Imagine Dragons – Mad World

Learn English with Mad World by Imagine Dragons. Fill in the blanks in the lyrics as you listen to the song.

Lyrics

Sing-Along

Now try to sing along with the piano cover of Imagine Dragon’s Mad World. Remember to press the Record button below so you can listen to your recording when you’ve finished.

All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for the daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere
Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head, I wanna 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
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it’s a very, very
Mad world, mad world
Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy birthday, happy birthday
And I 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
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it’s a very, very
Mad world, mad world
Enlarging your world
Mad world

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Song Meaning

Meaning 1

I think that this entire song is him realizing that there’s no point in existing. He’s not necessarily suicidal, but he sees existence as trivial. His dreams about dying are not necessarily about death, but about ceasing to exist altogether, something he wishes was possible. The part about the children is saying that children are oblivious to the concept of existence, that they see only what they know, and that he wishes he could share their ignorance. The birthday symbolizes the child’s mentality of an event so significant that it is worth looking forward to consistently, believing that the next one will be better than the last when in reality the effects of the event dull until it is simply another day. During the time when a child feels so excited about an event that an adult finds almost insignificant, they display true ignorance and obliviousness. The singer yearns to be a child and have such mentalities, but as he cannot, he sees no reason to exist.

Meaning 2

I think he’s just struggling with how empty existence feels.

Meaning 3

“All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces”

Every day, he sees the same things, and the same people and he is realizing life has become a constant, daily chore.
“Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere”

Every day, people try to outdo the last by getting up early and working extra hard, but they won’t get any farther because life is a vicious circle, and you can’t escape day and night.
“Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression”

People grow tired and sad of completing the same ritual over and over and over again, but you can’t stop it, it’s inevitable.
“Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow”

He realizes how terrible it is to get up and do something only to do it again the day after that, and the day after that.
“And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad”

It is a silly thought that every person on Earth does everything to get nowhere, but it’s still really depressing that it is like that.
“The dreams in which I’m dying
Are the best I’ve ever had”

He finds that he likes the dreams in which he’s dying because he’s finally out of the monotonous, repetitive psychical world.
“I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take”

He hates the idea of it.
“It’s a very, very
Mad world
Mad world”

Duh.
“Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy birthday, happy birthday”

Kids wait for their birthday because they feel special and happy about getting to be a year older, but it’s just another ring in the tree, and it means nothing because it’s going to happen again and again, just like everything else.
“Made to feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen, sit and listen”

Kids are just raised to be replacements of their parents and just sit with the other children and listen.
“Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me, no one knew me”

Obvious.
“Hello teacher, tell me, what’s my lesson?
Look right through me, look right through me”

He asks the teacher a question but she just “looks right through him” because he is just another member of the class and isn’t important as an individual.

So it’s all just about being a number and unimportant and repeating the same day over and over again but still not getting anywhere. Ahh, this song makes me cry, I can’t listen to it.

What Do You Think This Song Means? Fill in this form to tell us.

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