That’s the Way

Life is getting back to our regular routine this evening as our houseguest left early this afternoon for his home in Ontario, Canada. The busy and fun week went by quickly!

My selection for today keeps the tempo on the slow side, and is another song I heard yesterday when playing the February 26, 2023, archived episode of Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour on BBC 6 Music through the BBC Sounds app.

“That’s the Way” is an acoustic ballad, an outstanding piece by Led Zeppelin. I think the song is about life bringing change and challenges to us and that we must savour life and the present moment (e.g., kissing tiny flowers), accepting that death is a part of the life cycle. I believe it also touches on threats to the environment (dying fish) and perhaps prejudice (as the singer’s mother tells him he can’t play with his friend anymore; maybe the friend, who lives in another part of town, is of another race, economic class or sexual orientation…). Either way, the friendship is lost, and at the song’s end, the singer is moving toward acceptance of what his life is now.

“I don’t know how I’m going to tell you
I can’t play with you no more
I don’t know how I’m gonna do what mama told me
My friend, the boy next door
I can’t believe what people saying
You’re gonna let your hair hang down
I’m satisfied to sit here working all day long
You’re in the darker side of town

And when I’m out I see you walking
Why don’t your eyes see me
Could it be you’ve found another game to play
What did mama say to me?

That’s the way
Oh, that’s the way it ought to be
Yeah, yeah, mama say
That’s the way it ought to stay

And yesterday I saw you standing by the river
And weren’t those tears that filled your eyes
And all the fish that lay in dirty water dying
Had they got you hypnotized?
And yesterday I saw you kissing tiny flowers
But all that lives is born to die
And so I say to you that nothing really matters
And all you do is stand and cry

I don’t know what to say about it
When all you ears have turned away
But now’s the time to look and look again at what you see
Is that the way it ought to stay?

That’s the way
That’s the way it ought to be
Oh, don’t you know now, mama said
That’s the way it’s going to stay, yeah”

“That’s the Way,” by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.
Lyrics retrieved from

I remember hearing Led Zeppelin’s records regularly in my childhood home. As I mentioned in my post on Led Zep’s “Whole Lotta Love,” one of my brothers played them often, especially when his friends visited his basement suite.

This song reminds me of the changes my teenage years brought, growing up, feeling awkward, and often believing I didn’t fit in. Most kids think that way in some way or another, and it’s often hard to get to a place where they are comfortable talking about such things for fear of being ostracized by their peers. I don’t envy today’s young people as, while many of the problems are the same as when I grew up, the world is far more complicated than it was then. I’d like to have told my teenage self, “Hey, you’ll get through this tough stuff, and life will be good. That’s the way!”

“That’s the Way” comes from the album Led Zeppelin III (1970).

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here.

Please enjoy the official video from the Led Zeppelin YouTube channel:

With warm wishes,


2 thoughts on “That’s the Way

    1. Many do, but more is needed for sure. Young people have much to offer and gain with trusted adults guiding them in a tumultuous world.


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