Yusuf Islam was so overwhelmed by the plight of child refugees during a recent trip to Turkey that he penned an emotional song in their honor, “He Was Alone.” The singer formerly known as Cat Stevens appears in the video for the spare, emotional ballad playing the haunting electric organ accompaniment amid scenes of a child fending for himself after leaving his family behind.
“He was alone, when he was 12/ Only his thoughts, which he kept to himself/ He didn’t have a place to play/ A friend to call, or a word to say,” Islam sings in the track that mixes the fear and desperation of child refugees with hopeful dreams of rainbows, white horses and a return home.
“While the world faces incomprehensible numbers and statistics created by the refugee crisis the tragedy and story of a single soul gets missed,” Islam wrote in a statement accompanying the video inspired by his recent trip to a region in Southern Turkey on the Turkish/Syrian border.
“It was difficult to stand by just watching this tragedy without trying to do something. I simply decided to help humanize the narrative and lend my voice to the call for keeping hearts and doors open to every refugee, especially youngsters, who have lost what future they might have once hoped for.”
“He Was Alone” is the first new music from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer since his 2014 album, Tell ‘Em I’m Gone. Islam will perform at a concert at the Westminster Central Hall on June 14 in honor of the #YouAreNot Alone charity.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 3, 2016