THE WAY WE WERE (BARBRA STREISAND) LYRICS MEANING
The Way We Were (Barbra Streisand) is a touching ballad written by Marvin Hamlisch, Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman. It was released in December 1973 on Barbra's album 'The Way We Were'. The lyrics carry nostalgic memories of the narrator's past relationship with a man before it ended.
The line "the way we were" appears twice in the song, to signify that time has passed since their relationship and they are no longer together. It can also be interpreted as the narrator yearning for the relationship to return.
There is a refrain at the start of each verse, which can be either repeated or not. The first time, it reads: "We could have been so very happy and had so much fun" which is repeated in bars 2 and 4 of each verse. On the third time through, it changes slightly: "Now our love has gone" instead of "So much fun". This repeats in bars 3 and 5 across each of the four verses.
The song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song but lost to Star Wars (1977) from the film "Star Wars". It was also a Top 10 hit in the US.
The song was included in a medley played by Mariah Carey at her "Dreamlover" tour in 2002. The medley combined Sugar Town, I've Got a Crush on You, The Way We Were and Fever.
Most of the song is a slow ballad with strings and piano in the background. It has a jazzy bridge.
Barbra Streisand told Songfacts in an interview that she was also responsible for the concept of the album cover - either as a twosome or with her husband at the time, James Brolin - which was deemed too risqué at first and had to be shelved.
Many people who know of this song might not know the meaning or say anything. But there is something in these lyrics that has to do with it. In "The Way We Were", Barbra Streisand sings about feeling out of place with her old friends and how they seem so different now than before. They talk about old times, and it seems as if they are having fun. Then, she starts to get the feeling that they have changed and that they don't understand her anymore. She is waiting for them to understand her and give her a compliment.
But when her friend says she's getting fat, Barbra Streisand can't stand it anymore. She decides to go back home by herself instead of waiting for them to come with her. She says she came back to her old house, but it feels like a museum and it's not the same as when they were kids. She doesn't feel at home anymore. Her friend promises to come over and comfort her, but he doesn't show up until two weeks later, when she's already gone.
I feel that this song is about a relationship between two people. It could be romantic or friendship. Maybe it's romantic because she sings about how he understands her and other cute things. Maybe it's friendship because it seems like they've known each other forever, but he changes and she can't stand him anymore. I think that the song uses the past to show us a glimpse of what might happen in the future concerning their relationship. So, in short, I believe that this song is about a relationship that has gone wrong and has caused tension.
I was actually quite shocked at the meaning behind this song when I first read that. It seems to fit perfectly, and the lyrics are so true - they describe so many things that would be important in a relationship between two people. Although it's sad, I think it's good to know the meaning behind this song because it makes you think more about relationships and why they end up going wrong.