Oh What A World

Songfacts®:

  • Rufus Wainwright saw a lot of the world in 2002 when he embarked on his first headlining tour, supporting his album Poses. He wrote this song on a Eurostar train from Paris to London near the end of the tour.

    "I was very numb," Wainwright explained. "It's about looking at the world and seeing what's actually there, not feeling either good or bad about it, just feeling apart. I was grasping at some kind of mantra - like, even though the world is a strange place, you're still on the train, you paid for your ticket, and it's going to arrive at some point. There are a lot of trains on this album."
  • This incorporates part of "Bolero" by Maurice Ravel. Wainwright often incorporates works of classical music into his songs. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Davis - Montreal, Canada
  • On the train ride that inspired this song, Wainwright really did see men reading fashion magazines and other images that made it into the lyric. He describes the trip as like watching a video where the French countryside swishes by before finally arriving in Paris, which sounds like the start of a movie (perhaps starring Ethan Hawke).

Comments: 2

  • Chris from Philadelphia, Paits about trains. not eying attractive men.
  • Chris from Philadelphia, Pawhat? i'm sorry. your song fact is way wrong. have you read the bio on his album? because he says exactly what he wrote this about.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Little Big TownSongwriter Interviews

"When seeds that you sow grow by the wicked moon/Be sure your sins will find you out/Your past will hunt you down and turn to tell on you."

Sam PhillipsSongwriter Interviews

Collaborating with T Bone Burnett, Leslie Phillips changed her name and left her Christian label behind - Robert Plant, who recorded one of her songs on Raising Sand, is a fan.

Mick Jones of ForeignerSongwriter Interviews

Foreigner's songwriter/guitarist tells the stories behind the songs "Juke Box Hero," "I Want To Know What Love Is," and many more.

Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt On How To Create A Music SceneSong Writing

With $50 and a glue stick, Bruce Pavitt created Sub Pop, a fanzine-turned-label that gave the world Nirvana and grunge. He explains how motivated individuals can shift culture.

Sending Out An SOS - Distress Signals In SongsSong Writing

Songs where something goes horribly wrong (literally or metaphorically), and help is needed right away.

Mike Scott of The Waterboys - "Fisherman's Blues"They're Playing My Song

Armed with a childhood spent devouring books, Mike Scott's heart was stolen by the punk rock scene of 1977. Not surprisingly, he would go on to become the most literate of rockers.