Curtis Mayfield - Back To The World Lyrics




Back in the world
Back in the world
Back in the world
Back in the world

Crawlin' through the trees
Stuck in mud up to the knees
Fightin' this damn war
Wonderin' if the Lord knows what it's for

Six long years stretch
And we boys was in a hell of a mess
I gotta keep my mind; take it slow
Fightin' hard for what I don't know

I wanna get back home, gotta get back home
Back to the world

I had a talk with little mom
Strenuous face as she began to hum
She said: Boy, it's good to see ya
My prayers must've been with ya
And now that you're back and done
Let me tell ya son
The war was never won
The war was never won

In these city streets everywhere
You gotta be careful where you move your feet; how you part your hair
Do you think that God could never forgive this life we live?
Back in the world
Back in the world

My, my, my, my
It's so hard, it's so hard, it's so hard
This life is so hard

I've been beaten up and robbed
Soldier boy ain't got no job
Back in the world

Had a long stretch of sacrifice
Gettin' back home will be awful nice
Child your woman has long been gone
The doggone war just lasted too long
People don't give a damn
People don't give a damn
People don't give a damn

So I'm standin' here in future shock
It can give the mind an awful knock
Talkin' 'bout hard times, hard times, hard times
Back in the world

My, my, my, my, my, my
It's so hard, it's so hard
This life is so hard

I been beaten up and robbed
Soldier boy ain't got no job
Back in the world

Back in the world
Uh huh, back in the world
Back in the world

My, my, my, my
It's so hard, it's so hard, it's so hard
This life is so hard
Back in the world

Back in the world
Back in the world

Forgiveness instead of amnesty
Simple words that seem so clear to me
Forgive our country,
Forgive your man, wastin' love for hate
Truth from honesty is true
We'd don't seem to know what to do, do
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Back in the world





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Curtis Mayfield Back To The World Comments
  1. MR. JOHN A. HARRIS

    HI GOD BLESS....SOME BOYS DIED BEFORE THEYS HAD A CHANCE TO BE A MAN WITH A WOMAN. ALL THE TEARS ALL THE MANY GALS & GALS OF TEARS SO MANY MOTHERS SO MANY FATHERS ALL OF THE SISTERS HOW MANY BABY BROTHERS? GALS OF TEARS - PLANT A TREE IN MEMORY WATER THAT TREE WITH ALL THE GALS OF TEARS GOD MAKE THAT TREE GROW FOR ALL THE SONS GRANDSONS AND FOR ALL THE BOYS NOT HAVING A CHANCE TO BE MEN WITH A WOMAN NO CHILDREN TO GIVE THEIR NAME IF WE IS STILL CRYING GOD MAY OUR TEARS WATER A NEWLY PLANTED TREE THEN GIVE OUR LIVES BACK TO THAT TREE TO LIVE GROW IN ALL OUR NAMES. FOR THE VETS(MEN) THAT HAVE COME HOME STILL WOUNDED BOYS WHO SHALL NOT BECOME A MAN WITH A WOMAN. IT DONT MAKE SENSE THIS IS MY TEARS.

  2. muata chikwendu

    I remember when I came back in the world

  3. Metamophisis

    God bless Curtis Mayfield forever! My Grandad was in ww2 you couldn’t tell because of his demeanor. My dad was in Nam war definitely affects people differently. God bless all of the Black Vets who served also others who served with their hearts in the right place!

  4. Charles 91771

    RIP to the ancestor Curtis Mayfield who transitioned 20 years ago today! 😢 😢 😢

  5. A G

    la class

  6. vernesha simpson

    RIHP Sir
    Your music is your legacy
    Still listening in 2019
    To all the Vets, I salute you and thank you for your service ♥️ & (((Hugs)))

  7. Hector Mendez

    To all the brothers who lost their lives in Vietnam and never made it back to the world.

  8. soulman2000

    The horns and bass line in the intro always get me. Great stuff!

  9. Beatrice Woods

    USS Forrestal aircraft carrier almost blew up in gulf of tonkin

  10. Beatrice Woods

    Viet nam was raging killing American young men

  11. Miriam Saunders

    I still get so emotional when i hear this song. Lived right off the Fort Lee military base , Petersburg Va. ( Peterspath ) So many good friends lived & died during this era . Forgive your mind ,
    wasting Love for hate. 😢

  12. Jeffrey Chandler

    I was in my second year in hs when this was released. My dad purchased this (WW2 and Korean vet) as a Marine. He always impressed me that vets from all wars deserve respect and thanks. This great album is a testament to all who served us, and as a result all of us should be eternally greatful to all our service peoples. GOD BLESS all military personnel, active and our veteran's. Brother Curtis was aware of this and he left us with classic album. Thank you Curtis, we want ever forget this tribute.

  13. WH Wright

    Love this song after running all over Southeast Asia....Class of 1966-69 ...RIP Curtis, Back in the world SMDH

  14. delvin delvintumbling84

    Real true song for our soldiers

  15. Keith Kirk

    "IN THESE CITY STREETS EVERYWHERE, YOU GOTTA BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU MOVE YOUR FEET, HOW YOU PART YOUR HAIR"
    So ahead of his time...
    ( R.I.P. )

  16. JayOneOfTheChosenOnes

    I never been in the army but my dad did so I can imagine what he was thinking when he heard this song ... him and my uncle ... he put me on to Curtis Mayfield, now as a man I understand this man artistry

  17. James Griffin

    I remember this came out back during our involvement in Nam. I was on my way overseas. It made a lot of brothers (and others) think about what was really going on back in the "World." Curtis was connected. That's what I loved about him. He was a visionary. With James Brown bringing the funk with "I'm Black and I'm Proud," Curtis bringing the message with "Choice of Colors," "If There's A Hell Below," and "We People Who are Darker Than Blue," and Richard Pryor making us laugh, it was a great time to be alive and witness all of this history being made. These young kids now days think they invented "dapping." lol

    James Griffin

    Oh, I almost forgot The Last Poets, the originators of the Rap genre.

  18. Hector Mendez

    Curtis Mayfield was a ginius.His music and lyrics touched many people of all races.I remember hearing this album in the early 1970's with another one of his classic albums such as Super Fly which is a real gem.I still have these two albums in my collection.Although a bit beat up I still treasure them.

  19. my jams

    Incredible song, that was we as a people should've took our country back. They killed our president to have there're war.

  20. taxicab1365

    When I was Thirteen years old I knew I would never live to be 21. Between the streets and Viet Nam I knew one or the other would get me.

    Back to the World was our Thiem song. During 1967 , 68 , 69 when you went for your Physical at 401 North Broad St in Philly, if you passed your clothes came home in a box and you were shipped to Basic Training. We would take our friends out drinking all night then drop them off at 401.

    I am now 69 and can’t believe I made it past 21.

    I missed Viet Nam and survived the streets.

    The one thing I know is God spared me, for except for the grace of God there goes I

    God Bless all the Brothers who served

  21. James Alexander

    Curtis Mayfield, "Back to/in the World" came out just as I completed my 1st tour in Nam. It was soooooo good to get home.

    Jerell J

    As "CM" wrote "My prayers musta been wit ya"..Vet over 20yrs thanks.

  22. barrys

    Not only could Mayfield rock, but his music could deliver a message. What a beautiful brother and what great album.

  23. sterling daniels

    Curtis Mayfield music give a. Heavy message

  24. John Drayton

    When I came home.....WTF........

    Jerell J

    Glad you made it home...Vet to Vet.

  25. Muad' Dib

    Wow! This brings back memories of my USAF days at Clark AB, PI in the early 70s. When a friend was being shipped out back to the USA (The World), this was our theme song. To my old buddies/brothers Michael, Patrick, and Blake.

  26. Maurice

    Sublime. ✌️

  27. Robert Cabrera

    Almost went back, still think about it!! Which social war did I fight better?

  28. Cleveland Davis

    Enlisted in the USMC in 1973 4 year stretch

  29. Eleton Johns

    Now music!

  30. IM YRS

    My mom taught me the Calypso to this song...Love it!

    Del Stevenson

    IM YRS That anecdote is so cool. Curtis was the best and influenced all kinds of positive behavior our troubled world. CM rest in peace.

  31. Diallo Robinson-Bey

    2019 SOLDIER BOY AIN'T GOT NO JOB=BACK IN THE WORLD

  32. Goran Bare

    Yes baby yes

  33. Goran Bare

    Reciimo Back to the world

  34. Goran Bare

    Poslušajte Curtiss Mayfielda ( sve) i onda nešto na američanskom kažite ĺjubiteljima engleščine

  35. Goran Bare

    Dis iz veri veri gud mjuzrišon

  36. Silver foxx

    When music was MUSIC!

    Desertguy

    Amen to that.

  37. tim grabo

    Das schönste Lied von Curtis

  38. voiceisclear

    indeed 💯👊

  39. Jerell J

    I salute to all those who came back home and my prayers to those who didn't, from one VET to another.

  40. Miriam Saunders

    In these city streets everywhere , gotta be careful where you move your feet , how you part your hair ( Back in the world ) Detroit 2018 is like living in a war zone everyday 😭😭😭

    taxicab1365

    Miriam Saunders
    Stay safe!!!!

  41. Craig Ingham

    The man!

  42. SeniorMojo

    found this on wax today! yesss

  43. texasvice1

    Maan this song just makes the memories flood like water. Brothers on the rock partying, praying and singing. Thinking of the day that freedom bird was going to bring us " Back to the world." Some of us made it and many of our brothers didn't. Many things have changed for us since then, but anyone was over in the pond remembers this song like the national anthem. Blessings to all of you. As strange as the new slogan goes nowadays " Thank you for your Service"

    Ronald Robinson

    texasvice1

  44. Hershell West

    A big shout out to my kickass Berlin Brigade crew 73-75. What's up 'cruit:' Ralph, James, Rod, Jerry, Dean, Lloyd lloyd, Ford, Breezy, Jerry, Henderson, Mike, to all you motherfuckers still kicking it back in this fucking world down on the brothers.

  45. baytownbert2

    Back to the world after 654 days in SEA. Memories. Thank you.

  46. Funny random Things

    This brother ,Curtis Mayfield was a musical genius&was telling it like it was back n da day,this is2018 and not a dam thing has changed,wake up black America.From1Vet 2 another,much respect.

  47. larry kelly

    He was a beast

  48. Doubletree77

    Got to get back home !!!!! Back to the world!!!!! Sucking mud up to my knees.!!!!!

  49. Gerald Eldridge

    First heard this song in 1975 to all my brothers in arms welcome home

  50. Lester Jeanpierre

    when brothers were ending their tour in Nam you would hear them say: I'm going back to the world

  51. LuLu Santos

    This song. My love to you all here. To the Nam vets, & all veterans of all the man's wars, those who made it back to the world alive, and had to begin trying to live again, and the families of all deceased veterans, love to you. My blessed deceased Father, naval officer who made it back from Korea, and Nam (USS Leyte) - I'm so glad you all made it. Back To The World. May there be Peace in your Soul, and Peace On Earth. Be well.

  52. LUCKY 472

    WE ALWAYS JAMMED TO THIS WHEN SOMEONE'S ETS ( ESTIMATED TIME OF SEPARATION ) WAS NEAR!!! MEMORIES! !!! MUCH RESPECT TO ALL WARRIORS WHO TOOK THE OATH, PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE! !!! OO-RAH! !! I REALLY MISS ALL WHO I SERVED WITH, HOPE ALL IS WELL !!!! STAY FOCUSED! !!

  53. Raymond Stiles

    Dedicated to my brothers in 728th MP..battalion in Pusan..Korea '73-'74..hope they doing well..

    LUCKY 472

    Raymond Stiles no doubt, big shoutout to my brothers an sisters of the 31st -86TH TACTICAL FIGHTER WINGS, MISS YOU ALL, MUCH RESPECT! !! TOAST

  54. AL STEED

    Man this groove takes me back my dayz as a Baller at FAMU. Nice, what a groove. 😎

  55. Stevon Jop

    People don't give a dam!!!!

  56. Solomon Northup

    Thank you all for your services & sacrifices.
    RIP brother Curtis

  57. St- Valantyne

    It should be against YouTube policy to add a dislike button to this man’s music.

    How dare they!!

    taxicab1365

    St- Valantyne
    Let’s remember that our soldiers fought to protect people’s Constitutional Rights. The founders believed these Rights were God Given Rights.

    But they need to explain to me how can you not like Curtis.

    As Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin said in their song “God Bless is All”

  58. hilton gregory

    What a travesty...fought a war nobody wanted... got no respect that was so richly deserved.

  59. Earl Robinson

    I was station in Korea as a 2LT in 1990. An old warrant Officer Chief Dayton turned me on this jam. We use to say  back to the world before our mid tour leave. We carried on the tradition from my fellow soldiers in arms that service in the Vietnam War that was blessed to return back to the world "The US" only to find they were not appreciated. God Bless.

    taxicab1365

    Earl Robinson
    What matters is that we will never forget! As you know we do not leave our brothers on the Battle Field.

    Little do some understand who paid for the freedom they enjoy.

    I somehow did not go to Nam, but lost a lot of friends and classmates to Nam.

    God Bless the American Veterans!!!!

  60. Mickey Hill

    Would you think about the city of st. Louis man is what we all thought we would see have to come to pass

  61. Mickey Hill

    Still know how to dab brother still got that ban on that wrist

  62. Ernest Manning

    Stationed at NKP Thailand AkA Naked Fanny, 1973, a short 250 clicks from Hanoi Vietnam, spent most of my time listening to this and holding my Brothers together, daping counting the days until I boarded that freedom bird back to tha world.. much love and respect to all who served....

    william tilton

    I honor your service my brother

    LUCKY 472

    Ernest Manning backatcha warrior, dapping with YA !!! OO-RAH! !!!

    texasvice1

    UTAPOU HERE 74

    Ronald Robinson

    Ernest Manning

  63. Beatrice Woods

    I remember uss forrestal set to send jets while in gulf of Tonkin it caught fire almost sunk. who remember that 1965

  64. Rob Jones

    Curtis' finest moment. His exquisite elegance in portraying black soldiers who returned
    from the hellhole of Vietnam, to disdain and utter indifference by their own citizens
    has been never bettered. Yet it has never achieved the same status or sales as
    Marvin's "What's Goin' On?"
    In my opinion, it matches "WGO" for sheer musical brilliance and insight.
    After all, Curtis was a big influence on Jimi Hendrix who was once with the 101
    Airborne Division. Anybody who served through that terrible war, will tell you that
    this album cuts deep.
    I've read "Bloods", "Dispatches", "Rumours Of War" et al and as superb as all those books are, nothing could ever match the dreadful reality of serving in a humid jungle facing an unseen enemy who could strike from anywhere.

    "Back To The World" will be one day recognised, as the masterpiece it truly is.
    Curtis was a class act. We won't see his likes again.

  65. walter a jackson

    the Poet hits home here for sure!, I didn't go to Vietnam, but I had a partner who did!...Luckily, he came back!...Only thing, he came back to the same s*** he left from! The war is here!...its just so cleverly concealed!...You want to do something to help people!...Stop using people for your own benefit!!!

    Napoleon Slater

    walter a jackson dam right

  66. Lady V Ann

    It's so touching to read so many comments from people who served. Thank you !

  67. Benjamin Sanders Iii

    I was just getting home from Vietnam. my woman and child were gone. I wasn't the same man that left 4yrs earlier, and would never be him again

    Daniel Brown

    Thank you for your sacrifice Sir. Total respect.. Y'all held back the red tide. Yes you did.

  68. Charles Traylor

    the Govt. banned this song and blackballed Curtis for years because it told the story of the lies of this War and how so many lives were lost and destroyed,we never Won and got our hats brought to us in a ground War.

    LUCKY 472

    Charles Traylor so true, they did the same to freda payne's song called " bring the boys home, bring em back alive " check it out !!!! Peace bro. OO-RAH! !!!

    Jerell J

    "Keep on pushing!"....as Curtis would say

  69. Shawn Wise

    before his time in arranging and composing

  70. Michael Gaither

    Back Home March 1971

  71. Jason Capps

    JASONISM Golden Triangle s Earth Chackras Kundline Awakening s OGS Jcc

  72. Robert Cabrera

    green Beret they hated me

  73. Marc Roberts

    The truth is timeless

  74. ROCKNROLLFAN

    I just saw this 8track at a place but my 8track player doesn't work.....

  75. Mario Lopez

    43rd Maint Co 1st support brigade K-Town Germany 1972-74 Spc4 Mario Lopez missed going to Nam by one month TO ALL MY BROTHERS who paid the ultimate price for God & country and never made it back my sincere condolences to your families. My older brother was in country 69-70 and we lost him to cancer 5 years ago RIP We miss you George Thank you Curtis for this great song RIP .

    LUCKY 472

    Mario Lopez ramstein ab, germany "76-78", K-TOWN! !!! RESPECT! !! OO-RAH! !! 86TH TACTICAL FIGHTER WING, USAF! !!

  76. Raliek126

    I was stationed in Camp Stanley South Korea 1983 ! This is the song the old Kats hip me to . Man black culture was preserved over there. I gave the war 13 years of my life !!! Back in the world and it's still hard !!!!

  77. Beatrice Woods

    so Good bring tears underrated genius

  78. Bruce May

    101st airborne 1968-73 hill 937 hamburger

    Daniel Brown

    Thank You for your service Sir.

  79. Obsidian Lance

    I was in 3rd Squadron 7th US Cav. Garry Owens back in 79 we were up on the East West German Border; If the ballon had gone up they gave us 8 minutes in Combat. We were faced off against a East German motorized rifle regiment. 13 to 1.Our mission was to go to our defensive positions and kill at least eight vehicles to give the 3rd Infantry Division time to deploy. We knew we were dead men walking. It was songs like this that kept the morale up in the brotherhood of black troopers in 3rd Squadron; 7th US Armored CAV Garry Owens. I remember the level of consciousness in the group being raised when we gathered in the various barracks rooms to un-wine with an assortment of libations and music.

    Ronald Fleming

    Obsidian Lance HHC&Co B Ledwards Barracks Schweinfurt Germany from 1976 - 1979, you damn right, and we would do it again "Gary Owens"

    LUCKY 472

    Ronald Fleming dam rite, ramstein ab, germany. K-town! !! 86TH TACTICAL FIGHTER WING "76-78" much respect! !!!

    Jerell J

    It was GOD's children like you and the Tuskegee Airman that paved the way for a man like me to fly AF aircraft and retire after 20. My Respect and Gratitude.

  80. Robert Cabrera

    keep on pushing

  81. Ronald Higgins

    When I first joined the US Marine Corps back in 1977, I had the distinction of serving with combat infantryman/Vietnam vets!!!!
    SSgt Jackson (Americus GA) and SSgt Fitzroy Haines (Bronx, NY). These Brothers are eternally my brothers, they made me the man I am today!!! God Bless them and their families!!! Ronald L. Higgins Sr. MSgt USMC Ret.... Kingston, NY

  82. Darrell Smith

    Curtis a poet back in the DAY he guided us Thur the 60's and 70's he put the world events to music

  83. Darrell Smith

    Coming home from NAM if you were lucky

  84. Zycras1

    When i was twelve, i was touched by this song. How could this be, i knew nothing?

    Michele Tyson

    me too...as long as it meant something then is what matters, and it applies today with even more meaning

  85. Ronald Jenkins

    We used to sing this song in Vietnam. When I came home I started my college education. I learned in literature that there was a time when poets and writers
    served as the collective consciousness of society. For real; listen to what the music
    is saying now. Were my old professors right ?

  86. TRENT BURRILL

    Proud to share this with all veterans!

  87. PetulantKim

    R.I.P Curtis we all got it black and whiite and mexican we were brothers

  88. James Evans

    on my way to the beach coming in from a two week hitch offshore. riding chopper

  89. Sidney Smith

    I was only 12 years old and fell in love with the this true song in 1973 and it's still the truth today (Oct 2016)

  90. kbw rvwhntr

    As a proud veteran I had to grit my teeth to hold back tears! Miss ya Curtis!

    AOPhoenix

    Me too bro. Me too.....

    6India1509PEV

    Mama's prayers must of been with me. So true, so true. This work by Curtis Mayfield was so grossly underrated. However so highly reflective of those times. Listen to his words PLEASE!

    Beatrice Woods

    Yes this makes me so sad I lived thru that time.

    Robert Klouse

    There is no "just us" in all the Landlord.

  91. Beatrice Woods

    Lawdy Mercy

    Tyrone Woods

    Beatrice Woods

  92. stephen hudson

    THE MASTER OF SOUL IS BACK TO THE WORLD

  93. Jestin Mosley

    I'm 15 and I love old I miss you cousin

  94. Cmcduff Cduff

    This is a very good tune,as I read the other comments.Tears well up in my eyes,yaw vets caught hell.Especially the black ones.I hope that things improve for yaw.

  95. doc2skate

    Back in the world.  Back in the world
    Back in the world.  Back in the world

    Crawlin’ through the trees
    Stuck in mud up to my knees
    Fightin’ this damn war
    Wonderin’ if the Lord knows what it’s for

    Six long years stretch
    An’ we boys was in a hell of a mess
    I gotta keep my mind; take it slow
    Fightin’ hard (for) what I don’t know

    I wanna get back home, gotta get back home
    Back to the world

    I had a talk with little mom
    Strenuous face as she began to hum
    She said: Boy, it’s good to see ya.
    My prayers must’ve been with ya.

    And now that you’re back and done
    Let me tell ya son
    The war was never won
    The war was never won

    In these city streets everywhere
    You gotta be careful where you move your feet; how you part your hair
    Do you really think God could ever forgive this life we live?
    Back in the world, back in the world

    It’s so hard, it’s so hard, it’s so hard
    This life is so hard
    I’ve been beaten up and robbed
    “Soldier boy ain’t got no job”

    Back in the world

    Had a long stretch of sacrifice
    Gettin’ back home will be awful nice
    Chile, your woman has long been gone
    The doggone war just lasted too long

    People don’t give a damn
    People don’t give a damn
    People don’t give a damn

    So I’m standin’ here in future shock
    Can give the mind an awful block
    Talkin’ ‘bout hard times, hard times, hard times
    Back in the world

    It’s so hard, it’s so hard
    This life is so hard
    I been beaten up and robbed
    “Soldier boy ain’t got no job”

    Back in the world

    Back in the world
    Uh huh. Back in the world
    Back in the world
    Uh huh, uh huh

    It’s so hard, it’s so hard, it’s so hard
    This life is so hard

    Back in the world

    Back in the world
    Back in the world

    Forgiveness instead of amnesty
    Simple words that seem so clear to me
    Forgive our country Mississippi's fate
    Forgive your man, wastin' love for hate

    Truth from honesty is true
    We don't seem to know what to do
    Yeah, yeah, yeah
    Back in the world

  96. MrMackman4

    Cool Breeze  Curtis Mayfield's song Back To The World spoke all about the begin of people not really caring, and the WORLD fell off the DEEP-end to WHERE we are NOW- madness! Look at US ... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  97. Mustafa Yusuf Ali

    one of my favorites this song touches your soul not only veterans but people in general rest in peace Brother Mayfield.

  98. Joseph Brown

    I was in Military 72-75 the songs about going home to the same old shit. The world in this song is America. Fighting in NAM. with no respect. Then come home and get spat on.We didn't get a hero's welcome we got called baby killers every fucked up name. you can. come up with.But i served my country as i promise.

    dkapone

    1/75th Rangers....Camp Hovey Korea. Much Respect Due. Peace.

    Obsidian Lance

    Rangers Lead the Way sir; 2/75th Rangers 1982

    Bonnie Anderson

    Joseph Brown You are our heroes, God bless you!

    Muad' Dib

    Same here. I was in the USAF station on Clark AB at the time (Viet Nam Era), and this was our theme song when our tour of duty ended and we were headed "Back To The World." To Michael, Patrick, and Sydney.

    Fred Barnes

    Joseph Brown welcome home my veteran brother...so proud of you.