Tuesdays Tunes: “Oh Very Young” by Cat Stevens (1974)

Cat Stevens da una nueva visión a su histórico Tea For The ...
(Yusuf Islam)

“And goodbye makes the journey harder still…”

So, let us not say goodbye and start the journey asking “Oh very young what will you leave us this time…”

Oh Very Young - Cat Stevens.jpg

Cat Stevens composed “Oh Very Young” and released it in 1974 in his album Buddha and the Chocolate Box. I was a High School student, in a Jesuit school very much interested in music, being amazed constantly because during those years music was everywhere and new groups, new singer-songwriters and everything was new, different, revolutionary and exciting and then I heard this song and stopped. The world stopped spinning momentarily for two minutes and thirty nine seconds…

Anexo:Discografía de Cat Stevens - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre

I had been a Cat Stevens fan since I first heard Tea for the Tillerman (released in 1970) the year before and Teaser and the Firecat (the original I still have which I bought in Miami, Florida, USA in 1973). I knew that whatever he came out with had to be not good, but transcendental, spiritual, everlasting. And it is, well, in my opinion, as I think that all his songs are as fresh and new today as they were when they were originally released. Furthermore, I think many of them speak to today’s generation, especially tunes like “Oh Very Young” and “Father and Son” and well, so many others, like “Moon Shadow”, “Peace Train” and “Wild World”.

Yusuf Islam was born Steven Demetre Georgiou on July 21, 1948 in London. He converted to Islam in December of 1977. In 1978 he took the name Yusuf Islam. In 1979 he auctioned all his guitars and donated the proceeds to charity, left behind his musical career and dedicated himself to the study of Islam.

(Cat Stevens in 1966: De Photographer A. Vente – FTA001007985 001 con.png Beeld en Geluid Wiki (Fanclub), CC BY-SA 3.0 nl, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57880652)

I have discovered that some think the song refers to the death of Buddy Holly, it could well be, but I think the song goes much further than that and addresses some things that many others…including myself…can relate to. I interpret “Oh Very Young” as a song that deals with growing up, with dealing with your parents, with doing something with your life, with finding your way, your reason for living, your philosophy in life and your destiny. And especially with leaving something behind, with the thought of continuation even though you may still love what is happening in the present…

I also see it as an anthem for unity and peace, considering the times in which it was written.

All in all I find it a lovey song by a very deep and spiritual songwriter, performer and religious man. Cat Stevens returned in 2006 to popular music with the album An Other Cup, released in the UK on the 13th of November with his new stage name Yusuf (dropping the Islam). In 2017 he released his latest album The Laughing Apple, his fourth since his return to pop music.

Here are the words to this enigmatic song. I think you can find as many meanings as I have. I also think that if you let it, music and words, fill you, you will find meanings that you cannot even put into words…

Oh very young, what will you leave us this time
You’re only dancin’ on this earth for a short while
And though your dreams may toss and turn you now
They will vanish away like your dads best jeans
Denim blue, faded up to the sky
And though you want them to last forever
You know they never will
You know they never will
And the patches make the goodbye harder still
Oh very young what will you leave us this time
There’ll never be a better chance to change your mind
And if you want this world to see a better day
Will you carry the words of love with you
Will you, will you ride the great white bird into heaven
And though you want to last forever

You know you never will
You know you never will
And the goodbye makes the journey harder still
Will you carry the words of love with you
Will you ride, oh, ooh
Oh very young, what will you leave us this time
You’re only dancin’ on this earth for a short while
Oh very young, what will you leave us this time

Here is the video of Yusuf performing “Oh Very Young”

In thinking about all the problems and difficulties the world is going through since the beginning of 2020, especially with the COVID 19 pandemic and the protests going on…mainly…in the United States, I would like to leave you with a quote from Yusuf Islam:

All things can be forgiven if we can progress.

I truly hope that all those who are now defacing and toppling statutes, destroying and hating will see things in that same manner, that ALL LIFE MATTERS and that if we can progress, we can forgive the sins of the past.


Limited series Great Humans of History Part 3: “Mustafa Kemal Atatürk”

Mustafá Kemal Atatürk, el masón musulmán que cambio Turquía ...

I cannot say enough about this great man. I thought he would certainly have been given the honour of Man of the Century (XXth C.) for his great contributions to peace and for constructing a new and prospering country from the ruins of a defeated empire…

On the 29th of October 1923, the Republic of Turkey was born. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk made sure it was a secular country, ruled by a constitution and free from the prior restraints of a Muslim Caliphate which had imposed upon men the fez and upon women the veil. Ataturk outlawed such items of clothing.

His vision was to the West, and his hope was to create a country that would be comparable in every way to Europe. Albeit the population is almost 99% Muslim, the government and the state is 100% secular.

Atatürk, el rostro omnipresente de Turquía – Planeta Maravilloso

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was born ali Riza Oğlu Mustafa (Mustafa son of Ali Rıza) in salonica Vilayet, Ottoman Empire, in 1881. Now it is the city of Thessaloniki, Greece. He died on the 10th of November 1938, in Istanbul, Turkey. He was fifty seven years old. His resting place was the Ethnography Museum in Ankara until 1953 and in his mausoleum, the Anitkabir, in Ankara since the 10th of November of 1953.

(William Neuheisel from DC, US – Ataturk’s Mausoleum, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40531096)

Atatürk wanted nothing other than complete independence of his country. This is what he said in reference:
“…by complete independence, we mean of course complete economic, financial, juridical, military, cultural independence and freedom in all matters. Being deprived of independence in any of these is equivalent to the nation and country being deprived of all its independence.

He created a banner for his political party the Turkish Republican People’s Party (CHP). The design of the arrows is symbolic of the fundamental ideas of Kemalism, which was the founding ideology of the Turkish Republic. They are Republicanism, Populism, Nationalism, Laicism, Statism, and Reformism.

(Banner of the CHP)

Atatürk and the Turkish revolutionaries wanted to be as far away as possible from the supposed corruption associated with Constantinople (Istanbul). They decided to make Ankara Turkey’s new capital. In Ankara (Also Angora), Atatürk realised he could create his republic with representative democracy, parliamentary sovereignty, and most importantly, where the National Parliament would be the ultimate source of power.

(Kemal Atatürk)

He abolished the Caliphate in 1924 and before that, in 1922, he had abolished the Sultanate. He abolished as well, in 1924 the sharia courts. Atatürk knew the key to the future was education. He completely reformed the educational system in Turkey. He taught the people the Latin alphabet and changed written Turkish into Latin letters instead of the old Arabic script the Ottomans used. To be an effective educator he invited John Dewey to advise him on how to carry out successful educational reforms.

(Teaching the people the new Turkish alphabet)

He declared the following, (something I wish that many world leaders would support and truly follow):

Today, our most important and most productive task is the national education [unification and modernisation] affairs. We have to be successful in national education affairs and we shall be. The liberation of a nation is only achieved through this way.

Something else, very important, and needed in the world today, was what he said reference religion and religious symbols:

In the face of knowledge, science, and of the whole extent of radiant civilization, I cannot accept the presence in Turkey’s civilized community of people primitive enough to seek material and spiritual benefits in the guidance of sheiks. The Turkish republic cannot be a country of sheiks, dervishes, and disciples. The best, the truest order is the order of civilization. To be a man it is enough to carry out the requirements of civilization. The leaders of dervish orders will understand the truth of my words, and will themselves close down their lodges [tekke] and admit that their disciplines have grown up.”

(Note: a tekke is an Islamic religious school)

(Greeted by Marines in Constantinople on 14 JUL 1927)

Reference the equality of women, the new Turkish Civil Code was passed on the 4th of October 1926. This made equality between men and women the law of the land, to extend to inheritance and divorce. Atatürk wanted his society to reach its goal with men and women united. He thought that the major impediment to the creation of a scientifically governed country was the gender separation so prevalent during Ottoman times.

It is because of all of these reforms, all scientifically based, all modern in scope, all liberal and secular, that Atatürk becomes a hero in my book, one of the great humans of history.

As a gesture of respect, Atatürk, in 1935, made Hagia Sophia (‘Αγία Σοφία, “Holy Wisdom”; Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia, in Turkish it is Ayasofya), the great Eastern Roman Cathedral a museum. The church was transformed into a mosque upon the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks in 1453.

(By Nserrano – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61568230)

Presently the Turkish government, under President Erdogan, is trying to again convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque.

Atatürk died at the Dolbache Palace in Istanbul at 0905 hours on the 10th of November, 1938.

(By Ostique – Türkçe Vikipedi, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19499527)

I would like to know what you think of this great man of history. Let us converse in a civilised manner. I welcome your replies and comments.

(Statute of Atatürk in Ankara)

I invite you to watch this short video clip I made back in 2017 with some of my favourite images of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and I would greatly appreciate it if you would subscribe to my YouTube channel.



Limited Series Part 2: Great Humans of History: Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Mother Teresa (St. Teresa of Calcutta) - MysticalTalk - Medium

A woman who bowed down before the image of God and before those who had been defeated, destroyed, left to die…

She said many things worthy of being quoted, but one stands out for me:

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

Think about that and about this…

Inspiration from St. Teresa of Calcutta - Culture of Life Studies ...

Certainly I have to conclude that Mother Teresa was one of the most influential women of history. I grew up with her around and I always used to think, back in the 1990’s, that the world was safe, no matter how many things were going on, as long as Teresa of Calcutta was walking this earth. When she died on the 5th of September of 1997, I thought there was a hole in the cosmic plane of earth and a little bit of the love of Heaven was removed.

However, the love came back in the legacy…

Teresa of Calcutta founded, in 1950, the Order of the Missionaries of Charity and they serve in over one hundred and thirty countries. They run houses to help those very ill and dying, they operate soup kitchens, orphanages, and schools. And they are an order for those women who wish to serve God in Christian fashion and work in the service of the poor, who take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and who take a fourth vow: to give “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor”.

She was born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, on the 26th of August, 1910, in what was part of the Kosovo Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire, which is now Skopje, North Macedonia. She lived in Skopje for eighteen years, then in Ireland and then moved to India, where she lived for most of her life.

Mother Teresa is a Catholic Saint. She was canonised on the 4th of September, 2016. Her feast day is celebrated on the 5th of September, which is the anniversary of her death. Although she dedicated her life to the service of those whom others usually ignore, and founded a religious organisation dedicated to service which in 2012 had over 4.500 nuns, she is still the subject of criticism. She is critisised for her views on abortion, which is ridiculous because everyone knows that the Catholic Church does not accept abortion and considers an abortion akin to a murder.

mother-teresa | talktodiana

I would like to conclude by quoting Mother Teresa speaking about the love of God. Many people may believe that God does not love those who are sick, those who live in abject poverty, those who are marginalised and shunned, but she knew the formula, the golden rule, you could say…

“God still loves the world and He sends you and me to be His love and His compassion to the poor.”

teresa de calcuta

Mother Teresa suffered from heart problems since her first heart attack in Rome in 1983 while she was visiting the Pope. She had numerous heart attacks and her health declined. In 1996 she had malaria and she also broke her collarbone. On the 13th of March, 1997 she resigned as the Mother Superior of the Missionaries of Charity and on the 5th day of September she passed away.

Mother Teresa to be made a saint on Sept. 4 - Business Insider
(visiting Pope John Paul II)

The Indian government gave her a state funeral. She was loved and respected all over the world. She saw no boundaries, no limitations, no religions, she saw the need to help, to bring at least a smile to create peace. Upon her death, the former U.N. Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar said: “She is the United Nations. She is peace in the world.” A United Nations like Mother Teresa I can respect.

Biography of His Holiness Pope Francis - Global New Light Of Myanmar
(His Holiness Pope Francis)

On the 4th of September, 2016, His Holiness Francis canonised Mother Teresa at a ceremony in St. Peter’s Square. Witnessing the ceremony were tens of thousands of people, including 15 government delegations and 1,500 homeless people from across Italy.

Mother Teresa - Britannica Presents 100 Women Trailblazers

Limited Series: “Great Humans of History: Christophorus Columbus

Imagenes de Cristóbal Colón, ¿el último Templario?
(Was Christopher Columbus a Templar?)

Undoubtedly one of the greatest men of history. His discovery of America in 1492 changed the world forever…

Columbus was born in 1451, possibly in the Republic of Genoa (now an Italian city), possibly in Aragon, or even in Portugal. It is still unclear. He started his training as a sailor when he was a young teenager. He married a Portuguese woman, Felipa Perestrello e Monis and in 1482, she bore him his first son, Diego. Felipa died soon after childbirth.

Cristóbal Colón | EE.UU. devolvió al Vaticano la carta de Colón de ...

Between the years 1483 and 1484, Columbus began to promote his project to circumnavigate the earth. On the 20th of January, 1486, the Catholic Monarchs of Castile and Aragon received Columbus in one of the Royal palaces of Madrid (Alcala de Henares). On the 17th of April, 1492, in a document titled “Capitulaciones de Santa Fe”, in other words, a contract, they appoint Columbus Admiral and subsidise his voyage of discovery.

Cristopher Columbus at the Court of the Catholic Monarchs - Juan ...
(Painting by Juan Cordero 1850)

Columbus recruited 90 men and three ships, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria and sailed off to history on the 02 of August, 1492. On the 6th of December (1492) they reached Hispaniola and there he founded the first city of the Americas which he named “La Isabela” (in honour of the Queen). From there he discovered Cuba and in 1494 went on to discover South America.

Cuáles son las tres carabelas de Cristóbal Colón? - Quora

The people of Central and South America owe much to the great discoverer. Columbus brought the language, the culture and the Christian faith to the new lands. With time, what were colonies of Spain became independent countries. The last one, Cuba, the “Always Spanish” and “Always Faithful”, gained her independence on the 20th of May of 1902.

There are many legends and many black histories written and told about Christopher Columbus. I am not going to give them any value. I cannot judge a man of the XVth Century by the standards of the XXIst. Whether he killed Indians in Cuba or in Hispaniola is irrelevant as Indian tribes killed each other as well during those times. Reference Black slaves from Africa, I cannot find any reference that Columbus had anything to do with bringing slaves to the New World. And for those others who did, they are guilty but perhaps equal blame should be placed on the African tribes and chiefs who actually sold their captured enemies as slaves to the Europeans. After all, no slave trader could have ever trafficked a single slave without the complicity and participation of the African authorities who sold them.

So, I conclude by saying that historical figures are important to us because they teach us. The good comes along with the bad, but erasing from history, erasing from the public eye the monuments built to these people, is something completely anti-historical, something akin to worshipping ignorance. Weather you agree or disagree, the events took place and we, from the high moral standard that we think we occupy, are not worthy of destroying the past. We are supposed to learn from it.

Archivo:Barcelona - Colom estatua.jpg - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia ...
Christopher Columbus statute in Barcelona)

To deface a work of art, public or private is not an act of rebellion or legal protest, it is a criminal act that should be punished in accordance to the law.

Dueño de bar ofrece retirar estatua de Cristóbal Colón | ▷ Miami ...

On the 12th of October, New York City, as well as many other North American cities celebrate “Columbus Day”.

74th Annual Columbus Day Parade coverage on ABC7NY - ABC7 New York
(Columbus Day parade in New York)
When is the Columbus Day Parade in New York City? - Metro US
(May God protect our police, Blue Lives Matter)


As always I invite comments, however, they must be civilised and address the points brought forth in this post. Agree or disagree, I want to hear from you, as long as you attack the issues and not the writer.