Fact Du Jour – July 30, 2019 – I’ll Bet You Think That Song Is About You, Cat Stevens!

What do you do if you’re singer/songwriter Cat Stevens in the early 1970s – and find out that your girlfriend Carly Simon has written a song about you? And no, that song wasn’t You’re So Vain


Cat Stevens and Carly Simon

That song was Anticipation:

And I tell you how easy it feels to be with you
And how right your arms feel around me
But I, I rehearsed those words just late last night
When I was thinkin’ about how right tonight might be

According to this article in the Washington Post, Simon wrote the song while waiting for Cat Stevens to come over to her house for a date (she had fixed dinner for him). And he was…late for the date – so she had time to write the entire song.

Stevens was one of the rare men in her her life who actually didn’t treat her like garbage (or as a mere notch on the bedpost)! She was sexually abused as a child and teenager, had an emotionally distant father who had wanted her to be a boy, and was married to James Taylor for about 10 years (Taylor was not only married to Carly Simon, but also his heroin habit, apparently)…

She has spoken fondly of their brief time as lovers…

 “He gave me whispers and drawings of Blake poems. He told me about his childhood, his mixed Greek and Swedish parents, and we made a connection that has lasted.”

So it wasn’t too surprising when Cat Stevens played his own “card” in the songwriting game when he penned Sweet Scarlet for Carly Simon.  Though not as well known as Anticipation – which was used in a Heinz ketchup commercial – hard core Cat Stevens fans probably know the song anyway! It’s actually a nice song – just singing and piano accompaniment. Here are some lyrics:

She could move mountains in the dark as silent as a knife
She cut loose a life that she never no never really wanted
All those days are frozen now and all those scars are gone
Ah, but the song carries on, so holy

It’s worth noting that Cat Stevens (now known as Yusuf Islam) and Carly Simon are still friends to this day!


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