Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” (Songs from the Big Chair) is a multi-dimensional song, expressing the power-hungry motives of us as a society, the abuse of authority in the US government, and even our own personal ambition. Many people have debated the intent and meaning behind the lyrics, coming to the conclusion that there is a political message being expressed. The title is the message; every person, whether specifically striving for this goal or not, wants power and/or authority.

“Turn your back on Mother Nature”

The human species has developed a society that destroys the earth through large corporations and their participation in pollution, the mass consumption of animal products that increase green gases, and our overall involvement in destroying “Mother Nature”. The personification of Mother Nature and the action of us as a society backstabbing “her” emphasizes humans’ hunger for power, to the extent where we’re willing to wreck the earth.

“All for freedom and for pleasure

Nothing ever lasts forever”

As a society we strive for the most, even if it isn’t stable enough to last forever. This quote represents short-lived successes within our own lives, our communities, our families through the utilization of an allegory. The central idea of the stanza is that we indulge in things that make us satisfied and happy, but those indulgences usually don’t fulfill us for long enough. Following the idea is a hidden moral, encouraging us to seek out the stability in life, the things (whether they’re material goods or emotions) that are more than just pleasurable, and may last longer.

“Everybody wants to rule the world”

This hyperbole expresses Tears for Fears’ intent of spreading the idea that whether we agree or disagree, we all have the urge to be at the top, through authority figures, rankings in class, etc. It all goes back to the one central message that the human species’ history of war, genocide, the building of empires, societal expectations, racism, sexism, and any other uneven dynamic pasts have contributed to an overall overconsumption of power. How can we overcome this overindulgence and, instead, embrace the voids and still be satisfied?

4 thoughts on “Everybody Wants to Rule the World

  1. Charlie O.

    I completely agree with the message you got from this song. The second quote you chose jumps out at me–the actions of massive businesses are truly all for pleasure in the present, but do not consider what will occur in the long run to the earth. Is there really no way to ensure future satisfaction?

    Liked by 1 person


    I like and agree with your interpretation of Tears for Fears’ song. It is interesting that a song that came out in 1985 could still be so true today. It’s concerning that hunger for power is still so prevalent today, and it makes me question whether we will ever be able to overcome overconsumption to save our planet.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LEO G

    Your take-a-way from this song could not have been more true. No matter who you are or what you stand for, everybody yearns for some kind of advantage over others. It’s like a natural instinct that leaves society constantly unfufilled.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. VERITY F.

    The language in this piece is very complex and impressive and I really enjoyed reading it. I agree with what you have to say and I have never thought of this song this way. I think that the strive for stability is so present in everyone’s lives and it is important that you pointed this out. Great Job!

    Liked by 1 person

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