Questions Raised By Billy Joel's Piano Man

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Photo by Samira Khan via  Flickr  under a Creative Commons  CC BY 2.0  License.

Photo by Samira Khan via Flickr under a Creative Commons CC BY 2.0 License.


Billy Joel’s Piano Man raises several questions:

1.  How does one make love to a tonic and gin? Or any other beverage?

2.  Who has ever used the phrase “I knew it complete.”

3.  When the old man says he knew the song when he wore a younger man’s clothes, does he simply mean he knew it when he was younger, or did he murder some guy, steal his clothes, and sing a sad and sweet song?  Why does the old man talk in this affected manner?

4.Is John a good bartender?  He doles out free drinks, which can’t be good for business, right?

5. Is John a good actor? Could he, indeed, be a movie star? Has he tried acting?  Or does he just think that, on the strength of his ability to quickly light cigarettes and tell jokes he could be a movie star?  Even if he can’t get out of that place (for whatever reason), he could try acting at some level, don’t you think? Maybe take a class.

6.  What kind of politics is the waitress practicing?  Is she Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or perhaps Green Party?  Should she be getting political in a bar?

7.  Why are the businessmen getting stoned in the bar?  Drunk, sure.  But stoned?

8.  Who is sharing a drink called loneliness.  Is it just the businessmen? Or is the waitress also somehow involved? Is that wise?  And is it actually better than drinking alone?  Depends on the other businessmen, I suppose.

9.  What the hell is a real estate novelist?  Does real estate novelling actually eat up so much time that you can’t find a wife?  I think Paul just didn’t really want one and uses that as an excuse.

10.  Which would explain why he’s talking to Davy, who conveniently for rhyming purposes, is in the Navy.

11.  I understand why the microphone smells like a beer.  As we’ve established, John gives Bill free beers, so it’s no wonder that the mic smells of free beer.  But how does a piano sound like a carnival?  Is he just playing that clown song over and over again? You know the one.  They always play it at circuses.  If that’s the case, I do not understand why the bar retains Bill. Unless it is a clown bar. Which would be awesome, but unlikely, as real estate novelists hate clowns.

12.  Is it appropriate to tip musicians with bread? Maybe it is in a clown bar.

13.  When the crowd asks Bill “Man, what are you doing here?” is it because he keeps playing that carnival song, and is not actually hired by the bar?  If so, John really shouldn’t give him free drinks. 

Audio Version Here!