"Sitting" as written by and Yusuf / Islam....
Oh I'm on my way I know I am,
Somewhere not so far from here
All I know is all I feel right now,
I feel the power growing in my hair

Sitting on my own not by myself,
Everybody's here with me
I don't need to touch your face lo know,
And I don't need to use my eyes to see

I keep on wondering if I sleep too long,
Will I always wake up the same (or so)?
I keep on wondering if I sleep to long,
Will I even wake up the same or something

Oh I'm on my way I know I am,
But times there were when thought not
Bleeding half my soul in bad company,
I thank the moon I had the strength to stop

I'm not making love to anyone's wishes,
Only for that light I see
Cause when I'm dead and lowered low in my grave,
That's gonna be the only thing that's left of me

And if I make it to the waterside,
Will I even find me a boat (or so)?
And I if I make it lo the waterside,
I'll be sure to write you note or something

Oh I'm on my way I know I am,
Somewhere not so far from here
All I know is all I feel right now,
I feel the power growing In my hair

Oh life is like a maze of doors
And they all open from the side you're on
Just keep on pushing hard boy, try as you may
You're going to wind up where you started from
You're going to wind up where you started from


Lyrics submitted by jontbarker

"Sitting" as written by Yusuf / Islam

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Sitting song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI listened to this song thousands of times before I truly understood one of the verses, and it’s right there in front of our faces. I can’t believe nobody has mentioned it. Read the last verse very closely. Picture it in your mind. Have you ever walked up to a building and pushed on the door several times and it doesn't open. And you think "It's only 3:30 - they can't be closed". No matter how hard you PUSH the door, it won't budge. Then you take a confused step backward only to read somewhere on the door that says "PULL". I wrote comments about some Buddhist teachings in some of Cat’s songs, but this verse is not about reincarnation. It’s about being attached to things and outcomes, trying so hard to get somewhere (career etc) as opposed to letting go and being at peace and harmony with objects around us and ideas in our heads. If you stood and pushed on a door that opened from the side you’re on, (which is a door that needs to be pulled) where would you end up? You would end up right where you started. Cat has many songs that speak of the journey through life, usually looking for spiritual answers.
    This one is about meditation. It is called Sitting. Most Buddhist centers (and many other religions, new age groups, and some yoga and even martial arts centers have group meditations. Many refer to them as Sittings.) Meditation is about clearing your mind and stop the brain from its’ incessant thinking. You first learn that things are not the problem, your reaction to the things are the problem. The only way to delve further is to start getting in touch with feelings which will tell you the truth about yourself. (Brains tend to justify and cannot be relied on for truth about oneself).
    In the first verse Cat starts talking about feeling, All I know is all I feel right now. (meditation = feeling — thinking). The next verse he starts with, Sitting on my own not by myself. Everybody’s here with me. — He’s either referring to being part of a group meditation or during meditation one can get in touch with many aspects (some call sub-personalities) of oneself.
    The next verse talks about sleeping several times. Many of these meditation styles are referred to as “awareness training”. When you start coming out of meditation the world looks different. You become more aware. At first, this awareness doesn’t last long; your conditioned mind will soon regain control. With more meditation comes more awareness. When you are in a more heightened state of awareness you look at how you were previously and those around you as being zombie-like. As if we are all going through life half asleep. I think the “power growing in my hair” could be a reference to Sampson (strength) or in deep meditation one can feel very subtle energy and things that our brain normally ignores. It could be referring to enlightenment. I think that is what he is referring to by “I’m on my way”. (on the right spiritual path or towards enlightenment) Except for the last verse the rest are just talking about death and the afterlife.
    That’s my 2 cents.
    Lyrics2Deepon January 21, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis entire song is about death. I think Cat is talking about dying and when he says "And if I make it to the waterside, I'll be sure to write you a note or something" indicating that the waterside is the hereafter. A lot of Cat's music is about life, death and God.
    adaylikeforeveron March 07, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis entire song is about death. I think Cat is talking about dying and when he says "And if I make it to the waterside, I'll be sure to write you a note or something" indicating that the waterside is the hereafter. A lot of Cat's music is about life, death and God.
    adaylikeforeveron March 07, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song is about how cat stevens feels about dying. He didnt think death would be able to catch up with him, and he is glad he had the strength to stop thinking that he couldnt die cause one day he would and that will be all that he has left when he is gone. He knows that everyday he gets a little closer to dying so he better mind his P&Q's
    "Oh I'm on my way I know I am,
    somewhere not so far from here
    All I know is all I feel right now,
    I feel the power growing In my hair"
    AshenCharmon April 07, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, but until just now, I didn't get the line "I feel the power growing In my hair " and it always confused me. I think that line is about the passage of time, and the power of death coming with it. His hair grows longer over time, and its a visual reminder that life is ticking away.
    ZeroOneon October 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"The power growing in my hair" might be a Biblical refernece to the story of Sampson. He was born a Nazertie and never cut his hair and Jehovah gave him the power of extraordinary strenght. But Delilah convinced him to tell her the secret to his strength, and then when he was asleep, she called in the enemy philistines, who cut his hair and took him captive. after awhile, his hair grew back, he repented of his mistakes(the involvement w/ Delilah), and Jehovah restored his strength. then Sampson tore down a big building, killing himself along with a bunch of philistines.

    well, i'm not totally sure if that^^^ is what Cat is referrig to, but if it is, well...that's interesting.
    findsomepeaceon September 29, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's defiitley about dying, in my opinion, and kind of recapping his life very briefly. This can be seen in the 4th and 5th parts (not sure of the name with a song with this sort of structure) He admits that when he was younger he didn't really thinkg about death and wasted time hanging out with the wrong crowd instead of doing something worthwile.

    I've always thought that the waterside was the river styx. I agree more with ZeroOne's interpertation on the hair.

    One of my favorite songs of all time. I've always wanted to do a cover of this with darker music, but not change a word.
    HalfBakedSkilleton August 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is not simply about dying but about the passage ot the heaven. I think the reference to the “power in my hair” is related to the Norse idea that that when dying people feel a power growing in their hair.

    The second verse seems to be a reference to the subject looking on (in a non physical form) over the living maybe at the funeral. The reference to not needing any physical body to see and touch would appear to emhasise this with the third verse questioning the state of being in this non physical state.

    The fourth verse is an indication that this passage would not have been possible looking back at his behaviour in earlier years. A reference to Stevens’ decision to give up the pop star life he had been following.

    The next verse is demonstrating his allegiance to God (the light) as the only word to be obeyed and the only thing left once he has passed over to the other side.

    I wonder of the reference to the ‘waterside’ is again the Norse idea where the dead were sent off on boat at the funeral. The of course his comment about making contact once at the ‘other side’

    A fascinating song showing Stevens’ belief in heaven and what is required to get there.
    John@Markon August 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have always taken this song to represent him moving on from the life he was clearly not enjoying near the end of his musical career, and his subsequent conversion to Islam. 'I thank the moon I had the strength to the stop' - Crescent of Islam?

    He was uncertain about moving from the life he had known to that date, and where he was going... but knew he mad to make the move.

    'I really didn't have my soul in their company, and I had the strength to stop'

    When he says he 'feels the power growing in his hair', I have taken it to be a statement that hew felts his strength in his new faith growing as a result of the changes he is making...

    I had never really seen the death reference until I read this page :)
    TPCon January 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI know Cat converted to Islam, but I'll be darned if he doesn't sound like a Buddhist here. I mean even the title of the song is "sitting". When a Buddhist meditates he or she will often refer to it as sitting. And some of his allusions could have been taken straight out of Buddhism. Like the boat. Enlightened beings are often talked about as crossing over a river. Buddhism being the boat that takes them across. When he wonders if he sleeps too long will he wake up the same. Again, a classic dharma about change and impermance. There are even hints of reincarnation - at least for me - in the song. Especially the part where "you're going to wind up where you started from."

    Anyways, I think TPC has got it pretty much right. Cat was hurting in his old ways and was starting to change. I also took the hair reference the same way as TPC. Just a phrase indicating he's starting to feel the spirit moving strongly in him. I didn't and still don't read much more into it.

    I do however wonder if Cat was into Buddhism before he converted to Islam, because this really screams Buddhist to me.
    LittleRoberton February 04, 2007   Link

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