"Beautiful World" is the most popular solo track from Men At Work lead singer Colin Hay. When he wrote the song, he had recently moved from Melbourne to Los Angeles, and was freshly sober after years of alcohol abuse.
The song finds him enjoying the simple pleasures in life: swimming, driving, Irish tea. He found that without alcohol in his life, these simple things gave him joy. He also found that giving up drinking gave him a lot more time.
At one point in this song, Colin sings:
I tried talking to Jesus, but he just put me on hold Said he'd been swamped by calls this week And He could not shake his cold
In a Songfacts interview with Colin Hay, he explained: "It would seem that most of the world has some kind of faith based in religion, which to me is just mad. It's insanity. So, I'm in a minority, definitely, in terms of looking for, at this point in time, what does religion give us? To me it's more divisive than anything else. But, at the same time, when you're getting sober, when you go to meetings it's very God-dy. They talk about God a lot, which always get that internal reaction from me, and at the end you say OK, surrender to a higher power.
So, that's challenging when you don't really believe in God, which I don't. But when I was sitting out in the backyard having just given up the drink, trying to sit and meditate in some way, shape, or fashion, I became aware of my place in the universe, if you like. You don't tap into it, and it's not even really that you do anything. It's a state of being, which is not that you know anything. You just feel a sense that you're part of some kind of universal consciousness – whatever you want to call it. There's a benevolence to the universe which I hadn't felt before."
This song got a big boost when it was used in the 2002 Scrubs episode "My Last Day." Hay, who was championed by the show's star Zach Braff, appeared in three episodes of the series.