It Is What It Is

Lyrics: John Barlow
Music: Michael Kang, Brent Mydland

These John Barlow lyrics were originally set to music by Brent Mydland. No recording seems to circulate, but the lyrics appeared in various lyric collections. More recently, the lyrics have been set to music by Michael Kang (with a few variations) and played by String Cheese Incident (thanks to Jim Shermersheim for help with the SCI lyrics).

It's a cobbled dance that no one's planned, but least of all the dancer
A crap shoot dream you summon from the corner of one eye
If you need an explanation, there's no quick and easy answer (note 1)
Stop thinking for a moment and give this one a try
'Cause it is what it is, what it is, what it is, what it is

It is what it is, what it might have been, it isn't
An infinity of mornings, and only one shines through
It is what it is, gonna grab the day we're given
'Cause it is what it is, and what it is will have to do

You stop waiting for the check to come, the postman's on vacation
Take a job that starts at midnight, give completely up on luck
A Mormon boy comes knocking, when you move to battle stations (note 2)
He says, "Wait, my name's Mark Anthony and here's your million bucks"
'Cause it is what it is, what it is, what it is, what it is

It is what it is, what you had in mind, it won't be
Despite your great endeavors, the prize comes free to you
It is what it is, if you feel surprised, then don't be
'Cause it is what it is, and what it is will have to do

Quit glancing past your shoulder (note 3)
No one is following you
Keep dancing, getting bolder
Nothing else that you can do

Animals eat animals, creation eats the winner
Fall down to the beetles, and crawl back up again (note 4)
It's a long way up the chain of life, usually you're for dinner (note 5)
You'll find that it's no easier for elephants or men
'Cause it is what it is, what it is, what it is, what it is

It is what it is, what you had in mind, it won't be
Despite your great endeavors, the prize comes free to you
It is what it is, if you feel surprised, then don't be
'Cause it is what it is, and what it is will have to do
Notes
(1) the original version seems to have been "... there's a quick and easy answer"
(2) the original version was "A Scientologist comes knocking ..."
(3) this bridge section isn't in the original
(4) "start back up again" in the original
(5) I think this is what SCI sing - the original version was "... not easy for beginners"