Back in August, Arkansas musician Ted Yoder captured the internet’s heart with his lovely hammered dulcimer cover version of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Tears For Fears. Displaying his considerable skill on an arcane, obscure instrument, Yoder transformed the 1985 synth pop smash into a delicate, ethereal folk tune. The song’s familiar, durable melody proved remarkably adaptable to the hammered dulcimer, and Yoder’s video became a viral hit.
Word of the video’s success must have gotten back to the members of Tears For Fears themselves. That stalwart group is currently touring the United States, and two members of the traveling lineup, co-founder/vocalist Curt Smith and drummer Jamie Wollam, took the time to stop by Yoder’s place and add their talents to his version of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World.” The results could not be sweeter; Yoder is clearly thrilled to be performing alongside his musical idols.
This new video, like the last one, is an extremely humble, low-tech affair, shakily filmed outdoors in a tree-dotted area Yoder identifies as his orchard. And as with the previous video, this one is beset by technical difficulties. The sound doesn’t actually work very well for the first 15 seconds or so, meaning that Yoder’s introduction of Smith is partially inaudible. No matter. Things are up and running by the time the song starts. Smith sings his part while lounging in a swing that’s hanging from a tree branch. Wollam thumps out the rhythm on what appears to be an instrument case. It’s emblematic of Yoder’s rural lifestyle that the musicians have to wait for a tractor to rumble through in the background before they can even begin performing. The whole thing has the deeply informal feel of a campfire singalong, except for the fact that only one person (Smith) is singing, the instrument of choice is a dulcimer and not an acoustic guitar, and there’s no campfire.