Song of the Day #1,410: ‘Moonshadow’ – Cat Stevens

Best Albums of the 70s – #19
Teaser and the Firecat – Cat Stevens (1971)

Most of the artists on this 70s list have successfully released music in the decades since. Cat Stevens is an exception. Nine of the 11 albums he released under this name (setting aside his work as Yusuf in the 90s and 00s) came out in the 70s. He couldn’t really belong to any other decade.

Of course it wasn’t a decrease in popularity that took him out of the studio but a religious conversion. Stevens converted to Islam and changed his name to Yusuf Islam in 1978. He didn’t record another studio album for 18 years.

The two Cat Stevens albums I own are 1970′s Tea For the Tillerman and today’s featured record, Teaser and the Firecat. This one in particular made a huge impression on me. It features ten simple songs, each more lovely than the last. Beauties like ‘The Wind,’ ‘If I Laugh,’ ‘How Can I Tell You’ and ‘Morning Has Broken’ — such delicate and heartfelt songs.

As with so many of the songs I feature on the blog, hearing today’s SOTD reminds me that I should listen to this album more often. So much music, so little time.

Oh, I’m bein’ followed by a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow
Leapin and hoppin’ on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow

And if I ever lose my hands, lose my plough, lose my land,
Oh if I ever lose my hands, Oh if…. I won’t have to work no more.
And if I ever lose my eyes, if my colours all run dry,
Yes if I ever lose my eyes, Oh if…. I won’t have to cry no more.

Oh I’m bein’ followed by a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow
Leapin’ and hoppin’ on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow

And if I ever lose my legs, I won’t moan, and I won’t beg,
Yes if I ever lose my legs, Oh if…. I won’t have to walk no more.
And if I ever lose my mouth, all my teeth, north and south,
Yes if I ever lose my mouth, Oh if…. I won’t have to talk…

Oh I’m bein’ followed by a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow
Leapin’ and hoppin’ on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow

Did it take long to find me? I asked the faithful light.
Did it take long to find me? And are you gonna stay the night?

Oh I’m bein’ followed by a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow
Leapin’ and hoppin’ on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow

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5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,410: ‘Moonshadow’ – Cat Stevens

  1. Dana says:

    I must admit that I am more familiar with Stevens through his hits and greatest hits compilation, but it sounds as though many of the songs I know are on this album and Tillerman. I’ve always enjoyed his sound. Good pick for your top 20.

  2. andrea katz says:

    Such a strange history. I LOVED Cat Stevens. I think his songs were featured in Harold and Maude, another favorite. I winder why the religious conversion stopped that fantastic creative fountain? Any ideas?

  3. pegclifton says:

    Probably because he became too obsessed with his religion to think about his music?? That’s rather simplistic, but when you think of all that happens in the name of “religion”, it does make one wonder.

  4. Dana says:

    While I haven’t followed Stevens since he changed his name–why are we assuming the music he made once he started recording again isn’t good? Maybe it is.

  5. Amy says:

    Love this song, and I love his sound. Often when a person makes a serious change in his life, that change dictates many other changes as well. My guess is that the newly inspired Yusuf didn’t want to hang out with music industry types, much like a newly sober person doesn’t want to frequent the old haunts of his former self. That’s my theory anyway. Regardless, this is quintessential 70′s music – great pick!

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