♫ What The World Needs Now Is Love ♫ (Redux)

I have played this song a couple of times, most recently in May 2020, but given everything going on in the world today, I thought it appropriate for a redux.  Every time I play it, it seems more relevant even than the last.


This song, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, was originally offered to Dionne Warwick in 1965, but at the time, she wasn’t interested, so it was originally recorded by Jackie DeShannon whose version peaked at #7 in the U.S. and #1 in Canada in July of that year.  In 1996, Dionne Warwick apparently changed her mind and recorded the song, but hers only reached #87 on the U.S. charts.  According to Bacharach …

“Dionne rejected that song. She might have thought it was too preachy and I thought Dionne was probably right. Hal pushed me to play it for Jackie De Shannon who we were gonna record. Otherwise I would have let it be and it would still be in the drawer. Once I heard Jackie sing four bars of it, I thought ‘this is great.’ Jackie had such a great voice. Love her voice. Whether it’s a song she wrote herself or singing ‘What The World Needs Now Is Love,’ she’s special. I wish we could have repeated that success with Jackie but the material we gave her on the next session wasn’t as good.”

Now, my preference is Dionne Warwick’s version, but frankly DeShannon’s is also excellent, so I shall play both and you can choose.  I’m particularly struck by the lyrics “No not just for some, but for everyone.

What the World Needs Now
Jackie DeShannon/Dionne Warwick

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No not just for some but for everyone.

Lord, we don’t need another mountain,
There are mountains and hillsides enough to climb
There are oceans and rivers enough to cross,
Enough to last till the end of time.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone.

Lord, we don’t need another meadow
There are cornfields and wheat fields enough to grow
There are sunbeams and moonbeams enough to shine
Oh listen, lord, if you want to know.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone.

No, not just for some, oh, but just for everyone.

Songwriters: Burt F. Bacharach / Hal David
What the World Needs Now lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

24 thoughts on “♫ What The World Needs Now Is Love ♫ (Redux)

  1. I’m with Bacharach on this one: far too preachy for my taste, and its message is the musical equivalent of being hit on the head by a brick. Of the two versions, I slightly prefer Jackie’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How do you compare? Different eras. Different recording and producton capabilities. Nothing wrong with Dionne’s interpretation, but I’ll stick to Jaclie’s version. She sang it at the time it was needed to be sung.Not thatbthere is ever a time it doesn’t need to be sung.
    But Dionne has Stevie backing her up. I know that scores points for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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