If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out

Album: Footsteps In The Dark (1971)

Songfacts®:

  • Stevens wrote this for Hal Ashby's 1971 cult movie Harold And Maude, featuring Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon. It was never officially released until the 1984 compilation Footsteps In The Dark. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Rato - Lisbon, Portugal
  • This song is an anthem of individuality, encouraging us to follow our own path in life and making it clear that opportunities are everywhere. It's a theme Stevens was exploring in many of his songs, notably "On The Road To Find Out." Stevens had more incentive than most to seize the day: a bout with tuberculosis in 1968 nearly killed him.
  • In 2009, this was used in a commercial for T-Mobile starring Saturday Night Live alumni such as Chevy Chase and Dana Carvey. In 2106, it was used in a Jeep commercial showing people with different political views and ideologies united by their love for the vehicle.

Comments: 7

  • M. from British C;olumbia, CanadaWhy do the printed lyrics say: "if you want to be high, be high, if you want to be low, be low"? He is singing: "if you want to live high, live high, if you want to live low, live low". Much different meaning. No drug use is implied in lyrics sung. This was definitely an anthem of my youth.
  • Alex from Austin, TxI loved the cover Kat Dennings did in Charlie Bartlett
  • Tom from Atlanta, GaJust heard this again for the first time in maybe 35 years on "My Name Is Earl". I thought I'd used to have it on vinyl but as it turns out it's from "Harold and Maude".

    Great song and it's great to hear Cat Stevens on a TV sound track. More, more, more!
  • Erin from Austin, TxThe sound track to Harold and Maude is truly amazing. I saw it when I was really getting into Cat Stevens. The Royal Tenebaums also has a great soundtrack and I ended up doing "The Wind", another Cat Stevens song, for my school talent show after hearing it in the movie and liking it so much.
  • Howard from St. Louis Park, MnI remember hearing the song in Harold and Maude. Ruth Gordon also sang it. It's a shame it was never a hit.
  • Joe from Heidelberg, GermanyI heard this song at my dear cousin's funeral. I instantly fell in love with it and had to know about its name* greetings from Heidelberg
  • Tressa from Eaton Rapids, MiThis is a great song, I just love it!
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