Ordinary Joe
Nujabes feat. Terry Callier Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

And for my opening line
I'm not trying to indicate my state of mind.
I turn you on,
I tell you that I'm laughing just to keep from crying
Pretty music when you hear it,
Keep on trying to get near it.
A little rhythm for your spirit
Oh but that's what it's for
Come on in, here's the door

And I've seen a sparrow get high
And waste his time in the sky
He thinks it's easy to fly
He's just a little bit freer than I

Now here's a mystery
And maybe you can help to make it clear to me
When you're fast asleep
Then what is it that's lighting up the dreams you see
Only your tears can't conceal it
And only your prayers may not reveal it
You've got soul so you can feel it
And when you make the scene
Well you know what I mean

Hey, I've seen a sparrow get high
And waste his time in the sky
He thinks it's easy to fly
He's just a little bit freer than I

Down here on the ground
When you find folks are giving you the runaround
Keep your game uptight
And if you must just take your secrets underground
Now politicians are trying to speech you
Mad color watchers are trying to teach you
Very few will really try to reach you
If you're lost in a stack
That's OK, come all black

Now I'd be the last to deny
That I'm just an average guy
And don't you know each little bird in the sky
Is just a little bit freer than I

Hey ordinary Joe
Although they say you're just a lazy so-and-so
What they think is real
Is nothing but an animated puppet show
So don't let time and space confuse you
And don't let name and form abuse you
Let that Big Joe Williams blues you
In the light of the sun you can see how they burn

Oh I've seen a sparrow get high
And waste his time in the sky




He thinks it's easy to fly
He's just a little bit freer than i

Overall Meaning

The lyrics to Nujabes' "Ordinary Joe" featuring Terry Callier, seem to be a reflection on life and the interconnectedness of living things. The opening line, "I'm not trying to indicate my state of mind," implies that the singer is not necessarily speaking from a place of sadness, but instead is trying to convey a deeper message. The following lines, "I turn you on, I tell you that I'm laughing just to keep from crying," suggest that the singer is using humor as a coping mechanism to mask their emotions.


The chorus, "I've seen a sparrow get high and waste his time in the sky, he thinks it's easy to fly, he's just a little bit freer than I," alludes to the idea that the singer feels trapped or confined by their earthly existence, while the sparrow is free to soar wherever it wishes. This metaphor is a reflection on the human experience and the desire to be free, but ultimately, we are bound by our mortality.


The verses touch on themes of self-reflection, political disillusionment, and the power of music to bring people together. Through it all, the singer urges the listener to stay true to themselves, embrace their struggles and listen to the blues, as it has the power to offer solace and healing.


Overall, the song seems to be a celebration of everyday life, with all its struggles and joys, and a reminder to find beauty in the ordinary.


Line by Line Meaning

And for my opening line
At the start of this song


I'm not trying to indicate my state of mind
I'm not trying to convey my emotional state


I turn you on,
I draw your attention


I tell you that I'm laughing just to keep from crying
I pretend to be laughing to hide my sadness


Pretty music when you hear it,
Beautiful music that sounds good to you


Keep on trying to get near it.
Keep trying to approach it.


A little rhythm for your spirit
Some music to uplift you emotionally.


Oh but that's what it's for
That's the purpose of the music.


Come on in, here's the door
Enter as you're welcome here.


And I've seen a sparrow get high
I've observed a bird fly high up in the sky


And waste his time in the sky
And stay aloft for extended periods in the air.


He thinks it's easy to fly
He believes that it's simple to navigate the skies.


He's just a little bit freer than I
That bird has a bit more freedom than I do


Now here's a mystery
Now, there's an unexplained occurrence


And maybe you can help to make it clear to me
And perhaps you can solve it for me


When you're fast asleep
When you're sleeping soundly


Then what is it that's lighting up the dreams you see
What causes the light in your dreams?


Only your tears can't conceal it
Crying won't hide it entirely.


And only your prayers may not reveal it
Prayer too may not offer an answer.


You've got soul so you can feel it
You have a spirit that experiences it.


And when you make the scene
And when you enter the social scene.


Well you know what I mean
You understand what I'm trying to say.


Hey, I've seen a sparrow get high
Hey, I've watched a bird fly high in the sky.


And waste his time in the sky
And stay up there for extended periods.


He thinks it's easy to fly
The bird assumes it's simple to navigate the skies.


He's just a little bit freer than I
It has a bit more freedom than I could ever dream of


Down here on the ground
Here on Earth, on the ground


When you find folks are giving you the runaround
When people are being evasive or deceptive with you.


Keep your game uptight
Be vigilant and alert.


And if you must just take your secrets underground
If need be, keep your thoughts to yourself.


Now politicians are trying to speech you
Politicians are trying to use or manipulate you.


Mad color watchers are trying to teach you
Those obsessed with race want to educate you.


Very few will really try to reach you
There are few people who genuinely want to connect with you.


If you're lost in a stack
If you're buried in a crowd


That's OK, come all black
It's fine, come without any preconceived notions.


Now I'd be the last to deny
I'm not the best one to argue against the fact


That I'm just an average guy
That I'm a regular, ordinary person.


And don't you know each little bird in the sky
And have you forgotten that every small bird aloft,


Is just a little bit freer than I
Is a bit more unencumbered than I am.


Hey ordinary Joe
Hello average person,


Although they say you're just a lazy so-and-so
Despite their accusations that you're idle.


What they think is real
What they assume is true.


Is nothing but an animated puppet show
Is just an act, not the truth.


So don't let time and space confuse you
Don't become befuddled by time and space.


And don't let name and form abuse you
Don't let labels and rigid classification harm you.


Let that Big Joe Williams blues you
Let blues music by Big Joe Williams affect you.


In the light of the sun you can see how they burn
You can see how they're glowing in the sun's rays.


Oh I've seen a sparrow get high
Oh, I've witnessed a small bird fly high.


And waste his time in the sky
And stay up there for extended periods.


He thinks it's easy to fly
The bird assumes flying is simple.


He's just a little bit freer than i
It has more liberty than I do.




Lyrics ยฉ BMG Rights Management, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: N PEEJAY, JAE JIN PARK, KYUNG WOOK CHOI, TERRENCE O CALLIER, HYUN BAE LEE

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

@teru36

For my openin' line
I might try to indicate my state of mind
Or turn you on
And tell you that I'm laughin'
Just to keep from cryin'
Pretty music, when you hear it
Keep on tryin' to get near it
A little rhythm for your spirit
But that's what it's for
C'mon in here's the door
I've seen a sparrow get high
And waste his time in the sky
He thinks it's easy to fly
He's just little bit freer than I
Now here's a mystery
Maybe you can help to make it clear to me
When you're fast asleep
Then what is it that's lightin' up the dreams you see
All your tears can't conceal it
All your prayers may not reveal it
You got soul so you can feel it
And when you make the scene
Then you'll know what I mean
Now I've seen a sparrow get high
And waste his time in the sky
He thinks it's easy to fly
He's just little bit freer than I
Down here on the ground
When you fine folks are givin' you the run-arround
Keep your game up up-tight
And if you must just take your secrets underground
Jack the rapper will try to speech you
Mad color watchers will try to teach you
Very few will really try to reach you
You get lost in the flack
But that's ok come on back
Now I'd be the last to deny
That I'm just an average guy
And each little bird in the sky
Is just a little bit freer than I
So Ordinary Joe, although they say you're just a lazy so and so
What they think is real
Ain't nothing but an animated puppet show
So don't let time and space confuse you
And don't let name and form abuse you
Let Big Joe Williams blues you
In the light of the sun you can see how they run
I've seen a sparrow get high
And waste his time in the sky
Now don't you know he thinks it's easy to fly
He's just little bit freer than I



@taqdeerwala9547

Song lyrics

For my openin' line
I might try to indicate my state of mind
Or turn you on
And tell you that I'm laughin'
Just to keep from cryin'
Pretty music, when you hear it
Keep on tryin' to get near it
A little rhythm for your spirit
But that's what it's for
C'mon in here's the door

I've seen a sparrow get high
And waste his time in the sky
He thinks it's easy to fly
He's just little bit freer than I

Now here's a mystery
Maybe you can help to make it clear to me
When you're fast asleep
Then what is it that's lightin' up the dreams you see
All your tears can't conceal it
All your prayers may not reveal it
You got soul so you can feel it
And when you make the scene
Then you'll know what I mean

Now I've seen a sparrow get high
And waste his time in the sky
He thinks it's easy to fly
He's just little bit freer than I

Down here on the ground
When you fine folks are givin' you the run-arround
Keep your game up up-tight
And if you must just take your secrets underground
Jack the rapper will try to speech you
Mad color watchers will try to teach you
Very few will really try to reach you
You get lost in the flack
But that's ok come on back

Now I'd be the last to deny
That I'm just an average guy
And each little bird in the sky
Is just a little bit freer than I

So Ordinary Joe, although they say you're just a lazy so and so
What they think is real
Ain't nothing but an animated puppet show

So don't let time and space confuse you
And don't let name and form abuse you
Let Big Joe Williams blues you
In the light of the sun you can see how they run

I've seen a sparrow get high
And waste his time in the sky
Now don't you know he thinks it's easy to fly
He's just little bit freer than I



@tepe8985

And for my opening line
I'm not trying to indicate my state of mind.
I turn you on,
I tell you that I'm laughing just to keep from crying
Pretty music when you hear it,
Keep on trying to get near it.
A little rhythm for your spirit
Oh but that's what it's for
Come on in, here's the door
And I've seen a sparrow get high
And waste his time in the sky
He thinks it's easy to fly
He's just a little bit freer than I
Now here's a mystery
And maybe you can help to make it clear to me
When you're fast asleep
Then what is it that's lighting up the dreams you see
Only your tears can't conceal it
And only your prayers may not reveal it
You've got soul so you can feel it
And when you make the scene
Well you know what I mean
Hey, I've seen a sparrow get high
And waste his time in the sky
He thinks it's easy to fly
He's just a little bit freer than I
Down here on the ground
When you find folks are giving you the runaround
Keep your game uptight
And if you must just take your secrets underground
Now politicians are trying to speech you
Mad color watchers are trying to teach you
Very few will really try to reach you
If you're lost in a stack
That's OK, come all black
Now I'd be the last to deny
That I'm just an average guy
And don't you know each little bird in the sky
Is just a little bit freer than I
Hey ordinary Joe
Although they say you're just a lazy so-and-so
What they think is real
Is nothing but an animated puppet show
So don't let time and space confuse you
And don't let name and form abuse you
Let that Big Joe Williams blues you
In the light of the sun you can see how they burn
Oh I've seen a sparrow get high
And waste his time in the sky
He thinks it's easy to fly
He's just a little bit freer than i



All comments from YouTube:

@floridaflamingogirl3119

This is the kind of song that wakes up your soul and makes you want to twirl around.

@heinrichharkonen2084

I can't but wonder what wonderful songs Nujabes would've composed if he was still around

@j.antonio620

Un crosover entre entre Kendrick y Nujabes hubiera estado increรญble jaja

@jamesalphonse1099

Same here. It's amazing that he has so much music out there though anyways, you always have something to listen to that sounds fresh.

@goonievisuals6895

Some of his last work is on Haruka Nakamura album called Melodica๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

@whisperware

I think about this often. I'm so sad I can't have my mind melted in new ways by this guy.

@mydefenseisimpregnable

Prolly wouldโ€™ve collab with andre 3000

4 More Replies...

@melofox._

Rest in Peace, both Nujabes and Terry Callier. Thank you for both of your music! ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฉท

@krabbble

This song has such a beautiful and wholesome upbeat feel to it. Terry sings so softly over that beat, which has that classic Nujabes sound. Iโ€™ve yet to find a song that can instantly get me to smile like this one does. Thank you Jun ๐Ÿค

@ThatStupidSodaJerk

You ain't lying. The beat makes me wanna kung fu fight but the lyrics and his voice brings me peace I can't describe it

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