Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bruce Hornsby and the Range: "The Way It Is"

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Richard and I were talking about this song the other day. We both love it. (He's a big Bruce Hornsby fan. I like him a lot as well, especially his first two albums with the Range, The Way It Is (1986) and Scenes From the Southside (1988). It's good to know I had some good taste as a teenager. But I do also like much of his more recent work, through his long and varied career, and he continues to be one of the most interesting and talented artists in music today.)

I'd rank it among the very best songs of the 1980s (along with the likes of Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over"). And its political message resonates as much now as then. Here's how it starts:

Standin' in line marking time
Waiting for the welfare dime
'Cause they can't buy a job
The man in the silk suit hurries by
As he catches the poor old lady's eyes
Just for fun he says, 'Get a job'

That's just the way it is
Some things'll never change
That's just the way it is
Ha, but don't you believe them 

The man in the silk suit, no doubt a Republican, probably also despises the 47% -- and certainly the poor (and we know that anti-poor policies are front and center in the Romney-Ryan plan).

And it's not the way it has to be.

Change is happening. There is still hope.

Take action. Vote.

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