The Rules of Life

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"The Rules of Life"
Demo by Rivers Cuomo
Album Alone XI: The EWBAITE Years
Recorded 2012
Writer(s) Rivers Cuomo
Status Released
Alone XI: The EWBAITE Years track listing
"The Rules of Life"
Ecce Homo track listing
"Narcissus Blooming"
(1)
"The Rules of Life"
(2)
"Gravity Will Bring You Down"
(3)

"The Rules of Life" is a song written by Rivers Cuomo from the demo compilation Ecce Homo. It was released in 2020 on the compilation Alone XI: The EWBAITE Years.

Background

The song appeared as a demo on Ecce Homo and was then revised during the making of Everything Will Be Alright in the End. It is alleged by fans who attended listening parties to have had almost sixty different versions, with differences ranging from a few lines to entire verses. Some fan re-creations were recorded prior to the song's release.

A set of lyrics appear in the liner notes for Everything Will Be Alright in the End that were likely intended for "The Rules of Life", though this is currently unconfirmed:

Learn how to make drinks
Eat with proper table manners
I will sit with my back straight
Properness in the littlest things

On November 20, versions 8, 38, and 41 of the song were sold on the demo storefront on riverscuomo.com as part of Alone XI: The EWBAITE Years. Later, more than 50 versions were made available as part of the bundle.

In the Ecce Homo document included in the bundle, the following notes were included about the song:

(Age 17): At graduation singing to other boys. Leaving the academy. Not going to college. Disillusionment with the life plan for success as set out by society.

Lyrics

Unknown version; fan re-creation

Practice Tchaikovsky
Till your fingers bleed
Study hard to ace your SATs
Find a partner
Someone to share your life with
Someone to soothe you when you get a joint disease

These are the rules of life
And we must abide if we want to be
Written up in history
These are the rules of life
And we must comply if we wanna be
Everything we're meant to be in life
These are simply the rules of life

Have a baby
Do some candy striping
Learn to trip on a mug of Earl Grey (or herbal) tea
Write a novel
And light some Goddess candles
Maybe a miracle can get you back on track

These are the rules of life
And we must abide if we want to be
Written up in history
These are the rules of life
And we must comply if we wanna be
Everything we're meant to be
Yeah

And then they'll fuck you
Fuck you
Yeah!
It's just a simple as that
Whoa (whoa)
Show them what you've got
You little snot
Give it a go

These are the rules of life
And we must abide if we want to be
Written up in history
These are the rules of life
And we must comply if we wanna be
Everything we're meant to be
These are the rules of life
These are the rules of life
These are the rules of life
These are the rules of life

The Rules of Life (ver. 8)

Go to Carlthorp
Even if you're stupid
Conjugate verbs 'til your cortex bleeds
Do some service
Maybe candy-striping
Things like that will round out your SATs.

These are the rules of life
And we must comply if we want to be
Written up in history
These are the rules of life
And we must abide if we want to be
Everything we're meant to be in life
These are simply the rules of life

Work at Berkshire
Slowly move your way up
Federal Ex don't come overnight for free
Find a partner
Someone to share your life with
Someone to soothe you
When you catch a dread disease

These are the rules of life
And we must comply if we want to be
Written up in history
These are the rules of life
And we must abide if we want to be
Everything we're meant to be in life

And then they'll fuck you
Fuck you
Yeah, it's just as simple as that, whoa
Show them what you got, you little snot
Give it a go

These are the rules of life
And we must comply if we want to be
Written up in history
These are the rules of life
And we must abide if we want to be
Everything we're meant to be
These are the rules of life
These are the rules of life

These are simply the rules of life

The Rules of Life (ver. 36)

Adolf Hitler sent a message to me
Told me to sing some songs suchs do-re-mi
Every schoolgirl loves the inner logic
What goes up must come down eventually

These are the rules of life
And we must comply if we wanna be written up in history
These are the rules of life
And we must abide if we wanna be everything we’re meant to be in life
These are simply the rules of life

Steven Pinker told me watch your language
You can talk but you can't communicate
Bruce Willis will win us with his fitness
Now you know why MIT is so great

These are the rules of life
And we must comply if we wanna be written up in history
These are the rules of life
And we must abide if we wanna be everything we’re meant to be in life
These are simply the rules of life

And then they’ll fuck you, fuck you
Yeah, it’s just as simple as that, woah
Show them what you got
You little snot
Give it a go

These are the rules of life
And we must comply if we wanna be written up in history
These are the rules of life
And we must abide if we wanna be everything we’re meant to be in life
These are simply the rules of life

The Rules of Life (ver. 38/41)

Quit your boozin'
Flush away the lortab
Learn to trip on a mug of herbal tea
Find a partner
Someone to ease your longing
When you conflagrate your Hustler magazines

These are the rules of life
And we must comply if we want to be
Written up in history
These are the rules of life
And we must abide if we want to be
Everything we're meant to be in life

Leave the rat race
No more wheeling, dealing
Lock yourself in the closet with a snack
Burn nag champa
Light some goddess candles
Pray a miracle will get you back on track

These are the rules of life
And we must comply if we want to be
Written up in history
These are the rules of life
And we must abide if we want to be
Everything we're meant to be in life

And then they'll fuck you
Fuck you
Yeah, it's just as simple as that, whoa
Show them what you got, you little snot
Give it a go

These are the rules of life
And we must comply if we want to be
Written up in history
These are the rules of life
And we must abide if we want to be
Everything we're meant to be in life

The Rules of Life (ver. 58)

Hit the grindstone early every morning
Practice Czerny 'til your fingers bleed
Tell the whole truth even when it's awkward
Even when nobody else on Earth agrees

These are the rules of life
And we must comply if we wanna be written up in history
These are the rules of life
And we must abide if we wanna be everything we’re meant to be in life
These are simply the rules of life

Scrub the ground floor, slowly work your way up
Nothing meaningful comes overnight for free
Find a partner, someone to share your life with
Someone to soothe you when you catch a dread disease

These are the rules of life
And we must comply if we wanna be written up in history
These are the rules of life
And we must abide if we wanna be everything we’re meant to be in life
These are simply the rules of life

And then they’ll fuck you, fuck you
Yeah, it’s just as simple as that, woah
Show them what you got
You little snot
Give it a go

These are the rules of life
And we must comply if we wanna be written up in history
These are the rules of life
And we must abide if we wanna be everything we’re meant to be in life
These are simply the rules of life

The Rules of Life (Ecce Homo document)

Go to Carlthorp even if you’re freaky
Practice Czerny till your fingers bleed
Do some service, maybe candy striping
Things like that will round out your SATs

These are the rules of life
And we must comply if we wanna be written up in history
These are the rules of life
And we must abide if we wanna be everything we’re meant to be in life
These are simply the rules of life

Work at Berkshire, slowly move your way up
Federal Express don’t come overnight for free
Find a partner, someone to share your life with
Someone to soothe you when you catch a dread disease

And then they’ll fuck you, fuck you
Yeah, it’s just as simple as that, woah
Show them what you got
You little snot
Give it a go

See also