The years run too short and the days too fast
The things you lean on, are the things that don't last.”— “Time Passages,” written by Al Stewart and Peter White, performed by Stewart on his Time Passages LP (1978)
Folk-rock singer-songwriter Al Stewart—born on this day 70 years ago in Glasgow, Scotland—might prefer not to live in his own past, but he definitely is aware of other people’s. On the Time Passages LP, for instance, he sings of “A Man for All Seasons”—and, if anyone could possibly miss the reference to St. Thomas More, he follows with another to Henry VIII (though he misidentifies him as “Henry Plantagenet”).
His other songs over his long career cover such topics as WWI pilots, the French Revolution, the Nazi invasion of the U.S.S.R., Warren Harding—and two actors that might seem more and more like historical figures for each upcoming generation of movie fans: Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre, in my favorite song of his, “The Year of the Cat.”