I wouldn’t know what to do with another chance
If you gave it to me
I couldn’t take the embrace of a real romance
It’d race right through me
I’m much better off the way things are
Much much better off, better by far, by far
I wouldn’t know what to say to a gentle voice
It’d roll right past me
And if you chalk it up you’ll see I don’t really have a choice
So don’t even ask me
I’m much better off, the way things are
Much much better off, better by far
So keep on calling me names, keep on, keep on
And I’ll keep kicking the crap till it’s gone
If you keep on killing, you could get me to settle
And as soon as I settle, I bet I’ll be
Able to move on
How can I fight, when we’re on the same side
How can I fight beside you
So keep on calling me names, keep on, keep on
And I’ll keep kicking the crap till it’s gone
If you keep on killing, you could get me to settle
And as soon as I settle, I bet I’ll be
Able to move on
So keep on calling me names, keep on, keep on
And I’ll keep kicking the crap till it’s gone
If you keep on killing, you could get me to settle
And as soon as I settle, I bet I’ll be
Able to move on


Lyrics submitted by SNYder

The Way Things Are song meanings
Add your thoughts

22 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General Commentthis is another incredible song from Fiona Apple
    Rogeron January 07, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti don't think there ever was a real relationship- she ran right from the beginning- the embrace of a real romance she knows is too heavy for her- wouldn't know what to say to a gentle voice- she has adjusted to life without love and when someone tries to love her she is stuck not knowing what to say back- love itself is akward- she's got dependency issues- she will "fall in love" as long as she doesn't need the person- as long as she would still be ok if it ended- "I better be able to move on" if i couldn't move on from you- then i don't want to start this~ but maybe i am just applying to my life..
    sarabear316on September 29, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWhen Fiona says these lines, "How can I fight, when we're on the same side/How can I fight beside you?" I took it as her always wanting to fight. She makes reference to this, I think, in her other songs --she always seems to want to fight. So when she says "How can I fight when we're on the same side" it's like she doesn't know what to do when there is no fighting in a relationship. She needs the fighting.
    BornAgainRebelon February 19, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis IS incredible so catchy and it seems so familiar...the whole song is pretty much self-explanitory...sort of like accepting things as the way they are..
    rockstar001on May 09, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI can completely relate to this song! Isn't it so amazing how she captures her emotions [perfectly] in her lyrics? Gah-- I love her.
    emo tional.on June 02, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentVirrrrgo hit the nail right on the head. That's exactly what the song is about.

    Best Fiona Apple song, imo.
    Flyboyon June 14, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti have to agree with sarabear316..

    with my take, i think it's a about a girl who's had many bad experiences with men. she's become used to the pain from all those jerks that it's become normal for her. it's become the familiar. the girl is in this transitional period where she wants to not only runaway from all the bad men, but the good guys too. since being treated like crap by guys has become normalized for her, her mind, body and heart rejects a good guy who treats her well. (from the first verse)

    she feels that at this stage, she needs to be alone until she kicks her bad habit (of dating toxic men), not by dating a good guy, but learning to love herself and believe that she's worthy of being loved. to her, things are better off this way. her friends and maybe past exes make fun of her and don't support this idea of hers. she reacts back by saying, you can tell me that i'm crazy for cutting myself off from love for awhile, but that's how it's going to be.
    untilrecentlyon November 01, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love the song so very much; Fiona Apple's an extremely talented girl and a brilliant song-writer. The meaning is self-explanatory, it's something I can really relate to.
    maggotseatingmuffinson May 24, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is another incredible song from Fiona Apple
    Rogeron January 07, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentShe sees that she's better off not being with him, and that a second time would only fuck things up more. She knows on her own is what it is supossed to be, and she can take everything thats thrown at her. Thats just my opinion...
    Virrrrgoon August 02, 2002   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain