What does My Life mean?

Billy Joel: My Life Meaning

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Album cover for My Life album cover

Song Released: 1978

My Life Lyrics

Got a call from an old friend
We 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...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Aug 30th 2016 !⃝

    This is a song about strength. The strength to examine yourself, and the strength to live life the way you want. The strength to leave behind toxic people, you know them, the overbearing and intrusive who want to pull your puppet strings. Your way is wrong, their way is right, they'll give you a second chance to see the light - THEIR light. THEIR way which is clearly the best way.

    Remember this song was written in the middle 1970s, a time when the social expectation was still very much about conforming. Work that job, even if you despise it. Pay off that mortgage. Pay your dues, for years and years if necessary. Stay with a woman even if she drives you nuts and doesn't listen to you. Do as your told.

    Billy was moving in on age 30 at the time the song was recorded. Late 20s is a time when many people figure it out (if they are ever going to), that they truly escape from the cliques and herd mentality of high school and college.

  2. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 4th 2020 !⃝

    A agree with one of these meanings above. But although it is an independence song. It does have reverse psychology for sure.
    I sent this song to a Not boyfriend. A man who yearns for love but can't jump in. He is afraid. He is thinking he would have to make so many changes like his friend. He won't sell the house, quit the job, move to Ca, start a new career. In this case all he would have to do is stop going on dating sites while you are trying to build intimacy with a new woman. Changing your playboy ways would be as hard as move, leave the job, sell your home.
    I'm doing ok. Don't tell me what to do.
    Yes, I belong with you.
    But I can't admit I care about you you.
    I can't admit I was wrong.
    I can't change.
    I'm leaving.
    I'm the other hand the girl sending the song (me,hot blonde chick and fantastic sex). She is using the words to say.
    I'm ok.
    And all your bullshit about being on a dating site because you are curious.
    Keep that bullshit, excuse, to yourself.
    In my world, in my life. I demand respect.
    In my life, I will he treated with respect.
    I can leave you.
    Your false words of lies for comfort.
    I don't want a second chance on your terms.
    I can be happy with my dreams and goals of love. Without your justification of false acts that defile my hopes for finding love with you.
    Go off alone.
    Don't listen to me.
    I'm only saying I can't except your version of acceptability in my life.
    I chose my version of love and devotion.
    I am happy again with my knowing true love on my terms will be in my life without you.

  3. JBH
    click a star to vote
    Dec 20th 2017 !⃝

    After the introduction, this song is for his sister!

    His sister became a Jehovah’s Witness and obviously spoke to him about her new beliefs!

    This is his response to her!

    Victim of circumstance I believe may allude to his bouts with depression.

    Beautiful song that I’ve looked at differently since finding this out!

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 25th 2016 !⃝

    I believe it's one where you find the meaning hid in between the lines..it's general but yet personal. Ultimately it is about the need for one to find their own way in life, to be strong in holding their own. They may make believe they can do without others and tjeir well intentioned advice, but in the end must realize they need to be mor humble, accept their help and admit they don't know it all. Otherwise they will end up becoming a victim of their own foolish choices and circumstances in life. I think it mostly is to do with a couple or very good friends. Similar to what the other person said but not quite the same. The woman has more wisdom than the man and he is too proud to accept her help or that she may see more than he can see. He wants to be a man as frustrated that he can't seem to find success in the all the ways he's tried. He has made bad decisions and at times she tried to help him see the light. He is trying to established himself as a grown man it's why he is telling her and others to not tell him how to live his life he will find out himself and find his place in this world meaning his space in life. It shouldn't matter how he lives his life to anyone but himself, other shouldn't be judging him. He had a comfortable home and people that love him but I didn't feel confident and who he was yet I needed to go out and find that person. Even after all the decisions he's made and some that really haven't worked out he still doesn't want to admit that somewhere right and he should just come back home. They probably do breakup to break up because he doesn't like the feeling of being controlled,but he misunderstands her help as that and so he wants to get away from her (maybe he also didn't like the thoughts that other people had about him as if he wasn't good enough for the girl he had to be something more.. so he also needed to get away from their disapproval.. because he didn't feel good enough for her as he was) prove to himself that he doesn't need her. Ultimately he wants his freedom and to explore and cannot believe that she was right about a lot of things. The guy is a very very proud man ... and very confused . She trys To give him advice that he should give something longer and not make such hasty decisions. So she asks him questions in hopes that he will think for himself. In the end she really isn't telling him what to do in fact she wants him to be a man and find himself first before he ever be with her. He doesn't like being proven wrong and he still is very proud doesn't want to admit that the woman was right all along. And yet he knows that he was wrong and he doesn't really want to be without her. So the chorus has a lot to do with reverse psychology. It's almost like he's having a conversation in his own mind.. going over the conversation they had and he was too stubborn to take her advice. And there's some frustration if not anger there. But in the end is realizing he doesn't really want to be alone and doesn't want her to not worry about him. Everything has to do with reverse psychology because in the second course he's actually saying I really wish you would give me a second chance, but he's too proud to ask outright and to apologize. Any still doesn't want to admit that he created his circumstances on his own. Hence the reason he says he's not a victim. The trickey line to me is where he says I still belong don't get me wrong. I mean is he saying that he still belongs in The Game of Life so don't dismiss him and he'll pick himself up after having been a victim of his own circumstances..ie FOOLISH Choices?. Or another way I look at that is meaning that he still May belong(he lost her and now he's trying to make himself believe he still belongs..Like she has a place in her heart for him. He is trying to tell him so he's not wrong he still does belong with her) her since he is wanting a second chance.. but don't get him wrong he still is his own man. And she isn't right about everything.. because if she was then she would have realized he would want to come back home.

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 20th 2010 !⃝

    It's about a couple where the woman "wears the pants," per se. The man keeps telling the woman that he's allowed to be independent, that he doesn't care what the woman says anymore because it's his life. They then break up. This song is based off one of Joel's divorces.

  6. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 14th 2008 !⃝

    This is a song about a young man or woman who has perhaps just grown up and their parents keep telling them what to do and how to act. The person wants to do. "I don't care what you say anymore, it's my life" referring to the narrator talking to his/her parents

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