Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Year of the Cat by Al Stewart

One of the most beautiful songs ever. Seriously, I would be thrilled to pieces if I could play this piece on the piano. I love the imagery, the music....the way this song takes me back to being a child in the 70's (yes I am old). There is something so wonderful about a song that actually spins out a story to you, rather than the bubblegum catchy hooks but empty phrases of so much of today's music. Stewart had several other hits including "Song on the Radio" and "Time Passages".

On a morning from a Bogart movie
In a country where they turn back time
You go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre
Contemplating a crime

She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running
Like a watercolor in the rain
Don't bother asking for explanations
She'll just tell you that she came

In the year of the cat

She doesn't give you time for questions
As she locks up your arm in hers
And you follow till your sense of which direction
Completely disappears

By the blue tiled walls near the market stalls
There's a hidden door she leads you to
These days, she says, "I feel my life
Just like a river running through"

The year of the cat

Why she looks at you so coolly?
And her eyes shine like the moon in the sea
She comes in incense and patchouli
So you take her, to find what's waiting inside

The year of the cat

Well morning comes and you're still with her
And the bus and the tourists are gone
And you've thrown away your choice and lost your ticket
So you have to stay on

But the drumbeat strains of the night remain
In the rhythm of the new-born day
You know sometime you're bound to leave her
But for now you're going to stay

In the year of the cat
Year of the cat

This isn't the same as the Death Cab song I shared earlier (which not only told a story, but felt like poetry), however, it does kick my imagination into high gear. Bonus points if you recognized that this song was inspired by the movie "Casablanca".

"Play it again, Sam".

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