Some readers may have guessed who this post is about by the title, others may be wondering what the connection is between Apple Cider, Sirens, and Nostradamus.
The words are all parts of song titles from one of my favorite artists from back in the 70s – Al Stewart.
I’ll get right to his music, playing my favorite Al song – Apple Cider Reconstitution:
According to the web site Songfacts, this song is Al’s fantasy about a couple making love on an abandoned railway station from his boyhood. Stewart was born in Glasgow in 1945 but his widowed mother moved to the South West of England when he was young. By 1952 they were living in a bungalow on a hill at Wilmcote in Warwickshire; the local station had been closed down and seemed overgrown and abandoned. He wrote the song some twenty years after leaving.
Here’s a bit of his bio from Wikipedia:
Stewart is a Scottish singer-songwriter and folk-rock musician who rose to prominence as part of the British folk revival in the 1960s and 1970s. He developed a unique style of combining folk-rock songs with delicately woven tales of characters and events from history. Stewart is best known for his 1976 hit single “Year of the Cat”, the title song from the platinum album of the same name. Though Year of the Cat and its 1978 platinum follow-up Time Passages brought Stewart his biggest worldwide commercial successes, earlier albums such as Past, Present and Future from 1973 are often seen as better examples of his intimate brand of historical folk-rock, a style to which he returned in later albums. Stewart is a key figure in British music and he appears throughout the musical folklore of the revivalist era. He played at the first-ever Glastonbury Festival in 1970, knew Yoko Ono before she met John Lennon, shared a London flat with a young Paul Simon, and hosted at the Les Cousins folk club in London in the 1960s.
Apple Cider Reconstitution and The Sirens of Titan both come from the great 1975 album, Modern Times. The Sirens of Titan was inspired by Kurt Vonnegut’s novel of the same name.
One of Stewart’s most unusual song is Nostradamus, in which he sets many of Nostradamus’s prophecies to music. The famous London Fire, Napoleon, Hilter, and the Kennedy’s were all supposedly predicted by Nostradamus. Here is a video with the lyrics. It’s nearly a ten-minute song, with some great guitar parts:
*image from the Hobbledehoy