Billy Joel

American musician (born 1949)

William Martin "Billy" Joel (born May 9, 1949, in the Bronx, New York) is a pianist, singer and songwriter. A six-time Grammy award winner, he is one of the best selling artists in music history.

I don't want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard.
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are.
~ Just the Way You Are


  • Don't take any shit from anybody!
    • After singing "Piano Man" at the Madison Square Garden in New York City, (25 February 2006), also used as farewell comment to the audience after many shows.
  • And in truth, of course, I'm not just 60 - I'm twelve, I'm 23, I'm 37, I'm 42, I'm 18. I'm every age I've ever been. Depending on what day of the week it is and what the situation calls for at the moment.

Song lyrics

  • She's got a way about her
    I don't know what it is.
    But I know that I can't live without her.
    She's got a way of pleasin'
    I don't know what it is
    But there doesn't have to be a reason anyway.
  • She comes to me when I'm feelin' down
    Inspires me without a sound
    She touches me and I get turned around.
    • She's Got a Way.
  • You can walk away from your mistakes
    You can turn your back on what you do
    Just a little smile is all it takes
    And you can have your cake and eat it too.
    Loneliness will get to you somehow
    But ev'rybody loves you now.
  • It's nine o' clock on a Saturday
    Regular crowd shuffles in
    There's an old man sitting next to me
    Making love to his tonic and gin.
  • Sing us a song you're the piano man
    Sing us a song tonight.
    Well we're all in the mood for a melody
    And you've got us feeling alright.
    • Piano Man.
  • And the waitress is practicing politics
    As the businessmen slowly get stoned
    Yes they're sharing a drink they call loneliness
    But it's better than drinking alone.
    • Piano Man.
  • If I traveled all my life
    And I never get to stop and settle down
    Long as I have you by my side
    There's a roof above and good walls all around
    You're my castle, you're my cabin and my instant pleasure dome
    I need you in my house 'cause you're my home.
  • From a town known as Wheeling, West Virginia
    Rode a boy with a six-gun in his hand
    And his daring life of crime made him a legend in his time
    East and west of the Rio Grande.
    Well, he started with a bank in Colorado
    In the pocket of his vest a Colt he hid.
    And his age and his size took the teller by surprise,
    And the word spread of Billy the Kid.
  • So you play your albums and you smoke your pot
    And you meet your girlfriend in the parking lot
    Oh, but still you're aching for the things you haven't got,
    What went wrong?
    And if you can't understand why your world is so dead
    And why you've got to keep in style and feed your head
    Well, you're twenty one and still you mother makes your bed
    And that's too long.
  • Streetlife serenaders
    Have no obligations
    Hold no grand illusions
    Need no stimulation.
    • Streetlife Serenader.
  • Hiding up in the mountains
    Laying low in the canyons
    Goin' nowhere in the streets
    With the Spanish names
    Makin' love with the natives
    In their Hollywood places
    Making up for all the time gone by
    Los Angelenos
    All came from somewhere.
  • I am the entertainer and I know just where I stand
    Another serenader and another long haired band
    Today I am your champion, I may have won your hearts,
    But I know the game, you'll forget my name,
    And I won't be here in another year
    If I don't stay on the charts.
  • I am the entertainer, I've come to do my show
    You've heard my latest record, it's been on the radio
    It took me years to write it, they were the best years of my life
    It was a beautiful song but it ran too long
    If you're gonna have a hit you gotta make it fit
    So they cut it down to 3:05.
    • The Entertainer.
  • I am the entertainer, the idol of my age
    I make all kinds of money when I go on the stage
    You see me in the papers, I've been in the magazines
    But if I go cold, I won't get sold
    I get put in the back in the discount rack
    Like another can of beans.
    • The Entertainer.
  • So many faces in and out of my life
    Some will last
    Some will be just now and then.
    Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes
    I'm afraid it's time for goodbye again.
    Say goodbye to Hollywood
    Say goodbye my baby
    Say goodbye to Hollywood
    Say goodbye my baby.
  • Now we are forced to recognize our inhumanity
    Our reason coexists with our insanity
    And though we choose between reality and madness
    It's either sadness or euphoria.
    • Summer, Highland Falls.
  • Some folks like to get away
    Take a holiday from the neighborhood.
    Hop a flight to Miami Beach
    Or to Hollywood
    But I'm talking a Greyhound
    On the Hudson River Line.
    I'm in a New York state of mind.
  • It was so easy living day by day
    Out of touch with the rhythm and blues
    But now I need a little give and take
    The New York Times, The Daily News.
    • New York State of Mind.
  • There's a place in the world for the angry young man
    With his working class ties and his radical plans
    He refuses to bend he refuses to crawl
    And he's always at home with his back to the wall
    And he's proud of his scars and the battles he's lost
    And struggles and bleeds as he hangs on his cross
    And likes to be known as the angry young man.
  • I believe I've passed the age of consciousness and righteous rage
    I found that just surviving was a noble fight
    I once believed in causes too
    I had my pointless point of view
    And life went on no matter who was wrong or right.
    • Angry Young Man.
  • So before we end and then begin
    We'll drink a toast to how it's been
    A few more hours to be complete
    A few more nights on satin sheets
    A few more times that I can say
    I've loved these days.
    • I've Loved These Days.
  • Seen the lights go out Broadway
    I saw the Empire State laid low
    And life went on beyond the Palisades
    They all bought Cadillacs
    And left there long ago.
  • You know those lights were bright on Broadway
    That was so many years ago
    Before we all lived here in Florida
    Before the Mafia took over Mexico.
    There are not many who remember
    They say a handful still survive
    To tell the world about
    The way the lights went out
    And keep the memory alive.
    • Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway).
She can kill with a smile
She can wound with her eyes
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
And she only reveals what she wants you to see
She hides like a child
But she's always a woman to me.
~ She's Always a Woman
  • Well, we all fall in love
    But we disregard the danger
    Though we share so many secrets
    There are some we never tell.
    Why were you so surprised
    That you never saw the stranger?
    Did you ever let your lover see
    The stranger in yourself?
  • I don't want clever conversation
    I never want to work that hard.
    I just want someone
    that I can talk to
    I want you just the way you are.

    I need to know that you will always be
    The same old someone that I knew
    What will it take till you believe in me
    The way that I believe in you.
  • I remember those days hanging out
    At the village green
    Engineer boots, leather jackets
    And tight blue jeans
    Drop a dime in the box play the
    Song about New Orleans
    Cold beer, hot lights
    My sweet romantic teenage nights.
  • Brenda and Eddie were the popular steadies
    And the king and the queen of the prom
    Riding around with the car top down and the radio on
    Nobody looked any finer
    Or was more of a hit at the Parkway Diner
    We never knew we could want more than that out of life
    Surely Brenda and Eddie would always know how to survive.
    • Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.
  • Brenda and Eddie had had it already
    By the summer of '75
    From the high to the low
    To the end of the show
    For the rest of their lives.
    They couldn't go back to the greasers.
    The best they could do was pick up the pieces.
    We always knew they would both find a way to get by.
    That's all I heard about Brenda and Eddie.
    Can't tell you more than I told you already.
    And here we are wavin' Brenda and Eddie goodbye.
    • Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.
  • But you know you can't always see when you're right
    You got your passion you got your pride
    But don't you know only fools are satisfied?
    Dream on, but don't imagine they'll all come true
    When will you realize
    Vienna waits for you?
  • You might have heard I run with a dangerous crowd
    We ain't too pretty we ain't too proud
    We might be laughing a bit too loud
    But that never hurt no one.
    Come on Virginia show me a sign
    Send up a signal I'll throw you the line.
    The stained-glass curtain you're hiding behind
    Never lets in the sun.
    And only the good die young.
  • They say there's a heaven for those who will wait
    Some say it's better but I say it ain't.
    I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints
    Sinners are much more fun...
    And only the good die young.
    • Only the Good Die Young.
  • She can kill with a smile
    She can wound with her eyes
    She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
    And she only reveals what she wants you to see
    She hides like a child
    But she's always a woman to me.
  • Oh, she takes care of herself
    She can wait if she wants
    She's ahead of her time
    Oh, and she never gives out
    And she never gives in
    She just changes her mind.
    • She's Always a Woman.
Honesty is such a lonely word
Everyone is so untrue
Honesty is hardly ever heard
And mostly what I need from you.
~ Honesty
  • Because you had to be a big shot, didn't you
    You had to open up your mouth
    You had to be a big shot, didn't you
    All your friends were so knocked out
    You had to have the last word, last night
    You know what everything's about
    You had to have a white hot spotlight
    You had to be a big shot last night.
  • Honesty is such a lonely word
    Everyone is so untrue
    Honesty is hardly ever heard
    And mostly what I need from you.
  • I can always find someone
    To say they sympathize
    If I wear my heart out on my sleeve.
    But I don't want some pretty face
    To tell me pretty lies.
    All I want is someone to believe.
    • Honesty.
  • I don't need you to worry for me cause I'm alright.
    I don't want you to tell me it's time to come home.
    I don't care what you say anymore, this is my life.
    Go ahead with your own life and leave me alone.
  • I never said you had to offer me a second chance.
    I never said I was a victim of circumstance.
    I still belong, don't get me wrong.
    And you can speak your mind
    But not on my time.
    • My Life.
  • They will tell you, you can't sleep alone in strange place.
    Then they'll tell you, you can't sleep with somebody else.
    Ah, but sooner or later you sleep in your own space.
    Either way, it's okay, you wake with yourself.
    • My Life.
  • Now think of all the years you tried to
    Find someone to satisfy you.
    I might be as crazy as you say.
    If I'm crazy then it's true
    That it's all because of you
    And you wouldn't want me any other way.
    You may be right
    I may be crazy.
    But it just may be a lunatic you're looking for.
    It's too late to fight
    It's too late to change me.
    You may be wrong for all I know
    But you may be right.
  • It's just a fantasy
    It's not the real thing
    It's just a fantasy
    It's not the real thing.
    But sometimes a fantasy
    Is all you need.
  • All your life you had to stand in line
    Still you’re standing on your feet.
    All your choices made you change your mind
    Now your calendar's complete.
    Don't wait for answers
    Just take your chances
    Don't ask me why.
  • Yesterday you were an only child
    Now your ghosts have gone away.
    You can kill them in the classic style.
    Now you, "parlez vous francais"
    Don't look for answers
    You took your chances
    Don't ask my why.
    • Don't Ask Me Why.
  • What's the matter with the crowd I'm seeing?
    "Don't you know that they're out of touch?"
    Should I try to be a straight 'A' student?
    "If you are then you think too much.
    Don't you know about the new fashion honey?
    All you need are looks and a whole lotta money."
    It's the next phase, new wave , dance craze, anyways
    It's still rock and roll to me.
    Everybody's talkin' 'bout the new sound
    Funny, but it's still rock and roll to me.
  • Every child had a pretty good shot
    To get at least as far as their old man got
    But something happened on the way to that place
    They threw an American flag in our face.
  • Well I'm living here in Allentown
    And it's hard to keep a good man down
    But I won't be getting up today.
    • Allentown.
  • You have to learn to pace yourself.
    You're just like everybody else.
    You've only had to run so far,
    So good.
    But you will come to a place
    Where the only thing you feel
    Are loaded guns in your face.
    And you'll have to deal with
  • We held the coastline
    They held the highlands
    And they were sharp
    As sharp as knives
    They heard the hum of our motors
    They counted the rotors
    And waited for us to arrive.
    And we would all go down together
    We said we'd all go down together
    Yes we would all go down together.
  • You don't have to start a fight
    I'm a man who can't say no
    If you've got a little risky business
    Just point me where you want to go
    Take me to the power
    Take me to the heat
    Take me to the cleaners
    If it's open to the street
    Something's got to pay off
    Something's got to break
    Someone's got a fortune that they're begging
    Me to take.
    • Easy Money.
  • Some people stay far away from the door
    If there's a chance of it opening up
    They hear a voice in the hall outside
    And hope that it just passes by.
    Some people live with the fear of a touch
    And the anger of having been a fool.
    They will not listen to anyone
    So nobody tells them a lie.
  • Some people hope for a miracle cure
    Some people just accept the world as it is.
    But I'm not willing to lay down and die
    Because I am an innocent man.
    • An Innocent Man.
  • If you said goodbye to me tonight
    There would still be music left to write.
    What else could I do?
    I'm so inspired by you.
    That hasn't happened for the longest time.
  • I don't care what consequence it brings
    I have been a fool for lesser things.
    I want you so bad.
    I think you ought to know that
    I intend to hold you for
    The longest time.
    • The Longest Time.
  • Listen boy
    Don't want to see you let a good thing
    Slip away.
    You know I don't like watching
    Anybody make the same mistakes
    I made.
    She's a real nice girl
    And she's always there for you.
    But a nice girl wouldn't tell you what you should do.
  • Tell her about it
    Tell her everything you feel
    Give her every reason to accept
    That you're for real.
    Tell her about it.
    Tell her all your crazy dreams.
    Let her know you need her
    Let her know how much she means.
    • Tell Her About It.
  • Tell her about it
    Let her know how much you care
    When she can't be with you
    Tell her you wish you were there.
    Tell her about it.
    Every day before you leave
    Pay her some attention
    Give her something to believe.
    • Tell Her About It.
  • Uptown girl
    She's been living in her uptown world.
    I bet she never had a backstreet guy
    I bet her mama never told her why.
    I'm gonna try for an uptown girl.
    She's been living in her white bread world
    As long as anyone with hot blood can
    And now she's looking for a downtown man
    That's what I am.
  • I know the moment isn't right
    To tell the girl a comical line
    To keep the conversation light
    I guess I'm just frightened out of my mind.
    But if that's how I feel
    Then it's the best feeling I've ever known
    It's undeniably real
    Leave a tender moment alone.
  • Learned stickball as a formal education.
    Lost a lot of fights
    But it taught me how to lose O.K..
    Oh, I heard about sex
    But not enough.
    I found you could dance
    And still look tough anyway.
    Oh yes I did.
    I found out a man ain't just being macho.
    Ate an awful lot of late night drive-in food, drank a lot of take home pay.
    I thought I was the Duke of Earl
    When I made it with a red-haired girl
    In the Chevrolet.
  • You can get just so much
    From a good thing.
    You can linger too long
    In your dreams.
    Say goodbye to the
    Oldies but goodies.
    You know the good ole days weren't always good,
    And tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems.
    • Keeping the Faith.
  • I told you my reasons
    For the whole revival.
    Now I'm going outside to have
    An ice cold beer in the shade.
    Oh, I'm going to listen to my 45's.
    Ain't it wonderful to be alive
    When the rock 'n' roll plays, yeah.
    When the memory stays, yeah.
    I'm keeping the faith.
    Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
    Keeping the faith.
    • Keeping the Faith.
  • This is the time to remember
    'Cause it will not last forever.
    These are the days to hold on to
    'Cause we won't, although we'll want to.
    This is the time,
    But time is gonna change.
    You've given me the best of you
    But now I need the rest of you.
  • Some love is just a lie of the heart
    The cold remains of what began with a passionate start.
    And they may not want it to end
    But it will, it's just a question of when.
    I've lived long enough to have learned
    The closer you get to the fire the more you get burned.
    But that won't happen to us
    Because it's always been a matter of trust.
  • She's got style and she's got her own money
    So she's not another honey you can quickly disarm
    She's got the eyes that make you realize
    She won't be hypnotized by your usual charm.
    You've got your plan of attack
    That won't attract the modern woman
    When you're an old fashioned man
    She understands the things you're doin'
    She's a modern woman.
  • Late at night
    When it's dark and cold
    I reach out
    For someone to hold
    When I'm blue
    When I'm lonely
    She comes through
    She's the only one who can
    My baby grand
    Is all I need.
  • They say that no one's gonna play this on the radio
    They said the melancholy blues were dead and gone
    But only songs like these
    Played in minor keys
    Keep those memories holding on.
    • Baby Grand.
  • We didn't start the fire
    It was always burning
    Since the world's been turning
    We didn't start the fire
    No we didn't light it
    But we tried to fight it.
  • I've got bills to pay and children who need clothes.
    I know there's fish out there but where God only knows.
    They say these waters aren't what they used to be.
    But I've got people back on land who count on me.
  • Sometimes I'm tired, sometimes I'm shot.
    Sometimes I don't know how much more I've got.
    Maybe I'm headed over the hill
    Maybe I've set myself up for the kill.
    Tell me how much do you think you can take
    Until the heart in you is starting to break?
    Sometimes it feels like it will.
  • Well I'm shameless when it comes to loving you.
    I'd do anything you want me to
    I'd do anything at all.
    And I'm standing here for all the world to see
    There ain't that much left of me
    That has very far to fall.
  • And so my child and I came to this place
    To meet him eye to eye and face to face.
    He made my daughter laugh, then we embraced.
    We never knew what friends we had
    Until we came to Leningrad.
  • But darling there you go, slipping away into a state of grace
    Granted, this world is not a perfect place.
    Still it's the world that I'm in.
    Here I am talking while you don't hear a word I say.
    Knowing you're watching me from far away
    Somewhere that I've never been.
    • State of Grace.
  • And every time I've held a rose
    It seems I only felt the thorns.
    And so it goes, and so it goes.
    And so will you soon I suppose.
  • I've seen those big machines come rolling through the quiet pines.
    Blue suits and bankers with their Volvos and their valentines.
    Give us this day our daily discount outlet merchandise.
    Raise up a multiplex and we will make a sacrifice.
    Now we're gonna get the big business.
    Now we're gonna get the real thing.
    Everybody's all excited about it.
  • Advice is cheap you can take it from me.
    It's yours to keep 'cause opinions are free.
    Nobody knows about the trouble I've seen.
    Nobody's perfect, mister, nobody's clean.
    It cost too much and takes too long to find out too late.
    Some words are not heard 'til after they're spoken.
    Your role was protective, your soul was too defective.
    Some people just don't have a heart to be broken.
    • The Great Wall of China.
  • We could have gone all the way to the Great Wall of China
    If you'd only had a little more faith in me.
    In lieu of diamonds, gold and platinum, reminders will still shine bright.
    All the king's men and all the king's horses
    Can't put you together the way you used to be.
    We could have been standing on the Great Wall of China.
    • The Great Wall of China.
  • These days there's a million ways
    To be pulled and torn, to be misdirected.
    These times there are sins and crimes
    On the morning shows for the disconnected.
    I look and I write my book
    And I walk away with the wrong impressions.
    I don't care 'cause I've done my share. And I need some time for my own obsessions
    It doesn't matter, I've let that life go by.
    It's been forgotten 'cause all I wanted was you.
    • Blonde Over Blue.
  • Some days I have to give right in to the blues
    Despite how I try to keep fightin'.
    It's a sure shot I'm going to lose.
    And I'll tell you why.
    You think I'm crazy.
    It's such a sad composition.
    But can you blame me
    For what's been causing my bad disposition?
    Ain't nothing new with my blue situation
    And nothing's fine it's just a minor variation.
    • A Minor Variation.
  • Some things were perfectly clear, seen with the vision of youth.
    No doubts and nothing to fear, I claimed the corner on truth.
    These days it's harder to say I know what I'm fighting for.
    My faith is falling away.
    I'm not that sure anymore.
    Shades of grey wherever I go
    The more I find out the less that I know.
    Black and white is how it should be
    But shades of grey are the colors I see.
    • Shades of Grey.
  • She waits for me at night, she waits for me in silence.
    She gives me all her tenderness and takes away my pain.
    And so far she hasn't run, though I swear she's had her moments.
    She still believes in miracles while others cry in vain.
  • It's all about soul.
    It's all about faith and a deeper devotion.
    It's all about soul.
    'Cause under the love is a stronger emotion.
    She's got to be strong
    'Cause so many things getting out of control
    Should drive her away.
    So why does she stay?
    It's all about soul.
    • All About Soul.
  • Goodnight, my angel
    Time to close your eyes.
    And save these questions for another day.
    I think I know what you've been asking me.
    I think you know what I've been trying to say.
    I promised I would never leave you.
    And you should always know
    Wherever you may go
    No matter where you are
    I never will be far away.
  • Goodnight, my angel
    Now it's time to dream.
    And dream how wonderful your life will be.
    Someday your child may cry
    And if you sing this lullabye
    Then in your heart
    There will always be a part of me.

    Someday we'll all be gone.
    But lullabyes go on and on...
    They never die.
    That's how you
    And I
    Will be.
    • Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel).
  • In the middle of the night
    I go walking in my sleep
    Through the valley of fear
    To a river so deep.
    And I've been searching for something
    Taken out of my soul
    Something I would never lose
    Something somebody stole.
  • You're having a hard time and lately you don't feel so good;
    You're getting a bad reputation in your neighborhood.
    It's alright, it's alright;
    Sometimes that's what it takes.
    You're only human, you're allowed to make your share of mistakes.
  • Don't forget your second wind;
    Sooner or later you'll get your second wind.
    It's not always easy to be living in this world of pain.
    You're gonna be crashing into stone walls again and again.
    It's alright, it's alright.
    • You're Only Human (Second Wind).
  • I'm young enough to still see the passionate boy I used to be.
    But I'm old enough to say I got a good look at the other side.
    I know we got to work real hard, maybe even for the rest of our lives.
    But right now I just want to take what I can
    Get tonight.

    While the night is still young,
    I want to keep making love to you,
    While the night is still young.

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