The Worldview Theme Song Book


An inventive, perspective-broadening approach to examining different life philosophies.

A guide to various philosophies—presented musically.

In his offbeat and intriguing book, Cook (The Worldview Literacy Book, 2009) attempts to distill the world’s most prevalent cultural mind-frames into sets of objectively fair lyrics, then set those lyrics to the tunes of well-known rock and folk songs. A detailed opening analysis of human neuroscience and sociology includes a multipart discussion involving everything from Richard Dawkins’ concept of memes to the biochemistry of naturally produced substances such as oxytocin, “the cuddle chemical.” He then undertakes big-picture analysis of the underlying themes in what he sees as the 81 most prominent worldviews employed by humans today. The underlying themes are TFJD—thinking, feeling, joining, doing—which underpin worldviews ranging from monotheism to addiction to libertarianism to “Bitterness & Vengeance.” Cook attempts to generate lyrics describing all these views, and the results are unfailingly earnest. For instance, the lyrics for “Free Will” (sung to “Thick as a Brick” by Jethro Tull”) assure the listener: “I won’t interfere if you want to pray / May even laugh as you children play.” In “Apocalypticism” (sung to “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones), “The End Time is right now: / Fate all sealed and signed / I’m no believer, pal, I’ve been left behind.” Other lyrics are less successful. “Valuing Human Rights” (sung to “Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen) goes: “Human Rights, we need to fight for them / Human rights, if not now, then when?” His attempts to assess the advantages of even the most repellant worldviews—scapegoating, fatalism, religious fundamentalism, etc.—aren’t always convincing, but open-minded readers will find them thought-provoking just the same.

An inventive, perspective-broadening approach to examining different life philosophies.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0962734946

Page Count: 124

Publisher: Project Worldview

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2015



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

Close Quickview