I Rule the World

I RULE THE WORLD – Tom Sanderson | download mp3

lyrics and music by Greg Hamblin and Tom Sanderson

I am a master of a destiny I call my own
I own a supermarket, mini-mall and armchair throne
I am employer of one hundred fifty happy souls
I need a swarm of these to help me realize my goals
But one ledger’s in the red
Can’t seem to get you out my head
I cannot keep you
I can’t let you go

I rule the world
Why can’t I keep you here beside me?

I have a mansion in the hills – room for twenty guests
Room for my theater, one room where my billiard table rests
I have a room just for my model train – I love my set
And there’s another for my comic books I’ve not read yet
But it’s boring by myself
Most of my toys don’t leave the shelf
Will you come over?
You always tell me no

I rule the world
Why can’t I keep you here beside me?

I have a motor car I like to drive on highway 1
and there’s another I take average places – not that fun
I’ve got a golf cart and electric car – no gasoline
and there are four or five I never drive – I just keep them clean
I like autos that I own
But I hate to drive alone
I would invite you
You don’t want to go

I rule the world
Why can’t I keep you here beside me?

I have one thousand people who say we are best of friends
As long as I host parties their approval never ends
There’s a hundred ladies who claim that they care for me
If I was just a beggar, they’d forgot me easily
However you don’t really care
if I’m broke or billionaire
but you don’t love me
I can’t let you go

I rule the world
Why can’t I keep you here beside me?

Before a brief explanation on the song’s origin and creation, I think it is important that you know:

  1. I don’t rule the world nor aspire to
  2. This song is not a commentary on any current interpersonal relations
  3. This song is not a depiction of any past or present public figures
  4. The lyrics are a work of fiction

Disclaimers being said, a musical fragment that became this song was written by Greg Hamblin, with whom I previously wrote two completed songs and an instrumental. Twenty years ago (spring 2001) when we were both single college students, I received this awesome song fragment from Greg who got stuck on developing the verses. I thought the title alone was a hilarious notion – I could picture a megalomaniacal super villain uttering those words. I don’t know why my mind took a different spin but I thought to make the song more about riches not buying love or happiness. I quickly wrote some additional words and had a basic melody but failed to develop it further and somewhere along the course of time it became a mostly forgotten idea.

Twenty years later, the song popped in my head again and I decided to revisit it. I decided not revise it to my middle-aged perspective where I am happily married and instead leave it as a time capsule for the relative discontent and lack of a couple decades of life lessons that surrounded me as a soon-to-be graduate. But let’s be clear – even though it certainly bears the stamp of my early adulthood, it is still a work of fiction. And a fun one at that, I think.

As far a genre or inspiration, I think TMBG and BNL were influencers on the song’s genesis, in concurring with Greg. So I was aiming for the college rock / alternative rock spin but as often is the case for me, the actual end product is different than the thing in my head (for further discussion on that point, listen to Alan Sanderson’s and my podcast #3). In this case, I think the final recording is pretty satisfying and sounds a bit like Power Pop – a genre I’ve not really explored much. Since Hollywood has churned up several stories with similar themes, I unconsciously took a cue to add some baroque elements here and there to suggest affluence.

The cover image is also from the days of old. About a year after Greg and I started this song, I was working on a music/film project with another college friend, Scott Church, This unused image was left over from that project (it was an ink drawing that I recently colored in).

I really hope you like this recording and I hope it meets Greg’s approval also. I really think he had an excellent song idea and I regret it took twenty years to make.


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