Joel started writing this song in the early 1980s about a relationship he was having with supermodel Elle MacPherson. Their backgrounds (and heights) were so different that he knew the relationship would fail, which it did. He predicted the end of the affair with the line, "And you can have this heart to break."
The title comes from television journalist Linda Ellerbee's signature line and best-selling book title.
Suggestion credit: Ken - Louisville, KY, for above 2
When Joel appeared on The Howard Stern Show in 2010, he said that this was his least-appreciated song - the best one that casual fans aren't aware of. In 2017, he listed it among his Top 5 songs on a Late Show with Stephen Colbert appearance.
Megan from Charlotte, NcBob Chilcott arranged this song into an SATB choir song. The piece is beautifully paired with the lyrics of Billy Joel.
Susan from Airdrie, AbBeautiful song. What a talented guy. I remember hearing this song when I bought the "cass-single" for the Downeaster Alexa. This song was on side 2, I believe. :)
Amanda_ong from Singapore, SingaporeI came across the song only in 2011. Love it so much. Shared it with colleagues in Beijing. One loves it too. Truly meditative. Brings us into 'the zone'.
Nancy from Merle168@insightbb.com, KyAnd this is why my eyes are closed it's just as well for all I've seen and so it goes and so it goes and your the only one who knows. Beautiful Lyrics. :)
Pam from Atlanta, GaDoes anyone know what movies this song has been featured in? It's driving me crazy that I can't place/remember. Thanks.
Michael from Fullerton, CaHauntingly beautiful.
Emily from Abingdon, VaI second what John said.
John from Edinburg, VaActually, the phrase "so it goes" comes from the Kurt Vonnegut novel Slaughterhouse-Five. It is was a fatilistic phrase that Vonnegut used when he described a death in the book and there were plenty of them in that book.
Linda Ellerbee stole the phrase from Lloyd Dobbins from the NBC Weekend show, who must have in turn stole it from Vonnegut. Dobbins was later replaced on the show by Ellerbee, or on some subsequent show, and complained about Ellerbee's use of the phrase. However he did acknowledge that the phrase still worked, when he no longer did :).
Patrick from Albany, NyIts a very very good song when your down and heart broken. It shows you are not alone out there and you feel better most of the time.
Ken from Louisville, KyBilly Joel sang this song on the televised Kennedy Center honors in the 1990's. He was surprised when actor James Woods, who introduced him, had a piano brought out and urged Joel to sing. Joel chose this song, since it was a simple song that he could do without any other musicians.
Leon from Waterbury, CtOne of his best songs...I love it.