The prompt from Jim:
This week the theme is Heavenly Bodies, Planets, Moon, Sun, Stars suggested by King Ben’s Grandma.
When I read the prompt for this week, I knew exactly what song I would choose. I was immediately thrust back to 1974 when I listened to Cat Stevens daily. I had every one of his albums and I think it was his music that made me fall in love with the sound of a solitary acoustic guitar.
“Boy with a Moon and Star on His Head” is one of my favorite Cat Stevens songs. I am always all about the story a song tells and this is a perfect example of a great story. But first, a little about the man behind the music.
In London in 1948, Cat Stevens was born Steven Demetre Georgiou to a Greek Father and Swedish mother. He released his debut album in 1967 and recorded music until he converted to Islam in 1977. He changed his name to Yusuf Islam and sold all his guitars for charity, married, and began a family. He returned to secular music when his son Yoriyos handed him a guitar he had been hiding (Yoriyos happens to be a spitting image of a young Cat Stevens) in 2006.
Many of his songs reflected strong uplifting meanings, but not all. Some people love to try to assign a hidden meaning to a song that just wasn’t there. Taken from an Entertainment Weekly interview with Chris Willman, he says it himself:
“He pauses and scratches his salt-and-pepper head. “I’m not saying all my songs are like that. There’s a song called ‘Boy With the Moon & Star on His Head’, about a guy who’s just about to get married, has an affair on the way, and then finds a baby left on his doorstep.” A rueful laugh. “I can’t whitewash them all!”
Of course, after his conversion to Islam, he was embroiled in many controversies related to Salman Rushdie, and also about him being banned from entry in the US. You can find all that information if you want to look for it, but for me, this post is about the music and just the music.
“Boy with a Moon and Star on His Head” appeared on the album “Catch Bull at Four” released in 1972. The album reached #1 in the US and #2 in the UK.
”Boy with a Moon and Star on His Head”
Lyrics from Genius.com
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 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 forget
La la la la la la
La-la-la la la la
A year had passed and everything was just
As it was a year before, as if was a year before
Until the gift that someone left
A basket by my door
Song Lyric Sunday is hosted every Sunday by Jim Adams. If you would like to join in the fun, check out his blog for the rules and to take in all the other music posted by other blogger