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World Party — Is It Like Today?
Album: Bang!
Avg rating:
7.6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1338









Released: 1993
Length: 5:07
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Many years ago he
Looked out through a glassless window
All that he could see was Babylon
Beautiful green fields and dreams
And learn to measure the stars
But there was a worry in his heart

He said,
How could it come to this?
I'm really worried about living
How could it come to this?
Yeah, I really want to know about this
Is it like today?

Then there came a day
It moved out across the Mediterranean
Came to western isles and the Greek young men
And with their silver beards they laughed
At the unknown of the universe
They could sit and guess God's name

But they said,
How could it come to this?
We're really worried about living
How could it come to this
Yeah, we really want to know about this
Is it like today?

Then there followed days of Kings, Empires and revolution
Blood just looks the same when you open the veins
But sometimes it was faith, power or reason as the cornerstone
But the furrowed brow has never left his face

He said,
How could it come to this?
We've living in a landslide
How could it come to this?
Yeah, we really want to know about this
Is it like today?

Then there came a day
Man packed up flew off from the planet
He went to the moon, to the moon
Now he's out in space
Hey, fixing all the problems
He comes face to face with God

He says,
How could it come to this?
I'm really worried about my creation
How did it comes to this?
You're really killing me, you know

It isn't just today
Is it like today?
Is it like today?
Bang!

Many years ago he
Looked out through a glassless window
Didn't understand which what he saw
Comments (192)add comment

 

Karl Wallinger is the man!

Excellent! The remake is just as good.
Forgot about this lost gem. Thanks for the replay, RP!
And when I come face to face with God I will ask

Yah I would really like to know about this {#Ask}
I am Dr. Strangelove and I approve of this message!
Very nice! 
I scored this song a 10 for the audacity of the attempt
 


Baby_M wrote:
The entire history of Western philosophy and culture, distilled down to three and a half minutes.

 


It was like today, but it's no longer today so it's not. 
summer of '93, ahhhhhhhhhhh
 kaybee wrote:

I prefer Gilkyson's cover - more intensely emotive.

 
Agreed… but…

I've often thought that covers are/should be easier than the original...after all...all you have to do is improve some parts, whilst retaining enough of the original - so its clear what you're covering.

if you can't do that...then don't release the cover.

Since I'm not a musician I could be talking out of my hat {#Cheesygrin}
 kaybee wrote:

I prefer Gilkyson's cover - more intensely emotive.

 
+1
 dsd wrote:
Great song.  Eliza Gilkyson's cover is a personal favorite.

 
I prefer Gilkyson's cover - more intensely emotive.
 WonderLizard wrote:




 
 
 
 
 ScottFromWyoming wrote:
 
 
 

 


Come to this
As I listened  to Alle Märchen der Brüder Grimm
I just grabbed my banana and ran.
I am usually loathe to compare songs, artists or tracks to others. As often as not, any similarities in sound, structure or style are coincidences, not homages, much less rip offs... Unless it is openly acknowledged and long-running, i.e. Phish and the Dead.

Nonetheless, I hear echoes and signatures of The Kinks in here. Well Respected Man, for one.  
The entire history of Western philosophy and culture, distilled down to three and a half minutes.
"...just monkeys with technology,
barely out of the caves & the trees"
.
"talk about saving the planet,
its our vanity gone mad"

can anyone teach me to dance like a bow legged muleskinner (or whatever it is)?
in the meantime ill just sway about randomly as usual i guess . .  {#Confused}
Great song.  Eliza Gilkyson's cover is a personal favorite.
Reminds me of Marcy Playground, gets a 6 for that
 kingart wrote:

"Not much of god" or "a god."  
The small g makes them pagans, but not atheists, but not monotheists either.  The Buddhists don't really say "g(G)od" at all, although they are not atheists either. What is your point? This terse observation doesn't elicit much about atheists.  The song is about the constancy of inconstancy and the eternal question, "what the fuck is all this about and for?" Which is perfectly legit whether one is devoted to God, a lusty pagan or a mad irreverent heretic.  And none of us inside our limited ape brains within the unknowable unlimited infinite fullness of the universe can be 100% sure where one of those ends and the other begins.   

 
This god fits pretty comfortably in my limited brain. The god that atheists believe in does too.

I would imagine that a theory of all things should be more challenging than contemporary physics, which my monkey brain does have trouble conceptualizing.


 dragon1952 wrote:
I've heard this off and on and really liked it.Always kinda thought in the back of my mind it was a George Harrison song for some reason. Of course listening more closely it's not as evident, except for the instrumental part which still kinda reminds me of a Harrison song.

 
Reminded me of Ray Davies.
Just love World Party. Great lyrics.Worried about Creation? Keep It In The Ground!!
{#Bananajam}King, empires and revolutions ... we're living in a landslide ... Brilliant tune!
I've heard this off and on and really liked it.Always kinda thought in the back of my mind it was a George Harrison song for some reason. Of course listening more closely it's not as evident, except for the instrumental part which still kinda reminds me of a Harrison song.
Always liked this tune...pagans, atheists, muslim or roman catholic...it is a catchy number and one of their best tunes.
 kingart wrote:

"Not much of god" or "a god."  
The small g makes them pagans, but not atheists, but not monotheists either.  The Buddhists don't really say "g(G)od" at all, although they are not atheists either. What is your point? This terse observation doesn't elicit much about atheists.  The song is about the constancy of inconstancy and the eternal question, "what the fuck is all this about and for?" Which is perfectly legit whether one is devoted to God, a lusty pagan or a mad irreverent heretic.  And none of us inside our limited ape brains within the unknowable unlimited infinite fullness of the universe can be 100% sure where one of those ends and the other begins.   

 
Nicely put!! 
 bitbanger wrote:
Not much of  god. This is the kind that atheists like to believe in so they can say they don't believe in a god. IMHO.

 
"Not much of god" or "a god."  
The small g makes them pagans, but not atheists, but not monotheists either.  The Buddhists don't really say "g(G)od" at all, although they are not atheists either. What is your point? This terse observation doesn't elicit much about atheists.  The song is about the constancy of inconstancy and the eternal question, "what the fuck is all this about and for?" Which is perfectly legit whether one is devoted to God, a lusty pagan or a mad irreverent heretic.  And none of us inside our limited ape brains within the unknowable unlimited infinite fullness of the universe can be 100% sure where one of those ends and the other begins.   
 westslope wrote:

US fiscal politics?

 

Very catchy.



 
I posted that in September 2011.

Now in early 2015, the US fiscal situation is much better.   Massive market distortions remain from the stimulus but things are getting better.

Americans should take a cue from Nancy Reagan and just say No to constant 'stimulus' as well as boot heel economics that continues to get the country into trouble.   
 
 
 
Not much of  god. This is the kind that atheists like to believe in so they can say they don't believe in a god. IMHO.
Karl Wallinger is an incredible talent!  Great song.  Lyrics, music, harmonies.....has it all!
Anyone who is that good at arithmetic gets my vote...{#Smile}
 Peter_Bradshaw wrote:
{#Bananapiano} ..... always enjoy this tune so for me it's "Outstanding"
 
I'm with you on this
 meinthecorner wrote:
I don't know Opus and Bill the Cat, but they sure do look like they could throw a mean party. Or, quite possibly run a political party, for all I know. What the hell do I know? Well, I know that I like World Party...
 

Bill played lead tongue for Billy and the Boingers.
got that feel good Kinks sound to it.. {#Music}
{#Bananapiano} ..... always enjoy this tune so for me it's "Outstanding"
Great album
 The_Enemy wrote:

I remember an interview at the time, Karl Wallinger said the song lyrics meant something along the lines of human intelligence over history.  There's a perception that we're smarter than people hundreds/thousands of years ago and it's not true.

An example he used was the ancient Greeks figuring out the Earth's circumference by measuring shadows. "Can you do that? I can't!"

 
Wallinger was right, at least if you're talking about the best minds of the ancient world. I can recommend two books along these lines. Both books were tied-in to excellent NOVA documentaries:

The Archimedes Codex: How a Medieval Prayer Book Is Revealing the True Genius of Antiquity's Greatest Scientist

"In 1998, the auction house Christie's sold a medieval prayer book for more than $2 million. The price owed to a startling discovery: the prayers had been written over the earliest surviving manuscript of Archimedes (287–212 B.C.), the ancient world's greatest mathematician." 

Decoding the Heavens: A 2,000-Year-Old Computer--and the Century-Long Search to Discover Its Secrets

"The "Antikythera Mechanism" has baffled archeologists and scientists for more than a century. Discovered in an ancient Greek shipwreck in 1901 near the Greek island of Antikythera, between Kythera and Crete, it is the first known mechanical computer in human history. It is rumored to have been used to calculate astronomical positions, and probably dates to the first century before the Common Era (BCE).

...Not until the high Medieval era would technological artifacts of similar complexity be found. With more than 30 gears...it had the potential to enter a date and the mechanism could calculate the position of the Sun, Moon, or the other planets. It also had the capability to predict lunar and solar eclipses."
 



 aaronm wrote:
I'm actually kind of tired of this song. It's not bad, and this is a decent version of it, but I feel like we hear it quite frequently.

 

Decent version...?

It's the original, Mister!

A good song remains to be a good song - no matter how often you have heard it!

 


I'm actually kind of tired of this song. It's not bad, and this is a decent version of it, but I feel like we hear it quite frequently.
 84MacGuy wrote:
I like the Eliza Gilkyson version better, but this is still very, very good.  As other commenters have stated, the words are very intriguing.  

BTW, I saw World Party about 15+ years ago as the opening act for Aimee Mann.  I can't believe I'm listening to them today on RP. 
 
Funny, I saw Aimee Mann opening for World Party back in '93. she brought on Neil Innes and sang a Rutles song with him. 
I as well like Eliza's version, she slows down the tempo and there's more emphasis on the lyrics, to these old ears.
It was EG's version of this song that made my buy her Paradise Hotel album.  Her nuances with these lyrics are much subtler and more interesting.
too conventional for my taste.........sorta boring

Me too - like the Eliza version a bit better.  This is the song that turned us on to her.


She has another great political song; the one about the road in Irac.
I like the Eliza Gilkyson version better, but this is still very, very good.  As other commenters have stated, the words are very intriguing.  

BTW, I saw World Party about 15+ years ago as the opening act for Aimee Mann.  I can't believe I'm listening to them today on RP. 
 softjeans wrote:
and the words are fascinating, mysterious, impossible to fully resolve.
 
I remember an interview at the time, Karl Wallinger said the song lyrics meant something along the lines of human intelligence over history.  There's a perception that we're smarter than people hundreds/thousands of years ago and it's not true.

An example he used was the ancient Greeks figuring out the Earth's circumference by measuring shadows. "Can you do that? I can't!"

 somewhereinKS wrote:

I heard Elyza's version first...think I kinda like it better still, too.
 





Agree. Can't really hear the lyrics in this version very well, and the words are fascinating, mysterious, impossible to fully resolve.



 bh1 wrote:
I like this, it is the first version of this song I heard, but I really prefer Elyza Gilkysn's (?) version better. 
 
I heard Elyza's version first...think I kinda like it better still, too.
Tickets have been purchased...looking forward to seeing Karl again after all these years:

https://www.sohosb.com/event/178271/
I like this, it is the first version of this song I heard, but I really prefer Elyza Gilkysn's (?) version better. 
this is one of 2 covers
 
This post apparently contained an image that was dragged into the post editor. Sorry, but any text contained in the post after this point has been lost.
i like eliza's version better
 meinthecorner wrote:
I don't know Opus and Bill the Cat, but they sure do look like they could throw a mean party. Or, quite possibly run a political party, for all I know. 

——-
But they *did* run a political party: The National Radical Meadow Party (or the Meadowcrats)

https://www.avclub.com/articles/dont-blame-me-i-voted-for-bill-and-opus-13-fake-pr,2501/
Bill-N-Opus
 
 


Favorite World Party memory.  My wife and I always dug these guys so when they played nearby SPAC we went up early and hung out in the park and had a lovely picnic on a beautiful summer day.  While there the band soundchecked and we could hear 'em clear as day from the park.  They played an earth shaking version of Day in the Life!  Very cool to hear.  Oddly they didn't touch it during the actual show but wow!
 fredriley wrote:

Arf! {#Clap}

As another vapid and shallow and easily-influenced person, I'll second your thrrrps! to all the pompous posters who take themselves and others and the music way too seriously  {#Nyah} {#Nyah} and back it up with Opus and Bill the Cat:


  I don't know Opus and Bill the Cat, but they sure do look like they could throw a mean party. Or, quite possibly run a political party, for all I know. What the hell do I know? Well, I know that I like World Party...








Karl Wallinger is one of the more underated songwriters of the last twenty years. I remember hanging out with him back in the early days of his career (late 80's or around 1990 or so) on top of the CN tower in Toronto. He was there doing a remote with the folks from CFNY radio. Saw him that night with his band World Party at a venue somewhere in TO. It was one of the best shows in years.
A wonderful disc overall!

US fiscal politics?

 

Very catchy.


 Cynaera wrote:
I am a vapid, shallow person who lets a beat or a tone influence her.   Grounds for eternal damnation or at the very least a hanging, according to the all-wise, all-knowing Self-proclaimed music-mavins here. To those who over-analyze and then criticize other peoples' opinions, I say {#Nyah}
 
Arf! {#Clap}

As another vapid and shallow and easily-influenced person, I'll second your thrrrps! to all the pompous posters who take themselves and others and the music way too seriously  {#Nyah} {#Nyah} and back it up with Opus and Bill the Cat:




 HearsayDave wrote:

Wow, I haven't followed this thread but the tone of the above sounds pretty ugly.
 

That's just how they talk in NYC, I wouldn't read too much into it. 
And the band on this is just Karl
Karl Wallinger is one very talented musician/songwriter, and fans are so fortunate that he's made a complete recovery from a brain aneurysm that had him out of action for 5 years.
 lemmoth wrote:

Based on your posts elsewhere, you never knew and still don't know a lot of things.  But here's hoping RP contributes to your education.
 
Wow, I haven't followed this thread but the tone of the above sounds pretty ugly.
 Cynaera wrote:
I can't pick a single World Party song above another. I just love them all, for various reasons. I love this one because it's upbeat and it makes me smile.

I am a vapid, shallow person who lets a beat or a tone influence her.   Grounds for eternal damnation or at the very least a hanging, according to the all-wise, all-knowing Self-proclaimed music-mavins here. To those who over-analyze and then criticize other peoples' opinions, I say {#Nyah} (And this is proof that I'm sleep-deprived and therefore lack credibility, although I did spell "credibility" correctly twice, so does that reinstate my credibility? Just wondering...)

 
Arghhh Ha Ha Ha ... you pretty witty ... (maybe also pretty and witty) {#Devil_pimp}
Moi prefers the version by Eliza Gilkyson {#Sunny}
World Party is (for me) a mixture of pleasure and pain. 50 percent cringeworthy
What a great segue from the Yothu Yindi song!

vit notwithstanding, I give this an 8 and Eliza Gilkyson's cover a 9.  Nyah! {#Razz}

 vit wrote:

Be thankful you don't know. She took a wrecking ball to this song. A slow, raspy, toneless, self-important wrecking ball.
 

Gotta disagree with you on this one. I really liked WP's version when it came out, but the singing sounded a bit of a mess when I heard it today. 

Eliza Gilkyson is mostly a C&W singer. RP has also played her "Angel and Delilah" and "Emerald Street"—both great. "Requiem" is very powerful. 
 lemmoth wrote:

Based on your posts elsewhere, you never knew and still don't know a lot of things.  But here's hoping RP contributes to your education.

 

Badda boom, badda bing...ya know what I'm talkin' 'bout NYC?
 DeemerDave wrote:


I only know the World Party recording. Who the heck is Eliza Gilkason?

 
Be thankful you don't know. She took a wrecking ball to this song. A slow, raspy, toneless, self-important wrecking ball.

 sirdroseph wrote:

I never knew World Party sang this, pretty good song.


 
Based on your posts elsewhere, you never knew and still don't know a lot of things.  But here's hoping RP contributes to your education.

Why did I not remember that World Party sings this? I think it may be one of the musical tidbits that has actually leaked out of the component of my brain containing all information musical.

So refreshing when it came out. I always thought of it as anti MTV.


It is like today. Karl Wallinger is great. Great tune too.

Having heard the cover so much on RP I first thought this was another cover, than recognizing it was World Party thought it was thin.  Is this there only studio version?  Thought I remembered a more fleshed out version.

Love the song though
I can't pick a single World Party song above another. I just love them all, for various reasons. I love this one because it's upbeat and it makes me smile.

I am a vapid, shallow person who lets a beat or a tone influence her.   Grounds for eternal damnation or at the very least a hanging, according to the all-wise, all-knowing Self-proclaimed music-mavins here. To those who over-analyze and then criticize other peoples' opinions, I say {#Nyah} (And this is proof that I'm sleep-deprived and therefore lack credibility, although I did spell "credibility" correctly twice, so does that reinstate my credibility? Just wondering...)

Song recommendations would be appreciated, as there is such a large library. Please reply w/yours. 
Nice!
Makes me think of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill or Jerusalem.  Or both.
 jagdriver wrote:

I'm so used to Eliza's version that I'm having trouble appreciating WP's version. I'll give it a whirl, though. A 6 for now.
 

I only know the World Party recording. Who the heck is Eliza Gilkason?

 DaveInVA wrote:
Cool, some good ol' Whirled Potty. I like Eliza Gilkason's version also

 
I'm so used to Eliza's version that I'm having trouble appreciating WP's version. I'll give it a whirl, though. A 6 for now.


I never knew World Party sang this, pretty good song.


 CamLwalk wrote:
Nuts about this one.  Beautiful.  Karl rocks
 
WOOHOO!!!! 9!

 travilcatt wrote:
so much prefer this version to the other one he plays all too often
 
Agreed!

so much prefer this version to the other one he plays all too often
I remember hanging out with Peter Himmelman after an art exhibit opening in Chi. and he gave me this C.D. Still have
it and still love it.

Luv World Party!
Cool, some good ol' Whirled Potty. I like Eliza Gilkason's version also

Nuts about this one.  Beautiful.  Karl rocks
 Tim_in_N_FL wrote:
I really like this group...now defunct, right?{#Think}
 
I have been trying to figure out the answer to that question for the last year or so too. I think that the answer is that World Party is still "a band," as much as it can be.

In 2000, Dumbing Up was released in the UK. It was released in the US in 2006, with the hint of something new to follow shortly thereafter. Karl & World Party did do a tour in support of Dumbing Up.

According to his Wiki entry, "The hope was to release a new CD as the band started their tour with Steely Dan, but the new songs have been delayed into 2009."

I just checked the World Party website after writing this and saw that World Party will be playing on the West Coast in September and October. Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

So, defunct, no.

 kcar wrote:
I prefer Eliza Gilkyson's version myself, though I really like World Party overall.  


to both notions.
 kingfish2004 wrote:


Yeah late 90's I believe, miss them too.
 
They opened in Brisbane , Australia for Steely Dan , a couple of years ago- unannounced but very professional and played those two songs everyone knows
 softjeans wrote:

Amen. Interviewed Eliza for a newspaper piece and she just raved about this song, the ability of the lyrics to take on big issues with small, emotional words. The music too deserves a word — has a syncopation that just swings.
 

I prefer Eliza Gilkyson's version myself, though I really like World Party overall. She also does a great song called "Angel and Delilah" that I first heard here on RP. 
World party makes good music. I think the band is one guy who plays everything and over dubs vocals?
Interesting to see the comments. I actually prefer the Gilkyson version which seems to have more "heart" and thought. The "pop" sound of this song and the "endlessly cheerful" vocals seem to override the lyrics.

I guess that is what is so great about music...each person can hear and interpret on their own. Frankly, they both have merits.......
 travilcatt wrote:
FINALLY! We always hear the OTHER version, I prefer this one {#Roflol}
 
Yes! Yes! Finally! The other version pales in comparison

travilcatt wrote:
FINALLY! We always hear the OTHER version, I prefer this one {#Roflol}


Same here. No comparison.

I'll always love this song...and about 2 others from World Party. :)
I didn't love the rest of the album, but this song is great. {#Dancingbanana}{#Drummer}{#Music}
 softjeans wrote:

Amen. Interviewed Eliza for a newspaper piece and she just raved about this song, the ability of the lyrics to take on big issues with small, emotional words. The music too deserves a word — has a syncopation that just swings.

 
Thanks for the link. The Gilkyson piece is informative and an enjoyable read.

 travilcatt wrote:
FINALLY! We always hear the OTHER version, I prefer this one {#Roflol}
 

Second that!

Per comments below...although Karl Wallinger was out of commission for a number of years until fairly recently, WP are indeed active again, and (I think) played some shows in 2006 and 2007.

 Tim_in_N_FL wrote:
I really like this group...now defunct, right?{#Think}
 

Yeah late 90's I believe, miss them too.
 gandalfbmg wrote:
Eliza knocked this one out of the park, but I still like this one too, it's just that well written.
 
Amen. Interviewed Eliza for a newspaper piece and she just raved about this song, the ability of the lyrics to take on big issues with small, emotional words. The music too deserves a word — has a syncopation that just swings.

I really like this group...now defunct, right?{#Think}
FINALLY! We always hear the OTHER version, I prefer this one {#Roflol}
 chiggins wrote:
I woulda thought it was from a Kinks album I hadn't heard if I hadn't seen the title.
 

Good call. It does sound a bit like a Kinks tune.
This is one of those songs that I first heard a cover of (Eliza) and the original is just not doing it for me. Bummer...
this song lifted me where my morning coffee failed! nice one.
Nice
 rick5877 wrote:
Don't they seem to have a strong Kinks influence?
 

Yes.
Don't they seem to have a strong Kinks influence?
This is the version for me, I'm happy to say! Thanks...
Nothing recorded by World Party is worth listening to. Having said that, I like Eliza's version.
Eliza knocked this one out of the park, but I still like this one too, it's just that well written.
gypsyman wrote:
Eliza next, anyone?
Bueller?
Catchy with great lyrics. This song must particularly resonate with some of the American brothers and sisters.
Eliza next, anyone?