‘I Know A Lot Of Fancy Dancers . . .’

It’s pretty much an annual event: Somewhere during the first weeks of February, I manage to get a nifty little sinus infection. There will be a couple of days when I feel it coming on, two or three days of clogged-head misery and a couple of days of decreasing discomfort until it finally packs its bags and heads on down the road. We’re in day two of misery today.

So I’m lying low today, puttering with mp3s, catching up on some reading, keeping tissues close at hand and planning at least two naps on the couch with the Seventies Station on the television keeping me company. But I thought I could at least offer a preview of something that will likely show up here soon.

Over the past few weeks, the music of Cat Stevens has popped up in my listening space – on the radio and the RealPlayer here at home, on the car radio, in a waiting room or two and faintly from the ceiling speakers in a couple of stores. And it’s made me wonder what I’ve ever said about the man born Steven Demetre Georgiou who now calls himself Yusuf Islam. And a search tells me that the answer is: Not much at all.

So sometime over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at Cat Stevens here, pondering his music and some covers of his various tunes and touching a little bit on the journey that led him to change his name to Yusuf Islam.

And this morning, as I wondered dimly where to start with Cat Stevens and looked as well for a tune for the day with the word “hard” in it, to represent how my head feels today, well, there was Cat Stevens again, this time with a track from his 1970 album Tea for the Tillerman. That’s an album that holds a sweet place in my life, and we’ll get to that tale eventually. For today, here is “Hard-Headed Woman.”

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2 Responses to “‘I Know A Lot Of Fancy Dancers . . .’”

  1. Dale says:

    Looking forward to this Whiteray. It seems to me that “The Cat” has been showing up more and more as the years have gone by. That is a good thing! Although I enjoy his hit songs, I prefer the lesser but still known other songs….Father and Son, Sitting, (Remember the days)of the old schoolyard

  2. David Lenander says:

    Funny, though, Dale the numbers you remember were all chart hits, “Sitting” was top 20, “Schoolyard” at least top 40. “Father & Son” wasn’t released as a single on its own, but was the flip of one of the big hits, but it had airplay like it was a hit, at least on FM stations. And it was a top 5 hit or something in a rerecording in the UK a few years back, as a duet with some other singer. Not that it matters, I like those songs, too. My favorites though from the lesser played non=singles include “Hummingbird,” “Katmandu,” “Changes IV,” and really most of side 2 of “Mona Bone Jakon,” following the title song. “Time,” “Lilywhite” and so on. Once upon a time I would’ve singled out “First Cut Is the Deepest,” but I’d never heard the British hit by P.P. Arnold, and it’s been a hit several more times since for other singers.

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