All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere
Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you 'cause I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it's a very, very
Mad world
Mad world
Mad world
Mad world

Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy birthday, happy birthday
Made to feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen, sit and listen
Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me, no one knew me
Hello teacher tell me what's my lesson
Look right through me, look right through me

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you 'cause I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it's a very, very
Mad world
Mad world
Mad world
Mad world

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you 'cause I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it's a very, very
Mad world
Mad world

Halargian world
Mad world


Lyrics submitted by Willowbear, edited by Qpeng

Mad World Lyrics as written by Roland Orzabal

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Sentric Music

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Mad World song meanings
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150 Comments

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  • +10
    General Comment

    this song is about how messed up the world is. how people spend their lives going through the same old motions everyday, just doing their best to not think about death....instead of just living their lives.

    MrEMan02on April 25, 2004   Link
  • +9
    General Comment

    Ok, where can I read the meanings of the song, and not comments about Donnie Darko, o Gary Jules? Geez, how annoying.

    angeliquezombifiedon March 05, 2010   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    Shut the fuck up about Donnie freakin' Darko!

    ITS A DIFFERENT BLOODY SINGER. Go on the Gary Jules page to talk about it. I even went to the liberty of getting the link for you:

    songmeanings.net/lyric.php

    highlight, copy, paste, AND FUCK OFF.

    That said, great song =]

    crazycasualtyon May 03, 2006   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    Just a quick add to my previous post: According to Curt, the word is actually "Hlaajean": a reference to Hlaaj, a figmentary planet that producer Chris Hughes created. Curt told this story in a 1983 interview, and he recently confirmed its accuracy.

    biba01on September 18, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    UGH! Who cares about the Donnie Darko version! We're on the Tears for Fears artist page. good grief.

    sixedhearton April 29, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    Awright... In various places, such as on youtube comments I have heard people saying that the cover is "more emotional" and "more human". But i think this song doesnt have to sound like that. it has a manic, eerie, detatched feeling to it. it is somebody out in this mad world feeling alienated, scared, isolated, even though they are surrounded by people.They are unnable to tell any of the "familiar faces". Do they actually know each other? Do they actually know more than just the tip of the ice berg about people they see svery day? no expression... they hide the tears. i think that the teacher was showing the person that they will be looked through, part of a crowd. Sometimes they cant tell others because dont know themselves what is wrong. sorry if i am not making any sense, by the way.

    EmiMari1984on November 06, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    I've had enough of people acting like depression and suicide are issues that only teenagers struggle with! This song is very much about depression. It is not age specific.

    Karakalpakon September 13, 2013   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    Thanks to biba01 for the "hlaajean" correction.

    The part of the song containing "'enlargen' your world" had bothered me for a long time --- even though it has clearly been adopted to "enlargen" your world in the Gary Jules cover version, the original Tears for Fears version does NOT sound like Curt is saying "enlargen" at all. Later performances by Tears for Fears seem to skip the reference entirely, raising further suspicion. If you read Curt's lips in this youtube video of a 1982 performance, it's even more apparent that he's saying "hlaajean" and not "enlargen" --- youtube.com/watch (see 2:00.)

    Possibilities I came up with which matched the speech sound more closely, but still didn't seem quite right, were "Herodian world," in reference to Herod The Great (who massacred babies fearing the rise of Jesus) and "Alogian world," in reference to the Alogian sect (a group who rejected Christ as the rational principle that governs the universe.) Both terms were a little bit off from what Curt was saying phonetically, and though either could be interpreted as conveying a "harsh" world that fits the atmosphere of the song, both are subjective religious references.

    I think "Hlaajean world" refers to how alien and foreign the world can sometimes feel. People of modern societies can become so easily caught up in themselves that they become isolated and disconnected from the rest of the world. While this still holds today, I think it was especially true in the 80's, when people had more money to spend and seemed driven to express their individuality in exotic ways.

    jjechon January 09, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    being a donnie darko fan myself i thought i'd express my utter annoyance at everyones insistance on plugging the movie everytime they have a chance to speak. the world does not revolve about this movie. GlassShard obviously you missed the whole meaning, good job.

    anyhow the song. it reminds me of every day when you run through your motions and everything is the same and everything is disastisfying and dissapointing.

    i'd have to say that the TTF version is much better than Gary Jules' version, because they're the one who came up with it. i fee like no one can portray a song the way it's supposed to be, except for the people who KNOW the song.

    yur sooo sillyon March 26, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    COME ONNNNN. yeah, donnie darko was an amazing film, but this is about the SONG, not the film that features a cover of the song. its the same in the thread for head over heels.

    I do really like this song, and i think the lyrics are so suble and beautiful. i like both versions, this one and Gary Jules. The other covers I have heard i cant really comment on as i havent heard them.

    crazycasualtyon July 13, 2005   Link

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