“It’s My Life”

“It’s My Life”

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Story Behind the Song

Richie Sambora
“It’s My Life”

Written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and Max Martin
Recorded by Bon Jovi

"It’s My Life” is a very empowering, optimistic song. The interesting thing that I’ve learned about the song is that the lyric appeals to girls and guys, young and old, from age 6 to 60. Everyone can understand its essence and feel good when they hear it. I think about my daughter, Ava, and the fact that she can be empowered by it.

The idea for the chorus came about because, within the band, we identify with the Frank Sinatra, Rat Pack thing. I’m Dean, Jon (Bon Jovi) is Frank.

My heart is like an open highway

Like Frankie said,

“I did it my way.”

I just wanna live while I’m alive,

It’s my life.

Jon and I both write music and lyrics. Our relationship is unique because we each are fortunate enough to have fame and fortune, but they came at different speeds. Jon and I naturally have a social conscience because of the modest way we grew up in New Jersey. Now, each time we write a hit song and it hits big, millions of people relate to the song all over the world, not just in America. That core, that vein of humanity we all share, is what resonates.

The important thing about songs like “It’s My Life” and “Livin’ On A Prayer” is that they reach everyone — even if the people hearing it don’t understand the language. We’ve played in cities, countries, and continents around the world. When we walk on stage and everyone in the audience is singing, they’re singing the lyrics in English. These songs transcend language and culture.

Early on, when we started out, only superstar acts toured globally. We were one of the first bands who actively made a point to go everywhere, including places most artists wouldn’t visit. Everyone had an amazing time — the audiences and the band. We reached out to a global audience but the songs were what made it possible to have the fan base around the world we have today — because the lyrics connected to the people and the people got them.

It’s a privilege to me to be able to help empower people in their lives. It makes me happy to be able to change a person’s life in some way and help to make them happier, move them or help them get through a tough period and to offer them some optimism.

Both this song and “Livin’ On A Prayer” accomplish that, I think. We get lots of feedback from people telling us that we’ve helped them. The good karma comes back to us because their support allows us to still do what it is we love to do. You get what you give. In fact, giving more to get a little is okay. In our own way, our songs allow us to all help each other.

“It’s My Life”

This ain’t a song for the broken-hearted

No silent prayer for the faith-departed.

I ain’t gonna be just a face in the crowd

You’re gonna hear my voice

When I shout it out loud.

It’s my life

It’s now or never

I ain’t gonna live forever

I just want to live while I’m alive.

(It’s my life)

My heart is like an open highway

Like Frankie said,

“I did it my way.”

I just wanna live while I’m alive,

It’s my life.

This is for the ones who stood their ground

For Tommy and Gina who never backed down.

Tomorrow’s getting harder make no mistake

Luck ain’t even lucky

Got to make your own breaks.

It’s my life

And it’s now or never

I ain’t gonna live forever

I just want to live while I’m alive.

(It’s my life)

My heart is like an open highway

Like Frankie said,

“I did it my way.”

I just want to live while I’m alive

’Cause it’s my life.

Better stand tall when they’re calling you out

Don’t bend, don’t break, hell, don’t back down.

It’s my life

And it’s now or never

’Cause I ain’t gonna live forever

I just want to live while I’m alive.

(It’s my life)

My heart is like an open highway

Like Frankie said,

“I did it my way.”

I just want to live while I’m alive.

It’s my life

And it’s now or never

’Cause I ain’t gonna live forever

I just want to live while I’m alive.

(It’s my life)

My heart is like an open highway

Like Frankie said,

“I did it my way.”

I just want to live while I’m alive

’Cause it’s my life.

Words and Music by Jon Bon Jovi, Martin Sandberg and Richie Sambora. © 2000 UNIVERSAL - POLYGRAM INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING, INC., BON JOVI PUBLISHING, IMAGEM LONDON LTD., SONY/ATV MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC and AGGRESSIVE MUSIC. All Rights for BON JOVI PUBLISHING Controlled and Administered by UNIVERSAL - POLYGRAM INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING, INC. All Rights for IMAGEM LONDON LTD. in the U.S. and Canada Administered by UNIVERSAL MUSIC - Z TUNES LLC. All Rights for SONY/ATV MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC and AGGRESSIVE MUSIC Administered by SONY/ATV MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

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