That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be – Carly Simon | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#10) and Adult Contemporary (#6); 1971

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

After recording two albums of children’s songs as the Simon Sisters, Lucy and Carly went their separate ways. Lucy headed off to the altar, while Carly kept on singing. Carly’s first attempt at a solo career involved several members of The Band, and was slated to include a version of Baby Let Me Follow You Down with lyrics revised by Bob Dylan especially for Carly.

Sadly, it never saw the light of day. Carly retreated from the music for six years, reemerging in 1971 with a self-titled solo album. It was chock full of intimate songs, the first of which – That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be – reached #10 in mid-July.

Its lyrics related a true-to-life take on married life from the distaff side, which were actually written by a male friend of Carly’s, Esquire magazine film critic Jacob Brackman.

When the appearance of Anticipation by year’s end, Carly had released two hit albums in less than twelve months: a feat that brought her the 1971 Best New Artist Grammy.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Eddie Kramer

Lyrics Written by:

  • Carly Simon
  • Jacob Brackman


  • “That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be” was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female at the 14th Annual Grammy Awards in 1972