Where Do The Children Play?

Today is the birthday of Cat Stevens. He turns 63 and is one of the major influences of my taste in music. He has had such a diverse life. Having a Greek father and a Swedish mother, growing up in London, then going on to become a 70’s superstar in the music scene.

At the peak of his career Cat Stevens converted to Islam, changed his name to Yusuf Islam and left his music career. In his own words: I Got A Life!

Cat Stevens has always been a great lyricist to me and for that I need to pay tribute to such an influential person today. Whenever I hear a Cat Stevens song it stops me in my tracks, such is the depth of his lyrics. Many people don’t stop and listen to the depth of a songs lyrics but settle for the rhythm and catchy choruses.

Like most lyrics; they are not poetry. You need to have an attachment to the song for the lyrics to come out in their true meaning. One of my favourite lines from a Cat Stevens song is from “Sitting” on the “Catch Bull At Four” album.

Life is like a maze of doors
and they all open from the side you’re on
just keep on pushing hard boy
tire as you may
you’re going to wind where you started from

Cat Stevens is one of those influential people that have had an impact on my life.

Where Do The Children Play?

This is probably one of my favourite Cat Stevens songs: Where Do The Children Play. Let’s hear it from Cat as he is today: Yusuf Islam.

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Today, I pay tribute to Cat Stevens, the musical genius.

Sean Rasmussen
Success Communicator
Aussie Internet Marketer Β© 2004 – 2010 Casino41

About Sean Rasmussen

Sean Rasmussen is a passionate blogger and has been a full time internet marketer since 2005. When he's not with his family, or dog Buddy, Sean is usually blogging or doing something related to the internet.


  1. Hi Sean,
    Thanks so much for this post. I have to wholeheartedly agree with you about Yusaf Islam/Cat Stevens. He has a special place in my heart.
    I am looking forward to the webinar today! Have a great day. πŸ™‚
    .-= Jo Carey-Bradshaw´s last blog ..Wealth Creation – Coffee and Internet Marketing =-.

  2. Willem Broekers says:

    Hi Sean, thank you, lyrics have a lot of different meanings to different people!
    The music is the same for everyone I think.
    I believe music is the soul of all thought!
    Listen to happy music and you will feel happy!
    Listen to sad music and you will feel sad!

    I will be looking forward to the webinar!
    What!? No recording?? Boo Hoo!

  3. Jody Chambers says:

    All registered for the Webinar today Sean. Cats in the cradle is probably my favourite Cat Stevens song, although I am not sure if he or Harry Chapin wrote it.

  4. I go with Cat’s in the Cradle as well although Where Do the Children play is special too.

    My music tastes are very much influenced from this era. There is so much in the music, not just in the sound but the words, that music today doesn’t even come close to. Well in my book anyway!

    Thanks for sharing his birthday today.

    • Yes I to have “Cat’s in the cradle” as a favorite and I agree with you Bernadette, my taste in music was influenced, by the Music and more so the lyrics and for the message that was often there.

      • It wasn’t until I heard “Cat’s In The Cradle” sung by Johnny Cash that I actually noticed the true meaning of the lyrics. I never heard it by Cat Stevens, would you believe!

        • Cat’s in the Cradle sung by Johnny Cash … hmmm … how would that sound? So I searched it on YouTube.

          I’m pleased you found the true meaning of the lyrics because it didn’t really come close to the sound of Cat Stevens [in my opinion].

          • Amazingly I have never heard the Cat Stevens version. Harry Chapin wrote the song in 1974 and performed it. Ugly Kid Joe covered it in the early 90’s.
            Can anyone locate a recording online where Cat Stevens is actually singing this?
            Even the Harry Chapin versions have Cat Stevens name on them online πŸ˜‰

          • I haven’t had much joy in locating an online recording of Cat Steve’s singing Cat’s in the Cradle. However I did enjoy having a listen to him singing Father & Son (another one on that I like).

            I’m not quite of the era of growing up with him but I wasn’t that far behind. Oh such a trip down memory lane.

          • Interesting when you stop and listen to the lyrics of this Cat Stevens song is exactly that – stopping to listen, to smell the roses.

            All to soon life passes by and you’ve missed those moments could have impacted your life.

          • I have never heard Johhny Cash sing that …. are you sure it wasn’t ‘the cats in the prison’?
            .-= Elly´s last blog .. =-.

          • I hadn’t either Elly and that’s why I looked it up on YouTube.

            You probably wouldn’t want to hear him sing the Cat Steven’s classic Cat’s in the Cradle. But if you must that’s where you can go.

  5. Just as I listen to ‘Where Do the Children Play’ I think how appropriate is the timing.

    This far through the competition …
    “We’ve come a long way, We’re changing day to day …”

    • i was thinking just that Bernadette,
      Its really touched me, personally to,in a few ways
      never heard this before but its beautiful and encouraging isnt it.

    • My hair is going grey, some more fell out today (lol)
      .-= Elly´s last blog .. =-.

  6. Registered for the webinar and ready to rock!

  7. Hi Sean,

    I still have trouble remembering his new name πŸ˜‰ But his music is great! Unfortunately we missed the chance to see him life πŸ™

    Nevertheless I am really looking forward to tonights webinar – fingers crossed that I can make it and no hold ups this time by clients πŸ˜‰
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..Self Improvement Books – What Are Your Favourites =-.

  8. Thanks Sean,

    Enjoyed the Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam song “Where Do The Children Play.”
    We somehow relate to this song in the For a few dollars more competition.

    I wish him Happy 63rd Birthday today! Thanks for sharing this inspirational song!
    .-= Rose Kawe´s last blog ..The Secret Formula To My Success =-.

  9. Hi Sean,

    Registered for today’s webinar update! No recording so better not miss this one!

    .-= Rose Kawe´s last blog ..The Secret Formula To My Success =-.

  10. I remember learning “Moonshadow” when I was in kindergarten! I had no idea what the song was about back then – I used to chase my shadow in the playground and sing it! I just did a quick Google search and it turns out the song is about finding hope and treasuring every moment in life. I’m off to find a recording of it….

    • geoff harnden says:

      YES Caroline!!!
      That is just so cool. I can see you now chasing your shadow…..
      “Moonshadow” was definitely up there for we Cat fans at the time.
      Like you, I’m going to find a recording also.

      Sean has really started something here I think…?

      • You were an earlier starter, Caroline, but you just didn’t know. Even though you were in kindergarten you were already, subliminally, filling your head with finding hope and treasuring every moment in life.

        Just shows that Cat Stevens songs were not just for people old enough to understand them.

  11. Jacqui Emery says:

    Registered for todays webinar For a Few Dollars More Competition update. Loved the Cat Stevens Video πŸ™‚

  12. Hi Sean,

    Once again, you’ve chosen some beautiful music. It’s very relaxing to listen to and a good day for it. πŸ™‚
    .-= Jazz Salinger´s last blog ..Internet Marketing Success – Make It Happen =-.

  13. thanks for sharing :’)
    that was a great start to my day ,
    looking forward to joining you all this arvo on the webinar πŸ™‚

  14. We certainly have come a long way and the song as usual is well chosen.
    Sean you really have a great talent for doing or saying things at just the right moment.
    Looking forward to the webinar this afternoon. See you there! πŸ™‚

  15. A fantastic post. I think a lot of people share Sean’s feelings about the music of Cat/Yousif.
    .-= Gary Birch´s last blog ..How to Learn a Second Language =-.

  16. geoff harnden says:

    At 55 now, we grew up on Cat Stevens during the latter part of High School.
    Everyone had all Cat’s albums. He was at all the parties, in all our cars. He was HUGE.
    And unlike most of that time, except perhaps Van Morrison and of course Bob Dylan, it was for Cat’s lyrics and as you say the way the melodies became part of the lyrics.

    I remember watching an excellent doco on his conversion to Islam, and it just seemed natural and OK for him to have done this.

    I agree with you.. a major influence on the lives of those that enjoyed his music.
    Van Morrison from the same era, is the musician that has probably had the greatest impact on my life, but for very similar reasons.

  17. Gregory Born says:

    The man can still sing and sing live. That is the true genius.

  18. I just love this song and I just love Cat Stevens – he will always be that to me (like Prince is Prince and has a name!)

    I hadnt heard this song (Where Do The Children Play) until a few years ago – being an X Gen girl I only really heard his mainstream songs like ‘Cats in the Cradle’ and ‘Moonshadow’.

    The emotion he conveys in his music (singing and the lyrics) just touches the heart.
    .-= Jayne Pleysier´s last blog ..How A Marketing Service Can Help Your Business Grow =-.

    • Cathy Howitt says:

      Hi Jane,
      I had only ever heard of “Caths in the Cradle” and “Moonshadow” also.
      I agree with you about this song touching your heart. Cat stevens is a brilliant entertainer.

    • Just saw this Jayne – LOL. Yes, Prince is Prince and not some bloody stupid LSI version of his moniker.
      I still think of Cat Stevens as such too. I wonder if he does as well!

  19. Where Do the Children Play?

    On the beach having fun in the sun with their dad, Sean!

  20. Hi Sean

    I like the lines you pulled out of the Cat Stevens song –
    ‘Life is like a maze of doors
    and they all open from the side you’re on’

    It just puts the emphasis on the fact that our destiny is in our hands. All we have to do is open them.

  21. What a beautiful song, I really enjoyed listening to this :).

    My brother was a big fan of Cat Stevens, however I really only remember his better known songs, such as Moonshadow and Morning Has Broken. I remember my brother’s ‘records’ being his pride and joy. Gosh, records – do you remember those things?!
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..Indoor Air Quality =-.

    • Not that long ago I asked Mitchell if he knew what a record was – “It’s one of those music playing things from the olden days”.

      Oh yes I remember those things, even 45s that you stacked up on the old radiogram type thing that dropped one down at a time. James has a turntable set up in the workshop. A few years back we had a party and all we played was records – the ‘old stuff’ of course. Took our friends aback initially but they thought it was real cool reliving the old days.

      We have still got quite a large collection of records with quite a lot from that era and there are a couple of Cat Stevens in there. It’s still good to listen to ‘real’ music!

      • Its amazing that the old record player has made a come back. You can actually buy them new. Not sure where the records are coming from though. They were such big cumbersum things but remember fondly my mum and dad playing the records on our turntable.
        .-= Jackie Stenhouse´s last blog ..Types of Child Anxiety Disorder =-.

        • I’ve heard that they have started releasing music on vinyl again. They definitely take up a lot more room that CDs or DVDs. Our 3000 odd are filling up my office cupboards. Just as well the ceiling is 10′ high.

          Do you sense a passion for music? I could quite happily spend the day lazing about soaking up music from the 60s and 70s. Even Cat Stevens Wild World is cruisy.

          • Bernadette
            See my reply a little further down on how you can preserve your Cat Stevens Records forever
            .-= Elly´s last blog .. =-.

        • Gotta love those kids comments! My 7 year old asked me recently, ‘mum, what year was it before 2000?’ I replied ‘1999’. He asked, ‘was that the end of the olden days?’
          .-= Hilary´s last blog ..Indoor Air Quality =-.

          • Thats so cute Hilary. They do come out with some really funny things. My 16 year old stirs me by saying back in the olden days when I was a kid……
            .-= Jackie Stenhouse´s last blog ..Types of Child Anxiety Disorder =-.

          • Or like the ‘biggest kid’ in my house (who’s also interested in the olden day music like Cat Stevens) when replying to the boys about a question from the past …
            “That’s when Mum was a girl back in the days when she had to ride to school on a horse and cart”
            Might need Clint to come over for a good old fashioned lynching πŸ˜€

      • We have a big collection of records and are able to load them onto the computer now using a special turntable and then burn them all on to disc!
        .-= Elly´s last blog .. =-.

        • I know you can do this Elly. Just something that have never really got on to do.

          Along with Cat Stevens and the great artists of the 70s, I think records are a part of history that I like to hang on to.

  22. Hi Sean,

    Thanks for tonight’s webinar & the nice music clip you’ve used here to acknowledge Cat Stevens’s birthday. This song ‘Where do the children play’ is a bit before my time but I can still appreciate it : )
    .-= jeremy´s last blog ..jlagatule- RT @gurubob- True influence is not forcing people to say yesit is systematically destroying their reasons to say no – GuruBob =-.

  23. This is very interesting info about Cat Stevens. I wasn’t aware that he had changed his name. Thanks for the song and I ‘m really annoyed at myself for missing the webinar announcement. Have to keep my eye on the ball a little better.
    .-= Jackie Stenhouse´s last blog ..Types of Child Anxiety Disorder =-.

  24. Uzun Maria says:

    Many thanks for the song: is is wonderful and at the right moment. As I live in Moldova, grew up on Romanian, Russian music and very few English and French songs have listened to. Now it is time to fill this gap. Once again thank you, Sean.

    Kind regards to you, your team, and many happy returns of the day to Cat Stevens!

    • Hi Uzun

      My Grandmother was Russian, Grandfather Greek, they lived near Galatz in Romania, I was born in New Zealand and have lived in Australia a long time now (an Australian citizen) and I love Cat Stevens!
      .-= Elly´s last blog .. =-.

  25. Father and Son is one of the first songs I learned on the guitar and has always been one of my favourites. Happy birthday Cat!
    .-= Scotty Smith´s last blog ..Stock Option Trading =-.

  26. Hello Sean,

    Thanks for the sharing of the song Where Do The Children Play. It sent chills down my spine and is a really good question – our kids can’t play like we used to…I remember riding my bike in and around our neighbour hood and we all looked out for each other. We knew that the community was safe and each of us had our backs – especially our friends parents. Where can our kids play now days so they can have fun and be safe?

    Very deep lyrics and so mindful of our world as it is today.
    Happy Birthday sent your way Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens

    .-= lisa wood´s last blog ..Cafe Desserts =-.

  27. Thanks for introducing me to Cat Stevens/ Yusuf Islam. It’s wonderful to hear of successful people who leave everything to become themselves and still come out successful.

    Where do the children play? Mine plays tons but learns as he does. There’s a lot educational value in everything you do and children are our play dough who make us laugh and cry but most importantly prove to us that success and happiness is a state of mind, not of a bank account.

    While mine sleeps by my side as I write this I know that I’ll instill the concept of pushing hard in him so that he knows whatever he decides to do, who ever he decides to become I’ll be proud of him.

    Happy birthday Cat Stevens/ Yusuf Islam. Thank you for discovering yourself and inspiring all of us to do the same.
    .-= Sarah Butland´s last blog ..Internet Marketing at it’s Finest =-.

  28. Sean, the music that you keep introducing me to seems to always arrive just when I need to hear it.

    I live opposite a park with a playground in it and it’s hardly used at all. I noticed the other day that the only time I see kids there playing is when their parents are with them. I remember roaming all over my town as a kid, with no need for parents to watch over us.

    Great music and I hope Cat Stevens / Yusuf Islam had a great birthday.
    .-= Tania Shipman´s last blog ..Internet Marketing Competition – Weeks 1 – 4 =-.

  29. Cathy Howitt says:

    Hi Sean,
    What a great post on . Cat Stevens/ Yusuf Isla. I hadn’t heard this particular song, but he sings it with heart and soul.
    My favourite is still “Cats in the Cradle” though. I remember it all through Primary School – a teacher actually taught us the lyrics and we performed it.
    Ahhh, memories.
    I agree with you also Sarah, what an inspiration for cat Stevens to follow his heart and become Yusuf Isla. We can all take a leaf out of his book.

  30. I grew up listening to a lot of mum & dad’s music, so Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam was certainly in there. Many years later my band used to play “Cats In The Cradle”, after Ugly Kid Joe brought it to the attention of a new generation.

    My favourite song of Cat/Yusuf’s is “Peace Train”, but this performance of “Where Do The Children Play” is nice, I hadn’t heard it before so it’s good to hear something “new”! πŸ˜‰
    .-= Mel Smith´s last blog ..Increase In The Phenomenon Of Social Media Sites =-.

    • I’m listening to “Peace Train” now as all I heard of Cat Stevens prior to Sean’s glimpse of “Where Do The Children Play” was “Cats in the Cradle” which I loved.

      I love the positivity, the imagination yet clarity of Cat Stevens’ songs and will continue to listen to Cat and Yusuf Islam. He has a certain quality that is missing from most mainstream music nowadays.
      .-= Sarah Butland´s last blog ..Kelly Moran Took Me On Summer’s Road =-.

  31. Where do the children play? The world is their playground. They can play wherever their heart desires and wants.

    Since reading and commenting in this competition my passion for feeding my boys knowledge and teaching them skills that can lead them to freedom and success has intensified greatly. I don’t really have the words to describe how this is so.

    “Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardour, for their curiosity, their tolerance of shams, the clarity of ruthlessness of their vision.” Aldous Huxley

    • I wish this were still true. Where do the children play? In the roads where vehicles too often run into them. In video games where they aren’t really playing at all. In characters of tv shows where play time is actually sit down and go into a vegetative state of mind time.

      I wish more children played outdoors, in playgrounds and on yards but where I live the houses are built with only a few feet between them. Video games and television seasons are bought to keep their attention on rainy days instead of books.

      Where do the children play if I had my way? They’d use their imagination and play where ever they wanted to. They’d get up off the couch, go out with friends and feel safe being away from adult supervision.

      Let’s all be children and play wherever our hearts take us… to a playground of intellect, safety, imagination and wonder.
      .-= Sarah Butland´s last blog ..Kelly Moran Took Me On Summer’s Road =-.

  32. Well there are certainly a lot of old and new fans of Cat Stevens aren’t there going by the comments here. I must admit, I was never a big fan overall, but some of his music is psot on e.g. Where do the Children Play – but his voice has lost something though

  33. Miniball finished later tonight so while I was making tea I put on a national radio station (that plays 60s and 70s song). The boys like listening and dancing around to it.

    Anyway first song that came on was Cat Stevens ‘Wild World’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHXpnZi9Hzs. Then blow me if a couple of songs later they played ‘Cat’s in the Cradle’ which is probably my favourite.

    Mitchell remembered it as the one I was singing away the other day. I guess my singing can’t be too bad if he recognised it! Here were the children jumping around and singing along to Cat Stevens.

  34. Cat Stevens! Now that take me back to the days of my youth. Well to be truthful, maybe my middle age. πŸ™‚

    In those I days I used to hang out with some lads in the record distribution business. Eastern Ontario Record Distributors is long gone now but Where Do The Children Play brings back some fond memories.
    .-= Don White´s last blog ..A Brighter Future For African Orphans =-.

  35. Hi Sean,
    That song does bring back memories. It’s a classic from days gone bye.

    Time goes quickly.
    .-= Jill Brown´s last blog ..Lifestyle with Sean Rasmussen – Affiliate Marketing =-.

  36. Mathew Zanggo says:

    Hi Sean,
    It is good to back in Aussie after 5 weeks away. I missed the internet connection I enjoyed in Aussie. Any way such is the progress of my country, Papua New Guinea.

    I agree with you, Cat Stevens is one of my all time favourite artist, second onlly to Bob Dylan. The song I love most is Father and Son. The lyrics are magical………

    Mathew Zanggo

  37. Where the Children Play is probably Yusuf’s most provocative and revealing song, but you didn’t analyze it. I believe knowing who the “Children” are and also who “you” is is key to understanding the message that Yusuf was trying to send. Also, I believe he wrote the song while or after being in hospital. He had deep understanding of our world and how it works. He illustrated this understanding in this song. Ultimately, he had to escape to Islam to free himself of the world that he was singing about in this song.

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