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William Shatner — Common People
Album: Has Been
Avg rating:
7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 3248









Released: 2004
Length: 4:33
Plays (last 30 days): 0
She came from Greece,
She had a thirst for knowledge.
She studied sculpture at Saint Martin's College.
That's where I caught her eye.

She told me that her Dad was loaded.
I said, in that case I'll have a rum and coca-cola.
She said fine, and in thirty seconds time she said,

I want to live like common people.
I want to do whatever common people do.
I want to sleep with common people.
I want to sleep with common people, like you.

Well, what else could I do?
I said, I'll see what I can do.

I took her to a supermarket.
I don't know why, but I had to
Start it somewhere, so it started there.

I said, pretend you've got no money.
She just laughed, and said
Oh you're so funny. I said, yeah?
Well, I can't see anyone else smiling in here.

Are you sure you want to live like common people?
You want to see whatever common people see?
You want to sleep with common people?
You want to sleep with common people, like me?
But, she didn't understand,

(Jackson)
She just smiled and held my hand.

Rent a flat above a shop.
Cut your hair and get a job.
Smoke some fags and play some pool.
Pretend you never went to school.

But still, you'll never get it right.
When you're lying in bed at night
Watching roaches climb the wall,
If you called your Dad he could stop it all.
Yeah.

(Shatner)
You'll never live like common people
You'll never do whatever common people do.
You'll never fail like common people.
You'll never watch your life slide out of view,
And dance and drink and screw

(Jackson and Shatner)
Because there's nothing else to do.

(Shatner and Chorus)
Sing along with the common people.
Sing along, and it might just get you thru.'

(Chorus)
Laugh along with the common people.

(Shatner and Chorus)
Laugh along, even though they're laughing at you

(Shatner)
And the stupid things that you do
'cause you think that poor is cool.

(Jackson)
Like a dog lying in a corner,
They'll bite you and never warn you.
Look out.

(Shatner)
They'll tear your insides out
'cause everybody hates a tourist.

(Jackson)
'Cause Everybody hates a tourist,
Especially one who thinks
It's all such a laugh.

(Shatner)
Yeah, and the chip stains' grease
Will come out in the bath.

(Shatner and Jackson)
You will never understand
How it feels to live your life
With no meaning or control
And with nowhere left to go.

You're amazed that they exist
And they burn so bright,
While you can only wonder why.

Rent a flat above a shop.
Cut your hair and get a job.
Smoke some fags and play some pool.
Pretend you never went to school.

But still, you'll never get it right.
'Cause When you're lying in bed at night

(Shatner)
Watching roaches climb the wall,
If you called your Dad he could stop it all.
Yeah.

You'll never live like common people

(Shatner and Jackson)
You'll never do what common people do.
You'll never fail like common people.
You'll never watch your life slide out of view
And dance and drink and screw
Because there's nothing else to do.

(Chorus)
I want to sing with common people, like you.
I want to sing with common people, like you.
I want to sing with common people, like you.
Comments (1450)add comment
 fredriley wrote:
I'll take yer man Shatner's version over Blur's any day of the week, if only so's I don't have to hear Damon Albarn's irritating Sahf Lahndan accent, plus I can actually hear (and agree with) the lyrics. This is so tongue in cheek. It brings 'serious' songs down to ground getting the Shatner treatment. Phasers to stun, cap'n! 8 from the Nottingham jury.
 
Lol, It was a Pulp hit, Jarvis Cocker is from Sheffield and sounds like a real Yorkshireman. You're just down the road and must live in a rough part of Nottingham if you think he sounded like a southerner.
This song is such an experience.I know it's blasphemy but, to me, it's better than the original.
Listen to the words of an ace Shakespearean actor (who knew he could sing?) enunciating an anthem for we common people!
I'm glad the word "fags" has run its course, but it would be nice if we go back to the original meaning! 
bumped from 8 to 9 . . . . just keeps sounding better
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/10/common-people-pulp-cocker-greek-girl
 jmsmy wrote:
now those are great lyrics - nickleback
 
They are quite good lyrics- good narrative, but I'm not sure what Nickelback has to do with it.
Awesome song!  The whole album is full of gems like this!
I was hoping this was is RP's collection - and there it is! A solid 10 from me.
That was EPIC!
 casey1024 wrote:
This song.  Better every time I hear it. 
stalfnzo wrote:

Couldn't agree more.

 

I also couldn't agree more....the Shat makes me laugh so much, yet there's a definite artistic quality to his "singing" that I find I want to hear this track (and a few others) more often than not...still leaving my rating at 8....maybe one day I'll go 8→9....

Long Live RP!!

now those are great lyrics - nickleback
 casey1024 wrote:
This song.  Better every time I hear it. 
 
Couldn't agree more.
This song.  Better every time I hear it. 
wtf? 8
The best version of this song

I'd never listened to it before this version.

Very astute lyrics.
 david@darluthier.com wrote:
I’d love to know what Jarvis Cocker thought of this... 

 
In 2011, Jarvis Cocker praised the cover version: "I was very flattered by that because I was a massive Star Trek fan as a kid and so you know, Captain Kirk is singing my song! So that was amazing."
I’d love to know what Jarvis Cocker thought of this... 
Doing accounting late on a Saturday night, listening to RP and this made me stop and see what the heck it really was. Truly strange. But I like it. 
Heard the non-Shatner version of this on local radio yesterday. Much prefer this beauty!
I hated this when I first heard it, now I nearly fall down laughing. It's so fabulous! {#War}
Fucking tell it.
Trump song
I get such a kick out of the entire album. 
 Hannio wrote:
This would have been better without Joe Jackson yelling at us.

  I think Joe Jackson's yelling makes it better. Adds a level of angry desperation?

No argument this is pretty weird, but somehow I like it.


ok...now I'm happy :)
Sorry, but this is illogical
 ambrebalte wrote:
It's been a long while since the last time I've danced in your hotel room Lazarus Romeo, it's a pleasure to meet you again.
 
Everybody in my hotel room is so happy to see you, ambrebalte!  We love this marvelous song...  we be dancing like bowlegged gypsy muleskinners...  love Radio Paradise...
 davidm995 wrote:
Denny Crane

 
DONNY CRANE !
DENNY CRANE !
Denny Crane
Captain Kirk is climbing a mountain, climbing a mountain, climbing a mountain
Captain Kirk is climbing a mountain
Why?
Because he loves that mountain.
He wants to make love....to the mountain.
I am amazed that I like this.  Something different I guess.
Not amused!
A perfect combination of high-frequency Joe and mid range Bill sneering at clueless people (us). God I love love love this.

The stupid things that you do, cause you think that poor is cool
 Hannio wrote:
This would have been better without Joe Jackson yelling at us.
 
I disagree completely. I think JJ’s vocal adds a sense of urgency and a healthy juxtaposition. This weird remake just works for me.
"Are you sure...."  Classic Shatner.  I just love it.
This would have been better without Joe Jackson yelling at us.
Yeah,  I don't get it!
Blah.  Sorry, PSD here.
Ready-made for Shatner, with a little help from his friends. Amazing time and time again. If you don't get it... you don't get it. 
 Lazarus wrote: 
It's been a long while since the last time I've danced in your hotel room Lazarus Romeo, it's a pleasure to meet you again.
terrible is relative but, kind of it is but it's so Iconic
 ghoffman wrote:
This is terrible!  PSD to the rescue!

 
Correction, this IS PSD to the rescue.
This is terrible!  PSD to the rescue!
Love this song.
William Shatner would be happy that his "music" still brings a big smile of a time and an artist's willingness to have have fun!
A ditty with true warp drive. 
 
 TomSweetwater wrote:
Shatner is my prototypical artist, he owns every medium he tries and gives absolutely zero shits what you think of his work. See, to people like him, art's about getting something out of your soul, the journey is finding your voice, some never find it but that doesn't hamper their love of searching. Some go crazy trying to get people to "get it" and then we have those few sage, enlightened souls who give us art so pure and wonderful that none can deny it's merit.

KHAAAAAAANNNNNNN!!!!!!!! 

Live, love and stay Wild my friends  

 
Masterful
It was Mr. Shatner's Birthday yesterday.  86 years young.
Beam me up, Scotty!
 tee_dee wrote:
Ben Folds and Joe Jackson send this over the top for me!

 
And The Shat!
KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHN!

{#Bananajam}
Secret Machines, Shatner.  I see what you did there.
Shatner is my prototypical artist, he owns every medium he tries and gives absolutely zero shits what you think of his work. See, to people like him, art's about getting something out of your soul, the journey is finding your voice, some never find it but that doesn't hamper their love of searching. Some go crazy trying to get people to "get it" and then we have those few sage, enlightened souls who give us art so pure and wonderful that none can deny it's merit.

KHAAAAAAANNNNNNN!!!!!!!! 

Live, love and stay Wild my friends  
Bill Shatner. The worlds greatest actor.
My brother gave this album to me as a joke.  He is a total Treckie and so it is thematic to his obsession.  I listened to it and was pleasantly surprised.  Of course with all Shatner stuff, you have to recognize he is continually poking fun of himself in an ironic way.  He's an interesting person.  He has a very strong sense of reality.  Thanks for playing this, this definitely reinforces to me that you guys are super eclectic and open-minded. 
Never liked the other Shatner recordings played here, but this works. Excellent. 
Shatner at his best. The good captain has been with me all my life. Don't know what I'll do when he joins Spock and McCoy past the Great Barrier.
this has it all, funny, great beat, and...a sing-along! love it.
I must have said this while I was up in the ethers waiting to be born.....this is my life....so funny! I hate living like common people!! LOVE THIS SONG!
Surprisingly don't see a mention of this ... but if you like Shatner's spoken word, you must catch his rendition of Sarah Palin as beat poetry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mF_t1A8LGzg.  Genius ... perhaps with the help of some of Conan's writers ...
 evansdad wrote:

Agree...don't know why it's so catchy. Maybe because it’s kitschy… 

 
Yeah, it's kitschy, but it's got a lot of fun, frenetic energy too.  The production is great and given the content of the lyrics, Shatner's delivery seems much more convincing and angry than the original.
Shatner's best work by far!
Ben Folds and Joe Jackson send this over the top for me!
 idiot_wind wrote:
has there been anybody else who has had more fun with life?  This guys always has a smile and chuckles. And he keeps goofing. 

Good for him. 

 
William Shatner has had his share of tragedy too.  His wife died in a pool accident and he was accused of killing her.
has there been anybody else who has had more fun with life?  This guys always has a smile and chuckles. And he keeps goofing. 

Good for him. 
 moonridge2001 wrote:
Oddly addictive..
So damn weird... 

 
Agree...don't know why it's so catchy. Maybe because it’s kitschy… 
Absolutely love this song sequence. Brilliant. Bumping to 9.
This whole album is surprisingly good, but this is definitely the pinnacle. Thanks, Shat, for learning not to take yourself so seriously. Embrace your weird.
He went where no man has gone before, and it was horrific. Solid 1.
Captain Kirk is laughin' all the way to the bank.
Okay...you guys win for most brilliant, eclectic radio since...well, 1970 and prior. Would NEVER expect to hear this song played anywhere. Shatner is just so gol danged freakishly weird. He kind of gives Zappa a run for his money! Well done, RP.  YOU TRULY ROCK! 
YES! I am REALLY digging this today! {#Bananasplit}
It still gets a 9 from the West London judge!
Brilliant!  
Excellent cover, really interesting treatment, love the attempted restrained tension in Shatner's delivery
 Sasha2001 wrote:

It's called hip hop music. Rap is the name for the style of vocalization. If you're going to burn down an entire genre of music you should at least know what what it's called.
 
Who cares really :)
Incredibly better than the original, kudos William Shatner \m/
 msymmes wrote:
Better than any rap music I have heard !!   (And I use the term music mistakenly when it comes to rap).
 

 
It's called hip hop music. Rap is the name for the style of vocalization. If you're going to burn down an entire genre of music you should at least know what what it's called.
Better than the original.

Ben folds and joe Jackson should get more credit for a fantastic arrangement. 
first time i've heard this. kept thinking of johnny cash til it clicked what the song was and who was singing. a great re-imagining of the original (but then i never really liked pulp) told with punk energy and flair.
Oddly addictive..
So damn weird... 
To be covered by William Shatner is an even higher accolade, I believe, than getting the Yankovic treatment...
Better than any rap music I have heard !!   (And I use the term music mistakenly when it comes to rap).
 
No comparison to the original 
Okay, I bucked this one up from 3 to 5. It kind of works with Shat's spoken song approach.
The original is a classic. This version is simply a novelty, and hard to get through after the first listen :(
 timmywilson wrote:
Giving this an 8 purely as a vote in admiration of Bill Shatner's unmitigated audacity.  May we all live our lives with such audacity.  

 
Hear!  Hear!
one of my all time favorite albums ,, many great tunes ,, the one about his wife dying in the pool ,, heartbreaking ,, on this one there is no funny business
 jazzdevil wrote:
When you make a cover, you try to make it better than the original. They failed.

 
Definitely not true. A cover can be that, or it can be telling someone's story with your own twist, your own voice, or hell - sometimes just exactly the same way they did it, because why not?

Art is meant to be shared, and that is not limited to consumption; it's participation, in a glorified and complex form. Covers are beautiful, even when they kind of suck like this one.

Its a 10 if it is on rarely and then it is like a really rich chocolate cake that you saver that once or twice a year.


Giving this an 8 purely as a vote in admiration of Bill Shatner's unmitigated audacity.  May we all live our lives with such audacity.  
God I love this version!! Shatner and joe jackson!!!
Love the lyrics!
Once a decade is enough for this one.
 Grifmejl wrote:
Why? What was wrong with the original? What could possibly be done better? Cheap and trivial...
 
The original was great, but had a petulant and moody tone.

Ben Folks added anger, reimagining it as something closer to punk. Using Shatner was just the MacGuffin that got people to listen to it, and think about it. Folks used Shatner to present the a bitter and less ironic version of the original's sarcasm, and Joe Jackson to provide the anger that was implied by the original, but maybe ignored because Cocker was, after all, attending an elite art college and wasn't as unprivileged as the song's imagery asserts.

It's a brilliant re-telling of the story. 
When you make a cover, you try to make it better than the original. They failed.
 dburgher wrote:
WTF? This is why I can't get anybody to listen to your station.

 
It is true, Radio Paradise is not for those with a narrow view of what constitutes music.
 On_The_Beach wrote:
Captain Kirk is now 84 years old; holy crap!

 
...and still living life to the fullest.
WTF? This is why I can't get anybody to listen to your station.
very appropriate, on the day that Greece votes on the Euro bailout. Because:

She came from Greece - but is this the woman from Common People?
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32628750

 "...one Greek newspaper thinks it has worked out her identity - it says she is the wife of the Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis."



Good stuff!  Always puts a smile on my face.  
Captain Kirk is now 84 years old; holy crap!
I've had this before with his stuff: is it a 1 or a 10? (Well, 8 maybe)
Step up
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI3UfxyIdgs
Say what??!!!
I may have to dig this up and listen to it with the headphones before I put a rating on it.  It wasn't exactly what I expected to hear from RP this afternoon.

  
Why? What was wrong with the original? What could possibly be done better? Cheap and trivial...
This song is the shat!
 rhenke wrote:

Brilliant!
 
Yes!
 leafmold wrote:

Exactly. I just love this.

 
Brilliant!
 coloradojohn wrote:
I admire that Shatner has such a killer sense of the rhythms of speech, and dig how he uses his timing skills MY GOD so well so well...

 
Exactly. I just love this.
"She said, my daddy's loaded. He said, in that case I'll have a rum and Coca Cola." {#Lol}
I admire that Shatner has such a killer sense of the rhythms of speech, and dig how he uses his timing skills MY GOD so well so well...
Is this a Talking Heads parody ?

The 
Purposely
Purposely
Purposely
purposely 'kooky' spoken-word lyrics seem familiar

 
 MattB099 wrote:
Every time I hear this it cheers me up. I'm never sure if its borne from genius or madness but either way its brilliantly silly and great fun.

Shatner is in on the joke which just adds to the joy of it.
 
Worth a netflixing: 


Sounds like Joe Jackson in the background....