"Jacob's Ladder" is a 1986 song, written by Bruce Hornsby and his brother John Hornsby, that was recorded by Huey Lewis and the News and became a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1987.[1]

Set in Birmingham, Alabama, the song marries the Biblical image of Jacob's Ladder to someone who rejects proselytizingevangelists, and is instead struggling to get through life one day at a time:

Step by step, one by one, higher and higher
Step by step, rung by rung, climbing Jacob's ladder.

The song was given by Hornsby to his friend Lewis, and it appeared on the group's September 1986 album Fore!. It was the third single released from the album, and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for a week in March 1987.[1]

A music video was filmed of the band performing the song in a live concert.

Bruce Hornsby later recorded his own rendition of the song for his 1988 album, Scenes from the Southside. It became part of his concert repertoire as well; a live bluegrass-influenced version (very different from the version on Scenes from the Southside) appears on the 2006 album Intersections (1985–2005), which Hornsby performed with his brother John.


Chart (1987) Peak


Australia ARIA Charts 48
Canadian Singles Charts[2] 16
German Singles Chart 65
New Zealand Singles Chart 50
US Billboard Hot 100 1
US BillboardHot Adult Contemporary 17
US BillboardAlbum Rock Tracks 10
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