Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Old Postcard Wednesday--Summer. And a belated birthday tribute to Cat Stevens

When I first saw it, this old postcard reminded me of Cat Stevens' song Boy With A Moon and Star On His Head.  Cat Stevens' (now Yusuf Islam) birthday was last week - July 21, and I read since then that his first grandson was born that day this year! (see note below video)..... which generated in me a deep desire to combine the postcard with celebratory sentiments in honor of one of my favorite artists.

The Boy With a Moon and Star On His Head ~ by Cat Stevens

A gardener's daughter stopped me on my way, on the day I was
to wed.
"It is you who I wish to share my body with", she said.
"We'll find a dry place under the sky with a flower for a bed.
And for my joy, I will give you a boy with a moon and
star on his head."
Her silver hair flowed in the air, laying waves across the sun.
Her hands were like the white sands, and her eyes had
diamonds on.
We left the road and headed up to the top of the
Whisper Wood.
And we walked 'till we came to where the holy magnolia stood.
And there we laid cool in the shade singing songs and
making love...
With the naked earth beneath us and the universe above.
The time was late, my wedding wouldn't wait; I was sad but
I had to go.
So while she was asleep, I kissed her cheek for cheerio.
The wedding took place and people came from many
miles around.
There was plenty merriment, cider and wine did abound.
But out of all that I recall, I remembered the girl I met.
'Cause she had given me something that my heart could not
A year had passed and everything was just as it was a year
As if it were a year before...
Until the gift that someone left, a basket by my door.
And in there lay the fairest little baby crying to be fed;
I got down on my knees and kissed the moon and star on
his head.
As years went by the boy grew high and the village looked
on in awe.
They'd never seen anything like the boy with the moon and
star before.
And people would ride from far and wide just to seek the
word he spread.
I'll tell you everything I've learned, and Love is all...he said.

stephlechat, who created the video and uploaded at youtube wrote:  Put together for Yusuf's 60th birthday on July 21 of 2008, a picture tribute set to Cat Stevens' "The Boy With A Moon & Star On His Head", sung live on the famous "Moon & Star" ABC in Concert from November 9, 1973.

He has such a fascinating bio (click here to read full bio):
Yusuf Islam (born Steven Demetre Georgiou; 21 July 1948 in London, England), commonly known by his former stage name Cat Stevens, is a British musician. He is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, educator, philanthropist, and prominent convert to Islam. . .

Yusuf Islam's first grandson was born on his birthday last Wednesday, July 21, 2010. Read the tender account of the event under the News tab at his official website. While there, note the tab titled Redroom...unique fun for his fans. {There is also a complete listing of all his songs (A-Z); here is the direct link. }




Don't Feed The Pixies said...

I think I'm right is saying that Cat Stephens/yusuf islam now calls himself Yusuf. He did some gigs recently to advertise his musical

The first guitar book i learned from had a copy of "moonshadow" and "morning has broken" in it - and when you look at the songs he wrote it's one of those "I didn't realise he wrote..." moments

and yeah, he had that slightly annoying over-produced 60s sound sometimes, but you can't argue with Father To Son and First Cut Is The Deepest

Great stuff!

izzy said...

He certainly has some good music!
I still enjoy it once in a while.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

He was a good singer. If you don't know it his roots are from Cyprus!!

Hattie said...

He was one of the most important sounds of the sixties. And who could forget the sound track for Harold and Maude?
That postcard is really something. Those were the turn of the century days when women danced about imitating flowers and butterflies.
I'm smiling as I write this.

Lydia said...

Pixies~ Yusuf is his stage/working name but he didn't drop Islam as his last name officially. He said that he kept being quoted with Islam said and he didn't like the way it looked when the press used just his last name. Makes sense to me.
I love the little bit about your first guitar book and some of its contents. :)
Another of his songs that affects me deeply is Oh Very Young.

izzy~ I have a combination of his albums on vinyl and on CD and of course never listen to the vinyl, but play a CD every once in awhile when the mood strikes. :)

Phivos~ I did notice in the Wikipedia bio that I linked it says his father was Greek-Cypriot and his mother Swedish. It makes me wonder about the nuances involved in being called Greek-Cypriot as opposed to Cypriot...

Lydia said...

Hattie~ Yes! The soundtrack to Harold and Maude....what a movie that was/is. Cat Stevens' music defined it like Simon & Garfunkel's defined The Graduate.
I'm smiling too :)

Rhiannon said...

An interesting post Lydia. I recently bought a CD of Cat Stevens (Yusuf) greatest I had two of his vinyl albums but they got lost some where along the way. I have a few favorites of his, but my very favorite is "Father and Son" as way way back when I completely related to it but more like "Mother and Daughter" for sure! That was the song inside of me for years. It got me through a lot in my young adult life. I also love "Where do the children play"? (but have we come a long way not sure about that?) "Peace Train" (we need to start playing that song again along with the 10,000 maniacs version, more now!)...but really "How can I tell you" is such a beautiful song. How wonderful to have a grandson born on your that cool or what?

I also just bought a used cd of "The best of Leonard Cohen"...oh it is just so great listening to it...his songs never grow old...because "Everybody knows"..;o)about that "Famous blue raincoat".

Still hot here the nights are so hard on us here...haven't had a summer like this is a few years. Of course I am on the 3rd floor so I knew it would be hotter for just a wee bit. Autumn will be wonderful up here. I have been watch the full "orange" moon rising and the beautiful storms clouds hide and or make orange sliver slices of the moon making it unbelievably gorgeous..finally facing the moon and Roxy ann mountains is my few and oh the tree blowing in the wind near my bedroom's more quiet up here on "top" and much more is my time to "rise" again to a new occasion in my life..connecting much more with myself again...ah lots of pain in life these days but I am so greatful for what I have.

Stay cool,

Love and Peace and lets stop the wars" its time,


Lydia said...

Rhi~ Your comments were so lovely that they seemed like a perfect post all on their own.
I looooove Leonard Cohen, more each year actually. I like picturing you in your 3rd floor spot of peace listening to your favorite music, anticipating a glorious autumn ahead. :)



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