The song was written by singer/guitarist Rivers Cuomo and drummer Patrick Wilson between December 1991 and January 1992 before Weezer was even started, and thus is the first song written that eventually made it to the Blue Album. Rivers Cuomo has said that this song and track 2, No One Else, are connected lyrically. Cuomo described the narrator of No One Else as "the jealous-obsessive asshole in me freaking out on my girlfriend" and claiming that "'The World has Turned and Left Me Here' is the same asshole wondering why she's gone."
Up until recently, this song had not been performed live by Weezer since 1997, being the only album track from the first two albums not to be performed since this era. But with the Memories tour, both the Blue album and Pinkerton were played in their entirety, thus, ending this song's live dry spell. The song has also made proper setlists since then.
In 2006, Cuomo vaguely stated in the Official Rivers Cuomo Fan Interview that the reason for this live omission for so long was: "I think we felt like it wouldn't go over that well."
Matt Sharp, ex-Weezer bassist, covered this song during his 2004 solo tour.
Ryan Key, lead singer of the rock band Yellowcard has a tattoo on his arm that reads "The World Has Turned And Left Me Here," as a reference to the song.