Published on July 15, 2016
“That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be” is a 1971 song performed by Carly Simon. Her friend and frequent collaborator Jacob Brackman wrote the lyrics and Simon wrote the music. The song was released as the lead single from her self-titled debut album, Carly Simon, and it reached peak positions of #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #6 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.
It was an art song with a semiclassical melody in the style of Gabriel Fauré, and Elektra staffers were worried the single was too emotionally complex to be released as Simon’s first single. With subject matter that includes “the parents’ bad marriage; the friends’ unhappy lives; the boyfriend’s enthusiasm for marriage but controlling nature; the woman’s initial resistance and ultimate capitulation.”
Simon was quoted as saying, “When I first wrote it I thought it was an unusual thing for people to break up, and now all my friends are divorced.”