Piano Man (5:37)

Cover of Piano Man

From Piano Man and 59 other releases

“Piano Man” was Billy Joel’s first major hit and is considered Joel’s signature song. The verses of the song are sung from the point of view of a bar piano player who focuses mainly on everyone else at the bar: John the bartender, the waitress, and bar regulars like Paul and Davy. Most of these characters have unfulfilled dreams, and the pianist’s job, it seems, is to help them “forget about life for a while”. The chorus, in bar-room sing-along style, comes from the bar patrons themselves, who plead, “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” has been released as a single and on several albums.

“Piano Man” is a fictionalized retelling of real people Joel met during his days as a piano-lounge singer in Los Angeles, after the failure of his first album, Cold Spring Harbor. Joel’s own personal feelings about this failure are expressed in the failed dreams of the characters in his song. At the time, Joel was trying to get out of a bad deal with the record company Family Productions, so, according to Joel, he was “hiding out” at the bar, performing under the name Bill Martin while Columbia Records tried to get him out of the deal.


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  • bobbysmooth

    The story of his early life worked the smokey bars and clubs many years before finally making it

    12 Nov 4:28pm Reply
  • TAM-michelle

    Play me a memory

    17 Sep 10:53am Reply
  • Dorthrithil

    reminds me of all my pub gigs.. good times! -- great song.

    31 Jul 4:47pm Reply
  • Phendrome


    23 Apr 12:06pm Reply
  • adventureba

    eins meiner Lieblingslieder...<3

    18 Mar 10:05am Reply
  • frearson10

    Think Captain Jack, Scenes from an Italian Restaurant, and Vienna give this a run for best BJ song, but all are sooooooooooooooo great!

    2 Mar 10:31pm Reply
  • jomabbs

    Billy Joel should be made a national treasure.

    16 Feb 2:08am Reply
  • kalushi4love

    Hello, I visited your profile at (.last.fm/music) and I find out that you're the type my heart love, I believe we suit for real love, let walk that precious thing out for heart desire, I hope and believe we match for good. When contacting reply to my mail address (helen_kalushi@hotmail.com) I am waiting for the love. I am, Miss helen

    14 Feb 8:46am Reply
  • TWHsr

    It'll be around a long time, love it.

    23 Jan 4:45am Reply
  • TWHsr

    Such a good song and singer.

    26 Dec 2013 Reply
  • mikesimpson

    You got me feelin' allright !

    14 Dec 2013 Reply
  • bohemian_chic

    Listening to My Friends Radio today… thanks frearson10 :)

    13 Dec 2013 Reply
  • frearson10

    A song of lost dreams and life detours!

    18 Nov 2013 Reply
  • vultraz168

    "AND THE PIANO, IT SOUNDS LIKE A CARNIVAL!" I always imagine Joel shouting that line with a sarcastic, joyful voice.

    11 Nov 2013 Reply
  • Heropsychodream

    All I hear is the weird al version now. Sling us a web, you're the spider man...

    11 Oct 2013 Reply
  • TWHsr

    Still cool.

    8 Oct 2013 Reply
  • supermediadave

    One of the most recognizable songs ever.....no doubt.

    19 Sep 2013 Reply
  • Monade2010

    still SO timeLESS brilliant

    24 Aug 2013 Reply
  • adventureba

    great :-)

    2 Aug 2013 Reply
  • NevSwales

    One of those haunting tunes that seems to have been in the background of the soundtrack of your life forever. Know what I mean?

    19 Jul 2013 Reply
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