"Oh Very Young" as written by and Cat Stevens Yusuf Islam....
Oh very young, what will you leave us this time
You're only dancin' on this earth for a short while
And though your dreams may toss and turn you now
They will vanish away like your dads best jeans
Denim blue, faded up to the sky
And though you want them to last forever
You know they never will
(you know they never will)
And the patches make the goodbye harder still.

Oh very young what will you leave us this time
There'll never be a better chance to change your mind
And if you want this world to see a better day
Will you carry the words of love with you
Will you ride the great white bird into heaven
And though you want to last forever
You know you never will
(you know you never will)
And the goodbye makes the journey harder still.

Will you carry the words of love with you
Will you ride, oh, oooh

Oh very young, what will you leave us this time
You're only dancin' on this earth for a short while
Oh very young, what will you leave us this time


Lyrics submitted by Novartza, edited by allie2026

"Oh Very Young" as written by Yusuf Islam Cat Stevens

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Oh Very Young song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentThis song is about the impermanence in life. This is a tenant of Buddhism, I wonder if Cat Stevens explored this before converting to Islam.

    I'm not so young anymore, but my goodbyes to people, places and good situations do not ever get easier. I do like to hang on a bit too long, willing to "patch" things or figure out a way to make the 'goodbye' something other than what it is. There is a feeling of loss, when something good ends; and things are not infinitely improvable, so the risk a young person takes is not always evaluated properly. Great song, liking all the thoughtful posts coming before me. Cheers.
    JayCeezyon November 26, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is a plea. It reminds me of the first ten of Shakespeare's sonnets. The words ask the "very young" person to examine himself and open his eyes to what his existance is actually producing. His likef is like the "morning mist"...mortal like the rest of us.
    I see the person being sung to as a reckless person who is living for himself, maybe not even hurting himself persay, but falling into the "get ahead" mentality, striving to make a buck, but not make much else. The singer is exposing this flaw to the young man pleading for him to use his potential before time runs out, because empty goodbyes are the hardest.
    MusicOfSilenceon September 03, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song might be about shakespeare, but i believe it to be about a good old pair of blue jeans that didn't last as long as they should've. *one of my favorite songs of all time* whatever it means to you satisfies me because it's frickin awesome, :D
    dirtbikeon January 31, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"whatever it means to you satisfies me because it's frickin awesome"

    I wholly agree.

    I did drawings based on the words of this song.

    I love it.
    brain.damageon December 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song also can simply be the happiness and sadness of youth fading and growing older. "like your daddy's best jeans
    denim blue fading up to the sky
    and though you want him to last
    forever you know he never will
    (you know he never will)
    and the patches
    make the goodbye harder still." along the way there are many goodbyes that are sad but they can't last forever, like the dreams of our youth. Patches to me mean we try to hold on, but inevitable they fade away. "and the goodbye
    makes the journey harder sill." this could be the loss of loved ones, or children growing up and leaving home. This is a great song, good as a background for old home movie collections or photos showing pssage of time reflected in the children growing older. Thanks
    HauntingMemorieson May 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti read somewhere that this song is about Buddy Holly's death and acts like a response to American Pie by Don McLean (also about Buddy) but all your interpretations work too..
    An amazing song by one of the greatest songwriters..
    nachozon September 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti read somewhere that this song is about Buddy Holly's death and acts like a response to American Pie by Don McLean (also about Buddy) but all your interpretations work too..
    An amazing song by a great songwriter..
    nachozon September 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentalong with "still be loving you" by the Mighty Zep this would make a great wedding song!
    drpoundsignon October 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJayCeezy: Yes he did explore Buddhism, not only will you find many references to aspects of Buddhism in other songs, he also had an album named Buddha and the Chocolate Box. In several songs his meaning is about struggling for spiritual answers on our journey through life.
    In Longer Boats he says:
    “Just a flower I can help along - 'Cause the soul of nobody knows - How a flower grows... Oh how a flower grows.” This is an old Buddhist story. The student asks the teacher about the mysteries of life and the teacher puts a flower in his hand and says that everything about life is now contained in his hands.
    He studied many religions “on the road to find out” and spiritual curiosity is reflected in many of his songs. Again from Longer Boats, “Mary dropped her pants by the sand And let a parson come and take her hand But the soul of nobody knows Where the parson goes. Where does the parson go?” (The parson (preacher) is fooling around with a girl, but he is a man of God, does he go to heaven or hell?
    From “On the Road to find out” he says, Yes the answer lies within, so why not take a look now? (very Buddhist) Kick out the devil's sin, pick up, pick up A good book now. (get some religion or at least a moral code).
    In “Miles from nowhere” he says, “Lord my body has been a good friend But I won't need it when I reach the end” which could be one of several religious beliefs.
    I have been a Cat Stevens fan since I was a kid in the 70’s. I’ve also had an interest in Buddhism. Lately I’ve been much more interested in Buddhism and I’ve been listening to a lot of Cat Stevens. I definitely agree that there is a connection.
    Lyrics2Deepon January 21, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have actually selected this song to be played someday at my memorial service. (Hopefully many, many years from now.) "Oh, Very Young" contains a very positive, spiritual message about the impermanence of life and how important for us to show love to the people around you while there is still time. I especially love the lyrics: "You're only dancing on this earth for a short while," indicating that brevity of life. I also love the whole second verse. Every time I hear this song I get goosebumps while meditating on the implication of the lyrics and they're beauty. I wish more songs like this existed and more were being written today. True art builds up men's souls. Most of today's garbage tears us apart.






    RDMon March 04, 2011   Link

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