Tuesday, October 29, 2013

On the road to find out - Thanks Cat Stevens

Music was never a large part of my life, just was not a big thing in my home while I was growing up, so I’m learning more about it as I age.  Over the past few years, I have become a huge fan of Yusuf Islam (nee Cat Stevens, nee Steven Demetre Georgiou).  I first saw Yusuf at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on the Washington DC mall in the fall of 2010.  He performed the song Peace Train, at the same time Ozzy Osborne was performing Crazy Train.  Love the song Peace Train and truly with the religion Yusuf is part of would take it to heart.

Since that time, I have posted the link to my Facebook page when it appeared we were going to bomb Syria.  I’ve also played it in my classroom before classes, asking my kids to listen to the lyrics.  The previous days of meanness disappeared... at least for a while.  I still listen to the Peace Train multiple times a week.

While grading some papers, another Cat Stevens song came up on Pandora, “On the road to find out,” I’ve heard it many times, but this time, I listened to the lyrics in earnest, and wow!  So incredible!  It is the story of a man setting out on a journey, not physically, but a journey about life and the purpose of his existence.  I find the last stanza of the song fascinating.

Yes, the answer lies within
So why not take a look now?
Kick out the devil's sin
Pick up, pick up a good book now

This is obviously an allusion to the Bible or the Quran, but listening to the song a few more times today, I see it as picking up a “good book” meaning any book that will improve yourself, that will answer questions.  The good book could be the religious texts, but why not “A Pale Blue Dot” by Carl Sagan, why not “Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain?  Many books have made a great impact on my life, so forever in my mind, that is what I will think of when I hear “On the road to find out”

While I am not a huge fan of religion, I can still appreciate the art and music of the religious.  And Yusuf/Cat/Steven, you are awesome!


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