If It Doesn't Come Naturally, Leave It

Album: Year Of The Cat (1976)

Songfacts®:

  • This uptempo number is the best single Al Stewart never released; unabashedly commercial and with a fine guitar solo, it runs to 4 minutes 30 seconds, but would not have been written if Al hadn't suffered a rare case of writer's block. In Neville Judd's authorized biography he relates how while writing "Year Of The Cat" he spent the whole day sitting staring at a blank sheet of paper, and "nothing was coming to me". Then, just like that, he wrote "Nothing that's forced can ever be right. If it doesn't come naturally, leave it," which was exactly how he felt.
    He went to a movie, then when he came back he looked at what he'd written and said "Ah-ha that sounds like a good title for a song". He sat down and finished it right then and there. He doesn't comment on the actual content of the song but it undoubtedly reflects the way he was feeling. Although by the time he recorded this blockbuster album, Al was raking in the bucks and had achieved well deserved fame and recognition, he was in many ways a very unhappy man, and had still not recovered from losing the love of his life – Mandi – who features in many of his early songs. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England

Comments: 1

  • Craig from West Chester, PaI saw Al Stewart in Phoenixville PA just last week. An Acoustic show with just him and another guitarist. He was still great. His explanation for this song was that he was that he was trying to write a song with a run on lyric similar to some of Bruce Springsteen's and Bob Dylan's songs. The vocal is actually the rhythm of the song. He sang snip-its of both "Blinded by the Light" and "Subterranean Homesick Blues" to demonstrate what he meant.
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