Although only around five to fifteen million people speak Swahili as their first language, it is used as a lingua franca in much of Southeast Africa. Estimates of the total number of Swahili speakers vary widely, from 60 million to over 150 million. Swahili serves as a national language of four nations: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Shikomor, the official language in Comoros and also spoken in Mayotte (Shimaore), is related to Swahili. Swahili is also one of the working languages of the African Union and one of the official languages of the East African Community.
The song's lyrics question the singer's purpose in life.
The song's first recording session was on 3 October 1967 along with "With the Sun in My Eyes" and "Words". The song's last recording session was on 28 October 1967. "World" was originally planned as having no orchestra, so all four tracks were filled with the band, including some mellotron or organ played by Robin. When it was decided to add an orchestra, the four tracks containing the band were mixed to one track and the orchestra was added to the other track. The stereo mix suffered since the second tape had to play as mono until the end when the orchestra comes in on one side. Barry adds: "'World' is one of those things we came up with in the studio, Everyone just having fun and saying, 'Let's just do something!' you know". Vince Melouney recalls: "I had this idea to play the melody right up in the top register of the guitar behind the chorus".