|The Very Best of Cat Stevens (Wikipedia)|
One of the biggest hits on the charts back in the day of its release was Cat Stevens Moonshadow. I loved the song as I did all of Cat Stevens' songs.
Yet, I remember thinking even back then in my high school days that this particular lyric was a bit odd; I would say even hauntingly weird.
First of all, what the heck is a "moonshadow"? Well, I think I got that. That's the shadow cast from oneself at night if the moon is shining bright. O.K. That was easy!
But then he goes on about losing his hands, his legs, his eyes, his mouth and everybody I knew could sing this lyric of dismemberment like they were singing "Happy Birthday."
It was a lyric slightly reminiscent of "Three Blind Mice." You remember that one! "She cut off their tails with a carving knife"? No Problem. A woman is mutilating handicapped mice and we teach children to sing about it.
But Cat Stevens is a poet and one must always listen intently to the words of a great poet for the deeper meaning. There is a philosophical and theological message embedded in these mystical lyrics.
"And if I ever lose my hands ... I won't have to work ... if I ever lose my eyes ... I won't have to cry ... if I ever lose my legs ... I won't have to walk ... if I ever lose my mouth ... I won't have to talk." O.K. Still weird, but is this poet speaking about life on a deeper level?
I hear a vague connection to the words in The Bible that life is more than raiment and more than riches and the true worth of a man is not something physically perceived. We are who we are from within. No one can take away the true worth of a man. The unexplainable essence is spiritual, not physical.
Perhaps Cat Stevens Moonshadow is a reference to his true self. Like an alter ego that is always there even through the darkness of night. The shadow of a man is like his soul. The real you is intangible, like a moonshadow. The physicality of man exists in a three dimensional world, but the shadow of a man is in a sense outside of those dimensions.
I might be way off base here. This is only my personal attempt to understanding one of the oddest lyrics of any song that Cat Stevens has ever written.
If you like Cat Stevens, then you might also check out Ian Kalev Michaels. His music reminds me of that same dynamic style we hear from the earlier albums by Cat Stevens. Just go to http://www.iankmichaels.com where he is offering a free download of some of his music. Kevin O'Connell.
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