In this life, change is constant. This is not news to most of us. However, some things never change. A good example is the music of the artist profiled in this post. In 1977, after years of contemplation and a near-death experience with tuberculosis, Cat Stevens converted to Islam and radically changed his lifestyle. He is now known as Jusuf Islam, but the beauty and truth of his music haven’t changed. Jusuf’s songs have endured and are still relevant almost fifty years after they were released. His unique guitar style and vocalizations have remained bright, new, and refreshing through the intervening decades.
“On The Road To Find Out” is a song about a young man who sets out on a journey to clear his mind and see what he can discover. After a seven-month recovery from tuberculosis, Stevens felt a deep emptiness in his life and a yearning for something more. Out of these ashes, “On the Road to Find Out” was born. The lyrics are not about traveling in a physical sense. They are about Stevens discovering who he was and the purpose, if any, of his existence. Stevens achieved fame and fortune in 1967 at the age of only eighteen when his first three singles hit the charts in his native England. Like many of his recording artist peers, Stevens examined his noteworthy accomplishments and found they had not brought him the peace of mind or happiness he envisioned.
Many of Stevens’ songs reflect his quest for existential answers and a deep sense of fulfillment. I can only hope he found it.
I’m not going to do a cover of the song. The pitch is just beyond my range. Please enjoy the richness and beauty of this artist’s voice and guitar.