“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” one of them. It was just another big hit at the time, but from view of more than 35 years later, it now might as well 1980s. That synthesizer. That drum machine. Those lustrous guitars. That ambiguous tension between pleasant melody and some unclearly threatening suggestions is “Everybody Wants to Rule World” threat or wail of despair?

The band had trouble getting into song’s original incarnation, which featured lyric “Everybody want to go to war.” When it change to title phrase, everything click. “Once we got those lyrics, it was joyful song,” Orzabal explain.


Everybody Wants to Rule the World Lyrics (3)

Artist: Tears for Fears

Album: Songs from the Big Chair

Title: Everybody Wants To Rule the World

Welcome to your life

There’s no turning back

Even while we sleep

We will find you

Acting on your best behavior

Turn your back on Mother Nature

Everybody wants to rule the world.

It’s my design

It’s my remorse

Help to decide

Could you help me make the most of it?

Freedom and pleasure

Nothing ever lasts forever

There’s room where light won’t find you

Holding hand while the wall comes tumbling down

When they do, I’ll be right behind you.

So glad we’ve almost made it

So sad they had faded.

I wouldn’t say I like this indecision

Married with a lack of vision

Everybody wants to rule the world

Say you’ll never never need it

One headline why believe it?

All for freedom and pleasure


Everybody Wants to Rule the World Lyrics

Tears for Fears are back out in world, promoting their first album in nearly two decade, and they’re not oppose to playing their old songs, like they did the other night on Late Show. There are hits of theirs I like better — this is “Head Over Heels” household — but nothing defines band or its moment as much as “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” It’s still attractive, but more importantly, it’s still — in some overwhelming way — true. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” can about a whole host of related things. War, power, control, greed, consumerism, even unreality of everything — somehow, Tears for Fears knew.

Co-founder Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith have buddies since they grew up in Bath as teenagers. They’d part of another group, and when they left that band, they form Tears for Fears. “Curt’s antenna’s always up for new form of music,” Orzabal recall recently about early days. “We were in his apartment Gary Numan got to No. 1 with ‘Are Friend Electric?’ and it was like punch in face.”

Everybody Wants To Rule World by Tear for Fear

Everybody Wants to Rule the World Lyrics (1)

In interview with Mix magazine, the band’s producer Chris Hughe explain that they spent months working on “Shout.” Near the end of session, Roland Orzabal came into the studio and played two simple chord on acoustic guitar, which became the basis for song. Said Hughes: “Everybody Want to Rule the World’ straightforward and went down quickly, effortless. In fact, as piece of recording history, it’s bland as hell.”

  • It was first US #1 hit for Tears for Fears. “Shout” went to #1 two month later.
  • “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is line from 1980 Clash song “Charlie Don’t Surf.” Did Tears for Fears lift it? Joe Strummer of Clash thought so.
  • He recounted story to Musician magazine about confronting Roland Orzabal in restaurant, informing Orzabal that “you owe me fiver.” Strummer said that Roland reach in his pocket and,[]=- produce five-pound note, ostensibly as compensation for poaching line for his hit title.
  • Although this is pleasant and catchy song musically, its lyrical theme is pretty dark. Concept is quite severe – it’s about everybody’s inadequate power, about warfare and misery it cause,” Curt Smith of Tear for Fears explain on band’s website.
  • Dennis Miller use this over closing credit of his HBO TV show, ran from 1994-2002. Curt Smith did solo, sound version of this for soundtrack to Private Public, 2001 movie where he made his acting debut.

In season 2 episode of TV series

Mr. Robot, character Angela Moss (Portia Doubleday) sings plaintive karaoke version of this song as she struggle through moral crisis. “You have desire to rule the world?” guy ask her when she come to bar. “Oh, my desires go way beyond that,” she reply.

Tears for Fears spent most 1985 visiting, supporting Song From The Big Chair album. It took so much out of them physically and expressively they didn’t go back to work until few year later, finally emerging in 1989 with their album The Seed Of Love. We didn’t get into music business to computer programmer. I did it to musician! I just went out on that tour and did album for nine months. If people wanted to hear album, they could’ve stayed home and listened to it.”


The song was cover by Lorde for Hunger Game Catching Fire soundtrack, released by Republic. She rework Tears for Fears’ tune into haunting dirge, bringing out its inherent darkness. The label’s executive VP Tom Mackay explain to Billboard magazine that New Zealand singer-songwriter wrapping her Pure Heroine album when track solicit for soundtrack. “There was not time for her to write demo, submit it and come back after change [requested],” Mackay said. “Like many songs on this album, it’s artistic leap. When we heard it, we were surprise how she rehashed it- it’s hard not to think about President Snow and Capitol in film and book.”

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