"I'd Love to Change the World" as written by and Alvin Lee....
Everywhere is freaks and hairies
Dykes and fairies, tell me where is sanity
Tax the rich, feed the poor
Till there are no rich no more?

I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you

Population keeps on breeding
Nation bleeding, still more feeding economy
Life is funny, skies are sunny
Bees make honey, who needs money, Monopoly

I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you

World pollution, there's no solution
Institution, electrocution
Just black and white, rich or poor
Them and us, stop the war

I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you


Lyrics submitted by bluejemini

"I'd Love to Change the World" as written by Alvin Lee

Lyrics © CHRYSALIS MUSIC (DIGITAL ONLY)

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I'd Love to Change the World song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentSourced from Alvin Lee's website (alvinlee.com/…)

    ALVIN LEE INTERVIEW
    ROCK AND FOLK MAGAZINE, FRANCE
    September 2008
    (English Translation)

    R&F: Great songs here ("I'd love to change the world", "Over The Hill") - Do you realise "I'd love to..." has turned into a peace anthem these days ? The peace sign was on your guitar - were you into that "make love not war thing" ? Had it anything to do you with the fact you were playing the USA a lot at a time when the anti-Vietnam war thing was going on ??


    AL: Yes, Yes and yes. I was totally involved in all that and very frustrated that I could not do anything about it hence the words I’d Love to Change The World but I don’t know what to do, so I’ll leave it up to you…… and the best of luck.
    madmanchrison May 02, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think you're all wrong, whoever is saying it is mocking the liberals. I believe this IS a liberal song. It's about how they want to change the world, but it's downright near impossible, so eventually they just decide it is impossible for them and, rather sadly, leave the problem to "you". I believe when they say "you" they mean the next generation. Because all these problems we face are passed down to the next generation.
    PinKkFloyDdon October 26, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt may appear that it is against or for something but that's not at all what the songwriter means. It is about labeling and sayings that we hear everyday on the airwaves that are meaningless and don't provide direction of any kind for changing the world. In the 2000's the media has brought this to an all new art form. Just watch any of the cable news channels and after a half hour see if you can list anything that they said that helps anyone seek a solution.

    The song highlights labeling "hairies/fairies, rich/poor, black/white", conflicts "tax the rich til their rich no more", and desperation "pollution.. no solution" that is played constantly in our media. All of those media assets and the money they generate provide nothing to help chnage the world nor provide us with some insight on what we can do to change the world. The songwriter wants to change the world but doesn't know what to do.

    So maybe the song is about shutting off the noise from the media and start to change the world in your own way from what you can do for the greater good. See things clearly about saving the whole world and not looking for the conflicts between the labels the media, politicians and others create.

    That's a retty radical idea. Politicians would be against it since they would not be able to leverage their positions (left, right or indifferent) and media outlets would fear that their viewership would drop if the three or four faces on their split screens all agreed with each other.

    It reminds me aof a line from a Hendrix song "I'm the one that's going to die when it is time for me to die so let me live my life the way I want to". i originally thought that this meant to be a revolutionary. What I later realized is that it is about setting aside the media and labeling, and it is about living your life.

    So what do you think?
    yippieon December 16, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI first loaded this song onto my mp3 player because of its brilliant guitar play, and I have to admit that when I first heard the lyrics "Tax the rich, feed the poor, until there are no rich no more," I was a bit ticked off. A basic understanding of microeconomics will point out that punishing people for success means that nobody will strive to better themselves; and that if you don't have rich/successful people (who've earned it - I'm not talking about the nepotistic thieves that are far-too prevalent nowadays) then you're not going to have anybody who can employ the poor, and eventually you'll run out of money to actually feed them.

    But then on my jog today I listened to the song a bit more closely:

    I'd love to change the world
    But I don't know what to do
    So I'll leave it up to you

    And then, of course, there's the rest of the lyrics. This song just doesn't come across as something prescriptive - it's merely descriptive. As eskimoslim says above, it's a dig at the newsmedia (and in a way, a dig a both myopic sides of the political divide) [he refrences Alvin Lee's website, though I couldn't find a quote].

    Over all, I think it's a very mature song calling attention to the ills of the world, without trying to proclaim answers, as most musicians are far too willing to do. It's meant to be thought provoking and critical, not zealous and closeminded.
    SemperSolitasEston June 29, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't see it as a liberal or conservative anthem, I see it as a song about political confusion of the youth in this time. Kids were growing up in a confusing and frustrating time, much like they are today, most of the baby boomers were born into traditional families who didn't necessarily see war in a negative light because its what saved them from the great depression, so by time it came to Vietnam many were apathetic or blatantly supported it. Then when the kids got to college they were thrust into this far left environment dominated by the Berkeley mentality. That clash of cultures was a tough thing for kids to handle in choosing what side to take. I think this song expresses that confusion well. The character in the song is torn between wanting to "change the world" and not being able to balance perspective, so they decide apathy is the best choice and leave it to the people who have taken a firm perspective. I could be totally wrong about this, but that's what I always got out of it.
    kingsburyrunon May 08, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentUGH. I do not like these lyrics at all. They are just all over the place. The song is awesome and it really rocks but I wish the lyrics were more centralized on a specific point instead of all over the place the way they are.
    skcin7on May 14, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFrom the Alvin Lee website:


    R&F: Great songs here ("I'd love to change the world", "Over The Hill") - Do you realise "I'd love to..." has turned into a peace anthem these days ? The peace sign was on your guitar - were you into that "make love not war thing" ? Had it anything to do you with the fact you were playing the USA a lot at a time when the anti-Vietnam war thing was going on ??


    AL: Yes, Yes and yes. I was totally involved in all that and very frustrated that I could not do anything about it hence the words I'd Love to Change The World but I don't know what to do, so I'll leave it up to you; and the best of luck.
    maicasajustaon July 14, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI find it somewhat strange and a bit humorous that this song, which if not absolutely straightforward, is nevertheless certainly not that ambiguous. I was 16 when it hit its peak. For folks my age or a bit older, it was a confusing time, especially in terms of societal absolutes — every possible issue or way of seeing the world seemed to be split right down the middle, everything seemed to be defined as an absolute either/or: each one a perfect example of the duality of nature. And to make matters worse, it was absolutely unacceptable for most folks to not take one side or the other on each and every thing. The pressure was tremendous. But when you are 16, you are forming your entire life’s identity and not having very well defined ideas about things when confronted with someone who did was a nightmare, at least for me. So for me, this song put its arms around me and reassured me I was not by myself in this mess. The lyrics are almost a stream of consciousness thing — the thoughts constantly running through our heads, the absolute either /or choices bombarding us and demanding resolution, juxtaposed with simple recognition of, and the pleasure of, taking the world as it is and not trying to impose our concept on it. The “I don’t know what to do” part was exactly where I was then and I took comfort in knowing someone else felt that way, but it also haunted me, because I knew if you allowed others to solve the problems, you were signing over your right to have any say-so in the future — and this went against my nature — it just seemed to be a “cop-out”. But this was just the kind of internal conflict that tore at our souls at that time. So now I find it ironic and a bit funny that when you read folks’ interpretations of this song today you see examples of what the song tried to illuminate. That is, that one must first take a stand either liberal/conservative or old/young or etc.., etc.., and then and only then can the meaning be determined. Whichever side you fall on today, you seem to want to use this song as an example of your belief system. As far as I can recall, there were no conservative firebrands demonstrating in the streets while co-opting this song as their anthem. Anyone I knew that knew who Ten Years After were, were wannabe hippies or anti-establishment types — I seriously can not recall ever hearing a pro-Nixon, pro-establishment, war supporter quoting this song in order to illustrate their ideology. If there were any, I never saw them. So, I think that those interpretations are a humorous reflection of what our world has changed into since then. Even more divided, still confused, but still hoping it will get better.
    Geezerationon September 11, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat song.
    erickon October 15, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfo sho
    imoveritfoshoon December 23, 2004   Link

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