Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Album: Something For Everybody (1998)
Charted: 1 45


  • This song was credited to the Australian film director Baz Luhrmann, although he is not actually on the recording. The vocals were by Australian voice-over artist Lee Perry.
  • This samples Quindon Tarver's gospel remake of the Rozalla hit "Everybody's Free (To Feel Good)," from the soundtrack to the 1996 Romeo & Juliet film, which was directed by Baz Luhrmann.
  • The lyrics are from an essay called "Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young" by columnist Mary Schmich. It first appeared in 1997 in the Chicago Sunday Tribune, although the article was originally wrongly credited as being a collegiate commencement speech delivered by author Kurt Vonnegut. In the book 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, Baz remembered, "I was working with my assistant, Anton Monsted and Josh Abrahams on a remix of 'Everybody's Free (To Feel Good)' when Ant showed me an email of these words that appeared to be Kurt's graduation speech. His simple observations and ideas seemed to provide a profoundly useful guide for getting through life. We wanted to record it but only had two days and didn't know how to get hold of Kurt. Ant went onto the Internet and discovered that a student had taken Mary's speech and linked it to Kurt's name in the style of a chain letter. To us it didn't matter who wrote it, it made sense and struck a chord with those who had read it, that we decided to record it."
  • This song is played during the end credits of the 2000 film The Big Kahuna, starring Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Stephanie - Naselle, WA

Comments: 2

  • Ian from Ragama, Sri Lanka (ceylon)A song every man, woman & child should listen to. Life is in this song..
  • Oldpink from New Castle, InThe young kid gospel singer can really belt it out.
    Of course, I also agree with Baz that the spoken words are prescient indeed.
    Those are definitely simple and very valuable words of wisdom.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Julian LennonSongwriter Interviews

Julian tells the stories behind his hits "Valotte" and "Too Late for Goodbyes," and fills us in on his many non-musical pursuits. Also: what MTV meant to his career.

The End Of The Rock EraSong Writing

There are no more rock stars - the last one died in 1994.

Stan RidgwaySongwriter Interviews

Go beyond the Wall of Voodoo with this cinematic songwriter.

Part of Their World: The Stories and Songs of 13 Disney PrincessesSong Writing

From "Some Day My Prince Will Come" to "Let It Go" - how Disney princess songs (and the women who sing them) have evolved.

Rush: Album by Album - A Conversation With Martin PopoffSong Writing

A talk with Martin Popoff about his latest book on Rush and how he assessed the thousands of albums he reviewed.

Rick SpringfieldSongwriter Interviews

Rick has a surprising dark side, a strong feminine side and, in a certain TV show, a naked backside. But he still hasn't found Jessie's Girl.