The wonderful genius that is Eamon Hehir wrote song called Cat Stevens Grow a Brain and it’s a song I’ve requested from him on many an oul occasion. I share the belief that Cat is cat but also a blithering idiot. Recently, while happily ensconced in a local hostelry, continuing my attempt to drink Loch Eireann, a fellow customer slid from his stool and ambled over to the jukebox. I’m normally wracked with fear when this happens because invariably the choice is either some pathetic Irish act like The Wolfetones or Bagatelle. This was different. It was annoying but different. The guy selected Cat Stevens. He selected two songs; Father and Son and Moon Shadow.
Why, you may well ask, am I telling you this? Well, as is my way, I began to muse about the abject contradiction that is Cat Stevens. Indulge me a little, if you will.
Cat now prefers to be called Yusuf Islam and, as he supported the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, one can only assume that he is now an Islamic fundamentalist. Given that fact, the two aforementioned songs resonate in a darkly hilarious manner. Father and Son is a poignant retelling of a conversation between a father and a son. The father is imparting his wisdom to his wayward boy. Now, from an Islamic fundamentalist point of view, the father may be advising his son to strap explosives to himself and drive into crowded market. Not so poignant all of a sudden. The humour doesn’t come from that song but from the lighter second song, in which the lyrics say “If I ever lose my legs”, “If I ever lose my hands” and so forth. Maybe it’s just me, but I just found these songs are works of contradiction, given Cat’s chosen beliefs. I am an agnostic and the thought of some cosmic being, sitting on a cloud and making a list of whose naughty and nice, is just as hilarious as the thought that if you purposely blow yourself up in a crowd of innocent people, you will please your God and will be rewarded with big bag of virgins. Amazing, really. I’m not saying that all Muslims are evil. In fact I’ve never subscribed to that belief. Most are honest, hardworking people who have no interest in the extremist wing of their faith. Islamic extremists are evil, plain and simple. Like Catholics, they are terrified of women and of sex, yet they can have an out and out orgy once they die for their perceived cause. Contradictions again.
So, to help Cat - the idiot - out, I have rewritten Father and Son for him by subsituting the son’s bits with verses from Moonshadow.
Father and Son (The Islamic Fundamentalist version).
It’s the time to do your bit,
Just relax, take it easy.
You’re still young, and you can drive,
That is all you have to know.
Here’s some semtex in a shirt,
Just strap it on and go now.
Look at me, I am old, but I’m happy.
I was once like you are now, and I know that it’s not easy,
To be calm when you’ve found something going on.
But take your time, think a lot,
Why, think of everything you’ve got.
For I will still be here tomorrow, but you will not.
and if I ever lose my hands
lose my plough, lose my land
oh, if I ever lose my hands
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 well …
Look, it’s the time to do your bit,
Just sit down, take it slowly.
You’re still young, so you must kill the infidels
There’s not much you have to go through.
Strap on the bomb, close your coat.
if you want you can pray now.
Look at me, I am old, but I’m happy.
(Son– Away Away Away, I know I have to
Make this decision alone - no)
and if I ever lose my legs
I won’t moan and I won’t beg
oh if I ever lose my legs
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
So there you have it, Cat Stevens is a moron.