My Life

Album: 52nd Street (1978)
Charted: 12 3
  • Got a call from an old friend we'd used to be real close
    Said he couldn't go on the American way
    Closed the shop, sold the house, bought a ticket to the west coast
    Now he gives them a stand-up routine in L.A.

    I don't need you to worry for me 'cause I'm alright
    I don't want you to tell me it's time to come home
    I don't care what you say anymore this is my life
    Go ahead with your own life leave me alone

    I never said you had to offer me a second chance
    I never said I was a victim of circumstance
    I still belong
    Don't get me wrong
    And you can speak your mind
    But not on my time

    They will tell you you can't sleep alone in a strange place
    Then they'll tell you can't sleep with somebody else
    Ah but sooner or later you sleep in your own space
    Either way it's O.K. you wake up with yourself

    I don't need you to worry for me 'cause I'm alright
    I don't want you to tell me it's time to come home
    I don't care what you say anymore this is my life
    Go ahead with your own life leave me alone

    I never said you had to offer me a second chance
    I never said I was a victim of circumstance
    I still belong
    Don't get me wrong
    And you can speak your mind
    But not on my time

    I don't care what you say anymore this is my life
    Go ahead with your own life leave me alone Writer/s: BILLY JOEL
    Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 22

  • John from Cleveland, OhioHi Joe from New Richmond! At the end of the song Joel is saying, "SO LONG!" in a sarcastic manner. (I think that is the part that you are referring to.)

    What can one say about Billy Joel and Elton John? They implement a downright brilliant mix of piano and electric keyboard. Oh yea, remember when music was not ultra-compressed and it actually sounded like it was performed by HUMANS on actual INSTRUMENTS and not aliens using computers?

    Regarding the TV show "Bosom Buddies", and reproduction of it on media, versus the actual Billy Joel song: Some TV, like WKRP In Cincinnati, is utterly ruined because the music executives who own publishing rights are so INSANELY SELFISH. Imagine if our TV shows had the actual original music that reflected the era during which they were made? They would becomes totally different, and far cooler than versions using generic studio music.
  • Tony from San DiegoMy friend Gina has told me that the song reminds her of me. I am from upstate New York and moved to San Diego because I just wanted nice weather. I guess I have become that stoner out here who just makes it. The perfect mix of East Coast meets west coast. And I never knew it until she told me that but almost every line does ring very true for me. And I love how in the middle of the song the band just pulls it back and gives you a chance to breathe and really it's so sophisticated.
  • Nathan from Newark, DelawareGreat song.
  • Melinda from AustraliaLove this song. And it's message.
    From my research the Stand Up Comedian Richard Lewis that Billy Joel sings about in this song is an interesting character. No wonder he and Billy Joel was good friends with him. They seem to have a lot in common. As Billy Joel had big issues with alcohol.
    Brooklyn born, American Richard Lewis was an alcoholic part time stand up comedian.
    And by day he worked in an ad agency. In the 1970's and 1980's.
    His 'stand up routine ' was based around black comedy. And he appears to have an accumulated an outstanding film and stage background. Eventually.
    Americans would be more familiar with him. Apparently he used to be on the David Letterman show.
    Were he and Billy Joel close enough for him to say to him?,

    'Selling up and buyin a ticket to the West Coast' ..... 'isn't such a good idea'.
    And was 'This is my life' the reply from Richard Lewis. Good question.
    One thing is clear, people love the story inside this song. The story of a friendship too. It's the ultimate personal freedom song. Live your life how you want to. And you'll have no regrets.
  • Tommy from Los AngelesWhen this song was released I was working at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles and met a comedian whose name (if memory serves) was Tony Lawrence. He had previously quit his job as an executive with Columbia Records to become a standup in L.A.. It was understood at the time that it was he who had been the inspiration for that line in the song.
  • George from Vancouver, CanadaSo his guy phones him up & says he's starting a new life in California, then launches right into telling the guy not to say anything about it? That seems more like what you'd say if the guy called you to say you're making a mistake. . . The story doesn't seem to make sense here.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 4th 1979, Billy Joel* performed on the final day of the three-day 'Havana Jam' festival at the Karl Marx Auditorium in Havana, Cuba...
    At the time he had two records on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; "Big Shot" at #21 and "My Life" at #93, and that was its 19th and last week on the Top 100...
    "My Life" had peaked at #3 {for 3 weeks} on the Top 100, while "Big Shot" reached #14 {for 2 weeks} and stayed on the chart for 11 weeks...
    * It was the first time in more than 20 years that an American artist had performed in Cuba; other American artists at the festival were Stephen Stills, Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, and Weather Report.
  • Scott from Dallas, TxContrary to popular belief, Richard Lewis himself has contacted Billy Joel and confirmed that the lyric about an "old friend" is not a reference to him.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 31st 1978, "My Life" by Billy Joel peaked at #3 (for 3 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on October 29th and spent 19 weeks on the Top 100...
    It also reached #3 in Canada and on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart it peaked at #2...
    Was track one on side one of his 1978 album '52nd Street'; and on November 12th the album reached #1 (for 8 non-consecutive weeks) on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart...
    And this coming May 9th Mr. Joel will be come eligible for Medicare, for on that day he'll be celebrating his 65th birthday.
  • B.l. from Barry, TxBertie Higgins sang the version used as the theme for "Bosom Buddies." He had a hit in the 70s "Key Largo" followed by another Bogart film-inspired ditty, "Casablanca."
  • Joe from New Richmond, WiI've always been curious about what 's going on at the very end of the song...it sounds like he is retching! Any ideas?
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiAnother one of my favorite Billy Joel songs from a tv show,Bosom Buddies,I should get that on dvd.
  • John from Luton, United KingdomOn wikipedia it states that this song was written about Richard Lewis (Curb Your Enthsiasm)
  • Ken from Louisville, KyThere is a story I heard that Billy got the idea for the first verse from reading an article about a group of young people who left good paying jobs across the U.S. to make it as comedians in the L.A. clubs. One of those mentioned in the article was David Letterman.
  • Tony from Chicago, IlWonderful song, nice message about a breakup and independence.
  • George from Middlefield, Ohit says in the songfacts that it was a soundalike singing the intro to bosom buddies, if I'm not mistaken it was actually the cast from the show singing it and it was Tom Hanks doing the main lead in the song.
  • John from Stamford, CtI didn't see a lot of the other good songs he made on the site's list and don't know how to get it submitted, but a song that has a catchy tune and I like to listen to is "Don't Ask Me Why".
    I always listen to that and my life back to back.
  • Soutiman from Mumbai, IndiaGreat catchy song. One of my favourite Billy Joel songs (other than Piano Man)
  • Lagan from Vineyard Haven, MaI always thought this song was about the singer not caring about the guy moving to LA. The part about who he can and can't sleep with I thought was Billy's prediction of what the people would say to him once the guy got there.
    But, misunderstandings aside, awesome song.
  • John from Fort Worth, TxI'm John and I "grew up" with Billy Joel's songs though, in my experience I only knew some of them as being sung by him. Billy Joel was a true and memorable songwriter. Lately here I have learned so much more, Thank You! John 45
  • Guy from Woodinville, WaI'm surprised there aren't more comments on this song. It so brilliantly describes the sexual issues of young folks establishing indoependence from their parents: "They will tell you you can't sleep alone in a strange place, then they'll tell you you can't sleep with somebody else. Ah, but sooner or later, you sleep in your own space. Either way, it's okay, you wake up with yourself. I don't need you to worry for me 'cause I'm alright. I don't want you to tell me it's time to come home. I don't care what you say anymore, this is my life. Go ahead with your own life and leave me alone." Yeah!
  • Mike from Kingston, PaMy best friend, a vocalist/pianist/tubist, preform this song a lot. We are doing a live performance at the end of May 2007 with a nine piece band. Drums, two pianos, vocals, guitar, bass (me), alto sax, three back up singers. One of my fav. songs from one of my fav. artists. So liberating.
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