Released in November 1981, Cambodia
was the fourth single by UK singer Kim Wilde, and the first of two singles to be lifted from her second studio album Select, the one other being View From A Bridge. The track reached #12 in the UK and was released at
the end of a year in which Kim Wilde had already had three successful
hit singles and a best-selling, self-titled debut
Kim's debut single was Kids In America which she released in January 1981. It reached number two in the UK Singles Chart and hit the Top 5 in several other countries, too.
The thought-provoking lyrics (penned by Kim's brother, Ricky) are about a pilot who experiences the horrors of the Cambodian-Vietnamese war. His mental state is altered by the whole experience, and then he is possibly shot down and captured, although the lyrics only suggest this.
The start of the song suggests that his life with his wife was pretty rosy before things turned sour. "Well he was Thailand based she was an air force wife, he used to fly weekends, it was the easy life".
"He had the saddest eyes the girl had ever seen, he used to cry some nights as though he lived a dream" describe his poor mental state.