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Piano Man by Billy Joel

Updated on May 31, 2014

Billy Joel Piano Man

Piano Man is an early hit for Billy Joel, and arguably one of his best known and best loved songs to date.

Billy Joel is a well known and respected American Pianist and Singer/Songwriter. He was born in The Bronx, New York in 1949. He came from a musical family, and decided to follow that career having seen The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964.

Piano Man was released in 1973, and was the first in a long line of hit singles for Billy Joel.

I saw Billy Joel in concert in late 1987 in Auckland, New Zealand, where he put on an excellent outdoor show at Mount Smart Stadium, with Australia's singer/songwriter John Farnham as the opening act.

Song Lyrics: Piano Man by Billy Joel

Written by: Billy Joel from the Album: "Piano Man" - 1973

It's nine o'clock on a Saturday

The regular crowd shuffles in

There's an old man sitting 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, de de da

La la, de de da da da


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 someplace that he'd rather be

He says, "Bill, I believe this is killing me."

As the 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, de de da

La la, de de da da da

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


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, de de da

La la, de de da da da


Original Billy Joel CD's from Amazon

Billy Joel produced many great songs that you won't find on his Greatest Hits collections. If you enjoy his music, why not add some of his original CD's to your collection today.

Billy Joel Compilations from Amazon

Billy Joel has released a number of Greatest Hits and Live CD's. Why not pick up one of these today.

Billy Joel DVD's from Amazon

Relive a Billy Joel concert in your own living room, it helps bring the music to life.

Piano Man Videos

Billy Joel Merchandise on eBay

When CD's and DVD's aren't enough, you never know what you might find on eBay. Are you a Billy Joel memorabilia collector? Add to your collection today.

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    • TonyPayne profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Payne 

      5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      @Nancy Hardin: Thanks Nancy. This song always has a special place for me too, not because I have frequented singles bars though, I just like the song.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I love Billy Joel. His music always gives me a lift even when it's bittersweet like this one. He's for sure, a talented piano man! Love this lens, thanks for sharing!

    • TonyPayne profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Payne 

      5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      @Richard-H: I think Billy Joel is a great performer, or at least was. Elton John too, I saw him solo (no backing just him and the piano) in the 90's. Tremendous performance.

    • Richard-H profile image


      5 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      I was luck enough to see Joel on tour with Elton John back in the '90s. Fantastic show!

    • TonyPayne profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony Payne 

      5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      @compugraphd: He has truly written some great songs and had some great hits hasn't he.

    • compugraphd profile image


      5 years ago


      Billy Joel is my favorite artist -- my favorites include Piano Man, but my two favorites are New York State of mind (I lived in NY for about 7 years, plus I commuted there for 4 years, so NY is never far geographically or emotionally) and My Baby Grand (that he sings with the late great Ray Charles).

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      hi there...i was born in the 50's and my family has a big impact on my love for music...i sing but am not a singer unfortunately lol anyway i find the collections here nice to the ear and i'll keep on listening here...tnx and more power

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      When it comes to being "The Piano Man", Billy Joel is the man!

      I have several of his albums, and will be dusting them off. :)

    • zentao profile image


      7 years ago

      What a great song. Billy Joel has always been one of my favorites. I saw him in concert a couple of times as a teen. I would like to see him in concert again. Great lens!

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 

      7 years ago

      *Blessed this evening because I was so, so in the mood for listening to something timeless and Billy Joel's Piano Man did it! La la did a da ;)

    • NYtoSCimjustme profile image


      7 years ago

      This song always reminds me of my grandfather - At family get togethers for the holidays, Grampa used to play the piano and some of the family would sing along. I grew up on Long Island, NY where Billy Joel lived most of his life. Local guy singing a song that made me remember my grandfather fondly... even if gramps wasn't singing in a bar he was and always will be my 'Piano Man'... Great lens! Thanks Tony!

    • Liveliferead LM profile image

      Liveliferead LM 

      7 years ago

      Awesome lens!!! Love this song!!!

    • CruiseReady profile image


      7 years ago from East Central Florida

      I know i'm not alone - I love this song!

    • MAMellott LM profile image

      MAMellott LM 

      7 years ago

      Great lens, thank you for sharing! Billy Joel is one of my all time favorites.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      One of my favourites. I was introduced to BJ via "The Stranger" album and then seeing him live at Wembley Arena in the eighties. My favourite track is probably "Scenes form An Italian Restaurant"

    • CastleRoyLisa profile image


      8 years ago from Rhode Island

      a real fav great lens

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      8 years ago from Canada

      My favorite billy joel song is the one where he is standing on the edge of a bridge and is shown what his future will be if he doesn't jump. Powerful.

    • ZenandChic profile image


      8 years ago

      Very cool! I have a number of Billy Joel songs I like. He has a great voice~

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Love Billy Joel and Piano Man was probably one of his best. Nice lens, lots of fun,

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Love this song and love your lens. Piano Man's got that haunting melancholy quality to it that somehow burrows into your brain and stays there for ages. La la de de da da da.

    • KarenTBTEN profile image


      9 years ago

      Billy Joel is a favorite of mine, too.

    • cannedguds lm profile image

      cannedguds lm 

      10 years ago

      good work, poddys. Billy Joel's my main man and here in our place, I'm the only one who knows how to sing this and Captain Jack! I really like the part, " Yes, they're sharing a drink called loneliness and it's better than drinking alone"... a sip of hope & acceptance... thanks for sharing this! and thanks for visiting my lens!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great lens. Another one of my favourites

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      10 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I saw Billy Joel one time in concert and it was quite a treat. I enjoyed it very much and I enjoyed this lens.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 

      10 years ago from Royalton

      The Piano Man is one of my favorite songs. Whenever it comes on the radio it makes me smile.

    • debnet profile image


      10 years ago from England

      Great lens! i really enjoy Billy Joel :)

    • LisaDH profile image


      10 years ago

      The Piano Man is one of my favorite Billy Joel songs (along with Goodnight Saigon). Great lens!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Oh this is one of my favorite songs - especially for piano bar sing-alongs!

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 

      10 years ago

      Hey guy...long time no see :) This is one of my favorite songs! Love how you put together your lyric lenses! 5*'s for this one for sure.

      Spread the positive love on Squidoo this week. More info at my SquidTop blog

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great lens! Do you know, I bought a 2-cassette set (remember cassettes) of Billy Joels Greatest Hits when I lived in Japan ~ there were two bonus tracks that had not been released in the US on that set.

      See you on gather.....

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Love this song, and I'm a big fan of Billy Joel!


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