Nostalgic Song of the Day: “The Way It Is”


BRUCE HORNSBY & THE RANGE | Standing in line, marking time

Song: “The Way It Is”
Artist: Bruce Hornsby & The Range
Year: 1986
Where I heard it: XM Channel 8

Bruce Hornsby & The Range’s 1986 debut album was a depature from most of the music of the day. Hornsby’s incredible piano playing and the mournful, deep-felt lyrics (some of which were written by his brother, an attorney by trade) made quite an impression on those who would become his fans.

“The Way It Is,” a song about race and welfare, was one of the year’s biggest hits. It’s still a staple on 80s and soft-rock stations.

In the lyrics:

Standing in line marking time
Waiting for the welfare dime
‘Cause they can’t find a job
The man in the silk suit hurries by
As he catches the poor old ladies’ eyes
Just for fun he says “get a job”

That’s just the way it is
Some things will never change
That’s just the way it is
Aw, but don’t you believe them


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