There's A World

Album: Harvest (1972)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Young felt this song was "overblown." Most critics and fans agree. Rolling Stone put the song on its Terrible Songs by Great Artists list, saying, "For some reason, Young though that the London Symphony Orchestra would mesh with his songs. The result was like a chocolate-covered cheeseburger. This is the one everyone skips when they play Harvest, even if they don't all admit it."
  • The song is frequently compared with "A Man Needs A Maid," which is similarly layered-on rather heavily but which somehow manages to work where "There's a World" does not. Young himself made this comparison in Shakey, but he didn't seem to understand either why one works and the other doesn't.
  • The song's lyrics are written as a personal statement to "you" - perhaps meaning all listeners, some specific person, or Young himself. Whoever it is, the song's about having a deeper, unique purpose in the world.

    Thematically, it's a nice respite from Young's normally melancholy and often fatalistic songs. In this sense, the "overblown" nature of the symphony is kind of interesting, because it leads one to wonder if such hopeful sentiments actually do feel volcanic in Young's artistic psyche. This is of course all conjecture, though, and it's unlikely the song's ever going to spark up serious debate. Most everyone, including Young prefer to pretend it doesn't exist.

Comments: 1

  • Todd J Kreitzinger from Acworth GaI find this song very pleasing to the ear. It also captures the depth of his song writing.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Jimmy Webb

Jimmy WebbSongwriter Interviews

Webb talks about his classic songs "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman" and "MacArthur Park."

Elton John

Elton JohnFact or Fiction

Does he have beef with Gaga? Is he Sean Lennon's godfather? See if you can tell fact from fiction in the Elton John edition.

Graduation Songs

Graduation SongsFact or Fiction

Have you got the smarts to know which of these graduation song stories are real?

James Williamson of Iggy & the Stooges

James Williamson of Iggy & the StoogesSongwriter Interviews

The Stooges guitarist (and producer of the Kill City album) talks about those early recordings and what really happened with David Bowie.

Jonathan Cain of Journey

Jonathan Cain of JourneySongwriter Interviews

Cain talks about the divine inspirations for "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Faithfully."

Prince

PrinceFact or Fiction

Prince is shrouded in mystery, making him an excellent candidate for Fact or Fiction. Is he really a Scientologist? Does he own an exotic animal?