Critical Analysis of Peace Train by Cat Stevens

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The Importance of Unity

In the song “Peace Train” by Cat Stevens (Yousaf Islam), Stevens reaches out to the masses in an attempt to display the simplicity of supporting peace, while stressing the importance of a united world and its people by comparing peace to a train. The theme of this song is vague, but powerful, an informal declaration of resistance to war and hatred in general. Stevens expresses his feelings that peace someday will prevail by explaining how the peace train runs along the edge of darkness, symbolizing how the darkness of hatred is inevitable, however with the combined effort and will of the people, the world can bypass the darkness as a unit on the peace train. It is also apparent by the peaceful tune that Steven’s is calling for peaceful assembly as opposed to violent opposition of the status quo.

Stevens’ comparison of peace to a train suggests the simplicity of supporting peace. When one has the option to get on a train, they either do or they do not. Stevens displays the decision to support peace as a black or white option. In a world of hatred, like it was then, it is a necessity that people give full support to peace by not only embracing the ideas of peace but also using these ideas to come together. Stevens is also explaining how the decision to support peace encompasses more than the meaning of peace itself, but the willingness to join a coalition of people united under a general principle.

Stevens’ metaphor of peace as a train also displays his belief that peace will triumph only if the people are united. When people travel on a train, they travel together, and though there may be separate cars, everybody is moving forward at the same pace together. Also, the purpose of a train is to move people forward, and if there are not sufficient amounts of people that use the train, the train will have no purpose. Like a train, peace requires the coordinated will of everybody as a unit to move forward passed bad times....
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