Audiogrammes

Radio Liban 96.2FM

Cat teased my childhood fire

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I let my music take me where
My heart wants to go


I went to the Cat Stevens/Yusuf concert last night. It was a trip down memory lane. He played most of the best-known songs except for Sad Lisa and – more importantly for the Lebanese audience who asked for it all night long – My Lady D’Arbanville. He apologised explaining that he was now married and that his wife would kill him. He was actually pretty funny during the whole show but perhaps his british accent didn’t help? He explained that we all needed security and that family was important so he wouldn’t be able to sing it. Now, being the total music nerd that I am, I had already googled all the setlists of all his latest concerts and he doesn’t play that track. Probably because it was one those deep first cuts… Patti D’Arbanville was a model in London and she left for New York in order to join Andy Warhol’s Factory. To him she was dead and he mourned her in this gorgeous song.





My Lady d’Arbanville, why do you sleep so still?
I’ll wake you tomorrow
and you will be my fill, yes, you will be my fill.

My Lady d’Arbanville why does it grieve me so?
But your heart seems so silent.
Why do you breathe so low, why do you breathe so low,

My Lady d’Arbanville, you look so cold tonight.
Your lips feel like winter,
your skin has turned to white, your skin has turned to white.

I loved you my lady, though in your grave you lie,
I’ll always be with you
This rose will never die, this rose will never die.



I had a couple of knee-jerk reactions during the show: his lyrics can be slightly corny and he can be a bit too spiritual and preachy. But I don’t think it’s because of his conversion to Islam. He was always a bit like that, taking the time to think things through every time he fell on hard times. For example – useless trivia number 318 – he wrote most of the songs for his 3 best albums when he was recovering from tuberculosis in 1969. That was the first time Stevens began to question aspects of his life, and spirituality.

So yes, some of the members of the audience might have found him too religious or too focused on the new songs. But I managed to find real emotion during at least 3 moments during the concert.
He started his show alone on stage: The Wind





I listen to the wind
To the wind of my soul
Where I’ll end up well I think,
Only God really knows
I’ve sat upon the setting sun
But never, never never never
I never wanted water once
No, never, never, never

I listen to my words but
They fall far below
I let my music take me where
My heart wants to go
I swam upon the devil’s lake
But never, never never never
I’ll never make the same mistake
No, never, never, never



It seems the organizers were right to strip the show down from 3 hours to 2: Lebanese audiences can’t take more than 2 hours without becoming fidgety. However having checked other setlists I think he managed to squeeze in as many hits as possible (and maybe slightly too many new songs). But I didn’t get as many tracks from the soundtrack to Harold and Maude as I had hoped.
If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out?
On the Road to Find Out?
At least we got a beautiful rendition of Don’t Be Shy





Don’t be shy just let your feelings roll on by
Don’t wear fear or nobody will know you’re there
Just lift your head, and let your feelings out instead
And don’t be shy, just let your feeling roll on by
On by

You know love is better than a song
Love is where all of us belong
So don’t be shy just let your feelings roll on by
Don’t wear fear or nobody will know you’re there
You’re there


Which reminds me of something my father told me at lunch today. Don’t be shy, because he who is shy, does not have children (yelle byestehe ma bi jib wled)—> perfect transition





Well I think it’s fine, building jumbo planes.
Or taking a ride on a cosmic train.
Switch on summer from a slot machine.
Yes, get what you want to if you want, ’cause you can get anything.

I know we’ve come a long way,
We’re changing day to day,
so tell me, where do the children play?

Well you roll on roads over fresh green grass.
For your lorry loads pumping petrol gas.
And you make them long, and you make them tough.
But they just go on and on, and it seems that you can’t get off.

Oh, I know we’ve come a long way,
We’re changing day to day,
so tell me, where do the children play?

Well you’ve cracked the sky, scrapers fill the air.
But will you keep on building higher
’til there’s no more room up there?
Will you make us laugh, will you make us cry?
Will you tell us when to live, will you tell us when to die?

I know we’ve come a long way,
We’re changing day to day,
But tell me, where do the children play?



This song wasn’t on the initial setlist he’d sent for the concert.
But I was so glad he sang it. Weren’t you?

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Written by audiogrammes

February 19, 2012 at 16:25

Posted in Call and response

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