Tunes Tuesday: But don’t you believe them!

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For today’s Tunes Tuesday, I am highlighting the words of a poignant Bruce Hornsby song.

I promised to focus my Tunes Tuesday posts on political lyrics from now until the election, so this song continues in that vein. This song has always touched me. The most important line in this song is “But don’t you believe them!”

The election is two weeks away. Have you voted?

That’s Just the Way It Is
Bruce Hornsby

Standing in line marking time, waiting for the welfare dime
‘Cause they can’t buy a job
The man in the silk suit hurries by
As he catches the poor old ladies’ eyes just for fun he says, “Get a job”

That’s just the way it is
Some things will never change
That’s just the way it is
But don’t you believe them

They say hey little boy you can’t go where the others go
‘Cause you don’t look like they do
Said hey old man how can you stand to think that way
Did you really think about it before you made the rules, he said, son

That’s just the way it is
Some things will never change
That’s just the way it is
But don’t you believe them

Well they passed a law in ’64
To give those who ain’t got a little more
But it only goes so far because the law don’t change another’s mind
When all it sees at the hiring time is the line on the color bar

That’s just the way it is
Some things will never change
That’s just the way it is
Thats just the way it is, it is, it is, it is

What do you think? What is your favorite political song? (Note: I may feature it for next week’s Tunes Tuesday post!) What is your favorite line from a song which represents your feelings on politics or social issues?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!


Filed under Economy, equality, Ethics, Income inequality, Music, Policy, Politcs, Poverty, Role of Government, Stereotypes

20 responses to “Tunes Tuesday: But don’t you believe them!

  1. I forgot how much I love that song!

  2. Michael Jackson – They Don’t Care About Us – is my choice of political song.

  3. Barneysday

    OMG what an awesome song of the times, and a wonderful choice for Tuesday Tunes! I can think of others, like “16 Tons” and “Big John” by Jimmy Dean, (For specific references to the Koch Brothers, large coal mine owners and abusers, huge contributors to the RepubliCANTS this year) but you hit the nail on the head. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Your song is perfect.
    More fitting in the primary season: Stop, hey what’s that sound.

  5. Great song. “The get a job” line is the one I think of often when I write that people who “have” do not know what it is like to “have not.” You have to walk in someone shoes before you can spit out a line like that. Thanks for sharing us how song lyrics can live beyond when they were first penned. You are the best, BTG

  6. My pleasure. I am 6’5″ so I might be your biggest tunes fan. :>)

  7. Hi there. Sory I missed this earlier. This is a very nice political song. It has a theme I think the average person can identify with.

  8. Not just brilliant lyrics – also a wonderful melody, rhythm and piano instrumentals.

    For songs on politics and social issues you have to look to Springsteen, Dylan, Marvin Gaye, Gil Scott-Heron, Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. Maybe Cohen as well – “The poor get poor, The rich get rich / That’s how it goes, Everybody knows.”

    “From the Monongahela valley
    To the Mesabi iron range
    To the coal mines of Appalachia
    The story’s always the same
    Seven hundred tons of metal a day
    Now sir you tell me the world’s changed
    Once I made you rich enough
    Rich enough to forget my name”
    – Youngstown, Bruce Springsteen

  9. I forgot to include these links to Youngstown –

    Live in Youngstown 1996 –

    Live in Hyde Park London 2009 – I was fortunate to catch this brilliant performance by Bruce and guitar solo by Nils Lofgren.

  10. Pingback: Tunes Tuesday: 9 to 5 | newsofthetimes

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