Midas Shadow

Album: Year Of The Cat (1976)
Play Video


  • The message of this song is that when a successful businessman stops making money or when the money runs out, he wants to know the reasons. "That's the Midas Shadow," Stewart told biographer Neville Judd.
  • Regarding the lyrics, "Conquistador in search of gold - for all the jackdaw reasons," when Stewart wrote the song he didn't realize Americans were unfamiliar with the jackdaw, a bird which is supposed to steal gold rings, and other treasures to line its nest. Later he wrote a song called "Jackdaw," which is also the title of the official Al Stewart fanzine. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2
  • You're looking down on the tropical trees
    While the Spanish maids pick up the sheets

    Stewart was staying at the Continental Hyatt House in Hollywood, which inspired this line. "It was a crazy place," he said on an interview CD for the album. "Led Zeppelin were running around and all the rock and roll bands of the day were there. The Spanish maids, as I refer to them in the song, would make up your bed in the morning, and they had absolutely no idea who all these crazy people were. It was just the dichotomy between the laboring poor and the gilded rock and roll stars that caused me to write this song."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Who Did It First?

Who Did It First?Music Quiz

Do you know who recorded the original versions of these ten hit songs?

Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear: Teddy Bears and Teddy Boys in Songs

Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear: Teddy Bears and Teddy Boys in SongsSong Writing

Elvis, Little Richard and Cheryl Cole have all sung about Teddy Bears, but there is also a terrifying Teddy song from 1932 and a touching trucker Teddy tune from 1976.

Boy Bands

Boy BandsFact or Fiction

From NKOTB to 1D, how well do you know your boy bands?

Mike Scott of The Waterboys

Mike Scott of The WaterboysSongwriter Interviews

The stories behind "Whole Of The Moon" and "Red Army Blues," and why rock music has "outlived its era of innovation."

Divided Souls: Musical Alter Egos

Divided Souls: Musical Alter EgosSong Writing

Long before Eminem, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj created alternate personas, David Bowie, Bono, Joni Mitchell and even Hank Williams took on characters.

The 10 Bands Most Like Spinal Tap

The 10 Bands Most Like Spinal TapSong Writing

Based on criteria like girlfriend tension, stage mishaps and drummer turnover, these are the 10 bands most like Spinal Tap.