Step by step, rung by rung, climbing Jacob's ladder.
The song was given by Hornsby to his friend Lewis, and it appeared on the group's September 1986 album Fore!. It was the third single released from the album, and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for a week in March 1987.
A music video was filmed of the band performing the song in a live concert.
Bruce Hornsby later recorded his own rendition of the song for his 1988 album, Scenes from the Southside. It became part of his concert repertoire as well; a live bluegrass-influenced version (very different from the version on Scenes from the Southside) appears on the 2006 album Intersections (1985–2005), which Hornsby performed with his brother John.