Radio 60, side B, track 11: “The Way It Is” by Tesla

Tesla - The Way It IsOh, Tesla, I love tracks like this one because I totally forgot about this song until just now and even as I initially started playing it I was all like “Nope.  Don’t remember it.”  But then I DID remember it and now I like it even more than I did when I first recorded it off the radio way back in the day.

I also love it because it’s also prescient to something I’ve noticed in the cultural language of late, and that’s the whole “It is what it is”, similar to your line of “That’s the way it is, that’s the way it goes”.  I first noticed it when my mom and our family friend were in town visiting late last year and we went to go see the wonderful “St. Vincent” together at the Alamo Drafthouse.  It was a great movie.  One of the few I’ve seen at the theater over the last several years.  And while there were several excellent scenes in it, the one that has stuck with me since watching it is the scene with Bill Murray and Patty from “The Leftovers” when she tells him “It is what it is” and he goes off on a long diatribe about people saying that.

Since then I’ve noticed people saying it a lot.  Myself included.  I don’t know what it means that so many people are saying it.  There’s a distinct fatalism about that phrase.  It’s absolutely the kind of phrase I’d expect from a Minnesota farmer for sure.  Being raised rural and religious, especially being raised in a church where predestination was one of the bedrock foundations of its belief system, you really could boil down all of the world to “It is what it is” and/or (to quote Popeye) “I yam what I yam.”  But obviously, not all of us were blessed being born in a region where you could tape awesome songs like this off the radio, so it’s not just a Midwestern thing.  And I definitely don’t think I used to be a “It is what it is” type of guy.  But I yam now.  And I totally get that that’s a very dangerous way of thinking.  “It is what it is” allowed slavery, it allowed. . .hell, Tesla, that kind of thinking pretty much allowed every horrible thing that’s happened in the world where large groups of people looked the other way while other groups of people were being treated really shabbily.  At the same time, sometimes it IS what it is.  But should it be?  Now my head hurts.  Thanks a lot, Tesla. . .

Okay, that last sentence was sarcastic, but seriously, thanks.  This is a good reminder that I need to not always accept that it is what it is or that it’s the way that it goes or even that I yam what I yam.  Thanks for reminding me that it doesn’t have to be what it is.

“The Way It Is”

<awesome Tesla jam>

Doesn’t matter

Who gets the best of who

Who can hurt
Who the most, nooo

It never was meant for it to be that way
Never should be
That way at all

The way it is
The way that it goes
Happenin’
Day after day, yeah

S’the way it is
The way that it goes
Workin’ in the strangest ways

Even though we could never
Seem to work things out
I still love you just the same

I miss your smile and that sparkle in your eyes, you’re so beautiful
Never change

The way it is
The way that it goes
Happenin’ day after day, yeah

That’s the way it is
The way that it goes
Workin’ in the strangest ways

What it is

And what it was

What shall be shall be, yeah

Sometimes it happens

In the strangest ways
Sometimes it’s hard to believe, yeah
(Do you believe) do you believe

Can you believe

Way it is
The way that it goes
Workin’ in the
Strangest way, yeah

<awesome Tesla jam>

Now it really don’t matter

Who
Who gets the best of who, it never did and it never will

It never was meant for it to be that way

Why must it be that way at all

The way it is
The way that it goes
Happenin’ day after day, yeeeeah

Way it is
The way that it goes

Workin’ in the
Workin’ in the strangest ways

S’the way it is

That’s the way it is

That’s the way it is, that’s the way it goes, yeeeeah

<awesome Tesla jam>

Yeeeah

S’the way it is, that’s the way it goes

That’s the way it is, that’s the way it goes

See it happen day after day, yeah, yeah

Workin’ in the
Strangest ways

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeeeah

Yeah yeah yeah yeeeeah yeah

<awesome Tesla jam>

Can you believe
Do you believe

Do you believe
Can you believe

That’s the way it is, that’s the way it gooooes

Yes, it do

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