Everybody Wants To Rule The World By Tears For Fears

Songs From The Big Chair

1985 | Pop

Spotify | Amazon

β€œAll for freedom and for pleasure. -- Nothing ever lasts forever. -- Everybody wants to rule the world.”


  • The song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 amongst other billboard charts. It's year end ranking was #7.
  • The song was the third single off Songs From The Big Chair.
  • The song was added as an afterthought to the album and was regarded as "bland as hell" at the time.
  • A cover version by Lorde was included on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack


Luke Tatum

"Of freedom and of pleasure; Nothing ever lasts forever; Everybody wants to rule the world." Doesn't this remind you of the "But, wouldn't warlords take over?" argument against liberty. Of course, when you put libertarian lenses in your glasses, it's easy to see that warlords have taken over. They are in charge now. Their squabbling for power, showing of peacock feathers, changing the rules for others but refusing to live to the same standard...all of this happens on a daily basis. There's also a subtle invitation to question this system, later in the song: "Say that you'll never, never, never, never need it; One headline - why believe it?; Everybody wants to rule the world." I listened to this song hundreds of times without really giving this verse much thought, but here's what I've got now: The "it" in "never need it" is power. We're told everybody wants to rule the world, but why can't we buck this trend by refusing to take the reigns for others? Why can't we, in effect, break the cycle and lets others live freely?

Sherry Voluntary

Oh the nostalgia I feel when hearing this song. Tears For Fears was at the top of their game when I was a little kid in the 80s. The lyric was initially, β€œ Everybody wants to go to war.” It was a little on the nose, but the theme of the song remains the same. Everyone wants power, and many people want the power to rule over others. It's also a song about enjoying the fruits of capitalism while you can since everybody wants to go to war and war makes life hell. After all, nothing ever lasts forever and that includes The State. Throughout history that has been the one common thread between all States is they eventually fail. That's why I try my best to educate people to peaceful existence and non-aggression. If we can educate and get with momentum then maybe when the State we currently live under falls, we'll be able to develop a new existence based in the spontaneous order and the non-aggression principle. Call me an idealist, but I think those principles are worth dedicating my life to promoting.

Nicky P

I think this song is really close but not quite there. Perhaps "Everybody Wants To Rule 'Their' World" simply rings truer to me. Unfortunately that's not how the song was written. I think It's a common misconception born out of fear that people live in a world where they believe the rest of it's inhabitants wants control over them and the only defense is to wrest that control for yourself. The truth is we all want to control our worlds in defense of a perceived enemy. We could simply walk away from this mindset, but the powers in charge don't see financial incentive in us being free of fear. Fear is what keeps us funding wars over the nebulous term "American Interests." What couldn't that be extrapolated to cover. Don't get me wrong I think assuming the premise of this song is true is functionally the best way to live life but believing it has to be true fundamentally is voting for your own chains. We need to start moving humanity beyond the foibles of those of us who believe this nonsense in their hearts.

Created By
Nicky P

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