September 03, 2020 3 min read

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.


— “What the World Needs Now is Love”

Lyrics by Hal David, Music by Burt Bacharach,

Originally Recorded in 1965 by Jackie DeShanon


Whether or not you’ve heard the name Hal David, you are probably familiar with some of his hits, including “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head,” “Always Something There to Remind Me,” and “Say a Little Prayer.”


He is the lyricist behind several of the most enduring songs in American pop music, largely written during the 60s and 70s for Dionne Warwick, Perry Como, and other memorable talents.


Thanks to a case of writer’s block, “What the World Needs Now is Love” almost didn’t happen.


Hal David’s children followed in their father’s musical footsteps as kids, and he described his household as “a rock and roll house,” where everyone’s band practiced at various times. He did a lot of thinking and songwriting in the relative quiet of his car on the way into New York City, to meet with songwriting partner Burt Bacharach.


He wrote the chorus for this song driving into work one day, but nothing he came up with for the verses felt right.


In a month or two or three, I tried again. It was always the same thing. I needed something to compare it to, and everything I thought about had nothing to do with the person I was talking to – God. It took more time to write these lyrics than any other. I realized that I needed to write the antithesis – what we didn’t need. One day on the ride to New York, it came to me.”


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.


I knew that was it. I wrote about all of the things that had to do with nature and what God gives us. I gave the lyrics to Burt and he wrote a fabulous melody.”[Excerpted from an interview with American Songwriter, 3.20.20; Full interviewhere.]


This song has a timely message for us in 2020, in the midst of wildfires, catastrophic weather events, election season, and a global pandemic that has thrown school and business and life in general for a loop, for so many of us.


1 Corinthians 13:4-5 says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”


There really isn’t enough love in this world, but Jesus is big enough to heal the whole wide world — and we can be the bearer of His love to a world in need.


Choose patience, kindness, humility, and forgiveness. Don’t keep God’s love to yourself; actively seek to give it away in the form of loving acts and generosity to your community, and to everyone in need of God’s love. Don’t save your love for a special occasion, or people who seem worthy. Jesus’s example during His life here on earth shows us we all have sinned and fall short of His glory, but He loves us, anyway.


What the world needs now is love. The kind of love Jesus shows us how to give...and every interaction offers another opportunity to share His love with a world in need.


#kerusso #LoveLikeJesus #love #WhatTheWorldNeedsNow #1Corinthians #LoveOneAnother #LoveIsPatient #LoveIsKind

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