At the time just before 'Steve' (what his friends called him) wrote these lyrics, he was 'going with' the subject of the song (I'll call her 'Liz'). At a celebrity party in London, Liz was...
Now that I've lost everything to you
You say you want to start something new
And it's breaking my heart you're leaving
Baby, I'm grieving

But if you want to leave, take good care
Hope you have a lot of nice things to wear
But then a lot of nice things turn bad out there

Oh baby baby it's a wild world
It's hard to get by just upon a smile
Oh baby baby it's a wild world

I'll always remember you like a child, girl
You know I've seen a lot of what the world can do
And it's breaking my heart in two
'Cause I never want to see you sad girl
Don't be a bad girl
But if you want to leave take good care
Hope you make a lot of nice friends out there
But just remember there's a lot of bad and beware
Beware

Oh baby baby it's a wild world
It's hard to get by just upon a smile
Oh baby baby it's a wild world
And I'll always remember you like a child, girl

Baby I love you, but if you want to leave take good care
Hope you make a lot of nice friends out there
But just remember there's a lot of bad
And beware, beware

Oh baby baby it's a wild world
It's hard to get by just upon a smile
Oh baby baby it's a wild world
And I'll always remember you like a child, girl


Lyrics submitted by kevin

"Wild World" as written by Cat Stevens

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Wild World song meanings
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52 Comments

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  • +8
    General CommentThis song is NOT about a father and daughter. Many of you are taking things too literally. This song is most certainly written from the perspective of a guy who has been dumped by (a possibly somewhat younger) girlfriend.
    Rumpelstiltskinon February 20, 2012   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI guess I don't have anything too insightful to add, but I'll try anyway. To me the song is about a young woman eager to see what the world has to offer her. She's obviously naive, but determined nonetheless. The line "it's hard to get by just upon a smile" means to me that the woman only thinks she understands how the world works. Also, the fact that the narrator calls her "girl" has to imply she's unknowing. Another thing is the "remember you as a child" line. I guess that also means that the narrator knows she'll be changed. It's an amazing song -- the realization that he must let her go even know if she ever returns she won't be the same. He just can't stop her -- perhaps he loves her too much to try.
    jpockon May 21, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti think of my friends and i when i hear this song. we're young, but not too young, and almost ready to try and make something of ourselves in the world but not sure how to do it. i think this song is about just that- a young girl wanting to come into her own and striving for independence, but a little uncertain and scared. i myself feel a little disheartened when i hear this song; it frightens me to think of the perils that are hiding around every corner in life, but it also excites me to think that soon, i will hopefully build up the strength, stamina and wisdom necessary for robbing those perils of their power over my life. wow that was deep lol
    XtremeDoGloveRon June 27, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI've always thought this song was sung by a man deeply in love with a girl younger than him at least in terms of experience. He has lost everything to her meaning he would give up anything and has for her. But she is young and innocent and naieve(sp?) and wants to explore the world maybe pursue an acting career or something. He is more experienced and understands that the world can be a dangerous place especially to the innocent and he wants to warn her. He loves her so much he is willing to let her go but it hurts him to think of what she will encounter. Then the next song, "Sad Lisa" seems to me to be her coming back a very broken person.
    singleeyeon January 09, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song means everything to alot of people. Its when your in a relationship and you have to let them go, but you have to warn them everything isnt how it seems or whats in the movies. Especially applies now, with bombs in America, Iraq and bomb threats in Australia. They just raided and found alot of bombs and weapons in Sydney and Melbourne. Its only a matter of time
    syko_braton November 09, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't doubt that the soung could be about Patti D'Arbanville, it could be about a daughter or it could be about any random parting. What Cat has managed to achieve is to capture the ambivalence of wishing a loved one well whilst suffering heartache at the same time.

    A couple of years ago I had a dream that when I was a child I was close to a little girl, and that she stopped being my friend because I was wanting to only be with like-minded boys. That dream left me very emotional and this song has much the same affect on me, especially all the references to "girl".

    Whatever he originally meant, he's managed to encapsulate the agony and denial of heartache beautifully.
    McWulfon July 20, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentlove this song
    ALWAYSYOURS4EVERon March 29, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song. It is so beautiful. I think Cat Stevens is just warning someone to be careful about the choices she makes.
    AlbinoPink3on May 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti have heard this song before.but sing by Mr.Big
    it is a really lovely song
    yikwanon May 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this song mite be about a daughter leaving home, and he's tellin her how the the world has bad too,
    sarahcrawford16on July 13, 2002   Link

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