In a brand new song released today titled ‘King of a Land’, Yusuf’s lyrics speak to a clear frustration with the state of the postmodern world.
“If I was a king of a land, I’d free every woman and man…If I ran the schools of this world…If I had a mountain of gold.”
Ahead of the coronation of King Charles III, Yusuf expresses his hope that the new Monarch will use his role to make a positive impact on the future of the country and the world.
“While politicians bicker and scrum in the basement quarters, somebody upstairs should be watching where those political party goers are taking us. Frankly, democracy needs a bit of dusting,” Yusuf laments.
“One of the privileges of being an artist is to express what seems unimaginable, and then hang it up there for people to ponder; we can say things that others can’t. Sure, I know full well music can’t necessarily solve the world’s problems, but it can help to direct the narrative. There are a few aspirations in my song, ‘King of a Land,’ that I hope resonate with His Majesty.”
Yusuf / Cat Stevens has shared ‘A Manifesto for a Good King,’ a message to King Charles III in which he lists 10 essentials that he believes all leaders should consider. Yusuf will also be writing to the future King directly, in his own hand, to share his message.
“The major message of the song – and this applies to all those in positions of leadership – is, don’t forget that there’s One above you, and be careful to look out for those who are below you.”
Manifesto for a Good King
1. Even if you are a King, you are still a servant of God.
2. Remove hatred through education and spread peace.
3. Feed the hungry.
4. We are all humans that make mistakes, so be forgiving.
5. Help the sick and homeless.
6. Beware of negative people in your circle.
7. Everyone has a part to play, teach them to work together.
8. Be just and don’t show favouritism.
9. Listen to constructive criticism.
10. Be a guardian to all faiths, and the precious Earth we all share.
The new song, also the title of Yusuf / Cat Stevens’ forthcoming new album, retells the story found in the beautiful illustration bedecking the album’s cover – created by NY Times #1 best-selling illustrator, Peter H. Reynolds, in collaboration with Yusuf. The song is immortalized in a brand new music video, also released today, where Yusuf’s lyrics and Reynolds’ illustrations are both brought to life. “King of a Land” is the story of a small boy who imagines what he would do if he were king of a land called “Woodbee.” Childlike faith and dreams are brought back into touching distance as Yusuf takes us on a new journey. His voice, words and stunning melodies lead the listener to the gates of a much nicer, optimistic world than the one we presently inhabit.
Peter H. Reynolds said:
“Yusuf / Cat Stevens has created a vivid world of the possible. How wonderful to imagine if children ruled the world, how peaceful and just it would be. The lyrics immediately conjured a small boy with a paper crown. His kingdom: a little train set with a miniature village. His mission: to ensure that every inhabitant of this little kingdom was free, educated, fed and able to celebrate the possible… of all that should be, could be, would be. The ‘Land of Woodbee’ welcomes everyone to hop on the ‘Peace Train’ and move forward – together – to a better world.”
Stream and download ‘King of a Land’ here. You can watch the official video below.
“King of a Land” arrives amidst a wave of celebratory activity, closely following the announcement of Yusuf / Cat Stevens’ Glastonbury Festival debut. On Sunday June 25, Yusuf will perform the coveted Sunday tea-time legends slot at the Pyramid Stage. The performance is just one month ahead of Yusuf’s milestone 75th birthday, with the release of his anticipated seventeenth studio album shortly after.
Yusuf unveiled the album’s lead single “Take The World Apart” last month. The “cheerful” (Associated Press) track was featured in Rolling Stone’s “Songs You Need To Know” roundup and earned Yusuf praise from The Times, NME, and MOJO Magazine.
‘King of a Land’ is set for release via BMG / Dark Horse Records on 16th June 2023. The album is available for pre-order on green vinyl in a gatefold format with a 36 page booklet featuring illustrations by Peter Reynolds. The CD also features a booklet illustrated by Peter Reynolds – Pre-order here. An exclusive edition of the album, pressed on white vinyl, is available from the official Yusuf / Cat Stevens online store along with album merchandise – visit the official store here.
King of a Land Album Tracklisting
1. Train on a Hill
2. King of a Land
3. Pagan Run
4. He is True
5. All Nights, All Days
6. Another Night in the Rain
8. Son of Mary
10. The Boy Who Knew How to Climb Walls
11. How Good it Feels
12. Take The World Apart
Connect with Yusuf/Cat Stevens and his music online on his official website, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.