Deep Song Breakdown, “Ordinary World” by Duran Duran

Deep Song Breakdown, “Ordinary World” by Duran Duran October 6, 2021

Duran Duran still rocks my world. On the Venn Diagram of deep lyrics, somber tone, and rock/pop fusion, I still rank them as legendary. It’s no surprise as their sound blends tones of Punk, New Romantic, New Wave, Rock, Pop, and Synth-Pop [1].

“Ordinary World” is an epoch song on loss from their Wedding Album in 1993. Give it a listen as you read, it will rock your world as well.

Lead singer Simon Le Bon described it as “trying to get over the death of a best friend”, but that people “could apply it to something in their life, but for a different reason” [2].

Having contemplated on the lyrics many times, I suspected such, whether it was death or the end of a romantic relationship (perhaps suggested by the music video):

Came in from a rainy Thursday on the avenue
Thought I heard you talking softly
I turned on the lights, the TV, and the radio
Still I can’t escape the ghost of you

For Le Bon, it was the death of his best friend. In his words, ”I’m not a big believer in the supernatural. But six years after the death of my friend David Miles, I started to feel a weight inside me. ‘Ordinary World’ was the act of letting that go.” [3]

What of some of the other deep lyrics on “suffering and greed” and “holy war and holy need”? Le Bon gives perspective that
“we wrote ‘Ordinary World’ while the first Gulf War was on. The lines, ‘Papers in the roadside tell of suffering and greed/ feared today, forgot tomorrow / Here beside the news of holy war and holy need / ours is just a little sorrowed talk’ put everything in perspective. It makes you realize that a story about two people is just a tiny part of this huge story which is called humanity” [3].
Given the really important things like life, love, war, death, love, letting things like pride get in the way would be tragic:
Passion or coincidence once prompted you to say
“Pride will tear us both apart”
Well, now pride’s gone out the window
Cross the rooftops, run away
Left me in the vacuum of my heart
What is happening to me?
Crazy, some’d say
Where is my friend when I need you most? (Gone away)

And with our loss, what are we to do now?

But I won’t cry for yesterday
There’s an ordinary world
Somehow I have to find
And as I try to make my way
To the ordinary world
I will learn to survive

Deep, very deep.





Image credit: InfoGibraltar


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