Sharing this week’s song of peace for our world:

Peace Train was a 1971 hit song written and recorded by British singer-songwriter Cat Stevens. It became Stevens’ first top-10 hit in the U.S. and spent three weeks as the #1 song on the adult contemporary chart.

In 1977, Stevens converted to Islam, changed his name to Yusaf Islam, auctioned off his guitars, and abandoned his music career to concentrate on educational and philanthropic endeavors in the Muslim community.

However, after the 9-11 attacks in 2001, he appeared on videotape on a pre-show for the  Concert for New York City, condemning the attacks and singing his song Peace Train for the first time in public in more than 20 years.  He also donated a portion of his box-set royalties to the fund for victims’ families.

When the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, Yusaf commented on the song’s renewed relevance,  “Peace Train is a song I wrote, the message of which continues to breeze thunderously through the hearts of millions. There is a powerful need for people to feel that gust of hope rise up again. As a member of humanity and as a Muslim, this is my contribution to the call for a peaceful solution.”

In October 2010, Yusuf appeared at Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s spoof Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington, DC, singing alongside Ozzy Osbourne.  Yusuf performed Peace Train and Ozzy performed “Crazy Train” at the same time, followed by The O’Jays performance of “Love Train”.  (See my Love Train post here.)

In 2014, Yusaf was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York, where he once again sang Peace Train for an American audience.

 

peace train by cat stevens

 

Peace Train has been recorded by a number of other artists including, surprisingly,  American country singer Dolly Parton accompanied by the South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.  Here is Dolly Parton’s recording…

Now I’ve been happy lately, thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be, something good has begun

Oh I’ve been smiling lately, dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be, some day it’s going to come

Cause out on the edge of darkness, there rides a peace train
Oh peace train take this country, come take me home again

Now I’ve been smiling lately, thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be, something good has begun

Oh peace train sounding louder
Ride on the peace train
Come on the peace train

Yes, peace train holy roller
Everyone jump upon the peace train
Come on the peace train

Get your bags together, go bring your good friends too
Cause it’s getting nearer, soon it will be with you

Now come and join the living, it’s not so far from you
And it’s getting nearer, soon it will all be true

Oh peace train sounding louder
Ride on the peace train
Come on the peace train

The peace train holy roller
Everyone jump upon the peace train
Come on the peace train

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

Cause out on the edge of darkness, there rides a peace train
Peace train take this country, come take me home again

The peace train sounding louder
Ride on the peace train
Come on the peace train

The peace train holy roller
Everyone jump upon the peace train
Come on the peace train

Music is the universal language of mankind.

My faith calls me to work for peace and justice and to accept and love all people.  In a world that seems to be so full of hatred, I must do all I can to pursue justice and peace in my own little corner of the globe.

bloggers for peace

peace tag cloud

 

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