The World I Know

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"The World I Know"
TheworldIknowCS.jpg
Single by Collective Soul
from the album Collective Soul
B-side"When the Water Falls (Live Acoustic Version)"
ReleasedNovember 14, 1995
RecordedLate 1994
Miami, Florida
(Criteria Studios)
Length4:16
LabelAtlantic
Songwriter(s)Ed Roland
Ross Childress
Producer(s)Ed Roland
Matt Serletic
Collective Soul singles chronology
"Smashing Young Man"
(1995)
"The World I Know"
(1995)
"Where the River Flows"
(1996)
"Smashing Young Man"
(1995)
"The World I Know"
(1995)
"Where the River Flows"
(1996)
Music video
"The World I Know" on YouTube

"The World I Know" is a song by American band Collective Soul, originally released on their 1995 eponymous album. Written by lead singer and guitarist Ed Roland and guitarist Ross Childress, "The World I Know" peaked at #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart when released as a single,[1] and spent four weeks at the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.[2]

Composition[edit]

In a December 2017 interview with Songfacts, lead singer Ed Roland explained the inspiration behind "The World I Know":

I wrote that when we had a day off in New York City. This was 25 years ago, when we were in Times Square, which is not what Times Square is now, which is like Disneyland. There was still some grit and dirt to New York City - especially around Times Square and Union Square back then. I literally walked out of the room, took a two-hour walk around New York, and just absorbed and observed from the highs and lows of what society was offering in the greatest city in the world.[3]

Music video[edit]

The music video depicts a businessman who begins to go about his day, reading The New York Times on the way to his office. As he reads about death, and sees the homelessness and sadness on the street, he becomes disillusioned with his life and prepares to commit suicide. As he climbs to the roof of a nearby building, he takes off his shoes and looks at the ground crying. He stretches out his arms and readies himself to fall.

However, just as he is about to fall, a pigeon lands on his arm. He feeds it with the bagel in his pocket, and the crumbs attract ants, which makes the man notice the similarities of them to the people walking below. He laughs throwing all his money at the people and pulls himself out of his state.

During the entire video, periodic cuts to singer Ed Roland looking on at the man while singing the song are shown.

The video also shows sadness and happiness in the form of color hues for the video. While the man is disillusioned with his life and is thinking about suicide, the video is in a blue and purple tint, giving a dark feeling to the video. When the pigeon lands on the man's arm, the video's hue changes to show the normal colors of the city, also revealing the sun shining over the city, showing of the sudden change to happiness and relief.

Cover versions[edit]

On May 20, 2008, David Cook, winner of the seventh season of American Idol performed the song. Following his performance, Cook's version peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot Digital Songs chart and #28 on the Billboard Hot 100.[4] Pat Green covered this song in his album Songs We Wish We'd Written II.

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Billboard Chart History
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 138.
  3. ^ "Ed Roland of Collective Soul". Songfacts. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  4. ^ "Music: Top 100 Songs - Billboard Hot 100 Chart".
  5. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Collective Soul – The World I Know". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  6. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  7. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  8. ^ "Charts.nz – Collective Soul – The World I Know". Top 40 Singles.
  9. ^ "Collective Soul Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Collective Soul Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  11. ^ "Collective Soul Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  12. ^ "Collective Soul Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  13. ^ "Collective Soul Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  14. ^ "Collective Soul Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  15. ^ "Collective Soul Chart History (Radio Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  16. ^ "RPM Year End Top 100 Hit Tracks". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  17. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1996". Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved 2010-08-27.