"Wild World" is a song written and recorded by English singer-songwriter Cat Stevens. It first appeared on his fourth album, Tea for the Tillerman, recorded and released in 1970.
Stevens developed a relationship with actress Patti D'Arbanville and the two were a pair throughout a period of two years or so. During that time, he wrote several songs about her, including the song "Wild World." The song has struck many critics as being protective and caring[not in citation given]; the artist's expression of love includes words like "Because I never want to see you sad girl, don't be a bad girl".
The song is in the form of the singer's words to his departing lover, inspired by the end of their romance. Stevens later recalled to Mojo: "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."
Released as a single in late 1970, it just missed becoming Stevens' first Top 10 hit in the United States, peaking at #11 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart. "Wild World" has been credited as the song that gave Stevens' next album, Tea for the Tillerman, "enough kick" to get it played on FM radio; and Island Records' Chris Blackwell has been quoted as calling it "the best album we've ever released" to that date.
In November 2008, the Tea for the Tillerman CD was re-issued in a deluxe version which included the original demo of "Wild World".
The song has been covered by many artists, with many of the covers becoming hits of their own. Jimmy Cliff's version, released a few months after Stevens released the original version, reached number eight on the UK Singles Chart.
Surprisingly, Stevens' version was not released as a single in the UK. Some of the subsequent covers have also been in the reggae style, indicating that they may be covers of Cliff's version, as opposed to direct covers of Cat Stevens' original arrangement.