General Billy Joel v Elton Johm

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FINGERS

TMMAC Addict
Nov 14, 2019
15,772
18,987
I don't know about that, man - I always found it a pretty miserable song. Always liked it, but always figured it sucks to be any of the guys referenced in the song.

🇦🇺

Its just an observation of life as he saw it.

Based on his stint as a young guy in Los Angeles.

To judge any of the characters in it as happy or sad is probably taking it a bit far.

Its like Jack and Diane or even Up the junction by squeeze. Ultimately just reality.
 

John Lee Pettimore

Further south than you
May 18, 2021
6,302
6,748
Its just an observation of life as he saw it.

Based on his stint as a young guy in Los Angeles.

To judge any of the characters in it as happy or sad is probably taking it a bit far.

Its like Jack and Diane or even Up the junction by squeeze. Ultimately just reality.
I don't think so, man. The lyrics are drenched in misery. Nobody in the song is happy or wants to be there. The language is very bleak all the way through.

🇦🇺
 

FINGERS

TMMAC Addict
Nov 14, 2019
15,772
18,987
I don't think so, man. The lyrics are drenched in misery. Nobody in the song is happy or wants to be there. The language is very bleak all the way through.

🇦🇺

I can't agree. I don't get misery. I just get a slice of life as he saw it.

It's nine o'clock on a Saturday
The regular crowd shuffles in
There's an old man sittin' next to me
Makin' love to his tonic and gin
He says, "Son can you play me a memory?
I'm not really sure how it goes
But it's sad and it's sweet and I knew it complete
When I wore a younger man's clothes"
La, la-la, di-di-da
La-la di-di-da da-dum
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 feelin' alright
Now John at the bar is a friend of mine
He gets me my drinks for free
And he's quick with a joke, or to light up your smoke
But there's some place that he'd rather be
He says, "Bill, I believe this is killing me"
As a smile ran away from his face
"Well, I'm sure that I could be a movie star
If I could get out of this place"
Oh, la, la-la, di-di-da
La-la di-di-da da-dum
Now Paul is a real estate novelist
Who never had time for a wife
And he's talkin' with Davy, who's still in the navy
And probably will be for life
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 drinkin' alone
Sing us the 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 feelin' alright
It's a pretty good crowd for a Saturday
And the manager gives me a smile
'Cause he knows that it's me they've been comin' to see
To forget about life for a while
And the piano, it sounds like a carnival
And the microphone smells like a beer
And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar
And say man what are you doin' here?
Oh, la, la-la, di-di-da
La-la di-di-da da-dum
Sing us the 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 feelin' alright


Its just about a musician getting requests. Observing LA life where everyone is chasing a dream or realising their dream has passed them by.

It's sanguine for sure. Wistful and melancholic too.

But sad? I'm not so sure. People are saying he has put them in a good mood.

But it's all subjective and I'm not saying you're wrong.
 

John Lee Pettimore

Further south than you
May 18, 2021
6,302
6,748
I can't agree. I don't get misery. I just get a slice of life as he saw it.

It's nine o'clock on a Saturday
The regular crowd shuffles in
There's an old man sittin' next to me
Makin' love to his tonic and gin
He says, "Son can you play me a memory?
I'm not really sure how it goes
But it's sad and it's sweet and I knew it complete
When I wore a younger man's clothes"
La, la-la, di-di-da
La-la di-di-da da-dum
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 feelin' alright
Now John at the bar is a friend of mine
He gets me my drinks for free
And he's quick with a joke, or to light up your smoke
But there's some place that he'd rather be
He says, "Bill, I believe this is killing me"
As a smile ran away from his face
"Well, I'm sure that I could be a movie star
If I could get out of this place"
Oh, la, la-la, di-di-da
La-la di-di-da da-dum
Now Paul is a real estate novelist
Who never had time for a wife
And he's talkin' with Davy, who's still in the navy
And probably will be for life
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 drinkin' alone
Sing us the 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 feelin' alright
It's a pretty good crowd for a Saturday
And the manager gives me a smile
'Cause he knows that it's me they've been comin' to see
To forget about life for a while
And the piano, it sounds like a carnival
And the microphone smells like a beer
And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar
And say man what are you doin' here?
Oh, la, la-la, di-di-da
La-la di-di-da da-dum
Sing us the 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 feelin' alright


Its just about a musician getting requests. Observing LA life where everyone is chasing a dream or realising their dream has passed them by.

It's sanguine for sure. Wistful and melancholic too.

But sad? I'm not so sure. People are saying he has put them in a good mood.

But it's all subjective and I'm not saying you're wrong.
I mean it's not like this has to be a fight, but honestly it is bizarre to me that you don't read those lyrics and find that while scene to be bleak and depressing and full of lonely miserable sad sacks, and that's kinda the point of the song. :smile:

🇦🇺
 

FINGERS

TMMAC Addict
Nov 14, 2019
15,772
18,987
No mention of Vanessa Carlton!?!


...but on a serious note, I'd say Elton for me.

Anyone that can sing and play a piano whilst being hauled about new York on a trailer clearly wins.

But now you've invoked the goddess that is Lisa Loeb.

And that my friend is the Hill I die on.
 

FINGERS

TMMAC Addict
Nov 14, 2019
15,772
18,987
I mean it's not like this has to be a fight, but honestly it is bizarre to me that you don't read those lyrics and find that while scene to be bleak and depressing and full of lonely miserable sad sacks, and that's kinda the point of the song. :smile:

🇦🇺

I'd never want to get into an Internet fight with you John.

But you're the one parking his tanks on my front lawn.

Piano man is a work of genius. It's not sad or happy. It's just life.

I don't see sadness. Just life. If you see sadness that's on you.

It's a young lyrical genius recalling his times in LA.

Hey. You want a tune tonight?

Check out True Companion. By Marc Cohn. That's the same vibe. Tell me that's sad.
 

FINGERS

TMMAC Addict
Nov 14, 2019
15,772
18,987
I love you John BTW.

I get you're very literate

We are not rowing mate.
 

FINGERS

TMMAC Addict
Nov 14, 2019
15,772
18,987
I don't have to be a prick all the time if someone is being reasonable and consistent in stating their stance, ffs. :smile:

🇦🇺

Well here's a thing.

The greatest album ever by a pianist isn't by either.

Its Marc Cohn. 1991.

Check it out. Top 10 album of all time and I'm including the beatles stones and graceland.
 

nuraknu

savage
Jul 20, 2016
6,247
10,769
I always liked the song but lean towards John Lee Pettimore @John Lee Pettimore - I think the tipping point is how you take the line about Davy- I always thought he was saying Davy was going to die, not that Davy was career Navy.