Thursday, April 21, 2005

Great instrumental breaks in history. 

One of the greatest pop songs ever written crept quietly up the pop charts in the spring of 1977 when the world was young and I was not yet 21.

Year of the Cat - Al Stewart.

She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running
Like a watercolour in the rain

The break is led out by sad cellos mourning loss and then introducing a sweet crying guitar, dripping notes like tears on a broken heart.

They parry sadly together for a few bars, like lovers parting.

Then a searing slide guitar note splits them like a hot knife through butter and rises to a crescendo of pain and defeat; before a sax takes over, mournful again, sweetly nostalgic, a little the wiser, but sad nevertheless. Sad like only a sax can sound.

The sax dies away like love's last and Stewart takes the song out to the end.

Forget the lyrics - there's a story to break your heart right there in the ninety second instrumental break.

Well, she looks at you so cooly
And her eyes shine like the moon in the sea


1977. Some time in spring.

The sun streamed in through the north-facing loungeroom window of my one-bedroom flat and pooled on the green-carpeted floor where I lay; half awake, half asleep, newspaper cast to one side, cushion under my head.

My one year old son was gurgling happily in his cot in the corner. A breeze stole in through the screen door and gently ruffled his golden hair. His mother was taking an afternoon nap in the bedroom.

The radio in the corner was low, as if playing to itself.

A song came on - Year of the Cat, by Al Stewart.

But the drum-beat strains of the night remain
In the rhythm of the new-born day
You know sometime you're bound to leave her
But for now you're going to stay

in the year of the cat

is it time for a nap yet? i think so

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?