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Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)

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GUEST,Lisa. 04 Nov 01 - 09:12 AM
Allan C. 04 Nov 01 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,Lisa. 04 Nov 01 - 10:01 AM
Allan C. 04 Nov 01 - 10:25 AM
Sorcha 04 Nov 01 - 11:53 AM
Lonesome EJ 04 Nov 01 - 03:59 PM
SharonA 05 Nov 01 - 10:52 AM
GUEST,Yvette 09 May 09 - 11:20 AM
olddude 09 May 09 - 11:43 AM
Georgiansilver 09 May 09 - 01:44 PM
olddude 09 May 09 - 02:47 PM
olddude 09 May 09 - 03:13 PM
M.Ted 09 May 09 - 05:35 PM
michaelr 10 May 09 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,jeff 11 May 09 - 01:58 AM
GUEST,Fredrike 01 Jul 09 - 06:43 PM
Jason Xion Wang 01 Jul 09 - 09:42 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 02 Jul 09 - 02:27 AM
Rifleman (inactive) 02 Jul 09 - 12:24 PM
michaelr 02 Jul 09 - 03:22 PM
Rifleman (inactive) 02 Jul 09 - 03:41 PM
michaelr 02 Jul 09 - 06:55 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 04 Jul 09 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,Mona Lisa 02 Sep 09 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,Vanina 23 Jul 10 - 11:48 PM
Lonesome EJ 24 Jul 10 - 03:45 AM
GUEST,Karl 31 May 11 - 07:51 PM
GUEST,Gonzo Ratcliffe 09 Jul 11 - 10:24 AM
GUEST,Deke 21 Sep 11 - 12:00 AM
GUEST,Sagutxo 21 Sep 11 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,Ty 11 Oct 11 - 01:29 PM
BTNG 11 Oct 11 - 02:09 PM
GUEST 25 Feb 12 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,SAM 06 Mar 12 - 02:09 AM
GUEST,Jens 20 Jan 14 - 04:57 PM
GUEST,Sheila Burgener 25 Jun 14 - 04:36 PM
GUEST 12 May 15 - 10:25 AM
GUEST 05 Jun 15 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,Mark 28 Jun 15 - 07:48 PM
GUEST,Mark 28 Jun 15 - 08:31 PM
GUEST,Eriol 03 Jan 16 - 10:46 AM
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Subject: SAD LISA
From: GUEST,Lisa.
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 09:12 AM

Hello. I'd like to know the backround of cat steven's *Sad Lisa*. Because it is MY song.

Thanx, L.


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Subject: RE: SAD LISA
From: Allan C.
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 09:37 AM

I searched far and wide and was unable to uncover any background. Perhaps someone else will have better luck.

I sincerely hope you will someday find a happier song to call your own, Lisa.


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Subject: RE: SAD LISA
From: GUEST,Lisa.
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 10:01 AM

Yes, you're right!!! But I found this song on my father's old LP when I was really sad. This song made me stronger. And I thought my best friend might sing it.

bye, L.


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Subject: RE: SAD LISA
From: Allan C.
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 10:25 AM

Lisa, you can find a discussion about this song here. It doesn't give a lot of information but may give you a hint or two about the song's origin or where to look for more discussion. Hope this helps!


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Subject: RE: SAD LISA
From: Sorcha
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 11:53 AM

How about this:

Reviews
(All Music Guide)
Mona Bone Jakon only began Cat Stevens' comeback. Seven months later, he returned with Tea for the Tillerman, an album in the same chamber-group style, employing the same musicians and producer, but with a far more confident tone. Mona Bone Jakon had been full of references to death, but Tea for the Tillerman was not about dying; it was about living in the modern world while rejecting it in favor of spiritual fulfillment.

It began with a statement of purpose, "Where Do the Children Play?," in which Stevens questioned the value of technology and progress. "Wild World" found the singer being dumped by a girl, but making the novel suggestion that she should stay with him because she was incapable of handling things without him.

"Sad Lisa" might have been about the same girl after she tried and failed to make her way; now, she seemed depressed to the point of psychosis. The rest of the album veered between two themes: the conflict between the young and the old, and religion as an answer to life's questions.

Tea for the Tillerman was the story of a young man's search for spiritual meaning in a soulless class society he found abhorrent. He hadn't yet reached his destination, but he was confident he was going in the right direction, traveling at his own, unhurried pace.

The album's rejection of contemporary life and its yearning for something more struck a chord with listeners in an era in which traditional verities had been shaken. It didn't hurt, of course, that Stevens had lost none of his ability to craft a catchy pop melody; the album may have been full of angst, but it wasn't hard to sing along to.

As a result, Tea for the Tillerman became a big seller and, for the second time in four years, its creator became a pop star.
William Ruhlmann

from: http://music.barnesandnoble.com/search/product.asp?ean=731454688420


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Subject: RE: SAD LISA
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 03:59 PM

This song has several rhyme stretches : "she must be hurt very badly/ Tell me what's making you sadly" that are painful, but I like it. My theory is that the song is a ghost story. Lisa fits the mold of a mournful ghost. She "wanders alone from wall to wall/ lost in a hall she can't hear me". "Maybe some day I will free her/ though I know no one can see her" seems to further show that she is an apparition seen only be the narrator.

Another possibility is that the song recounts an experience that Stevens may have had during a brief confinement in a mental institution.


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Subject: RE: SAD LISA
From: SharonA
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 10:52 AM

I'd pictured Lisa as a young Eleanor Rigby.

EJ: I know that the lyric was written "sadly", but when I listen to it, it sounds as if the "-ly" is actually a nickname for Lisa ("Tell me, what's making you sad, Li?").

Another rhyme stretch (or pun): "Her eyes like windows, trickling rain upon her pain..."


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: GUEST,Yvette
Date: 09 May 09 - 11:20 AM

This song haunted me from the first moment I heard it and I love its wistfulness

I am torn between wondering whether Lisa is a ghost wandering around the halls (no-one can see her other than the singer) or is she an overlooked young girl in a mental institution - (she has become invisable) locked in her sadness and mental pain

I have a sister who sadly is still locked in her mental pain and it really did remind me of her I could really relate to this song

Would love to hear from the man himself to explain his interpretation and inspiration for this song

Best Wishes to all who read!


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: olddude
Date: 09 May 09 - 11:43 AM

the story I got a long time ago from a friend who knew cat
was it is indeed a ghost and Lisa is a young child. again that is second hand but it came from a good source


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 09 May 09 - 01:44 PM

She hangs her head and cries in MY SHIRT!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: olddude
Date: 09 May 09 - 02:47 PM

I guess ghost can cry . I dunno that is what I was told in the 70's.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: olddude
Date: 09 May 09 - 03:13 PM

I guess he got the name Cat from his girlfriend who said he had cat eyes or something like that. My friend worked for Decca in the 70's that had something to do with US distribution of one of his records. Anyway, I guess the guy was really really nice but really strange sort. But that is ok, strange is a good think I think. Boy he sure did some incredible music and then hung it all up ... a great loss I think for his messages would come across so much stronger with his talent and skill as a writer.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: M.Ted
Date: 09 May 09 - 05:35 PM

The song is in 7, which is why I liked it.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: michaelr
Date: 10 May 09 - 01:41 PM

He's got a out new album out.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 11 May 09 - 01:58 AM

From what I can recall Sad Lisa was inspired by a young woman he met while confined to a tuberculosis facility NOT a mental institution. While the song's a little cryptic, I don't think it's in reference to a ghost or an apparition. Seems more like he's observing a young woman's struggle w/emotional conflict(s) of some sort. Where he says 'No one can see her' it would seem he's speaking of her 'true' nature. Wandering the halls doesn't suggest a ghost to me, but a metaphor for being a little lost or directionless. As most of us have experienced when living through a trama. Loss of a spouse, childhood abuse, etc. As the narrator he hopes to free her of her pain...whatever it is. That's what I get out of the song, anyway.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: GUEST,Fredrike
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 06:43 PM

This song was written about my friend Lise-lotte Erikson, she was a friend of Steven's. At the time she was 16 years old and going through a difficult time. I was acctually the first one to read these lyrics. I often wonder what became of my friend, so Lise, if you read this, please respond.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 09:42 PM

I have this song on an album which is still playing on my car and I also have it on my mp-player. It's a real great song, but I really do not know the background of it.
BTW, there are really so much great people here - you are the second I met, after Joe Frazier from Chad Mitchell Trio. It's really surprising.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 02:27 AM

For those who missed it, here is Alan Yentob's interview with Yusuf Islam, where Yusuf talks about his life, in detail. Nearly an hour's worth of video and well worth watching.

"So who was Cat Stevens? And who is Yusuf Islam?"

Yusuf has such respect amongst many Muslim leaders and is doing all he can to bring about peace and a new way of thinking about Islam, from the inside, out. I have a great deal of respect for him too.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 12:24 PM

"My theory is that the song is a ghost story..."

I'm not sure about that, but Lady D'Arbanville on Mona Bone Jakon (1970) definitely is.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: michaelr
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 03:22 PM

Why, was Patti D'Arbanville dead at the time he wrote it?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 03:41 PM

Glad to see you're up on the locations of celebrity websites, michaelr, says much about the state of modern society culture, I think.


Patti D'Arbanville was the inspiration for at least three of Cat Stevens's songs, namely Lady D'Arbanville, Wild World and Hard-Headed Woman

Lady D'Arbanville

Lady D'Arbanville
(Cat Stevens)

My Lady d'Arbanville, why do you sleep so still?
I'll wake you tomorrow
and you will be my fill, yes, you will be my fill.

My Lady d'Arbanville why does it grieve me so?
But your heart seems so silent.
Why do you breathe so low, why do you breathe so low,

My Lady d'Arbanville why do you sleep so still?
I'll wake you tomorrow
and you will be my fill, yes, you will be my fill.

My Lady d'Arbanville, you look so cold tonight.
Your lips feel like winter,
your skin has turned to white, your skin has turned to white.

My Lady d'Arbanville, why do you sleep so still?
I'll wake you tomorrow
and you will be my fill, yes, you will be my fill.

La la la la la....

My Lady d'Arbanville why do you grieve me so?
But your heart seems so silent.
Why do you breathe so low, why do you breathe so low,

I loved you my lady, though in your grave you lie,
I'll always be with you
This rose will never die, this rose will never die.

I loved you my lady, though in your grave you lie,
I'll always be with you
This rose will never die, this rose will never die.



Right...now where were we...? Oh right, Sad Lisa.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: michaelr
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 06:55 PM

I don't know squat about the locations of celebrity websites, Rifleman.

But Google does.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 04 Jul 09 - 05:09 PM

Yusuf's son, Mohammed, who now goes by the name of Yoriyos, on his band's Myspace. He sure does look like his father, that's for sure.

Yoriyos Adamos in Noxshi - Gosh but he sounds just like his Dad too ;0)

Interesting 'Times on Line' interview with Yusuf from 2007


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: GUEST,Mona Lisa
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 10:29 AM

Can I post without registering?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: GUEST,Vanina
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 11:48 PM

Hi there! I was looking for the same thing, and I´ve found the following at http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/12784/2/ASC/#73015756830:

"sadlisa
06-11-2009

I know the origins of the song. I AM that girl. Not a dog, nor am I autistic, deaf, blind or dead.
When Yusuf wrote the song, there were circumstances that make perfect sense to these lyrics, and they are not distressing ones. He spotted something in me that was to be my future. And I have handled it, as he predicted, on my own, and with much pain and learning, and yes, I wish he had been there to help me. In a way he was, because I knew the song was written for me, and it gave me a belief in myself and helped me be strong. Little could he have known how my life would have turned out to be, and how true the words came at times... Love from a girl who was once a tiny well behaved toddler wandering around in a recording studio, who in her boredom had very sad looking eyes.... Always be strong, never give up, never stop believing. Fondest Love, Lisa - now aged 40. xxx "


Despite your question was posted long time ago, maybe it´s still helpfull.
Best regards!


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 03:45 AM

I like that, and hope it's true.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: GUEST,Karl
Date: 31 May 11 - 07:51 PM

It is still a simple, powerful and enigmatic story.
As sung by Chyi Yu, the lyrics could fit a woman who is struggling within herself.
If the original Lisa wrote the young child's epilogue, that is fine. However the song still has meaning to others beyond the author's thoughts as many songs do. "Everything I Own" for example.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: GUEST,Gonzo Ratcliffe
Date: 09 Jul 11 - 10:24 AM

I always assumed the whole song was a reference to Cat Stevens own sexuality? His fears of his sexuality and his struggle with himself. I.E the lines "Maybe one day, I will free her... though I know no one can see her..."


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: GUEST,Deke
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 12:00 AM

This is the story about the song Sad Lisa.

Lisa was Cat Stevens dog that he always referred to as a close friend who had lived with him for a number of years.
Lisa had become blind and deaf through old age and health problems.
Its about the closeness and love between both and his struggle to come to terms with the inevitable. Lisa featured in a few of his songs about the same time i.e. Here comes my Baby, and, I love My Dog.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: GUEST,Sagutxo
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 08:01 AM

Deke, do your dog use to open the door? cry over your shirt?

I think the true about this song is the post signed by sadlisa in songmeanings.net, maybe she was Lisse Lotte Erikson.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: GUEST,Ty
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 01:29 PM

I just saw a recording of one of the US concerts for the Magicat tour (produced & edited in 2004).

In it he refers to Lisa as a person who he knew and obviously based the song on, with a retrospective insight that aspects of the song also probably related to himself.

I met him briefly a couple of times in the late eighties and he came across as a very gentle and sincere guy....wish he hadn't given up the music though but good luck to him.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: BTNG
Date: 11 Oct 11 - 02:09 PM

Yusuf (Cat Stevens) hasn't quite given up popular music. He's r released two albums, recently, An Other Cup in 2006 and Roadsinger in 2009

A Other Cup

Roadsinger


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Feb 12 - 12:54 PM

Sad Lisa is about an actual friend of his, he said so in a live recording of the song. He didnt say much else, except that the song was almost a song about himself as well


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: GUEST,SAM
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 02:09 AM

I heard a long time ago, from a friend who knew him personlly, the song was written about a ghost he encountered while on holiday. She troubled him, so much so, that he wrote a song about her, in a sense, to keep her and her memory alive. This song has touched the lives of many, probably because of the mystery of it and it's origins. Do we really want to know, who or what it is about? Or do we want to allow our imaginations to continue to speculate? If it is about a woman who now is 40 something so be it. But if it isn't....? Have fun, Cat always loved the spiritual.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: GUEST,Jens
Date: 20 Jan 14 - 04:57 PM

The truth lies in the eye of the beholder.

If Steven/Cat/Yusuf won't give a roundabout of his intention or story for his song we'll have to guess for the next 44 years.

Esotericists will see a ghost, depressives will see depression, dog besotteders will see a dog and whatever your twisted mind holds you will see your truth.

Actually that's what poetry and music is all about.

Or in other words: "merp" ;-)


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: GUEST,Sheila Burgener
Date: 25 Jun 14 - 04:36 PM

This is my favorite Cat Stevens song, and I've always wanted to know his own thoughts on it. I looked up an older interview and he said Lisa is actually himself--inside himself.

At the time, I believe he was going through a depression, drinking too much and struggling with how the "business" was whoring his music.

I always thought maybe Lisa was a ghost or his muse. "Though I know no one can see her", makes perfect sense when you see it as an imagined female version of his own saddness inside. We all struggle with our own "ghosts". I still adore the song and Sir Stevens.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: GUEST
Date: 12 May 15 - 10:25 AM

In the late 1960's to mid 1970's I hung around a rather eclectic group of people in Central Park. One was a beautiful,tall blond with short pixie hair model from England named Lisa, I was playing my guitar and sang Sad Lisa and noticed her crying I asked why ,she said the song had been written about their relationship, No I have no proof but her word and her stop dead in your tracks good lookingness!!


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jun 15 - 01:26 PM

Do not go to this link because it is for Islamic fundamentalists and will ask you to register before you can see any interviews.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 28 Jun 15 - 07:48 PM

Maybe 'Lisa" was meant to be 'Islam', and this is a political statement by him that the true Islam is not being seen, that it is sad to be locked in such a dark place where terrorists have placed it. That Islam is crying for all the death being created, while no one can seem to see the true beauty of what Islam really is.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 28 Jun 15 - 08:31 PM

I am Christian, btw. It just makes sense to me that if Cat Stevens is working to make Islam better understood, and you see the letters for LISA in ISLAm, then maybe it makes kind of a beautiful sense.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Sad Lisa (Cat Stevens)
From: GUEST,Eriol
Date: 03 Jan 16 - 10:46 AM

What ever this song is about, it perfectly fits as a song about the hurt inner child.


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