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The song “Ordinary Man” has been a core component of Moore’s set listings since he first adopted it in his repertoire, and used it as the title of his 1985 album, Ordinary Man. It was originally pressed into his hand as a cassette recording by a British singer from Grimsby named Peter Hames after one of Moore’s many British concerts. Hames’s ballad is an indictment of the savage cuts to employment imposed on British workers during the Thatcherite class war of the 1980s. The melody and lyrics touched a chord in Moore, and his incisive but empathic recording of it transformed Hames’s little-known song into a classic protest ballad against a rapacious neoliberal capitalism. - from Mike Ingham's paper about the song.

    Ordinary Man

    by Peter Hames
    F G Am (x3)

    I'm an [Am] ordinary [G] man,
    nothing [F] special, nothing [Am] grand
    [F] Had to work for [G] everything I [Am] own
    I [Am] never asked for a [G] lot,
    I was [F] happy with what I [Am] got
    [F] Enough to keep my [G] family and my [Am] home

    Now they [F] say that times are [G] hard
    and they've [Am] handed me my [F] cards
    They [F] say there's not the work to go a- [E] round
    And [Am] when the whistle [G] blows,
    these [F] gates will finally [Am] close
    [F] Tonight they're going to [G] shut this factory [Am] down
    And they'll tear it [F] dow- [G] ow- [Am] -wn

    F G Am (x1)

    I never missed a day,
    nor went on strike for better pay
    For 20 years I served them best I could
    Now with a handshake and a cheque
    it seems so easy to forget
    Loyalty through the bad times and through good

    The owner says he's sad to see
    that things have got so bad
    But the captains of industry wont let him lose
    He still drives a car and smokes his cigar
    And still takes his family on a cruise,
    he'll never lose
    he'll never lose

    Now it [Am] seems to [G] me
    such a [F] cruel iro- [Am] ny
    He's [F] richer now than [G] ever he was [Am] before
    [Am] Now my check is [G] spent
    and I [F] cant afford the [Am] rent
    There's [F] one law for the [G] rich, one for the [Am] poor

    [F] Every day I've [G] tried to salvage
    [C] some [G] of my [Am] pride
    To [F] find some work so's I might pay [E] my way
    Oh but [Am] everywhere I [G] go,
    the [F] answers always [Am] no
    [F] No work for [G] anyone here [Am] today
    No work tod- [F] ay- [G] ay- [Am] (x4)

    Additional verse we don't usually do

    And so condemned I stand,
    just an ordinary man
    Like thousands beside me in the queue
    I watch my darling wife
    trying to make the best of life
    And God knows what the kids are going to do

    Now that we are faced with this human waste
    A generation cast aside
    As long as I live, I never will forgive,
    You've stripped me of my dignity and pride,
    you stripped me bare
    You've stripped me bare,
    you've stripped me bare.