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Dolly Parton sings Cat Stevens’ Peace Train
Don’t let the visuals distract you from the music. Close your eyes and listen to her voice.
Tell you a secret: I’m a longtime fan of both Cat Stevens and Dolly Parton. Cat Stevens’ Tea for the Tillerman was one of the first albums I ever purchased way back in the age of vinyl, and I can’t listen to Hard Headed Woman without reliving the pangs of unrequited first love at age 17.
The Greek Cypriot/Swedish Steven Demetre Georgiou known in the Pop Universe as Cat Stevens became Yusuf Islam, gave up music for a long time, and made of lot of his American fans’ heads hurt, no doubt, but recently shortened his name to Yusuf and cut a new album, so I guess he’s been forgiven by less pointy-headed music lovers, sort of, for becoming a Muslim.
To my mind, the content of the songs he recorded in the 1970s prior to his religious conversion reveal a spiritual bent not incompatible with Islam. But what do I know?
Dolly Parton I watched on the Porter Wagner Show back when our family TV was still black and white and had tubes instead of transistors. Her oversize…um…top shelf, her extravagant white-trash-with-flash persona, and her Dollywood industrial entertainment complex all distract from the fact that she can both write and sing better than many more vaunted and hip singer-songwriters. I also owned a copy of Dolly Parton’s album Coat of Many Colors. Way back when.
Now I’ve been crying lately, thinking about the world as it is–Why must we go on hating, why can’t we live in bliss?