts, which he kept to himself
He didn’t have, a place to play
A friend to call, or a word to say
But he had hope,
That one day he’d fly
Over the rainbow, up through the sky
He was alone,
He didn’t have much
And all that he had, he couldn’t touch
He lay awake,
All night through
This was his world, no one else knew,
Nothing to fear,
Nothing to hide,
Nothing but stars, to care as he cried
But he had hope,
That one day he’d own
A flashing (white) horse, to carry him home
And in his hand he felt a stone,
That’s all he had, and he was alone
But he had wish,
That one day he’d fly
Over the wall, up to the sky
He was just one,
Who never grew old,
On a list of names, upon the road
This video would not have been possible without the support of generous people of Turkey and the incredible team who worked with Yusuf on this video:
Filmed in Istanbul and Konya, Turkey April 2016
Yusuf Islam the Artist also known as Cat Stevens
Yusuf Islam (born Steven Demetre Georgiou, 21 July 1948), commonly known by his former stage name Cat Stevens, is a British singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, humanitarian, and education philanthropist. His 1967 debut album reached the top 10 in the UK, and the album’s title song “Matthew and Son” charted at number 2 on the UK Singles Chart. His albums Tea for the Tillerman (1970) and Teaser and the Firecat (1971) were both certified triple platinum in the US by the RIAA. His musical style consists of folk, pop, rock, and Islamic music.
His 1972 album Catch Bull at Four spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard 200, and fifteen weeks at number one in the Australian ARIA Charts. He earned two ASCAP songwriting awards in 2005 and 2006 for “The First Cut Is the Deepest”, and the song has been a hit for four different artists. His other hit songs include “Father and Son”, “Wild World”, “Peace Train”, “Moonshadow”, and “Morning Has Broken”. In 2007 he received the British Academy’s Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection.
In December 1977, Stevens converted to Islam, and he adopted the name Yusuf Islam the following year. In 1979, he auctioned all his guitars for charity and left his music career to devote himself to educational and philanthropic causes in the Muslim community. He was embroiled in a long-running controversy regarding comments he made in 1989 about the death fatwa on author Salman Rushdie. He has received two honorary doctorates and awards for promoting peace from two organisations founded by Mikhail Gorbachev.
In 2006, he returned to pop music – releasing his first album of new pop songs in 28 years, titled An Other Cup. With that release and subsequent ones, he dropped the surname “Islam” from the album cover art – using the stage name Yusuf as a mononym. In 2009, he released the album Roadsinger, and in 2014, he released the album Tell ‘Em I’m Gone, and began his first US tour since 1978. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. His second North American tour since his resurgence, featuring 12 shows in intimate venues, began on 12 September 2016.
cat becomes yusuf.. 1 hr
2 min – i listen to the wind to the wind of my soul.. where i end up i think only god really knows
4 min – long road he traveled started just after the 2nd world war.. amidst.. london.. born.. steven… learned to serve others by working in restaurant their family ran..
6 min – school run by nuns.. wages of sin.. was awakening of my conscience.. both sides.. warning me of fleshly pleasures and attracting me towards it… no choir boy.. often skipped school.. slipping into movie theatres.. scaling roof tops.. playing pin ball.. on west end.. our playground
7 min – thriving musical theatre scene
8 min – was going to be painter.. then decided.. going to be a singer.. there were the beatles.. opening up new window of opp.. all you needed was a guitar.. dad bought him one.. and he retreated to his room above restaurant..64 – first band
11 min – signed with hurst.. explaining name.. cat.. girl thinks my eyes look like a cat.. i’m going to get rid of it.. hurst says.. no..
13 min – england’s hottest teen sensation
14 min – toured with englebert humperdink (taught me how to drink port and brandy) and jimi hendrix (all the substances) … was a very taxing period on my health.. i lost a bit of my innocence.. but.. i never lost my conscience…i was always protective of my soul.. and i never really sold out to anybody
15 min – 68.. 19 yrs old.. interview.. first hint that he was moving toward something much deeper than the standard pop fare:
16 min – cat: i do try and philosophy a bit in my songs…i’m not very good.. i say nothing of importance really.. but.. it’s all fun.. isn’t it.. interviewer: is that.. i thought you were more serious about it than that.. really… cat: no.. i am.. that’s only a joke..
late 60s.. adding his voice to call for change.. the whole landscape was changing and the youth were making it happen
17 min – march 68 diagnosed with tb – now says in 68 was 21…forced to rest.. he began to contemplate path he was on..’i really didn’t want to leave this world w/o knowing where i was going.. and that’s when i started my search.. looking into self to find that place of peace.. where nobody could bother you .. not even death’
18 min – left alone in his hospital room he could finally follow his heart.. would lead to most introspective songs of a generation..
19 min – now saying in 68 was 19 (again).. close brush with death … but turned out to be a new beginning… tb meant.. i had to have a reflection.. out of lime light into this country hospital.. lying on bed.. thinking about future/life/purpose..
spring 69 – after yr of recovery.. emerged w nearly 50 new songs.. new image/attitude.. a stronger person.. the end for hurst and cat..
20 min – free of boss/past.. free to reinvent .. and hungry to succeed
23 min – to america
24 min – began working on tea for tillerman
25 min – on the road: was a quest for more answer than our generation had been given….. biggest breakthru.. wild world… not easy.. so get ready
26 min – 70 tea for tillerman.. fastest rising star.. but he wasn’t chasing stardom… he was looking for inspiration everywhere.. book store.. found hymn book… morning has broken…
27 min – peace train.. the wind.. moonshadow – optimum anthem…
28 min – 71 release of movie.. harold and maude.. exposed cat to millions in us… used 9 of cats tracks
29 min – pace relentless.. in 18 months.. 3 hit albums… then 72.. had..instant best seller..
30 mi – the more agilation he received the more he withdrew.. like many.. he was seeking answers to his growing sense of spiritual emptiness… he explored… eastern.. paradox.. playing for 40 000 and exploring..
31 min – to jamaica.. album: foreigners… sold well but alienated many crics
74 – break – traveled to ethiopia as goodwill ambassador for unicef.. purpose was to garner publicity for unicef ness.. then.. when back.. recorded.. buddha and the chocolate box… actual on plane.. between material and spiritual
32 min – i’m sure i was difficult to be with.. because i was looking for my identity.. and i was a camileon…. latched on to numerology… 75 album: numbers..
34 min – in ocean.. caught by tide.. fear of death .. promise to god.. i was a lover of life.. and i still hadn’t worked it out.. and i was given a second chance..
35 min – for nearly a yr.. waited for a sign.. came from bro david.. he had gone to jerusalem.. and brought karan back for cat… discovered a faith that was more familiar than foreign..
36 min – the first word i read in the karan was god’s name.. i never knew that muslims believed in god.. then finding all the names of the prophets i’d read in the bible.. spent year privately studying karan
37 min – it was just an awakening.. things i’d been writing about.. come on over now.. find yourself..
38 min – 75 – tour: magic hat – during this profound change.. father and son.. i know .. i have to go away.. unplugged and walked off.. effectively last concert..
39 min – early 77 – travels to jerusalem.. in pursuit of islamic faith.. first time he said.. i’m a muslim..
april 77 released album: is it so.. old songs.. but.. i never wanted to be a star… focus clearly shifting.. 29 yr old..
41 min – story of joseph really opened my heart.. i started to weep.. when i accepted.. natural book from god.. embraces islam.. changes name.. name i’d always loved.. was joseph… so .. to yusuf (arabic pronunciation) islam
42 min – 78 – one last album: back to earth.. an eloquent farwell.. .. was now able to make life my art.. i had been singing about all this.. if you don’t change what’s w/in .. can’t change anything.. so had to start there
43 min – david (bro): he was saying.. i want to get off.. i want to be free
it was obvious i had to change.. center stage.. sex.. drugs.. rocknroll..may 78 – he announces cat stevens era was over…
44 min – away from lime light.. muslim/british community..
45 min – fell in love with religion.. fell along line of arranged marriage.. had two.. mom picked one.. married in 79
46 min – loved children.. asked to play at childrens benefit concert.. he agreed.. thousands came to wimbly nov 79 – final performance of cat stevens.. time to make a change.. gave money away.. quit drinking.. auctioned musical instruments to charity…
48 min – 81 – birth of first child.. returns to writing.. a is for allah a children’s guide to islam.. music only with percussion… into education…
49 min – 83 – starts uk’s first all muslim school… i wasn’t clever.. i wasn’t an academic.. but i knew i had a job to do.. to teach my child.. how to live
50 min – became spokesman for new faith.. a role he’d pay a high price for… media viewed his every move w suspicion… then in feb 1989.. drawn into a controversy which would eclipse a decade of good deeds..
51 min – controversy.. found myself being pushed to front.. as a spokesperson.. pressed to explain the karan’s position on blasphemy… next day.. newspapers say: cat stevens says kill rushdi.. couldn’t set record straight..
53 min – there are no words i can use.. because the meaning’s for you to choose..
shops advice customers to stop buying cat stevens records
54 min – had to go from star to anti star.. i realized.. we can’t just let others talk about what we believe..
95.. releases life of last prophet.. i wanted to be able to tell someone from a western background.. in one hour.. what it’s all about… turning for yusuf.. now realized music still had a purpose.. could educate.. could serve his faith
56 min – so finding he could use music… juxtaposed with ie: early 90s conflict in yugoslavia
it’s unimaginable to see how some humans behave.. with blind prejudice.. mid europe .. end of 20th cent.. another genocide taking place…
57 min – yusuf began a humanitarian project to help the victims of the war… bosnia..
i have no cannons but war
59 min – 97 – steps onto sarajevo stage.. first live performance in 2 decades – 17 yrs
1:02 – crazy travel as humanitarian ambassador and philanthropist
1:03 – runs 4 schools now
1:04 – the answer lies within.. so why not take a look now
1:05 – i think communication is my business now.. and music is one of the forms of it.. it’s an international language.. whatever speaks to people.. whatever people are ready to listen to.. i’ll be there… i hope..
oh yusuf.. a nother way.. wish you could hear me now..
taking care of 7bn.. via 7 bn alive people..
Mountain of Light is a non-profit organisation founded by Yusuf Islam / Cat Stevens in 1994. http://www.mountainoflight.com.. got this from fb page.. but site no longer there..
sept 2017 – return of cat
Being at that concert, hearing those songs again, sung with conviction by that man, was like being allowed to spend a night in one’s childhood home, with everything back the way that it was from some preëxistential, innocent moment—with even one’s family members frozen in time the way that they were decades ago.