"The Way it Is" as written by and Nicole Atkins....
Don't tell me
My love's not the one that I want
That he's not the one that I need
I'd rather
find out for myself

You're the one
Who shakes at the touch of my hand
but can't decide where he should stand
If I was smart
I'd never call you, call you
ever again

Oh, in my ears
my blood is just roaring
when he's the only one I've ever wanted
I suppose that's just the way it is

Just think this could be
The last time I hold you, hold you
ever again

Oh, I don't think I'll ever sleep till
Coz he's the only one I've ever wanted
Oh, and in my ears
my blood is just roaring
Coz he's the only one I've ever wanted
I suppose that's just the way it is.

Lyrics submitted by fieria

The Way it Is song meanings
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  • +1
    General Commenti LOVE this song.

    When I first heard it, I was a little surprised with the lyrics, specifically the opening lyrics. They seemed a bit sophomoric and plain. "Don't tell me my love's not the one that I want, that he's not the one that I need." Even "I'd rather find out for myself" is very childish in style. After additional listens, now I see the arrangement and diction as cleverly chosen. The juvenile opening was purposeful to give the idea of "a little girl in a big house," as is illustrated by the music video. She's drawing a parallel between the childish, but universally human, wants that can be as simple a wanting ice cream, but not being able to have it because it's not good for you, or it's not available, or somebody is stopping you - to the much more mature idea of wanting someone so badly but for whatever reason, not being able to be with them. It's that same frustration of yearning for something you can't have, something that haunts you with desire, but on grander level. She warns herself with logic that "If I were smart I'd never call you, call you, ever again" because she knows better. But that doesn't mean she feels better. The line "just to think this could be the last time I hold you, hold you, ever again" even draws references to a little girl holding on to a doll that she doesn't want to give away. And here, it's a much more advanced, mature, and developed feeling that overwhelms the mind of holding a person. There's an overarching frustration, even in the way it's sung, of the feeling of "oh come on, why can't I just have it/him." She arrives at the simple conclusion, that works both for the child and for the ultra-sophisticated, that "I suppose that's just the way it is."

    Her voice is somewhat haunting in that it fills you with that feeling of frustration and calamity and sadness for wanting something so badly that "in [your] ears [your] blood is just roaring." The song, and her voice, just build and build and swing and swing and then come back down to the conclusion that it's just the way it is. Juvenile, profound, and unequivocally true, all at the same time.
    metalandmemorieson August 21, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSelf explanatory song. I saw Atkins open for another band at the Stone Pony and was blown away. This song and "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" were amazing.

    Looking forward to her cd :)
    xposeon June 21, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is soo powerfull. amazing .
    tiffanytwistedon March 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song. it depresses me but that's fine
    bestwombat11on April 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think she sings it for someone who has died. Someone who cannot clarify their existence anymore, someone who cant see whats real and whats not, someone whose love is the strongest part in the soul.
    nlon June 21, 2008   Link

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