Is the mad world about depression? (what the lyrics mean)

In this article, we answer, is the mad world about depression and various interpretations of the song by people.

“Mad World” is a 1982 song by Tears for Fears, a British band. It was the band’s third single release and the first chart hit, penned by Roland Orzabal and sung by bassist Curt Smith, reaching number 3 in November 1982 on the UK Singles Chart. On the band’s debut LP, The Hurting, both “Mad World” and its B-side, “Ideas as Opiates” (1983). This single was also the first international success of the band, reaching the Top 40 in 1982-83 in many countries.

Is the Mad World about depression?

The Mad World is about a lonely young person who, in this world, feels out of place. He sees life as hollow, and he searches for ways to get away from the suffering. The line, “The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had” implies thoughts of suicide, but it relates to the theory of psychologist Arthur Janov that our most dramatic dreams release the most stress, according to Roland Orzabal, who wrote the lyrics. So, the guy is not looking to die in the song – he wakes up feeling better from morbid, lucid dreams.

As the band was known as a rock band, the genre of “Mad World” is somewhat “alternative rock.” Considering the intent of the album, the rhythm is very powerful because it displays rage and impotence concerning the world in which we live. One of the stanzas in the song states, “The dreams I’m dying in are the best I’ve ever had” (“Mad World Lyrics”), which certainly shows the only cure is a suicidal thought of death. The subject sentence for the entire song should be considered as this part of the song so it can relate to the suicide concept. “The stanza, “There are familiar faces all over me. Worn out locations, worn out faces. “Going nowhere, going nowhere, going nowhere” (“Mad World Lyrics”) gives me the feeling that Orzabal thinks of life as a ritual rather than a true way of life. He explains in this section of the song how he sees people wandering around with hollow shoulders and no real encouragement to become better people.

Another really strong stanza in this song is, “I went to school and I was so nervous, nobody knew me, nobody knew me, nobody knew me.” Hi teacher, tell me what my lesson is? “Look through me right, look through me right” (“Mad World Lyrics”). This particular stanza reveals a rather clear sense of distress and one of the worst ways to approach someone who is contemplating suicide is to be dismissed. Not only did Orzabal, who was suffering from depression, feel this, but so did many of us. I include myself because this specific part of the song makes me think of all the times I have been looking for love, not just in school, but generally. In most situations, though, these children not only want attention but also need it in order not to feel so miserable and collapse into depression, which may lead to suicide. “Not to forget the song’s chorus, “And I find it kind of funny, and I think it’s kind of sad. The dreams I’m dying for are the best I’ve ever had. I find it hard to tell you, and I find it hard to bear. “It’s a very, very mad world, mad world” as people run in circles (“Mad World Lyrics”), which demonstrates the writer’s knowledge of his situation — depression. Yet, because of all the negativity that surrounds him, he can not help feeling helpless.

Inspiration for Mad World 

When he was living in an apartment in Bath, England, with his girlfriend, Caroline, who later became his wife, Roland Orzabal came up with this album. She worked three jobs, but he was able to focus on his music. While looking out the window, Orzabal spent a lot of time strumming his acoustic guitar, watching individuals go about their business. Seeing people go about their everyday life, having to work for a living when you’re sitting in a flat, unemployed, is a bizarre point of view, “It’s a bizarre viewpoint to watch people go about their daily routine, having to work for a living when you’re sitting in a flat, unemployed,” “That’s where it came from.”

This was composed by Roland Orzabal but sung by the other vocalist of the party, Curt Smith, who linked correctly with the melody. “was easy for me to sing because I could relate to Roland’s lyrics. We were both the middle of three sons and had been brought up by single mothers with absent fathers. My father always worked away and died when I was 17, but I hated him by that point. It hit me later in life, but back then I was a teenager and angry. The song was the perfect platform. It worked better with my voice because it’s more melancholic, darker.

How Mad World was composed

“After hearing Duran Duran’s “Girls On Video,” Orzabal, then 19 years old, wrote the song on an acoustic guitar. He explained: “I just thought, ‘I’m going to have a shot at something like that.’ I did and ended up with ‘Crazy World.’ But, with just me singing, it sounded pretty bad on guitar. We were lucky enough, however, to be offered a chance by a guy named Ian Stanley to go on his synthesizer to his very big house and muck around. Ian became a keyboard player for us and he even had a drum machine. What we wanted was someone who knew how it was going to work. Eventually, we did the first ‘Crazy World’ demo with me still singing. But it didn’t please me. So I said to Curt, ‘Look, you sing it.’ And it sounded fabulous all of a sudden.’

The success of Mad World

This was the first hit of Tears For Fears in their native UK, where they quickly became a top act in the ’80s. “Mad World” went nowhere in America, but two songs from their next album, “Shout” and “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” went to #1. “Mad World” eventually came to the attention of American listeners, but when it was first released, very few of them knew about it.

There is a startling dissonance, characteristic of the Tears For Fears approach, between the upbeat, forward-leaning music and the darkly serious lyrics: they can juxtapose very intense lyrics with a pop tone.

Gary Jules, an American singer who released a slow, melodic version in 2001 that went to #1 in the UK, removed the dissonance. Many claim that his rendition is more in line with the lyrics. The original is believed to be ironic by some, and that is lost in the Gary Jules edition.

Orzabal said of the timeless essence of the song in a 2013 interview with The Guardian: “‘Mad World’ hasn’t dated because it’s expressive of a period I call the teenage menopause, where your hormones are going crazy as you’re leaving childhood. Your fingers are on the cliff and you’re about to drop off, but somehow you cling on.”

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Mad World seemed  ‘dark’

There was talk of their record label, Phonogram, dropping them after Tears for Fears’ first two singles failed to chart. Luckily, Dave Bates, the company’s shrewd A&R man, listened to their latest “Mad World,” album, slated to be a B-side, and persuaded the duo that it was hit material. “Us and Dave believed that it was the coolest sounding thing on the album because it was very, very different. But it’s pretty dark. The reason we released it was that we felt it would give us credibility. I always thought it would just take time. I honestly felt the quality was there. It was just a question of finding the right breakthrough.”Us and Dave thought that because it was very, very different, it was the coolest sounding thing on the album. But it’s pretty dark. The reason we released it was that we felt it would give us credibility. I always thought it would take time. I honestly felt there was quality. It was just a question of finding the right breakthrough.

The personal journey of Orzabal

Depression was very familiar to the British band as they experienced multiple acts of aggression and traumatic experiences while they were younger. Domestic abuse was witnessed by Roland Orzabal. My upbringing was the same as that of my two brothers,” Orzabal said, “except they didn’t go around complaining about it! We would all make a huge deal that we were the children of the council estate. But the main thing that upset me was that my dad was going to be physically abusive towards my mother. And it got so bad that she left, in the end (Wallace). It makes it very easy for the listener to understand why he would write a song about the unjust world in which we live when Orzabal faces certain events. All he perceived from his childhood were these forms of violence. While I am not a life psychologist, having such a traumatic childhood has a lot to do with the way people conduct themselves as adults and incidents, such as mental illness, to the extreme of causing physical harm.

You can check out the song using this link.

In this article, we answered, is the mad world about depression and various interpretations of the song by people.

FAQs: Is the mad world about depression

What is the theme of Mad World?

Most of The Hurting album focuses on childhood themes of loneliness and disillusionment, causing adult misery and suffering. Roland Orzabal had a relationship with his parents that was complicated and unhappy. The lyrics of the song deal with his childhood struggles and cathartic therapy to overcome them.

Did Tears for Fears write Mad World?

“Mad World” is a 1982 song by Tears for Fears, a British band. It was the band’s third single release and the first chart hit, penned by Roland Orzabal and sung by bassist Curt Smith, reaching number 3 in November 1982 on the UK Singles Chart.

Who covered Tears for Fears Mad World?

Brandi Carlile has shared an emotive cover of the “Mad World” of Tears For Fears that was recorded at her home in Washington State. The song was included on September 13th as part of Carlile’s full-album livestream re-imagining of Give Up the Ghost 2009.

Who originally wrote Mad World?

The mad world was originally written by Roland Orzabel.

Did REM do a cover of Mad World?

REM did not sing a cover of Mad World, it was Gary Jules who did.

Who all sang Mad World?

Mad World was sung by Michael Andrews. 

What we recommend for depression

Professional counselling

If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.


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