Song Lyric Sunday — My Life

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme is songs that feature the lyrics of either Birth, Death, or Life. As a long-time, dedicated fan of Billy Joel, I decided to go with his song, “My Life.”

“My Life” first appeared on Billy Joel’s 1978 album 52nd Street. A single version was released in the fall of 1978 and reached number 2 on the U.S. adult contemporary chart. By early 1979 it peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The recording featured backup vocals by Chicago band members Peter Cetera and Donnie Dacus. The song was also used as the theme song for the 1980-1982 ABC television series Bosom Buddies, but it was re-recorded using a different vocalist.

This song is about asserting your independence. The singer is saying that it’s his life and he’s doing okay. He doesn’t need or want to justify what he says or does to anyone else, and anyone who tries to interfere with him living his life the way he wants to ought to focus more on living their own life and should stop wasting his time. He warns, “…you can speak your mind, but not on my time.”

According to Songfacts, the verse “closed the shop, sold the house, bought a ticket to the west coast; now he gives them a stand up routine in LA” allegedly refers to comedian Richard Lewis. Lewis was native to Joel’s stomping ground, born in New York City and raised in New Jersey.

Here are the lyrics to “My Life.”

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

10 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — My Life

  1. newepicauthor November 14, 2021 / 7:55 am

    Awesome choice Fandango, this song has a great beat and it always has me tapping my feet. Nobody has the right to tell you that you can’t sleep alone in a strange place, or say that you can’t sleep with somebody else.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. leigha66 November 14, 2021 / 10:04 am

    Great song! I still kick myself over the fact I could have seen him but didn’t go… oh why did I have to give my ticket to someone else! 😭

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango November 14, 2021 / 10:27 pm

      I’ve seen him live three times and he was fantastic each time. Sorry you missed seeing him.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Nope, Not Pam November 15, 2021 / 1:13 am

    Love Billy Joel and this is only one of his many great songs 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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