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Updated: Nov 6, 2023

(a/k/a the “Blues Brothers” song)

It doesn’t take some kind of scientist

To prove that life is tough

Philosophers and anthropologists

Can’t show how much is enough

The forecasters and meteorologists

Predict the weather’s gonna get rough

Just look ‘em in the eyes and call their bluff

And then everything’s gonna be great.

It doesn’t take an archaeologist

To look back at your past

No mining engineer or geologist

To fill your tank of gas

No ornamental horticulturist

To grow and mow your grass

Just do it all your way and do it with class

I tell you, everything’s gonna be great.

Turn off the tube and shut down the news

Put on your sunglasses and play the blues

You ain’t got nothing else to lose

Everything’s just gonna be great.

From the Spinning Wheel to the Centrifuge

From the Hollywood Bowl to the Moulin Rouge

The next gig will be dynamite! HUGE!

You’ll see! … everything’s gonna be great.

It doesn’t take an advice columnist

To steer where the bad things are rife

No amateur armchair psychologist

To compound your stress and strife

You don’t need no behaviorologist

To use your fork and knife

Just turn the key and take the ride of life

And everything is gonna be great.

You’re almost at the end of your trip

From the circuit and the loop all the way to the strip

Just spark up the machine and let ‘er rip

And everything is gonna be great.

And when you’ve reached the end of your rope

You gotta have trust and faith and hope

Beyond all the trite cliché and trope

Then everything is gonna be great.

And everything (everything)

Yeah, everything (everything)

Everything’s just gonna be great

I tell ya (I tell ya)

Lemme tell ya (lemme tell ya)

Everything is gonna, is gonna be great

And everything (everything)

Yeah, everything (everything)

Everything’s just gonna be great

I swear to ya (swear to ya)

Sock it to ya (Halleluyah)

Everything is gonna, just gonna be great

You don’t need economists or analysts

To know why your money sucks

No comptrollers or big dough rollers

To foretell financial flux

No soothsayers or prognosticators

Need remind you of your luck

Just push on through and go for those big bucks

And everything’s gonna be great.

You’ll pay your dues, you’ll pay your debt

You’ll increase your worth, your gross and net

Into the black night from the red sunset

And everything is gonna be great.

You’ll level the field, you’ll even the score

You’ll beat that devil, you’ll win the war

You won’t have to live like this no more

And everything’s just gonna be great.

And everything (everything)

Yeah, everything (everything)

Everything’s gonna be great

I tell ya (I tell ya)

Lemme tell ya (lemme tell ya)

Everything is gonna, just gonna be great

And everything (everything)

Yeah, everything (everything)

Everything’s gonna be great

Swing your hammer (raise a clamor)

Fly your banner (cry hosannah)

Everything is gonna, just gonna be great

The truth may hurt and times are tough

The rough get going when the going gets rough

Kick it into gear when you’ve had enough

And everything’s gonna be great.

Steer on through the stress and strife

Slice on through with sword and knife

Steam down the stream at the speed of life

And everything is gonna be great.

And when you’ve reached the end of your line

And all you want to do is quit and resign

You gotta believe your light will shine

And everything’s just gonna be great.

And when you’ve exhausted all your tries

And you’re sick and tired of all the lies

Just stick to your principles and the truth will rise …

And everything’s gonna be great.

©2023 The Hesh Inc.

"The 'Blues Brothers' in Tel Aviv" - original AI art by The Hesh Inc.
The "Blues Brothers" in Tel Aviv.

In the spring of 2007, I was living in Interlaken, New Jersey, at the home of a longtime friend of my family, where I had moved after the demise of my second marriage in Los Angeles. I was struggling to find my footing there, underemployed as a limousine driver while I tried finding more permanent and meaningful work as an editor. Life always felt unsteady, matching the state of my income; work was often inconsistent, and if there wasn't enough work, there wasn't enough money. Often, I would get one trip early in the morning, taking some mid-level executive to the airport, and then that would be it for the day. On days like that, I'd go back home after that trip was done and go back to sleep.

During one such day, as I slept in the middle of the morning, Jake and Elwood Blues, the legendary Blues Brothers themselves, appeared in my dream and sang this song. The whole dream appeared as a music video, with the brothers holed up in a sweltering apartment in West Hollywood, stripped down to their undershirts but still wearing their hats and sunglasses, singing about how life may be tough but it's going to get better. In the song's releases ("And everything ..."), the brothers were in their Bluesmobile, wearing their suits again, Elwood behind the wheel while Jake pushed the car down the Sunset Strip in the afternoon heat.

When I woke up, I remembered all the music but lost most of the words except for "life is tough," even though I could still picture Jake singing it clear as day. I knew I wanted to write (or perhaps channel) lyrics to that effect, so I called my longtime musical partner and frequent collaborator, Izzy Kieffer, and told him about the dream. However, Izzy was deep in the throes of his "Jewish Music" phase, and he suggested something with the words "קַוֵּה אֶל ה" ("Hope in the Lord"—Psalms 27:14) as a refrain. Well, I did not want to do that. I didn't want to make this a "JM" song with religious lyrics in "yeshivish" (a mishmosh of English, Yiddish, and Hebrew) as songs in that genre usually are. So the song stalled ... and stayed that way for years.

In the summer of 2022, in the wake of my father's passing, I began to sense my own mortality more acutely, and I set about the business of finishing my many dormant creative endeavors. I completed many unfinished songs and the projected albums they were part of; I was on a roll. I made a list of all those songs and finished them, one after the other. And then, in July 2023, I picked up this song, which basically had only one phrase ... "life is tough." So I was essentially starting the lyrics from scratch. Coaxing/channeling the lyrics was a difficult enough task as it was, but then all sorts of events would slow down any progress, particularly my trip to California in August and the Jewish High Holidays that followed soon after.

Then the horrible, brutal attack on Israel happened on October 7, 2023. Just about anything musical in my life came to a sudden, abrupt halt—listening, writing, practicing, anything else. How could I even think of music when faced with such horror and brutality? The song stopped along with it. But after two weeks of this, once the initial shock of the news morphed into more of a constant dull pain, I made it my business to pull myself out of the pits of depression—using the medium of my choice, music. I took my notebooks off my shelf and opened them, and although I was the farthest thing from feeling inspired in any way, I began writing. In short order, I finished the last verse ("You'll pay your dues ... ", which hinted at the war), both releases, and the outro ("The truth may hurt ... "). And although I hesitated at first because I felt the song and its "Blues Brothers" motif would make it seem flippant or frivolous, I decided to go ahead with posting it today because all in all, the brothers, singing through me, are offering a message of hope to everyone beset by troubles that seem beyond control. So yeah. Take heart, people. The world may seem a scary place right now, but ... everything's gonna be great.


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