"The First Cut Is the Deepest" is a 1967 song written by British singer-songwriter Cat Stevens, originally released by P. P. Arnold in May 1967. Stevens's own version originally appeared on his album New Masters in December 1967.
The song has been widely recorded and has become a hit single for seven different artists: P. P. Arnold (1967), Keith Hampshire (1973), Rod Stewart (1977), Dawn Penn (1994), Papa Dee (1995)and Sheryl Crow (2003).
The lyrics describe a person wondering if and how it is possible to love again after their first love was lost. "The first cut" of the title refers to one's first love disappointment.
Stevens made a demo recording of "The First Cut Is the Deepest" in 1965, while hoping to become a songwriter. He wrote the song earlier to promote his songs to other artists, but did not record it as his own performance until early October 1967 with guitarist Big Jim Sullivan, and it did not appear until his second album, New Masters, was released in December 1967.