Trouble (Cat Stevens song)

Last updated
Song by Cat Stevens
from the album Mona Bone Jakon
Genre Folk rock
Label Island Records (UK/Europe)
A&M Records (US/Canada)
Songwriter(s) Cat Stevens (Now known as Yusuf Islam)
Producer(s) Paul Samwell-Smith

"Trouble" is a song written by the English singer-songwriter and musician, Cat Stevens, during a period from 1969 to 1970.


Stevens was recovering during what amounted to nearly a year of convalescence, after being diagnosed with a collapsed lung and tuberculosis. He spent three months in King Edward VII Hospital, Midhurst, England, transferring afterward to another nine months of bedrest at home. [1] Stevens, who was near death at the time he was admitted in the hospital, used the time he was recuperating for contemplation, and wrote dozens of songs, including "Trouble", many of which were recorded much later. [2]

When he was hospitalized, Stevens was often alone in a very spare and plain room. He was told that at the time he was admitted, he had perhaps only a few weeks of life left in him. [3] The effect on the 19-year-old pop star was pronounced. He said, "To go from the show business environment and find you are in hospital, getting injections day in and day out, and people around you are dying, it certainly changes your perspective. I got down to thinking about myself. It seemed almost as if I had my eyes shut." [4] The song itself shows Stevens switching from heavily orchestrated pop music to a folk-rock emphasis.

While recovering, Stevens donated his spare time, and some of his newer, more introspective songs for Colin Higgins and Hal Ashby's 1971 film soundtrack of Harold and Maude . Most of the tunes used for the movie appear on Stevens's next albums, Mona Bone Jakon and Tea for the Tillerman , with the exception of two songs which were not released until the release of the album Footsteps in the Dark: Greatest Hits Vol. 2 in 1984, "If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out" and "Don't Be Shy".

In Harold and Maude the song "Trouble" is used in the scene of Maude's impending death, with her devoted young lover heartbroken over the turn of events.

Appearances in the media

Cover versions

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  1. O'Driscoll, Michelle. Disc Magazine interview "Tea with the Tillerman"
  2. Phillips, Mark. Originally aired on 3 December 2006 CBS Sunday Morning, Yusuf Islam Reflects on His Return; Artist Once Known as Cat Stevens Talks About New Album. Retrieved 12 August 2007
  3. Forbes, Jim (host) (2000). Cat Stevens: Behind the Music (TV-Series). United States: VH1.
  4. Islam, Yusuf Yusuf Islam: Biography