SLS

Song Lyric Sunday – Boy with a Moon and Star on His Head

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

[Verse 1]
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

[Verse 2]
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.

[Verse 3]
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

[Verse 4]
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

[Verse 5]
And there we laid cool in the shade
Singing songs and making love
With the naked earth beneath us
And the universe above

[Verse 6]
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

[Verse 7]
The wedding took place and people came
From many miles around
There was plenty merriment
Cider and wine abound

[Verse 8]
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

[Bridge]
La la la la la la
La-la-la la la la
La-la-la-la-laa la-laa
La-laa la-laaa

[Verse 9]
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

SLS

Song Lyric Sunday – “If I Laugh”

Jim gives the following guideline:

This week we have the prompt Chat/Laugh/Rant/Scream/Talk and the song that you choose must contain one of these prompt words in either the title or the lyrics.


I joined the Air Force right after I graduated from High School. After Basic Training and Tech School, I was assigned to an Air Force base in Columbus, Ohio. At that time, we had only one female enlisted dorm on the base which as you can imagine made it a popular hang out spot for all the guys.

Our dorm was beside the dorm where all the hospital airmen were housed. We came to know them all well. I made many a grilled cheese sandwich and cheese omelette in an electric skillet in our dayroom – the only place guys were allowed.

I became good friends with a medic named Denny. He had a big crush on me, but he was a bit of a bad boy so I kept him at a friendly distance. He was a frequent visitor in our day room.

This year was was the time Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam) was a rage. I had most of his albums including the album “Teaser and the Firecat” (released October 1971) which contained big hits like “Peace Train”, “Moonshadow”, and “Morning Has Broken”. (The artwork for the album is also by Cat Stevens.) It also included the song “If I Laugh” which I chose today. It is another pure guitar melody with simple lyrics.

While stationed in Ohio, I developed a severe case of gastroenteritis and was hospitalized for three days. My good friend Denny was a medic and worked the night shift at the hospital. Around midnight every night he came to my room, sat by my bed, and played “If I Laugh” for me. This is where I learned about Martin guitars and learned to love this song. Denny loved his Martin guitar above all else. Of course, I lost track of him, but I will always remember when he serenaded me by my hospital bed.

If I Laugh
Lyrics from Genius.com

If I laugh just a little bit
Maybe I can forget the chance
That I didn’t have to know you
And live in peace, in peace

If I laugh just a little bit
Maybe I can forget the plans that
I didn’t use to get you
At home with me alone

If I laugh just a little bit
Maybe I can recall the way
That I used  to be, before you
And sleep at night and dream
If I laugh, baby if I laugh
Just a little bit


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 bloggers.