Oh Very Young

Album: Buddha and the Chocolate Box (1974)
Charted: 10
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Songfacts®:

  • Cat Stevens was always exploring, trying to find meaning an purpose in life. On "Oh Very Young" he imparts some wisdom:

    You're only dancin' on this earth for a short while

    Stevens was far from his dotage: He was just 25 when the song was released, but he had been in the public eye (at least in his native UK), since he was 18, when he started putting out music. Getting tuberculosis at 19 led him to look at the big picture - the disease nearly killed him and put him on the road to find out what life was really about. He was looking into buddhism at the time (as you can tell from the album title), but eventually settled on Islam, taking that faith in 1977.
  • Running a mere 2:36, "Oh Very Young" was the only hit from Buddha And The Chocolate Box, Stevens' eighth album. By this time, he was well established in America and issuing a new album every year. He was one of the few British singer-songwriters that never joined a band.
  • It has been suggested this 1974 composition by Cat Stevens contains a veiled reference to the death of Buddy Holly à la Don McLean's better known "American Pie"; the basis for this appears to be its reference to "Denim blue, faded up to the sky." Did Buddy Holly ever wear denim?

    Whether or not that is the case, it certainly inspired someone. On February 3, 2016, Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings quoted from it in US Government hearings on the Flint poisoned water scandal. The particular concern there was that the young were suffering from elevated lead levels in their blood, something that can cause a plethora of medical conditions including anemia, behavioral problems and fatigue.
  • That's Suzanne Lynch on backing vocals. In the '60s, she was in a New Zealand duo called The Chicks, which the Dixie Chicks had to make nice with when they took that name. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 3

Comments: 1

  • Walter Russell from Riverside, Ca...and though you want them to last forever, you know he never will, you know he never will - the song predicts the loss of youthful dreams and of parents,leaving one to long for something that lasts, such as "will you carry the word of love with you..." If you listen closely to the song, you will hear my correction to your lyrics (you know HE never will). Thx for reading.
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