Song of the Day: Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears (cover by Lorde)

moon princess by teeething

New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde recorded a cover of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.


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 own design
It’s my own remorse
Help me to decide
Help me make the

Most of freedom and of pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world

There’s a room where the light won’t find you
Holding hands while
The walls come tumbling down
When they do, I’ll be right behind you

So glad we’ve almost made it
So sad they had to fade it
Everybody wants to rule the world

I can’t stand this indecision
Married with a lack of vision
Everybody wants to rule the world

[  Say that you’ll never, never, never, never need it
One headline, why believe it?
Everybody wants to rule the world

All for freedom and for pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world  ]


Original by Tears for Fears:

The song was later used in the cinematic trailer of Assassin’s Creed: Unity at E3 2014, and in a promotion for the new television channel BBC First. Her cover appeared on the New Zealand Singles Chart at number fourteen. It reached number seventy-six in Australia, number sixty-five in the UK, and number thirty on the US Hot Rock Songs.

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is a song by English band Tears for Fears. Originally released in the UK on 22 March 1985, it was the band’s ninth single release in the United Kingdom (the third from their second LP: Songs from the Big Chair) and seventh UK Top 30 chart hit, peaking at number two in April 1985. In the U.S., it was the lead single from the album and gave the band their first Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit on 8 June 1985, remaining there for two weeks. It also reached number-one on both the Hot Dance Music/Club Play and Hot Dance Singles Sales charts in the U.S. The song has since become the pinnacle of Tears for Fears’ chart success.

In 1986, the song won “Best Single” at the Brit Awards. Band member and co-writer Roland Orzabal argued that the song deserved to win the Ivor Novello International Hit of the Year award, claiming that the winner—”19″ by Paul Hardcastle—was not an actual song, but only a “dialogue collage”.

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” was somewhat of an afterthought during the recording of Songs from the Big Chair. According to Roland Orzabal, he initially regarded the song as a lightweight that would not fit with the rest of the album. It was producer Chris Hughes who convinced him to try recording it, in a calculated effort to cross over into American chart success.

It was written and recorded in two weeks and was the final track to be added to the Songs from the Big Chair album. The shuffle beat was alien to our normal way of doing things. It was jolly rather than square and rigid in the manner of ‘Shout’, but it continued the process of becoming more extrovert. —Roland Orzabal

As was the case with the three hit singles from Tears for Fears’ debut LP The Hurting, the song featured bassist Curt Smith on lead vocals.

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is a New Wave and pop song, set in the key of D major with a 6 /8 time signature and a tempoof 112 beats per minute.

The concept is quite serious – it’s about everybody wanting power, about warfare and the misery it causes.— Curt Smith

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” has seen relatively few remixes. Extended, instrumental, and “urban mix” versions were done by producer Chris Hughes for inclusion on the single’s various 7″ and 12″ releases. The only other remix of note was one done by electronica act The Chosen Few, included on the 2004 reissue of the greatest hits compilation Tears Roll Down (Greatest Hits 82-92). No official radio edits or alternate 7″ versions of the song have been issued. A version labeled as the 7″ version is included on the 2006 remaster of Songs from the Big Chair, but is actually the album version (the album’s liner notes show the track as “Everybody Wants to Run the World”, but this song was not included).

The song was later partially re-recorded with a new lyric and released as “Everybody Wants to Run the World” for the 1986 Sport Aid fund-raising campaign, once again reaching the UK Top 5.

  • A portion of the original song version plays during the closing credits of Martha Coolidge’s 1985 comedy film Real Genius.

Cover versions

  • Australian jazz singer Frank Bennett performed a lush big-band arrangement of the song on his 1998 album Cash Landing.
  • American rapper Nas sampled elements from the song on the single “Rule” featuring Amerie on his 2002 album Stillmatic.
  • A version by Clare and the Reasons begins with chords played by a string quintet.
  • Jazz trio The Bad Plus covered the song for their 2007 album Prog.
  • In 2007, Patti Smith covered the song for her album Twelve.
  • In 2011, Relient K covered the song for their cover album, Is for Karaoke.
  • Also in 2011, R&B singer Anthony David covered the song on his album As Above So Below.
  • In 2012, the “pop punk” girl band Care Bears on Fire released a cover version of the song which is much different from the original. This cover version was featured during the credits of the “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” episode of the HBO series True Blood.
  • In 2012, the song was sung in the Glee episode, “Makeover”, by Darren Criss (as his character Blaine Anderson).
  • In 2013, the song was covered again for the video game Bioshock Infinite, this time as a light Noël Coward-style early 1900’s piano-and-vocals tune, albeit also half the length of the original. The original Tears for Fears version can be heard briefly during a scene early in the game.
  • In 2013. Atomic Tom released a cover version of the song with video.


Birth name Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor
Born 7 November 1996 (age 17)
Takapuna, Auckland,New Zealand

Alternative rock, art pop, electronic rock

  • electronica
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2012–present
  • UMG
  • Lava
  • Republic
Associated acts Joel Little

Tears for Fears

Origin Bath, England
New wave, pop rock, synthpop
Years active 1981–present
  • Epic
  • Gut
  • Mercury
  • Fontana
Associated acts
  • Neon
  • Graduate
  • Mancrab
  • Oleta Adams
Members Roland Orzabal
Curt Smith
Past members Ian Stanley
Manny Elias

image by teeething

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