Yusuf Islam, the singer-songwriter formerly known as Cat Stevens, recently visited the camps for Syrian refugees in southern Turkey. And then he wrote “He Was Alone,” a song about the plight of one kid trying to find a new life for himself and dying on the road. Islam is using the song to introduce a new charity campaign dedicated to the refugee children in Europe; there are currently 10,000 missing. And the song, which makes the kid’s plight tangible, is tough to watch but also important. Check it out below.
Talking to the Guardian, Islam says, “I am an eternal optimist. ‘Peace Train,’ ‘Moon Shadow’ are all optimistic but this might be one of the only songs I have written which has no happy ending. Because I don’t see any end at the moment. Happiness is what people want to feel [when they listen to music] but if you look over your shoulder, things are happening that ain’t that happy.” He’ll play a charity show 6/14 at London’s Central Hall Westminster.