She hangs her head and cries on my shirt
She must be hurt very badly
Tell me what's making you sad, Li?
Open your door, don't hide in the dark
You're lost in the dark, you can trust me
'Cause you know that's how it must be

Lisa Lisa, sad Lisa Lisa

Her eyes like windows, trickle in rain
Upon the pain getting deeper
Though my love wants to relieve her
She walks alone from wall to wall
Lost in her hall, she can't hear me
Though I know she likes to be near me

Lisa Lisa, sad Lisa Lisa

She sits in a corner by the door
There must be more I can tell her
If she really wants me to help her
I'll do what I can to show her the way
And maybe one day I will free her
Though I know no one can see her
Lisa Lisa, sad Lisa Lisa


Lyrics submitted by Novartza

Sad Lisa Lyrics as written by Yusuf Islam Cat Stevens

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Sad Lisa song meanings
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  • +4
    General Comment

    My name is Lisa. My husband died in 2012 and now it's 2016. He sent me this beautiful song while I was planning his funeral. I posted my interpretation on this site in 2013. Currently it is found on page two of this blog.

    Whatever Cat had in mind when he wrote this haunting song, it will always represent the death of my husband, the love of my husband, and his last words to me given after his death.

    Tea for Tillerman is on my CD changer in the car. It will always be. Every time Sad Lisa plays, I remember how much he loved me.

    It played on the way home tonight and I remembered the Sad Lisa interpretation post and wondered what site I posted it to over 4 years ago, then let the question fade. Checking my email as I always do first when I return home, I received a notice that someone had rated up my first post. With that notice I was able to relocate the post and read it again.

    I cried again. This time it was tears of joy. He's still out there, helping me when he can. I love you Lorin.

    Huffon May 03, 2016   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    Those are lots of interesting interpretations to ponder. I remember when this song first came out. I thought it was about a girl in an institution struggling with depression for the first 95% of the song. The twist at the end "I know nobody can see her" made me believe that she was actually all in his mind. Kind of like a struggling imaginary friend that made me believe it was he who was struggling. No matter how you interpret this song it strikes me as being a beautiful combination of tenderness, sadness, hope, while being haunting.

    LIT4EVERon March 09, 2013   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    My husband, a natural born musician, passed on last December. While planning his funeral, sitting on his side of the bed near the door in the corner of the room, listening to a TV new age music channel, wearing his shirt, and sobbing now and then, a most beautiful instrumental by Angels of Venice caught my attention. I looked up to see the words 'Sad Lisa' floating across the TV screen. My name is Lisa.

    The next day I bought the Angels of Venice CD. I told my sister about the beautiful music and how I hoped it was a message from my husband. She called me back within the hour to let me know the song was by Cat Stevens and told me to read the words of the song.

    My husband's urn was on a memorial table in the hall outside our bedroom. I had spent days wandering our large home alone. I was crying on his shirt in the corner by the door. Somehow, he sent me this most beautiful song.

    I love him more than life itself, and he loved me, for over 20 years. I know now that he'll show me the way if he can. And he knows no one can see me, the real me that is. The me that he knew.

    Huffon November 01, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I think the lyric is "sad, Li" and not "sadly". The first is an affectionate short name for Lisa and the second is just messed up English.

    snowie0wlon May 23, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This is SUCH a beautiful song. This song reminds me of when I was depressed, which I was for years and years, and everytime I'm sad again, or someone's wronged me I listen to this and brings back memories of old pain, and I know it may seem a little odd but it feels good to remember times like those, just cos I got through them. But now I'm just rambling :p lol. I love the way he uses a kind of pun...dunno if anyone else noticed it. "Her eyes like windows, trickling rain, upon her pain getting deeper", pain could also be seen as window PANE.

    Anyway, this song makes me cry. My mom played it to me when..well something really bad had happened to me, something I couldn't tell ANYONE about, and I kept holding it back and then one night I just sat with her and cryed on her shoulder. I still couldn't tell her, but I think she could relate this song perfectly then. "Open the door, don't hide in the dark" "Tell me what's making you Sadly"

    This is just the ultimate song for deep and beautiful sadness. If you could call it that.

    gypsy-roseon August 07, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This is the most beautiful song. I first heard it about 3am coz i put this album on when i was going to sleep, then had it so it repeated the entire album over and over. I woke up and heard the piano and freaked out coz i didnt know where it was coming from. But I loved it from the minute i heard it

    "Open your door, don't hide in the dark," "Her eyes like windows, tricklin' rain upon her pain, getting deeper" "She walks alone from wall to wall, lost in a hall,"

    They are my 3 favourite lines. I love this song and Cat Stevens is a legend

    syko_braton November 09, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    doggs are powerful.dawg

    xsteadyxasxyouxgoxon January 11, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This song is about and autistic girl, his sister. No one sees her, means everyone lese has stopped trying. She is locked in an institutuion. Only he comes to visit any more. She know he is all she has left, but cant reach out to him.

    jojopennyon January 27, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Cat Stevens said once in a live concert that sometimes he think that he wrote this song about himself

    Cat Stevenson April 21, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Yeah i agree with cat stevens ^^... as in the member of this site cat stevens... In his 1976 concert "majikat" in virginia he said that he wrote this song about sum1 else, but really it reflects him.

    squeak043on June 11, 2007   Link

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