I’ve been a fan of Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam’s for over 40 years. I admired him as much for his music as for his commitment to peace and other social causes. (He also had some of the best album covers.)
As we enter another graduation season, fond memories of singing “On the Road to Find Out” at my high school graduation (40 yeas ago!) come back to me. The sound of 250 young men’s voices singing a song that perfectly matched that time in our lives will be etched in my memory forever. To me,it is the perfect graduation song.
All I can say is that the song, and Cat Stevens, have aged well. In both versions, his passion and love for what he does comes through loud and clear.
But if I had to pick which version I liked better, I’d have to go with his most recent one.
The fact that he is over 30 years older seems to lend some additional authority to his words. He also appears to be singing in a less hurried manner, exuding a sense of inner calm.
There are some weeks where I will play his 2010 version several times during the week, since it seems to bring me a sense of peace as well.
So thank you Cat Stevens for sharing your heart, and your art, with the world.
And thank you Google for YouTube; for every silly cat video that’s out there, it’s nice to know that there are gems like this.
And speaking of a sense of peace, here’s a great version of Peace Train from Cat’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.