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Piano Man

Life is not easy. This year has proven that more so than any other year of my life. You work hard, have good intentions, care about others, and in turn the world takes advantage of you, spits on you and leaves you filled with doubt. Things are never what they seem. At times it feels as though every passing day, inevitably brings another difficult test.

A few weeks ago, while sharing a cab with some close friends, I struck up a conversation about life with the driver. Interests and dreams were exchanged between the two of us, and as our discussion progressed, I learned that he was a very talented musician, simply driving cabs as a means to achieving his artistic goals. Being stuck in a similar situation, I was immediately endeared by his honest efforts. I asked him what kind of music he played, and without skipping a beat he said “I have a song that I think you’ll like”. From the driver’s seat of the cab, equipped with a beautiful harmonica, he sang a charming rendition of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”.

Although I had heard the song before, I never really listened to the words. The naked truths, and melancholic realities discussed throughout, seemed to sooth my soul in a way that no other song had in quite some time. Piano Man depicts an unashamed human struggle that everyone ultimately goes through. Although this ballad did not erase my problems stated above, it did provide perspective to my situation. The primary message articulated through Billy’s lyrics suggest that although one’s life seems difficult, irreversible or even wasted, there is always someone else going through something just as challenging, and as people we have the privilege to persevere together.

I’m a fan of art in all forms, however nothing will ever resonate with my soul like music, and as I infinitely add to the volumes of my extensive library, this song will be remembered as one of the most influential in my life.

Billy Joel – Piano Man

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”


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Hancock/510667721 Ryan Hancock

    Such an inspirational post man!

    • Chris Elliott

      Thanks a lot dude. It means a lot that you think so. :)  

  • Anonymous

    I got shivers reading this post while listening to that song. Music is so powerful. I love this story. What an awesome post. 

    • Chris Elliott

      Thank you very much for saying that man. I really appreciate it. :)  

  • Christi Campbell

    I listened to this song over and over again at the hardest point in my life.  Mainly because it reminded me that we all have hard times and feel lonely.  Billy Joel is a lyrical assassin.  Wicked post Chris!

    • Chris Elliott

      ahahah He is a lyrical assassin of catastrophic proportion. And thank you very much for the love, girl!

  • Anonymous

    Buddha said it best, “life is suffering.” Until you’re dead it always will be, chin up soldier, you’ll get through it :)

    • Chris Elliott

      Always, and it’s songs like this that help me do so! 

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