35 Best Songs About The World

Best Songs About the World

The world is an inspiring place. That’s why there have been so many songs about the world from countless inspired songwriters.

Let’s go through some of the best songs with the world in the title. You’re sure to find a few that you’ll enjoy listening to every day!

“We Are the World” by the U.S.A. for Africa

Song Year: 1985

Written to aid an ongoing famine in Africa, “We Are the World” was a collaboration between more than 40 artists, including Lionel Ritchie, Bob Dylan, and Michael Jackson.

The song was a firm ode to a brighter future. Every contributor to this enduring song wanted “We Are the World” to give a spotlight on a nation suffering horrifically. Even today, its lyrics remain resonant as a message of support for the disadvantaged in need of a helping hand.

“All Over the World” by Electric Light Orchestra

Song Year: 1980

Electric Light Orchestra’s 1980 hit was featured in the movie Xanadu due to its upbeat nature. The song celebrates the gift of life and describes how to best enjoy it.

“All Over the World” lists several famous cities, such as London and Tokyo. Yet the lyrics also mention the small suburb where ELO’s lead singer grew up, which indicates that anyone can enjoy the gift of life, no matter where on Earth.

“Oldest Story in the World” by Heart

Song Year: 2004

Written as a critique of American culture and society, “Oldest Story in the World” derides the media and television for their caustic effect on society.

Heart also shines a light on the scale of poverty in their homeland. In doing so, the band laments that the world is designed for the rich, while the poor remain downtrodden.

“Ordinary World” by Duran Duran

Song Year: 1993

Duran Duran wrote this song as an homage to the people they cared about who passed away. It’s a song about the struggles and despair that can engulf someone when their loved ones die.

In addition, the lyrics delve into the strength it takes to grieve in a responsible way. That means honoring the dead but not letting the loss impact you negatively.

“He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” by Nina Simone

Song Year: 1958

Nina Simone’s rendition of this 1927 folk classic uses her hoarse vocals to give the song an eerie aura. The song centers around God controlling every aspect of life.

Everything in the world, from the oceans to the relationships we have with family, is due to the influence God has in our lives. Simone wants us to accept and embrace this to give peace to one’s life. 

“Wonderful World” by Otis Redding

Song Year: 1965

Otis Redding’s beautiful song encapsulates the feeling of love in the 1960s. He describes the different subjects he took in school, but none of them compare to his love.

“Wonderful World” is an example of the way love can make you feel. No matter the trials life puts in front of you, having it around makes everything better.

“When I Look at the World” by U2

Song Year: 2004

Written from the perspective of someone who had their faith in God challenged, U2’s song is about coming to terms with change.

The narrator wants to believe in God, but some aspects of life seem contradictory and indicate the absence of a higher power. But the narrator has an earnest need to believe in something greater than himself.

“Heal the World” by Michael Jackson

Song Year: 1991

“Heal the World” revolves around the impact humans have on Earth. Michael Jackson wants us to be more aware of the damage we’re doing so that we can make the world a better place.

In one of the most poignant songs about the world, Jackson tells us that although we know we could make the planet a better place for our children, it takes effort. Jackson hoped his music would inspire people to do good.

“Love Makes the World Go ‘Round” by Madonna

Song Year: 1986

Madonna’s 1986 hit was her most forward anti-war song. Although presented with an upbeat tune, the song has a distinct antiwar and non-violent message.

She sings about how love is a much more powerful tool than violence. In doing so, Madonna wants us to know that we need to stand together for that love to be powerful enough to overcome war and devastation.

“Run the World (Girls)” by Beyoncé

Song Year: 2011

“Run the World (Girls)” is Beyoncé’s female empowerment anthem. She sings about the power women have, both in the household and in business and government.

The song is meant to show the various positions women have that give them authority. It also advocates for women to fight for more power from whatever position they have.

“The World Tonight” by Paul McCartney

Song Year: 1997

Paul McCartney wrote this classic while on vacation in the United States. He was inspired by the folk music he listened to in the country.

The song centers on the idea of loneliness while in the midst of fame. So, while paparazzi and the media try to force famous people into a box, McCartney says that everyone is an individual with their own thoughts and ideas. 

“The End of the World” by The Cure

Song Year: 2004

The Cure’s song is about the pitfalls of love. They sing about falling out of love and how that impacts both people.

This song details how staying in a relationship that’s broken hurts, but the need to be with your love forces you to endure hardships. But even if love is present on one side, that doesn’t mean the relationship will work out.

“The Sensual World” by Kate Bush

Song Year: 1989

Although she was one of the top British artists of the 80s, Kate Bush has enjoyed a resurgence since one of her songs appeared on Stranger Things in 2022.

“The Sensual World” gets musical inspiration from both classical Celtic and Middle Eastern music. Its lyrics focus on a book character that steps out of the pages into the real world, which is filled with sensory information.

“The Man Who Sold the World” by David Bowie

Song Year: 1970

Life can cause major changes for people, and David Bowie knows that from personal experience. His song from 1970 is about a man who changes so rapidly that they no longer recognize themselves.

Bowie struggled with his own identity for long periods of his life. “The Man Who Stole the World” is about the struggle to accept himself and all his quirks.

“Wild World” by Yusuf/Cat Stevens

Song Year: 1970

Stevens wrote his famous tune after struggling to overcome tuberculosis. When he almost died from the disease, he realized the way he was living was dangerous and unhealthy.

Those dangerous habits almost forced him to leave the world before his time. “Wild World” is about embracing everything while you’re still alive because it doesn’t last forever.

“Spirits in the Material World” by The Police

Song Year: 1995

Inspired by the Hungarian philosopher Arthur Koestler, The Police sing about the influences that can cause us harm in “Spirits in the Material World.” The lyrics suggest these influences can crush our spirit.

For instance, aspects of politics and society can be stifling. Given that, The Police want the listener to reject the materialism that’s a daily reminder of a crushed spirit.

“State of the World” by Janet Jackson

Song Year: 1989

Janet Jackson’s 1989 hit is about the daily struggles of everyday people. Instead of focusing on fame, she focuses on the tough lives that the Black community faced in the 80s.

She touches on themes of motherhood, drug use, poverty, and crime. In the process, Jackson denounces the condition of the world as one that doesn’t help those in need.

“Rockin’ in the Free World” by Neil Young

Song Year: 1989

Written in the highly politicized era of the late 1980s, Young’s classic is a critique of George H.W. Bush’s presidency. He sings about poverty, drug use, and the feeling of hopelessness being experienced during his administration.

Young released the song before the Berlin Wall fell. During the protests and celebrations, the song became an anthem for the anti-communist sentiment present at the protests.

“You Are My World” by The Communards

“You Are My World” by The Communards

Song Year: 1986

This love song from 1986 is an ode to the person the narrator holds most dear in life. He sings about how her features, including her eyes and face, make him fall even more in love with her.

But her main feature is the way she makes him feel. She makes him feel complete and in return, he would do anything for her.

“A World Alone” by Lorde

Song Year: 2013

Being surrounded by friends who don’t care about you can be more isolating than having no friends. Lorde sings about their friends who are superficial and don’t care about her.

She also sings about finding those people that make you feel wanted. These friends will be with you through good and bad times. They’re true friends everyone should be looking for.

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears of Fears

Song Year: 1985

Tears of Fear’s ominous-sounding song is a product of its era. Written near the end of the Cold War, the song outlines the nature of power.

The lyrics explore the lust for power some people have. In the context of the Cold War’s terror, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” tells us about the dangers of power.

“Worlds Away” by The Go Go’s

Song Year: 1982

“Worlds Away” is a song about following your dreams and escaping a mundane life. It speaks of finding new places and traveling where no one else has ever gone before.

Doing so wouldn’t just be an exciting adventure but a chance for the narrator to escape their tedious day-to-day. But the singer also wants to escape the day-to-day of their mundane life.

“Sitting On Top of the World” by Cream

Song Year: 1968

Cream’s rendition of Mississippi Sheiks’ legendary 1930 classic, “Sitting On Top of the World” is among the most celebrated in the music industry.

Sung at a hauntingly slow pace, the song outlines the heartbreak of a broken relationship. The singer talks about his love leaving him. Now, he must leave town too to escape his pain.

“World Turning” by Fleetwood Mac

Song Year: 1975

“World Turning” is a song about the confusing nature of life. It describes not knowing what’s right anymore because of the countless other people who think they are correct.

Fleetwood Mac’s song is an anthem for anyone who doesn’t have a concrete direction in life. This song features the Talking Drum, a traditional instrument from Nigeria, thus giving this entry an impressively international quality.

“Secret World” by Peter Gabriel

Song Year: 1992

Peter Gabriel described his hit song as a look into the private world of a couple. He also delves into the personal lives of those in a relationship, and how they overlap with each other.

He sings about the wants, desires, and needs of the couple. Sometimes, Gabriel observes, a couple’s needs do not always match, which can lead to heartbreak.

“All the Love in the World” by Dionne Warwick

Song Year: 1982

Dionne Warwick was always known for her stunning love songs, and ‘All the Love in the World” is no different. The song was written for Warwick by her friends from the Bee Gees.

Warwick sings about how she feels at home when she’s with her love. In her darkest moments, she only wants to show her partner that she loves them.

“The World is Yours” by Nas

Song Year: 1994

Nas wrote this song to talk about the struggles of growing up in New York City, which he refers to as the “rotten apple.” Nas talks about drugs, violence, and family struggles.

The song has a downbeat tone, but it also has a hopeful nature. Nas not only talks about the struggles but also about the way to overcome the violence and danger of life.

“Cole World” by J. Cole

Song Year: 2011

Written for his debut studio album of the same name, “Cole World” is J. Cole’s come-up story. The song outlines the way J. Cole came into the rap scene.

J. Cole discusses themes of relationships, fame, and the struggle to be successful. Although not his most thought-provoking song, “Cole World” is an aggressive tune that attracts many fans.

“Waiting On the World to Change” by John Mayer

Song Year: 2006

When John Mayer wrote this song in 2006, he wanted to tell people that waiting for the world to change is a foolish decision. Ultimately, the world won’t wait to change.

Instead, he wants listeners to know they can make change if they try. Mayer wants us to understand we all play a part in the world, and we can make it a better place.

“Only Girl (in the World”) by Rihanna

Song Year: 2010

Rihanna’s hit song isn’t only about the singer’s need to feel the attention of her lover. It’s also about her finding ways to keep that attention on her.

The song describes the methods she’ll use to do so, including confiding in him and understanding his problems.

“All Around the World” by Oasis

Song Year: 1997

Oasis is known for its inspiring lyrics, and “All Around the World” is evidence of that. It explores the emotions people have when they realize their place in the world.

Instead of diving into despair, the lyrics tell us to embrace the seeming meaninglessness of life. Oasis wants us to know that even if we think our actions are insignificant, they can have impacts we might never know about.

“The End of the World” by The Pet Shop Boys

Song Year: 1990

The Pet Shop Boys wrote this song to parody the often-used phrase “this is the end of the world” whenever someone experiences a minor inconvenience.

Rather than feel overwhelmed by something trivial, The Pet Shop Boys want us to understand our problems are no more important than anyone else’s. And, that, ultimately, it really isn’t the end of the world. 

“Goodbye Cruel World” by Pink Floyd

Song Year: 1979

As one of Pink Floyd’s shortest songs, “Goodbye Cruel World” doesn’t often get the attention it deserves.

Running for only one minute, 17 seconds, the song is a momentary release of pent-up sadness. What’s more, it’s a final farewell to their fans that have supported the group through the fame.

“Around the World” by Daft Punk

Song Year: 1997

‘Around the World” was one of Daft Punk’s first famous songs. The lyrics are simple—the duo only repeats the phrase “around the world” roughly 150 times.

Despite that, it has been subject to many interpretations. Some people think it’s about an increasingly globalized society, while others believe it’s about experiencing the excitement of the world.

“The End of the World” by John Mellencamp

Song Year: 2003

John Mellencamp’s rendition of the 1962 Skeeter Davis song is among the best-known covers. It is about the feeling of loss when your love breaks your heart.

Mellencamp sings about feeling lost and without direction when his lover leaves him. He equates this feeling to the end of the world.

Top Songs About the World, Final Thoughts

Although there are countless songs about the world, these are some of the best. Each has a unique take, with some imploring the listener to care more about the planet and others using the term as a metaphor. No matter what genre interests you, you’re sure to find a song in this list you love!

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One Comment

  1. What “End of the World” by REM? It was just about their biggest early hits and makes a sad but true point. It was released during the height of the Cold War.

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