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24th Apr 2018

Decoding the harrowingly creepy lyrics to ‘It’s Not Unusual’ by Tom Jones

Any song that blurts out "I wanna die" in the first verse deserves questioning

Ciara Knight

“I wanna die”

In 1964, Les Reed and Gordon Mills penned a song that would send Tom Jones skyrocketing to international stardom. The song was catchy, melodic and an indisputable ear worm. It’s also got some deeply troubling lyrics that merit some questioning a cool 54 years later.

‘It’s Not Unusual’ is a perfectly delightful song, I’d like to make my stance very clear from the outset. I’m not here to anger the tens of Tom Jones fans that get Google alerts every time an article that mentions his name is published. I just want them to entertain the possibility that this beloved song has got some troubling lyrics behind it.

Now then, let’s ruin this song for everyone.

“It’s not unusual to be loved by anyone
It’s not unusual to have fun with anyone”

Hello there. Nothing to be alarmed at here, I am just a regular man telling you that someone being cripplingly in love with you is an entirely normal thing to happen. Should you find yourself in a position in the near future where someone confesses their undying love for you, please do not panic. This is fine and dandy. Oh, by the way, you could even end up having a lot of fun with that person, whomever they may be. Just keep that in mind.

“But when I see you hanging about with anyone
It’s not unusual to see me cry”

Alright, I’ll level with you. It’s me, I’m the person that’s in love with you and I need to tell you something. Every single time I see you with another person, it makes my blood boil. I go nuts, I feel urges that no one should ever feel. Honestly, I could go on a killing spree when I’m in that mind frame, but I don’t want to weird you out so I’m going to sugar coat it and pretend that it makes me cry. Real men cry real tears at this kind of thing. (I don’t though. It makes me homicidal).

“I wanna die”

Look, if I can’t be with you, I want to die. That’s how much I love you. I am willing and able to die at a moment’s notice if you turn me down. My life is literally in your hands. Do not make the wrong decision here. Lol.

“It’s not unusual to go out at any time
But when I see you out and about it’s such a crime
If you should ever wanna be loved by anyone”

Hey, things got a bit heavy back there so I’m just going to soften the blow a little. Did you know that you can go out and about at any time because this is a free country? Isn’t that swell? Anyway, if I see you on the streets I get angry because I am in love with you and you don’t seem to love me back or be aware of my existence in any way. Wait a minute, I’ve just had an idea. What if you wanted someone to love you? Heck, I could fill that role. I meet all of the requirements, as I am deeply in love you with. Only if you want it, though? Maybe have a think about it, see how it feels. Float the idea.

“It’s not unusual it happens every day
No matter what you say
You’ll find it happens all the time”

Please, allow me to remind you that this is an entirely normal situation to find yourself in, my dear. There’s nothing strange about this situation at all, just let me love you. I don’t even care if you love me back, I just need to do this for you. Ask your friends, ask your family, ask the local priest, they’ll tell you that this “happens all the time”. Just give it a go. Give me a chance to obsess over you from a closer location than I have previously been in. Your curtains don’t always leave a little gap when they join. Some nights I just have to use my imagination.

“Love will never do what you want it to
Why can’t this crazy love be mine?”

I’m getting a bit annoyed here, honey. I’m throwing myself out there with no regard for my dignity whatsoever. Frankly, I’m looking like a bit of a fool here. I’ve done my best to persuade you that I am the best choice for you. Please just let me love you. I want to own you, like a possession. You will be answerable to me at all times, but that is precisely what love is. Be mine or I will wear your skin like a jacket hahaha just kidding.

“It’s not unusual to be mad with anyone
It’s not unusual to be sad with anyone”

Okay, I can tell that you’re feeling a bit put off by my forwardness, but I am here to assure you that your feelings are entirely normal and valid. People get annoyed by me all the time, I’ve had four attempts on my life so far and I’m only 14 years old. Please just quieten your strong feelings of disdain and ignore your entirely valid sense of fear towards me. Suppress them and sign your entire life over to me. That is what love is, may I remind you.

“But if I ever find
That you’ve changed at anytime
It’s not unusual to find that I’m in love with you”

Just a quick disclaimer: Once you’ve succumbed to my sociopathic tendencies, you’re stuck with me forever. There’s no escape. You can’t change your mind once you agree to be mine purely out of fearing for your life. If you try to leave, I will kill you, then myself. I’ve previously expressed that I am entirely up for dying. So here’s the deal, I will kill myself if you don’t love me back, or I will kill you and then myself if you love me back and then try to get away at some point. Again, I need to stress that this is all completely normal and not unusual in any way. Love is a crazy, precious thing and I am offering all of mine to you. Now get in the van, the engine’s running.


Sir Tom Jones