Friday, August 24, 2007

Three Funky Fridays 2

I stayed up too late last night. It has become usual again. Back before I was removed from our soil I used to stay up too late. Often I would lay on the grass and look up at the clear sky of my childhood and dream of revolution. Of passage. And of peace.

Last night I wanted to remember the taste of those memories. Of revolution. Of passage. And of peace.

I can't get too close. Drawn fingers and closed moments stand in and between. But Yusuf Islam can get me close enough. So on this day of Jumua prayers, I pay tribute to Yusuf Islam, or as many may remember, Cat Stevens.

This man is a comrade in struggle. There are few like him. He has not gone away. And his message stands. My brother in Islam and fellow 'terrorist', sings to memories. Of revolution. Of passage. And of peace.

Yusuf Islam. "Peace Train", Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway, December 11, 2006.

Yusuf Islam. "Father and Son" (song appeared on his album "Tea for the Tillerman", 1970).

The words to this song draw deep. A familiar and often inevitable story of life. The clash of world views and tense story between "Father and Son". These are a few of the main lines to ponder if you will :0)

Father and Son

Father says:

"It's not time to make a change,
Just relax, take it easy.
You're still young, that's your fault,
There's so much you have to know.
Find a girl, settle down,
If you want you can marry.
Look at me, I am old, but I'm happy.

I was once like you are now, and I know that it's not easy,
To be calm when you've found something going on.
But take your time, think a lot,
Why, think of everything you've got.
For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not."

Son replies:

"How can I try to explain, when I do he turns away again.
It's always been the same, same old story.
From the moment I could talk I was ordered to listen.
Now there's a way and I know that I have to go away.
I know I have to go." ...

Yusuf Islam and Peter Gabriel. "It's a Wild World" performed at the 46664 concert in Cape Town, South Africa, 2003.

For some of his new 'stuff' see his MySpace page here, and his band website here. You can also buy his first new album (An Other Cup) in three decades here.



Rhonda said...

Ah, Love of my teenage years, Cat Stevens!

His songs carried such spirituality. "Morning has Broken" is still a favorite of mine and is played frequently in the mornings here.

What a travesty that he was denied entry to U.S. a couple of years ago.

His songs now as Yusuf Islam reflect his spirituality, songs like:

"Afghanistan" excerpt

There’s five million homeless
Over one million dead
How can the world go to sleep
With injustice (??)

All the orphans are crying
It’s loud and it’s clear
For the ones who hearts
For the ones who can hear

Afghanistan (Land of Islam)


"The Little Ones" excerpt - see
youtube video (heart wrenching)

Now they’re burying the little ones
And they’re making their graves deep
So the world may not see
That tonight we may sleep


Ridwan said...

Spiritual he is. Thanks for looking in Rhonda.

I read that Colin Powell tried to cover up for the Bush administration about what happened with his entry to the US.

He also sued, and won an out of court settlement, against to newspapers that said it was a good thing to keep him out of the US.

I remember when the fatwa issue went down. Some disc jockeys in the US put all his records in a pile and drove a vehicle over it.

They were, in typical American rationale, expressing their concerns over Rushdie's freedom of speech, by crushing all of Yusuf Islam's records.

It was good to see you yesterday sista.