Ordinary World

Album: Duran Duran (1993)
Charted: 6 3

Songfacts®:

  • This is the last song of a trilogy written about the death of Simon Le Bon's friend David Miles in 1986. The first was "Do You Believe In Shame," followed by "Out of My Mind" and "Ordinary World." They all deal with the grief and loss he experienced after the death of his friend. Le Bon had been evasive about the inspiration for the lyric, but revealed it's true source as part of an interview included with their 2004 Live from London DVD. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mark - dublin, Ireland
  • Before the Duran Duran album was released, this was leaked to a few radio stations in Florida. It got a great response and became a hit before the video was even aired on MTV. Duran Duran had 13 #1 US hits in the '80, mostly uptempo songs. This ballad was a change of direction for Duran Duran, but it gave the band their first US hit of the '90s. Their next single, "Come Undone," was also a hit.

Comments: 24

  • Josh A from Los AngelesIt's sort of amazing that this song is about grief and loss, which totally makes sense when you pay attention to the lyrics. However, I didn't truly understand that when the song first came out. I was a teenager when the song hit the radio stations in LA. I had never experienced loss. I'm in my 40s now and I still haven't experienced the loss of a loved one. Therefore, I never associated the song with death and grief. When this song came out, I was in my senior year of high school. I was overwhelmed and terrified. I was applying to colleges, taking SATs, and dreading graduation date. I was afraid of losing my friends, losing the little that was left of my childhood, becoming an adult without really knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I didn't really have anyone to talk to about my feelings and sense of confusion. And that's when this song found ME while I listened to the radio one afternoon. The lyrics seem to speak to me, giving me comfort, making sense of my thoughts and feelings. It was ok to be afraid, it was ok to look back at yesterday, to be nostalgic, but ultimately I knew I would find my way, my ordinary world. I listened to this song religiously that last year of high school. It allowed me to grieve for the loss of my adolescence, to feel hopeful about the future, and to find the courage to move forward because "any world is my world" and I will learn to survive. I still listen to this song in moments of sadness or reflection. It not only gives me a sense of peace but It also takes me back to when I was a scared 17 year old trying to make sense of it all. That's the beauty of this song, it can be about anything that you want it to be, anything that moves you and means something to you when you first heard it on the radio. And its ok if it means something a little different to each of us, because we all have our own ORDINARY WORLD.
  • Shandroise De Laeken from Davao City, PhilippinesThis song is wonderful. I've heard this song in the radio for a long time and didn't realise it's Duran Duran. This is the only song I love from them.
  • Alexis from Union, MoThe cover featured photos of the DD members parents on their wedding day. Hence why it became know as "the wedding album."
  • Samantha from Largo, FlI absolutely love this song! It's so beautiful and is one of my favorites of theirs. The first time I heard it, it blew me away. The song helped me out a lot over the past couple years with the death of my Grandma. Actually, the day she died, "Ordinary World" came on the radio. It was just what I needed.
    I really think the story behind the song is really sad. Simon had a friend in the 70s and he was going to go hang out with him in the mid 80s, but his friend, Dave, had become a heroin addict and ended up overdosing. It hit Simon really hard and after writing "Do You Believe in Shame", he carried this guilt around for years about it and while they were writing "Ordinary World", he came up with the lyrics as his way of truly saying goodbye to Dave.
    Then, a few years later, they wrote "Out of My Mind" and not even John Taylor knew that song was written for Dave (said so in his book)
  • Glen from Nebraska City, NeBeautiful song. Grabs you by the heart.

    I was a big Duran Duran fan in their earliest days. Being the punk rock/hard rock/psychedelic rock aficionado I was at the time (and continue to be today), my friends and fellow audiophiles at that time thought I had gone out of my mind to be listening to "pop" band, Duran Duran. I tried to explain to them what an incredible depth of talent, as musicians, performers and song writers, the DD bandmembers were. My friends did not listen to me, but that didn't stop me from declaring DD as one of my favorite bands ever. I am particularly fond of their adroitness in the making of marriages between strong, heart-breaking and, otherwise emotionally supercharged lyrics and rhythms, with smooth, carefully interwoven and deftly developed psychedelic musical constructs, such as are prevalent in their definitive, tour de force creations, "Lonely in Your Nightmare" and "Save A Prayer". And they were able to take this incredible (and, I think, rare) propensity for creating beautiful and surrealistic musical dirges and raise it up, subtly, to the level of flawless elegance upon which "Ordinary World" is founded. How paradoxical that such an extraordinarily rare and beautiful gem as this song truly is should be titled, "Ordinary World"! I adore this song. Such a beautiful masterpiece does not come around routinely.
  • Russ from Raleigh, NcThe song struck me as a tale about coming to grips with a loss that renders the singer's world less magic; hence the expression "ordinary world". My experience with falling in love is that the world becomes much more magical and thus far less ordinary. Whatever the case, the song is quite something, and it does something to me, makes me dream, touches my heart. It's all in the power of its sound. The vocals reach high into the blue skies.
  • Ang from Columbus, OhI'm a bit confused reading that this song was part of a "triology" written about the loss of Le Bon's friend.

    I thought he said in an interview around the time the song came out, that he had written it at a time when he, and the members of Duran Duran at that time (John, Nick and Warren) were fighting, and it was begining to look like the album wouldn't be made at all.
  • Paul from Marysville, WaI agree with Jeff from Casa Grande, AZ.

    Also this song summed up a situation I was in at the time. It was like "I have to get through all this grief just so I can get to normal." Hardly something to look forward to.

    But when I compare my sorrow with the real suffering in the world, it puts it into perspective.
  • Jeff from Casa Grande, AzGetting through one's mourning, to that "ordinary world," is what the author is saying. He has pain from a loss of a friend. It is too much. He desperately seeks a calm. And, then he notices that there is overwhelming pain in the world, and then his minor inconvienence becomes bearable in comparison. I find this humbling and magnanimous. Breathtaking, really. This from DD, no less. I am impressed to the point of tears.
  • Mel!ssa from Pittsburgh, PaI wanted to walk down the aisle to this song (after seeing the video) somehow I got talked into the traditional crap!
  • Vic from Hyd, Indiabeatiful song, brings back memories, brings tears in my eyes.
  • Hassaan from Islamabad, Pakistandamm good song this brings backs past memories.;my fav song
  • Constance from Dallas, Tx"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, runaway. Left me in the vacuum of my heart." One of the best verses every written. I would rewind that part a hundred times.
  • Liquid Len from Ottawa, CanadaI always thought this song was about D.D.'s fall from the top of the charts. In 1983 they were one of the biggest acts in the world, and by 1993 it was obvious they were past their due date and would never command the attention (or at least dominate the charts) the way they once did. From what Tina, Kennewick writes, maybe it meant something else, the lyrics make a lot of sense that way. Either way, I think this is the best song that band ever wrote!

  • Fred from New York, NyWell, Roberto, I think that's a bit of a given, considering the name of the album.
  • Helmut from Roosendaal, NetherlandsLe Bon performed this song also with Luciano Pavarotti for the Pavarotti and Friends concert in 1996 it was so a bad performence of Le Bon ,i'm still searching for my cat.If you can stand it listen to de Decca album of it
  • Roberto from Las Cruces, NmThis song brings back so many memories of my middle school/high school years. I believe all the songs on that album had a video that had to do with weddings.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrDid Simon LeBon sing lead on this? When I first heard the song, it didn't sound like Simon LeBon. It sounded like one of the other band members. Also, who sang the high notes in the end, was it Simon LeBon?
  • Dana from Biloxi, MsA very emotional song.It reminds me of loss and past days.
  • Lee from Bournemouth, EnglandPretty sure the intro is on a guitar, nylon-strung if I remember correctly. Awesome song, relatable lyrics. Its use in 'Layer Cake' was perfect, I'd forgotten it was on that, well reminded Cat. (I'm from B'mouth too, hi!)
  • Diablo from Ipswich, EnglandThis is a pretty pointless comment but i just have to say how much i love this song! it's definatly one of their most emotive tracks. Is the intro played on a mandolin or guitar?
  • Cat from Bournemouth, EnglandFeatured in the 2004 Brit Film 'Layer Cake'.
  • Tina from Kennewick, WaThis song was written in memory of a friend of Siman Le Bon's who died in an accident.
    It tells of Simon's feelings at the time and how he knew he had to go on.
    I know this, because Simon said as much at his Spokane, WA. cocert before singing it.
  • Confusing from Sydney, AustraliaA cover version, by Aurora feat. Naimee Coleman, appears on the video games Dance Dance Revolution Max2 (7th Mix) and Dance Dance Revolution Extreme, as well as The Reflex (sung by Duran Duran)
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