If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out

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"If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out"
Song by Cat Stevens
Released December 1984
Recorded 1971
Genre Folk rock, pop rock
Length 2:46
Label A&M
Writer Cat Stevens
Producer Paul Samwell-Smith

"If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out" is a popular song by Cat Stevens. It first appeared in the 1971 film Harold and Maude.

Stevens wrote all the songs in Harold and Maude in 1970-1971, during the time he was writing and recording his Tea for the Tillerman album. However, "If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out" and two other songs from that period were not released as singles nor placed on any album at that time. No official soundtrack was released from the film at that time. The song was finally released later on Stevens' 1984 album, Footsteps in the Dark: Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 along with his other previously unreleased songs. In addition, it appeared on the UK edition of his 2003 album The Very Best of Cat Stevens.

Official soundtrack (2007)[edit]

The first official soundtrack album to the film was released in December 2007, by Vinyl Films Records, as a vinyl-only limited edition release of 2500 copies. It contained a 30-page oral history of the making of the film, the most extensive series of interviews yet conducted on Harold and Maude.

Harold and Maude[edit]

This is the tune that could be best associated as the theme song for the film Harold and Maude, about a septuagenarian, Maude, played by Ruth Gordon, and a morose, emotionally neglected youth reaching manhood named Harold, played by Bud Cort. The film shows Maude teaching Harold to embrace the circle of life, incorporating many lessons, with one, where she insists that he learn a musical instrument, and this is where the song is learned as well. By the end of the movie, both poignant, funny, and sad, Harold appears to have learned the lesson as he plays "their song", and Cat Stevens' version follows before the closing credits.

Appearances on other soundtracks[edit]

In 2007, a rendition of "Sing out" appeared in the film Charlie Bartlett, a teen tragic comedy film for which Stevens' lyrics and music appear to be a comfortable fit. The film is reviewed as perhaps a step up from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but its quirky sense of humor at the time that the song was written matched that of Stevens, who agreed to release his songs for the film.[1]

The song is featured in the TV shows My Name Is Earl and Ray Donovan.

It was featured as the 2nd song of Rodney Mullen's Skateboarding Part in the Plan B Video, Questionable.

Cover versions[edit]

  • The song has been covered by Bloomington, Indiana's folk punk pioneers Ghost Mice under the shortened title "Sing Out".
  • The song has been covered by Death By Chocolate in 2001, on their first, self-titled album
  • In August 2009, Yusuf Islam approved his original recording of the song for use in a T Mobile television commercial. Wyclef Jean also made an upbeat remix of the song for a later T Mobile commercial that aired in December 2009.
  • Folk music/bluegrass band Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem covered the song for their 2010 album Ranky Tanky.
  • The song has also been covered by Amanda Palmer.
  • The song has been covered by Jim Gill on his 1995 children's album "Jim Gill Makes It Noisy In Boise, Idaho".
  • German bitpop band Welle: Erdball covered the song on their album "Der Kalte Krieg" (2011).[1]


  1. ^ Donadoni, Serena (September 28, 2008). "Film Review: Charlie Bartlett". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved 2008-07-24.