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

“Year of the Cat” is the title track of the 1976 album Year of the Cat by singer-songwriter Al Stewart, recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London in January 1976 by engineer Alan Parsons.  Parsons had Phil Kenzie add the saxophone part of the song — and by doing so transformed the original folk concept into the jazz-influenced ballad that put Al Stewart onto the charts.  Co-written by Peter Wood, “Year of the Cat” is a narrative song written in the second person whose protagonist is a tourist in an exotic market where a mysterious silk-clad woman appears to carry him away for a gauzy romantic adventure.  On wakening the next day beside her, the tourist realizes, with equanimity, that his tour bus is gone and he has lost his ticket.  He will be staying on for a while…

 

 

On a morning from a Bogart movie
In a country where they turn back time
You go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre
Contemplating a crime
She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running
Like a watercolour in the rain
Don’t bother asking for explanations
She’ll just tell you that she came
In the year of the cat.

She doesn’t give you time for questions
As she locks up your arm in hers
And you follow ’till your sense of which direction
Completely disappears
By the blue tiled walls near the market stalls
There’s a hidden door she leads you to
These days, she says, I feel my life
Just like a river running through
The year of the cat

She looks at you so cooly
And her eyes shine like the moon in the sea
She comes in incense and patchouli
So you take her, to find what’s waiting inside
The year of the cat.

Well morning comes and you’re still with her
And the bus and the tourists are gone
And you’ve thrown away the choice and lost your ticket
So you have to stay on
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.

More 70’s Gold  ( Rock On – David Essex ( 1973 ) – Seasons In The Sun – Terry Jacks ( 1974 ) – Wildfire – Michael Martin Murphey ( 1975 ) – Nick Gilder – Hot Child In The City ( 1978 ) )

 

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