The song ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ by Tears for Fears is widely recognized and has gained popularity over the years. Many people wonder about the meaning behind this iconic song from the mid-80s. From their second studio album Songs from the Big Chair (1985), Tears for Fears, an English pop rock band, released this song.
The lyrics of the synth-pop and new wave song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” deal with themes of corruption and describe how people yearn for power and control.
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‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ Song Explained
The song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears is a powerful commentary on the nature of human ambition and the desire for power. It looks into the universal truth that regardless of one’s background or circumstances, there is an essence yearning within all people to exert control and influence over their space.
The lyrics serve as a reminder that the pursuit of power can be both alluring and destructive, as it often leads to division, corruption, and the loss of empathy. Ultimately, the song serves as a cautionary tale, urging listeners to reflect on the implications of their own ambitions and consider the importance of collective harmony over one’s power.
About ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ Song
First available as the third single from Songs from the Big Chair, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” was first published on March 22, 1985 by Phonogram, Mercury, and Vertigo Records.
The song along with its B-side, band interviews and other versions of the song were made available for purchase as a 7-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch vinyl set. A CD video set with the song’s music video and audios of bonus tracks was also issued to coincide with the vinyl release.
What Is Song About?
“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” argues that the capitalist West and the communist Eastern Bloc are both flawed superpowers. A terrifying future society of industrial (or post-industrial) sorrow and degradation has been created by them in their quest for power, to outsmart the opposition and conquer the “world.”
The song’s ironic opening line, “welcome,” ushers in this dystopian vision of the present. There is no escape from such a world of tyranny and surveillance, where “they” will find you even in your sleep.
In our modern society, we often find ourselves living in a world that we have created through our own actions. This can lead to feelings of regret or remorse as we realize the negative consequences of our choices. A prime example of this is participating in capitalism, where we trade our freedom for convenience or pleasure.
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This is seen when we purchase smartphones that can monitor our every move, sacrificing privacy for the sake of technological advancements. As time goes on, it becomes increasingly clear how our actions contribute to the creation of a world that may not align with our values or ideals.
Even the prediction of the end of capitalism and the decline of communism in the Soviet Union during the release of Tears for Fears’ song ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’, it is important to remember that nothing in this world is eternal.
The lyrics in the section after the second chorus of the song imply a concept of an underground resistence. It describes a space where one can hide from the authorities and communicate with others who share similar beliefs, while the surrounding political systems collapse. Whether it refers to communism or capitalism, this scenario could take place in either the eastern or western regions.
The title “everybody wants to rule the world” implies that everyone is eager for power and control. It goes beyond just political leaders, highlighting how people also desire greater influence and authority.