Home > 1970s, All - Songs, Tracks & Music, Pop > Al Stewart – The Year of the Cat (1976)

Al Stewart – The Year of the Cat (1976)

Guilty pleasure alert ..!

Always loved this record since I heard it on AM radio in Hong Kong as a 12 year old in 1976.

Sublime piano, fantastic guitars, sax to match. What is not too like?

Chords are C maj 7, D, Em then move into Am7 and D7 every so often!

All was going well until I checked the song on Wikipedia and, suddenly, all has got darker; confusion reigns … Apparently this isn’t a song to celebrate the International “Year of the Cat” in 1976! Instead, and I quote …

Co-written by Peter Wood, “Year of the Cat” is a narrative song written in the second person whose protagonist is a tourist in an exotic market where a mysterious silk-clad woman appears to carry him away for a gauzy romantic adventure. On wakening the next day beside her, the tourist realizes, with equanimity, that his tour bus is gone and he has lost his ticket. He will be staying on for a while.

Can this be true? Mysterious women? Gauzy romantic adventures? Realising with equanimity?!!?! In the second person?!?!

I simply didn’t know the half of it. Boy, was I sheltered.

Jacques Derrida .. where are you now? Save me from these literalists.

The LP version and then live in 1979

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