Funny The Way it Is

Album: Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King (2009)
Charted: 37

Songfacts®:

  • Dave Matthews explained this song to MTV News: "It's a pretty song and it talks about a lot of things... death and love and all those things... but it also talks about the world of opposites that we are in. That's the idea behind the song - that we will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to save a kid's life and then we will drop bombs out of the sky on each other and blow a whole school of them to pieces without a thought. And that's a funny world."

    He added: "It is a joyful tune - that's what it's supposed to be. But it's also supposed to be about the truth. So that's what we wanted to do on this record... be honest with ourselves."
  • This was the lead single from the Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King album, DMB's first since Stand Up in 2005. In a shrewd marketing move, the song debuted as a free download on the band's website free of charge if you entered your mobile phone number. The band reported 1 million downloads, which means they captured a million phone numbers, which unlike emails, tend to stick with us forever.
  • In the line, "The War song is playing, why can't we be friends," Matthews is referring to the band War and their song "Why Can't We Be Friends?"
  • Matthews expanded on the song's lyrical content to Relix magazine: "Lyrically, I think it's one of those times that I state the obvious but every once in a while we should consider the obvious. It's nice to point the things out that, every day, stand in opposition in our lives that we don't acknowledge that much.

    I always thought it was so funny when I was living in Africa how, whether people were trying to get to school or get to elections, they would go across the world to get their voice heard or to learn a little bit more about the world. Just starving, not only for food, but also for knowledge and for the right to have a voice in the world. And it was always so strange to me then, coming to this country, pumped all over the world as the hope of all hopes, that in many cases we treat [those opportunities] with this entitled indifference.

    You're slumped in your chair in the classroom, looking at the teacher like, "God, how bored am I gonna be today because you're gonna teach me crap I don't care about?" I'm just saying it's interesting: To one person information is freedom; to another person it's a burden. I'm not saying it's all in the hands of the children-it's the fault of a society that has led us to believe that the goal of all life is to eventually retire and go on vacation; that the least you can do for the most reward is the best life, which is so bizarre. Why not do something? TV ain't that good."
  • Matthews told Relix: "That's my first guitar solo. That's a terror, with a lot of ninths - I like those big jumps."

Comments: 1

  • Adam from Raleigh, NcAwesome song. Good message, too.
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