Ordinary People

Album: Chrome Dreams II (2007)
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  • In a dusty town a clock struck high noon, two men stood face to face
    One wore black and one wore white, but of fear there wasn't a trace
    Two hundred years later two hot rods drag through the very same place
    And a half a million people
    Moved in to pick up the pace, a factory full of people
    Makin' parts to go to outer space, a train load of people
    They were aimin' for another place, out of town people

    There's a man in the window with a big cigar, says everything's for sale
    The house and the boat and the railroad car, the owner's gotta go to jail
    He acquired these things from a life of crime, now he's selling them to raise his bail
    He was rippin' off the people
    Sellin' guns to the underground, tryin' to help the people
    Lose their ass for a piece of ground, rippin' off the people
    Skimmin' the top when there was no one around, tryin' to help the people

    He was dealing antiques in a hardware store but he sure had a lot to hide
    He had a back-room full of the guns of war and a ton of ammunition besides
    Well, he walked with a cane, kept a bolt on the door with five pit bulls inside
    Just a warning to the people
    Who might try to break in at night, protection from the people
    Selling safety in the darkest night, tryin' to help the people
    Get the drugs to the street all right, ordinary people

    Well, it's hard to say where a man goes wrong, might be here and it might be there
    What starts out weak might get too strong, if you can't tell foul from fair
    But it's hard to judge from an angry throng of hands stretched into the air
    The vigilante people
    Takin' law into their own hands, conscientious people
    Crackin' down on the drug-lord's land, government people
    Confiscatin' all the dealer's land, patch-of-ground people

    Down at the factory, they're puttin' new windows in
    The vandals made a mess of things, and the homeless just walked right in
    Well, they worked here once, and they live here now, but they might work here again
    They're ordinary people
    And they're livin' in a nightmare, hard workin' people
    And they don't know how they go there, ordinary people
    And they think that you don't care, hard workin' people

    Down on the assembly line, they keep puttin' the same thing out
    But the people today, they just ain't buyin', nobody can figure it out
    Well, they try like hell to build a quality end, they're workin' hard without a doubt
    They're ordinary people
    And the dollar's what it's all about, hard workin' people
    But the customers are walkin' out, lee iacocca people
    Yeah, they look but they just don't buy, hard workin' people

    Two out of work models and a fashion slave try to dance away the Michelob Night
    The bartender poured himself another drink, while two drunks sat watchin' the fight
    The champ went down, then he got up again, and then he went out like a light
    He was fightin' for the people
    But his timing wasn't right, for las vegas people
    Who came to see a las vegas fight, high rollin' people
    Takin' limos though the neon night, fightin' for the people

    And then a new Rolls Royce and a company car they went flyin' down the street
    Each one tryin' to make it to the gate before employees manned the fleet
    The trucks full of products for the modern home, set to roll out into the street
    Of downtown people
    Tryin' to make their way to work, nose-to-the-stone people
    Some are saints, and some are jerks, hard workin' people
    Stoppin' for a drink on the way to work, alcoholic people
    Yeah yeah, they're takin' it one day, one day at a time

    Out on the railroad track, they're cleanin' up number nine
    They're scrubbin' the boiler down, well, she really is lookin' fine
    Awe, she's lookin' so good, they're gonna bring her back on line
    Ordinary people
    They're gonna bring the good things back, nose-to-the stone people
    Put the business back on track, ordinary people
    I got faith in the regular kind, hard workin' people
    Patch-of-ground people Writer/s: Neil Young
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 5

  • Eastcoastdave from Everson, WaI first heard that song on The Bluenotes tour in 1988, I think. I was still in the Buffalo NY area at the time. Anyway, it blew my mind. It may be 18 minutes long, but it grabbed my attention by the throat and didn't let go. I had already heard the Bluenotes record, and I thought "Why wasn't that amazingly great song put out on that?". Now I know.
  • AnonymousThanks for the knowledge. Can't turn the song off. It's in my head. Neil does that. Cortez!
  • Lars Clausen from Denmark@David "you can't just record a 18min song and expect it to hold everyone's attention for that long". You may be right 'bout nowadays people, but I think it's sad if it's so. It reminds of Iron Butterfly massive hit 1968-hit "In a gadda-da-vida", approx. the same length, and those days it wasn't seldom to see one song exceed one whole side of an lp. I love Ordinary People, and I believe it to be a masterpiece. - Touches me every time - tune, mood, orchestration, lyrics - and it is exactly the length it should be.
  • Derek from Dublin, Irelandi loved this song since the first time i heard it... the length of it dosen bother me at all... neil young is just a complete legend on the music scene
  • David from Huntington Beach, CaI enjoy this song, but I have to say...Neil you overcame your welcome. I have "Rust Never Sleeps' tatted on my arm, so I'm a huge Neil Young fan, AND I did love this song when I first heard it and those first dozen or so listens...but the fact is this song is just plain to long. If it was supposed to be a "live" version I can see, but you can't just record a 18min song and expect it to hold everyone's attention for that long.
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