Piano Man – Billy Joel

“Piano Man” by Billy Joel, uses imagery to tell a story. Billy Joel is the narrator of the story that takes place in a bar. The refrain of “Sing us a song your the piano man sing us a song tonight well, we’re all in the mod for a melody and you’ve got us feeling alright.”, sets the mood by helping us imagine a crowded bar with a lot of happy people singing along with “The Piano Man”. The song goes on to tell us about the lives of the people in the bar. The melody is happy, but the lyrics speak of people, who in the moment are happy, but live sad lives. “Now Paul is a real estate novelist who never had time for a wife and he’s talking with Davey, who’s still in the navy and probably will be for life.is one example of Billy Joel’s perspective of people feeling unfulfilled. There are many more examples of this in the song including the bartender who is “quick with a joke or to light up your smoke, but there’s some place that he’d rather be”. In the end, it seems as if Billy Joel is questioning why he, someone who people come to listen to, is in this place not fulfilling his dreams. This is captured in the last refrain when he says “and they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar and say man what are you doing here?”. “Piano Man” is a song that brings people together with its jovial melody, but its lyrics speak to sadness and the feeling of discontentment.

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