Let’s Take A Moment Day 488

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

Tom Petty music quote

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

A couple of days ago Yusuf/Cat Stevens announced on social media that the soundtrack to “Harold & Maude” is being released today in the UK with a new cover in honor of Record Store Day. He was only in his early 20’s when several of his songs were chosen to carry the dark comedy and it was an overwhelming success.

The music, like the singer, was insightful interesting & reflective. It is one of my favorite movie scores of all time & one of my most beloved movies ever. It is quirky, eccentric, funny warm & heartbreaking. Just like life. And it makes you feel like despite how different & alone you may feel at times, if you keep looking, there is a place where you can finally belong.

And here’s to an early happy birthday wish to Yusuf/Cat Stevens. He was born Steven Georgiou on July 21, 1948 making this year birthday #73. May he celebrate 100 more.

Well if you want to say yes, say, “Yes”
And if you want to say no, say, “No”
‘Cause there’s a million ways to go
You know that there are
“.

Cat

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Yusuf/Cat Stevens: “If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out” (1971, 1984, written by Cat Stevens).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 354

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

March 2021 Blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Many people do not understand my obsession with the film :”Harold & Maude”. They see a movie about two odd souls who enjoy going to random funerals. I see a hilariously quirky yet poignant story. The characters are different, the kind of people who feel as if they are on the outside ;looking in. I completely relate to that.

The film also has a great soundtrack courtesy of one of the 1970’s most cherished and remarkable singer-songwriters. Today’s tune is just one brilliant example featured in the film. He wrote it when he was about 21 and fighting tuberculosis, which he was told was going to end his life. That started a spiritual awakening in him that helped him fight his way back, to health. This song is one of many he wrote during that time. I worship this track-the vocal, the music, the lyrics. I believe it is one of his absolute best.

Trouble
Oh trouble, move away
I have seen your face
And it’s too much for me today”.

Harold and Maude

Cat S

Top: Maude (Ruth Gordon) and Harold (Bud Cort) at one of their daily funerals from the 1971 cult classic film. Bottom: Cat Stevens n/k/a Yusuf circa 1970. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

Cat Stevens (n/k/a) Yusuf: “Trouble” (1970, written by Cat Stevens).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 35

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

music heart

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are in a serious situation, but I need a break from the gloom, doom and bullying by way of hoarding. Music has always been my refuge and watching those beautiful Italians singing to each other from their balconies reaffirmed my belief that music is the answer. So until the old normal returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day.  And if this helps anyone else, even better.

From the time I was a small child I have had nightmares.  Sometimes they were so bad they would wake me up and then I was too scared to go back to sleep.  When I was really young and lived in the city, I would look out the window for a while before I felt comfortable enough to go back to bed.  There were two things I always saw:  one was a building several blocks away that had a flashing red light on the roof.  It became a beacon of safety for me.  As long as the light was blinking I was OK.  The other thing I saw was a giant movie screen at a local drive-in movie theatre.  Sometimes I could even see the images on the screen.  It was like my own private viewing.  Then we moved to the suburbs so when I was a teenager and needed something to soothe me back to sleep, I would turn on the small black & white television I had in my room.  Thus began my great and long standing vice of going to sleep with the TV on that continues to this day, although now it is usually watching Hulu on my laptop, but you get the general idea.

I loved being awake when no one else was.  It was like I had the whole world to myself.  I might have been physically alone while the rest of the house was asleep, but I felt secure in my little world of the TV and me.  It had been my haven since I was young, introducing me first to heroes like Mr. Rogers and the Peanuts, and later on to the soap opera families I came to love.  But when I was growing up there were usually only movies on during the late nights so that is what I watched.  Some of them were good, some of them were bad and a few of them were outstanding.  One of the ones from the latter category was Harold & Maude.  My world took a 180 degree turn the first time I saw that film.  It was an unbelievably great quirky movie.  It also had a soundtrack that was spectacular, and not just because it featured Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto 1.  I first heard that during fifth grade thanks to my teacher, Mr. Larsen.  He played classical music everyday during our history lesson.  I will love him forever for that.  But I digress.

The rest of the soundtrack introduced me to singer/songwriter Cat Stevens (n/k/a Yusuf), who wrote and performed all the other music for the film.  I was blown away by the simple elegance of his storytelling.  Each song was so on point with the scene it was played in.  “If You Want To Sing Out” played while Harold & Maude were frolicking together, while “Trouble” played when Maude was rushed to the hospital.  A few of the songs were borrowed from Stevens 1970 album, “Tea For The Tillerman”, which unbelievably turns 50 this year.

I adore Cat Stevens.  I missed him when he left music and turned his back on that part of his life which meant so much to me and millions of other fans.  But for over a decade now he has started to embrace singing and performing again.  I remember being awake after a nightmare in 2007 and found this beautiful man singing at a Live Earth Day Concert in Hamburg.  We had come full circle.

I discovered he had released an album a year earlier and was slowly reintroducing himself back to audiences.  In 2014, I had the honor of watching his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame where he performed today’s song, “Father & Son” and “Peace Train”.  Later that year, I traveled to Pennsylvania to see him in concert for that year’s release, “Tell ‘Em I’m Gone” featuring the gorgeous “Dying To Live”.  And over the last month he has been posting messages of hope on his Facebook page to help those struggling with the self quarantine and the pandemic.  I know what music was like without this man, and I am incredibly grateful he came back, and for all the great songs he has given us, including today’s, from the Tillerman album.

You know I’ve seen a lot of what the world can do
And it’s breaking my heart in two.”

SONY DSC
Cat Stevens (n/k/a Yusuf ) at the 2014 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony.

Cat 1

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Cat Stevens (n/k/a) Yusuf:  “Wild World” (1970, written by Cat Stevens).

I do not own the rights to anything except the 2014 HOF picture.  Everything else is just me sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.