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When I was nine years old, this song was receiving enough airplay for me to notice it. At the time I had something of a fascination with archery in general and Robin Hood in particular (somewhat prophetic, you might say), so it is perhaps to be expected that I thought the song was about ‘dreams of all the merry men’.
I gave this song hardly any subsequent thought for the next 26 years. Then, this morning... bam. Less than a minute before driving into the parking structure near my work, I was transfixed by an intense compulsion to listen to ‘Ordinary Men’, and dug it up immediately upon firing up my terminal.
I have alluded before to the idea that I often feel as if information from the infinite is being transmitted specifically for my attention through the medium of music. This song represents a quintessential example: the lyrics could not be a more precise reiteration of my own beliefs regarding reality manipulation, and all but lays out a logical framework for the next series of ideas I was planning to discuss.
In my understanding, the song explores the notion that consciousness can affect reality, in the sense of “the dreams of ordinary men” having a role in actually creating “the world that we’ll be living in”. At the crux of the lyric is the issue of changing one’s world in the same way as one changes one’s mind, and that exact topic is very   close to my own heart.
I love the emphasis on interactivity suggested by “we all must fit the pattern” immediately qualified by “the pattern must fit you”, as well as the brilliant montage of meanings between the spider “drawing webs”, and the fly “drawing nearer”.
In addition to the literary skill with which it was written, such sentiments make ‘Ordinary Men’ remarkably forward-thinking and insightful for a lyric written almost 30 years ago. And on that note, I should get down to business -- because to slightly paraphrase Todd Hunter’s words, I am impatient to show you how it is within our abilities to change our lives -- if we can only change our dreams.
Check it out on YouTube