This Ordinary World

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Flying High Above the Clouds
Photo taken by the author

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. – Victor Hugo

Music is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There’s not some trick involved with it. It’s pure and it’s real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things.
– Tom Petty

Music, it appears, speaks to me in loud, yet quiet ways – all at once. Certain types of songs seem to have this profound effect on me. Ordinary World, written by Green Day’s frontman, Billie Joe Armstrong, is one of these song’s. The songwriter takes us through ordinary experiences in life that we all encounter. Armstrong talks about how the simplest form of being in love, with two people just being together, is “more than enough.” There’s no mention of having bigger or grander of anything; just two ordinary people, a guy and a gal, who are together. And apparently, as ordinary as that sounds, it’s more than enough.

Throughout this song, Billie Joe talks about other commonplace occurrences. He ponders where he can find this “city of shining light.” It’s as if he is trying to find some spiritual meaning to make sense of all the mundaneness around him. Like most of us at some point in our lives, he is searching for something, or someone, that is higher than himself, and can provide answer’s to the tough question’s about life. I also believe he is wanting to find and experience a place within himself that has real and lasting peace.

He then talks about wanting to leave a “buried treasure behind.” My interpretation of this line is he wants to leave a legacy after he has left this world. He wants to know that what he has given his life for, will not only be remembered, but will have left an impact and imprint on this world. What he speaks of is every man’s, and woman’s, greatest search for significance. He wants to leave a buried treasure behind in hopes of someone finding his lifetime legacy of treasure long after he is gone.

He next turns to the issue of birthday’s. These annual, celebratory reminder’s of our birth-date, which represents the day we officially entered this world. He mentions how “the days into years roll by” which alludes to as we live out our days, each day at a time, it is like a snowball rolling down a steep toboggan hill, quickly gaining momentum. That is, the days become weeks, which become months, which over time accumulate into year’s, then decades, and finally, into a lifetime. And it’s these “days” where each of us “live until [we] die.” This can be a sobering thought, but I think of it more as a linear approach to living. It’s just like this as this is how the world and our lives work.

Where words fail, music speaks.
– Hans Christian Andersen

The “shooting star” he speaks of are the dreams and desires we each hold deep down in our heart’s. They become what we would “wish” for if we “saw a shooting star.” It is these hopes that add vivid colour to our lives as they give life to us by making our world un-ordinary. It’s not only the wishing that counts, but it’s even more so when a certain wish is granted where all the majestic display of colours come bursting into our world. It is these ultra-cool moments that make living in an ordinary world bearable. It’s like hitting the sweet spot on your driver just that one time during a round of golf. All those other drive’s were just okay, or ordinary, but that one drive that really popped off the centre of the club face is that one extraordinary shot that instantly sends us back to the golf course in hopes of attaining this elusive, driver-sensation, yet again.

He then says, “I’ve walked to the end of the earth and afar.” What he means is, he’s been everywhere. He’s travelled to the four corner’s of the earth, and even a bit beyond, and has seen all there is to offer on the earth. He’s also speaking to each of us in this lyrical line for this is why we travel and go places. This helps explain our innate, and often unfulfilled, desires of each travelling place we venture to. At the end of each excursion there is only one conclusive certainty that remains: we realize that we must travel again – and so, the relentless preparation’s start all over again.

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.
– Bob Marley

This song for me reveals a rich lyrical meaning because what is written is something I can relate to. This song makes sense of living and speaks of how I spend the majority of my days, as well as containing those vivid dreams of mine, which for me are those extraordinary, remarkable, and special moments – splendid gifts – that life offers along the way.

 

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2 thoughts on “This Ordinary World”

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