Oh, Very Young

cat stevensToday is Monday, June 10, 2013.

Cat Stevens is a British singer-songwriter who left his career in music to devote himself to humanitarian work.  His song, “Oh, Very Young” came out in 1974 in the album Buddha and the Chocolate Box.  He is a prominent convert to Islam, having converted in 1977 and changed his name to Yusuf Islam the following year.  In 1979 he sold all his guitars and left his career in music.  Fortunately, he left a legacy of songs with catchy tunes and thought-provoking lyrics.

I was first introduced to Cat Stevens in my senior year of college, when lyrics to some of the songs on his second album, Tea for the Tillerman, were used to teach foreign students English.  “Oh, Very Young” is one of my favorite Cat Stevens songs.  The lyrics seem to be from an older person’s point of view, which is amazing, since Stevens was only 26 when the song came out.  It seems to speak of the disillusionment of youth, when they come to realize that life here in the physical world is finite, and that life is perhaps shorter than they realized.  The song came out just as my generation became adults, and other than a lot of anti-war protests and general unrest on college campuses (not to mention the 1968 Democratic National Convention), we had not really left our mark on the world.  I sometimes wonder what the history books will credit us for, when they take a look backward into history.

Here is a link to the song.

Oh, Very Young (Cat Stevens)

Oh very young What will you leave us this time?
You’re only dancing on this earth for a short while
And though your dreams may toss and turn you now
They will vanish away like your daddy’s best jeans
Denim blue fading up to the sky
And though you want them to last forever
You know they never will
You know they never will
And the patches make the goodbye harder still

Oh very young What will you leave us this time?
There’ll never be a better chance to change your mind
And if you want this world to see a better day
Will you carry the words of love with you?
Will you ride the great white bird into heaven?
And though you want to last forever
You know you never will
You know you never will
And the goodbye makes the journey harder still

Will you carry the words of love with you?
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

Oh very young What will you leave us this time?
You’re only dancing on this earth for a short while
Oh very young What will you leave us this time?

*** *** *** *** ***
I wonder, also what mark our children and our grandchildren will leave on the earth, and on human civilization.  It’s an interesting to think about.  🙂
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