Cat Stevens – Wild World

I bought Tea for the Tillerman for this song and became a fan. The song peaked at #11 in the Billboard 100 in 1971. Stevens is a very good songwriter who has had his songs covered by many artists including Rod Stewart, Don Williams, Jimmy Cliff and many more…and his unique voice sets him apart.

Cat Stevens on Wild World

“It was one of those chord sequences that’s very common in Spanish music. I turned it around and came up with that theme- which is a recurring theme in my work- which is to do with leaving, the sadness of leaving, and the anticipation of what lies beyond. There is a criticism sometimes of my music, that it’s kind of naïve, but then again that’s exactly why people like it. It goes back to the pure childish approach of seeing things almost for the first time. A kid can say things like, ‘Why is a cow?’ You shouldn’t put those words together! But if you do, then it makes you stop and think.”

 

From Songfacts.

Stevens wrote this about searching for peace and happiness in a crazy world. There was some speculation that much of the song was a message to Patti D’Arbanville, an actress he had been dating. Stevens cleared this up when he spoke about the song on The Chris Isaak Hour in 2009. Said Stevens: “I was trying to relate to my life. I was at the point where it was beginning to happen and I was myself going into the world. I’d done my career before, and I was sort of warning myself to be careful this time around because it was happening. It was not me writing about somebody specific, although other people may have informed the song, but it was more about me. It’s talking about losing touch with home and reality – home especially.”

This was a #8 UK hit for Jimmy Cliff three months before Stevens released his version. Cliff explained to Mojo magazine July 2012 that Stevens produced his cover. “I felt an affinity with Cat Stevens,” he said. “They tried to market him as a rock act and like me, he was more than that and one day I went to the publisher and he played me this demo of ‘Wild World’ and he told me that Steve (Cat’s real name) had written it but he didn’t like it. I loved it right away so he called up Steve and put me on the phone to him. Steve asked what my key was, I said and he started playing guitar down the phone, He said we have to record it together so he went in and did the track and I went in the following day, helped put on the backing voices with Doris Troy and then it was time to put my voice on and Steve directed me to sing the high notes. He was a really good producer and it was a big hit.”

Maxi Priest recorded this in 1988. His version hit #5 in the UK.

This was released as a single only in the US. Stevens’ European label, Island Records, wanted to encourage people to buy the albums rather than the 45s.

This was one of the songs that convinced Stevens, now known as Yusuf Islam, to release a boxed set of his songs in 2001. He stopped making secular music in 1979 but came to realize that people find strength and inspiration in the songs he recorded as Cat Stevens.

This was Stevens’ first song to chart in the US.

In an interview with Mojo magazine June 2009, the comment was made that lyrically this song has “an uninhibited simplicity.” Stevens responded:

Stevens that this is, “a song about me.”

TV presenter Jonathan King covered this after he accused the Pet Shop Boys of ripping off the song’s melody for their 1987 hit “It’s A Sin.” He eventually dropped the claim… after the duo sued him and won.

Wild World

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

Oh baby baby it’s a wild world
And 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

Author: badfinger20

Guitar, Bass, song writer,

10 thoughts on “Cat Stevens – Wild World”

      1. No…I don’t sound like him at all… Never tried one except for Moonshadow
        His voice is one of a kind. It would be hard to mimic it’s so one of a kind.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Great song, and like you said, he was really talented and hot back in the era. Wonder if he would’ve stayed big had he not converted to Islam and changed his name (and musical outlook) in the late-70s?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think he would have…he may have faded some like most do… but with his song writing ability he would have came back. With punk and things coming in…but like I said…he would have rebounded.

      Like

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