One Way Or Another

Album: Parallel Lines (1978)
Charted: 24
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Songfacts®:

  • This song is about a stalker. The lyrics are very dark and go into detail about a guy with evil intentions, but the music is very light and catchy, which masked the meaning of the song. According to Blondie lead singer Debbie Harry, it was inspired by real events. She told Entertainment Weekly: "I was actually stalked by a nutjob, so it came out of a not-so-friendly personal event. I tried to inject a little levity into it to make it more lighthearted. It was a survival mechanism."

    Harry says that the title and the idea for the song popped into her head during a rehearsal, and most of the song was hashed out on the spot.
  • Lead singer Debbie Harry wrote this song with the group's bass player, Nigel Harrison. Harry wrote the lyrics to Blondie's songs, but composer credit for the music was generally given solely to whoever made the biggest contribution. This was often guitarist Chris Stein, who co-wrote "Rapture" and "Heart Of Glass."
  • This song has appeared in a number of movies and TV shows, often to imply dogged determination, not stalking. Here's a partial list:

    Movies:
    Little Darlings (1980)
    Donnie Brasco (1997)
    Beverly Hills Ninja (1997)
    The Rugrats Movie (1998)
    Coyote Ugly (2000 - Piper Perabo sings it to quell a riot in the bar)
    The Guru (2002 - performed by Sophie Ellis-Bextor)
    Mean Girls (2004)
    New York Minute (2004)
    Seed of Chucky (2004)
    Aquamarine (2006 - performed by Mandy Moore)
    Ready Player One (2018)

    TV Shows:
    The A-Team (1985)
    Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1998)
    Queer as Folk (1999)
    Dawson's Creek (2002)
    The Simpsons (2004)
    Veronica Mars (2005)
    ER (2007)
    Psych (2008)
    Supernatural (2011)
  • This was featured on a 2011 episode of the TV show Glee in a mashup with "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." The medley by the Glee Cast was released as a single and went to #86 in the US.
  • With radio-friendly songs like this one, Blondie was one of the first Punk bands to have Pop success. They played clubs like CBGB's (stands for Country, BlueGrass, Blues) with bands like The Ramones and Television, but their songs were much lighter and led to mainstream acceptance. The Police and Talking Heads are other groups that came out of that scene.
  • In 2013 the UK boyband One Direction recorded a new version of this song, mashing it up with The Undertones' "Teenage Kicks." It was recorded to mark the 25th anniversary of the fundraising event Red Nose Day and was a hit in both the UK where it topped the chart and the US where it peaked at #13.
  • Kristen Bell sings this (quite well) at karaoke in the 2005 Veronica Mars episode "Clash Of The Tritons," where she uses the song to alert a gang of her intentions.
  • Debbie Harry did a memorable version of this song when she was the guest star on The Muppet Show in 1981.

Comments: 9

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 27th 1979, "One Way or Another" by Blondie entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #69; and on July 29th it peaked at #24 (for 2 weeks) and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #7 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart...
    Between 1979 and 1999 the band had nine Top 100 records; with four making the Top 10 and all four peaked at #1, they were "Heart of Glass" (for 1 week in 1979,) "Call Me" (for 6 weeks in 1980), "The Tide Is High" (for 1 week in 1981), and "Rapture" (for 2 weeks in 1981)...
    Lead singer Deborah Harry will celebrate her 69th birthday in thirty four days on July 1st, 2014.
  • Jack from Mesa, AzThere was a movie called "Little Darlings" i think where theyh stole a bus and this song was playing. Every time I hear this song I see a freakin bus now wtf. Song is awesome.
  • Kate from Burnaby, CanadaEEEE, another stalker song to add to my list!
  • Steve from Kettering, EnglandThis song is used as the theme tune for a comedy drama about a teenage lesbian set in Brighton called Sugar Rush. Dont think this was ever a single origanaly in Britain.Though I think it was in the 90s...Top Tune
  • Ian from Norwich, EnglandDebbie talks about her stalker ex-boyfriend in Platinum Blonde "He worked at a job where he was inhaling chemical fumes all day, and then would drink at night, so he'd get really insane and then he'd start after me. You mean call you every hour on the hour or physically come after you? Both, I mean, everything. He was so wild, I had to move out of New Jersey!
  • Arka from Tokyo, JapanMore like about a girl with evil intentions, no?
  • Zach from Kerrville, TxI have never heard the full song .but i will one way or another
  • Jammie from Deckerville, MiThis song is in Coyote Ugly. I think it's a good song.
  • Deana from Indianapolis, InRecorded before stalking became illegal?
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