In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well. This week: Our favorite songs under two minutes long.
Cat Stevens, “The Wind” (1971)
Earlier this year, I rolled around on the office floor, and while it’s not entirely odd for me to show excitement through physicality, this time was different. This time it was because I was given the chance to see Cat Stevens perform live, a feat I didn’t think was possible in my lifetime, given that he had stopped touring something like a dozen years before my birth. Stevens, touring as Yusuf Islam now, has long held the second slot in my all-time top five—yes, Rush is in first—so I felt the need to mentally prepare for the concert by scoping out previous set lists. Regardless, I cried when the first note of the show hit.
There’s something about the ethereal opening of “The Wind,” a song that in less than two minutes can completely captivate an audience, that hits my heart. Perhaps it’s the way the song appeals to my entire spectrum of existence, from my no-nonsense approach to task completion, which “The Wind” addresses with its concise songwriting, to my slightly secretive soft side, which latches on to the highly personal lyrics and the idea of following your heart. That part of me is overcome with admiration each time I hear “I let my music take me where my heart wants to go,” because I often do the same with my writing, and that’s a freedom I’m not always afforded elsewhere, reminding me of the magic that comes with writing a lyric or a line.