And So It Goes

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"And So It Goes"
Single by Billy Joel
from the album Storm Front
FormatCD single
StudioThe Hit Factory, Times Square Studio, New York, United States
GenreRock, piano rock
Songwriter(s)Billy Joel
Billy Joel singles chronology
"That's Not Her Style"
"And So It Goes"

"And So It Goes" is a lyric poem written by Billy Joel in 1983, though it was not released until six years later. It appeared as the tenth and final track of his 1989 studio album Storm Front. The original 1983 demo was released on the 2005 box set My Lives.[1] Joel wrote the song about a doomed relationship with model Elle Macpherson. Their relationship was dramatic, as Macpherson was only a teenager while Joel was reaching his mid-30s. Joel dated Macpherson for a brief time shortly before becoming involved with model Christie Brinkley, who would ultimately become his second wife. The song is unique for Joel as it is written in iambic tetrameter. In the original demo version of "And So It Goes," Joel sings the melody simply, accompanied by a simple piano backdrop, in a style very reminiscent of a hymn. On the 1989 album version, Joel sings and plays all the instrumentation (piano and synthesizers). The official video is from a live performance in front of a concert audience.

The single peaked at No. 37 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and No. 5 on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart in 1990. It has been covered by many subsequent artists (see "Cover Versions" below). The King’s Singers and others have developed several vocal harmony arrangements of the song, which are often performed by high school and college choirs.[2][3]

The song was featured throughout the Boston Legal episode "Son of the Defender".[4]

Cover versions[edit]


Chart (1990–1991) Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[12] 30
Japanese Singles Chart[13] 12
US Billboard Hot 100[14] 37
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[15] 5

The expression[edit]

  • In the 1969 novel Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut used the phrase "So it goes" as a transitional phrase to another subject, as a reminder, and as comic relief. Generally the phrase was used after every time someone's (or something's) death is described or mentioned in the novel.
  • From 1982 to 1983, NBC News produced NBC News Overnight with anchors Linda Ellerbee, Lloyd Dobyns. They used the phrase 'And so it goes' to transit from one news story to the next.
  • In 1920 Carl Sandburg published the poem, "Accomplished Facts," in Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1920, edited by William Stanley Braithwaite. In line 13 of the poem, the phrase, "So it goes." begins to be a refrain in the poem.


  1. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  2. ^ "King's Singers – Male Chorus". Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  3. ^ "And So It Goes, Pop Choral Series – Hal Leonard Online". Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  4. ^ "Boston Legal: Son of the Defender – Season 3, Episode 18". Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  5. ^ "Evening at Carnegie Hall [Live]". Retrieved 2016-12-31.
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ "Carmen Rasmusen". Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  8. ^ "Return To You: Sara Gazarek: Music". Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  9. ^ "Good Vibrations: The King's Singers: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  10. ^ "The Pink In The Grey: Kevin Wong: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  11. ^ "The Well: Jennifer Warnes: Music". Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 1286." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  13. ^ Oricon Singles Chart Oricon Singles Chart (Retrieved 2 November 2012)
  14. ^ "Billy Joel Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  15. ^ "Billy Joel Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved June 15, 2017.