Search This Blog

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Jukebox - "Ordinary World" by Duran Duran

Once in a while, you'll hear a song on the radio, or while shopping in a store, or while driving in your car that really strikes a chord in you.  A song that somehow manages to find a spot in your soundtrack of life.  Perhaps there's a song that reminds you of your first date.  Or, a song that was playing the day that you got married.  Or, a song that was playing when you were throwing up after a ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl back in the summer of '97.

(That song was Hanson's Mmmbop for the last one, BTW.)

But you get what my point is in this.  Once in a while you'll hear a song, and have it be a defining moment in your life.  A song that you listen to so much that the cassette gets chewed, the vinyl gets scratched, and the compact disc skips at the 1:11 mark.

In my life soundtrack, this happens to be a song that heavily featured.

ARTIST: Duran Duran
SONG:  Ordinary World
ALBUM:  Duran Duran (The Wedding Album)
RELEASED:  December 2, 1992

Duran Duran was actually a band that I initially wasn't into.  Granted, I had a reason for it.  They released their very first album the same year I was born.  My older sister however was a huge fan.  I think she only liked the band because she had a crush on one of the Taylors (there were supposedly three band members with the last name Taylor).

I admit now that the band was a real powerhouse in both their native UK and in North America.  With several hits released between 1981 and 1988, they certainly had a good run as a band.

By the nineties though, their star power had somewhat faded, and they were having trouble getting back on the charts.  In late 1992, a radio DJ in the USA obtained a copy of the then unreleased single 'Ordinary World', and became such a success that the USA was forced to released the single one month earlier than normal (the UK kept the original release date of January 2, 1993, where it peaked at number six).

I can definitely see why the song became a success.  The song's haunting melody and emotional lyrics helped the song rise up the charts.

The lyrics of the song are some that have been questioned over the years, but the general consensus is that the song was written by lead singer Simon LeBon in the memory of a deceased friend.

So, why does this song have a spot in my life soundtrack?'s actually a song that I listened to a lot when it first came out, and for about four or five years afterwards.  It was a great song, I have to admit, so that only helped.

While Simon LeBon was singing about his departed friend, the more I listened to the lyrics, the more I seemed to have my own thoughts about how they fit into my own situation.

Going back to December 1992 when the song first came out, I was halfway through sixth grade, which was somewhat of an emotional time in my life.  At age eleven, I was in a situation where I wasn't exactly sure who I could rely on for friendship because it seemed like they had all drifted off in other directions.  I was also at that age where I really didn't want to talk to any family members about my problems.  Partly because I didn't think that they could help me, but also partly because I knew that they had their own problems, and because they were older and wiser that their problems were more important to solve than mine were.

LESSON #1:  Nobody's problems are any bigger or smaller than anyone else's.  It took me years to learn it, but learn it I did.

Anyways, I was kind of at a stage in my life where I didn't know where I was at in life.  People who I thought were friends ended up turning on me, and the people who I thought I could come to whenever I needed them were unavailable or ignorant to anything that I felt like sharing with them.

When I first heard the song 'Ordinary World', I guess it had been on the charts for a while, because Casey Kasem had announced that it had dropped six places on the Top 40 charts (slight aside here, I loved Casey's countdown, and was gutted when Ryan Seacrest took over).  Immediately, the song's chorus really hit a raw nerve in me.

And 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...

Pretty deep words, no?

The more I thought about it, the more it made sense.

I wanted to be a part of the ordinary world so badly.  A world where everything was right again.  A world where everything made sense.  A world that didn't scare me so much.

I guess like the song lyrics were saying, I needed to find that place, no matter how treacherous the journey was.

I must have listened to that song at least five hundred times between 1993 and 2000 alone.  The song was a real comfort to me during my tumultuous high school years, and the more I listened to it, the more desperate I was to try and find my ordinary world, where I could be happy and carefree, and not care what others think.

I guess in 2011, in many ways, I've found that ordinary world.  Through writing in the blog about my unhappy times, and linking them to happier memories, I'm beginning to heal from the pain of yesterday one day at a time.  It's an ongoing (and maddening) process, mind you, but I'm learning that crying for yesterday is pretty meaningless when you consider that I'm only thirty years old, and still have lots of time left. 

At the same time, I'm realizing that finding my ordinary world is one journey that isn't quite over yet.  Sure, I'm a lot more emotionally equipped to handle stress and bad karma.  The problem is that I've spent so much time trying to overcome those obstacles that I sort of forgot how to live and enjoy life in the process.

And that's something that I want to fix about myself.

I guess in order to find my ordinary world, I have to learn how to survive in it first.  That's the next crucial step in this plan called life.  And I guess one positive step is to try and move forward and not give the past hurt I suffered from a second glance.  I can't promise you that I will stop bringing it up cold turkey, because I'm not at that stage.  But if talking about my experiences helps anyone else who may be in a similar situation speak out about it and not be afraid to confide in people, maybe it's all worth it in the end.

But, that's just my own journey and struggles.  I'm interested in hearing from you guys.  Have you had difficulties finding your own ordinary world as well?

No comments:

Post a Comment