Billy Joel: And So It Goes

Written by John Brancy

Baritone

October 27, 2016

I was first introduced to this song when I was just 13 years old. Back before I knew I wanted to be a professional singer, or a professional anything for that matter. I remember being drawn to the simple melody and the lovely poem. We had sung it for our troubadour choir and competed in many choral competitions with it. It wasn’t until my first real breakup and heartbreak in high school that I realized the depth of the words in this song and where Billy Joel was going with it. Anyone who has experienced the break of a long term, love filled relationship will understand and feel the meaning in these words all too familiarly. I found myself singing this song from time to time to remind me of this feeling and to know that when you do give your love to someone, there is always the chance it could end in tears and a broken heart.

I’m not going to lie to any of you, life can be hard at times, and emotions can take over everything you do and are. Things change between people, sometimes one person might recognize it, other times it goes unsaid and years later, the unthinkable happens. I’m writing so explicitly here, because I’m reaching out to that part of you. The part that holds your heart in your hands and feels the very essence of this song: if my silence was my mistake, I will speak, if I spoke too much, I will listen, if my actions weren’t right, I will change course, if you needed more of me, you can have every bit.

Love is the most powerful energy on our planet. It has the distinct ability to simultaneously make one full of happiness and sadness. It strikes you with beauty, truth, honor and devotion. When love is lost, confusion sets in, taking its place causing you to retreat and recoil inwards until you cannot go any further. Billy Joel tapped this feeling in And So it Goes and his music and words have calmed the hearts of many who have experienced serious lost love.

Take a listen, remember or feel that moment, and don’t forget, this is life. It’s worth living every minute of it just to remember the happiest moments and maybe, just maybe, feel loved like that again.

In every heart there is a room
A sanctuary safe and strong
To heal the wounds from lovers past
Until a new one comes along

I spoke to you in cautious tones
You answered me with no pretense
And still I feel I said too much
My silence is my self defense

And every time I’ve held a rose
It seems I only felt the thorns
And so it goes, and so it goes
And so will you soon I suppose

But if my silence made you leave
Then that would be my worst mistake
So I will share this room with you
And you can have this heart to break

And this is why my eyes are closed
It’s just as well for all I’ve seen
And so it goes, and so it goes
And you’re the only one who knows

So I would choose to be with you
That’s if the choice were mine to make
But you can make decisions too
And you can have this heart to break

And so it goes, and so it goes
And you’re the only one who knows.

John Brancy

Award-winning baritone John Brancy is on the verge of an exciting and diverse performing career, and has been hailed by The New York Times as “a vibrant, resonant presence”. John is a longtime favorite of NYFOS audiences, having participated in all three NYFOS residency programs, as well as in NYFOS Next, After Hours, and Mainstage performances. We are thrilled that he is returning to NYFOS in Rodgers, Rodgers & Guettel on November 1 and November 3, 2016.

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