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El hombre al piano octubre 10, 2007

Posted by Closto in Littera, Officia, Themae personales.

This is a song by Billy Joel that really stroke me with its depressing and decadent lyrics. Whoever that calls himself a music lover must have heard this song and actually begun adoring it as a new and fair god. “Piano man” is such a fantastic tremendous creation that catches everyone’s spirit and stangles it hard as it expires and blows its very last, but also picks it when it’s down and revives it, resurrects it, so the one who’s listening lives a devine experience of sadness, disgusting habits, the inertia of living and going on, death… I may be regarded as if I was a weirdo but yuo just give the song a chance and I’m sure you’ll have to give up and, down in your knees before the tears this songs provides you with, praise it and yell (not just sing or say) your prayers to whatever god you are consecrated to. Not have a prayer for escaping the magic of the song.Now do have a listening to the song and a watch to the video.

Piano man

It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday
The regular crowd shuffles in
There’s an old man sitting next to me
Making 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”

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

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 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”

Now Paul is a real estate novelist
Who never had time for a wife
And he’s talking 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 drinking alone

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

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 coming to see
To forget about life for a while

And the piano 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 doing here?”

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

Let me comment some of the aspects of the lyrics, for I can’t put an end to this honouring article without writing down some of my impressions based on my poetical experience (not that much actually).

First of all, I’m curious on the timespace factor: I assume we’re talking about a bar where people drink and smoke as much as they can (quite a depressing image, isn’t it?), the ragular crowd. But what’s the regular crowd? We are introduced an old man (symbol of weakness and degeneration of human nature) making love to his tonic & gin (alcohol, the drinking-to-forget factor), who asks for a memory (recall of better times) when he wore a younger man’s clothes (which leads us to think he never had a real young spirit, likely because of the bar).

Secondly, new characters rush to the stage. John seems to be a great guy, considerate, thoughtful and obliging, who dreams of going out (“well, I’m sure I could be a movie star”) and beginning a new life (“but there’s someplace that he’d rather be”), but who is so closely related to that bar (which happens to torment him -“as a smile runs away from his face”-) that cannot; and he is aware of that (“I believe this is killing me”). Then we meet Paul, who seems to pretend to be a modern and dynamic guy but actually he is not but a total failure (“real state novellist who never had time for a wife”), and Davy, which also (as all the characters before) represents decandece and, in this case, poverty because of his pertenancing to the Navy forever (“Davy, who’s still in the Navy and probably will be for life”). The last people in there are the waitress, who gives the impression of being a bitch that no longer wants to work in there (“and the waitress is practising politics”) and the businessman, who looks like he has had a real bad season, and possibly needs some company to forget everything (“slowly gets stoned” -drinking-to-forget factor again).

There’s one last point to be commented: the bar and the singer themselves. We’re told the piano sounds like a carnival and the microphone smells like a beer. This may mean the piano is non-stop playing (helping the people to forget, just what they are looking for) in a poisoned or dirty environment). The crowd is concerend that the singer is there to help them (“‘cause he know that it’s me what they’ve been coming to see”), but not condemned YET, and so they wonder why he is there, with them, in such a decadent place, full of degeneration and death. I presume the bar must be a small and dark place, not what we are show in the video.

Well, that is what I think each time I hear the song, as I wallow in the pain of knowing all that and immagining it. It’s a song that brings along pain, tears and pleasure in a way. A superb, wonderful, striking and gloirous song.



1. yuhaspace - octubre 10, 2007

Esta es una de mis canciones favoritas, siempre me ha gustado.. aunque bueno como la version en ingles no la entiendo yo mucho xD me quedo con la version en español 😉 pero vamos.. es una cancion preciosa.

2. Closto - octubre 11, 2007

Te pasaré mi versión traducida, así como la impresión que me da, más desarrollada, en español. Es la bomba. Mucho más de lo que crees y desde luego mucho más que la versión castellana.

3. Janire Val Mejuto - octubre 12, 2007

Hola Andrei!!!!

Magnifica cancion e increible analisis! Si senor!!! Chapeau!!Aunque esta version esta muy bien, me quedo con la voz de la gran Ana Belen.

Muchos besotes desde Leeds (donde las n, las tildes y las Tortillas brillan por su ausencia 😦

4. Closto - octubre 13, 2007

Vaya. Otra anabeliense.

Bueno, reconozco que su voz es magnífica, pero la canción no tiene nada que ver. Esta letra me parece inmejorable.

5. fluoMod - octubre 15, 2007

Una canción preciosa.

6. Closto - octubre 16, 2007

Ciertamente lo es, Fluo. Decandente y preciosa.

7. linda - noviembre 3, 2008

hola amigos.
soy estudiante de espanol en dubai.

8. Closto - noviembre 5, 2008

Linda, gracias por pasarte, pero para este tipo de comentarios hay otros artículos en el blog.


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