Billy Joel's 'Vienna,' A Life-Long Favorite, Has A New Meaning

Billy Joel's 'Vienna,' A Life-Long Favorite, Has A New Meaning

The song is about more than taking time to stop and smell the roses. It's a message telling young people to take it easy.

My family always had great taste in music, and that definitely passed down to me. One of our favorite singers is Billy Joel. Ever since I can remember, his most famous song "Piano Man" has been blasting through my house. In a way, his music brings us together. We put on his albums while we're just hanging out, and have even attended several of his concerts at Madison Square Garden.

Most recently though, a song of his that I've been listening to my entire life has really struck a chord with me. One of my favorites of all time, "Vienna" from his album The Stranger, talks about taking time to enjoy your life (you may recognize it from the movie "13 Going on 30"). I always knew that this was the basic premise of the song, but it wasn't until a few weeks ago when I actually understood it.

The song is about more than taking time to stop and smell the roses. It's a message telling young people to take it easy. Lately, I feel as if everyone around me has it all figured out, making me feel obligated to do the same. Sometimes it's as if everyone is speeding ahead while I'm stuck in place. This song reassures me that I'm exactly where I need to be. Things take time, and that's OK. I don't need to rush to be successful right away.

I have my whole life to experience all this world has to offer. Why hurry to do it all this when none of it is going anywhere? As college students, let's enjoy our youth and stop worrying about getting ahead. Live for the moment and know that you need to start somewhere before you reach the top. Believe Mr. Joel when he says "you can't be everything you want to be before your time".

I'm truly astonished by the fact that a song I've been listening to for the past 19 years all of a sudden resonates with me so much. To be honest, this couldn't have come at a better time in my life. With questioning everything from areas of study, to worrying about life after graduation, this song grounds me. I'm encouraged to "dream on" and express my youth and naiveness. Still, it reminds me to come back to earth by telling me "don't imagine they'll all come true."

If you too feel like you don't have your life mapped out, it's OK. Take your time and do not settle. Live life at your own pace, for you are not trailing behind anyone. With our entire lives ahead of us, it's an understatement to say, "you can afford to lose or a day or two."

I'm grateful that a song I hold so dear to my heart has become applicable to my life, which I'm now realizing shouldn't be a dart to the finish line. Going through life patiently at a modest pace is the way to get what you want. While you do so, you're not missing out on anything. If luck hasn't been on your side, don't be discouraged. Sometimes you need to go find your own opportunities and happiness instead of waiting for things to come your way, for "Vienna waits for you."

Cover Image Credit: billyjoel / Instagram

Popular Right Now

A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.

Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

SEE ALSO: 23 Iconic Disney Channel Moments We Will Never Forget

3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Best 2000's Tunes We Still Know Every Word To

30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

Cover Image Credit:

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

To My Younger Brother, Now That We're Both Older

Always know that I'm proud of you.


I'm writing this for you because even though we're all grown up now, I still find myself thinking about the days back when we'd play pretend with all of our toys, wishing we'd grow up faster. I'm writing this because I remember the days we'd bounce on the trampoline until the sky overhead turned pitch black, reaching for the stars as if one of them may hold the key to the future. I remember that night out in the pouring rain and thunder when we ran from yard to yard with our neighbors because this suburb was ours, and we wouldn't let any weather stop us from having our fun. I remember Uppy-And-Downy, Mission On, and blaps, all the silly tactics we invented to avoid sleeping at night because our imaginations never rested. I remember how we fought all too well, but we made up every time because that's what best friends do.

And now that we're older, I'm off at college and you're finishing up high school. Every visit home to you is like winning the lottery. It's worth a million dollars and more when I walk through the front door and you pick me up and spin me around, sometimes before I've even set down my luggage. I've never smiled bigger than in those moments because then, everything comes flooding back to my memory, and I remember how lucky I am to have you in my life. The best part is seeing how different you are every time I'm home, finding out what's new in your life, and seeing how you've changed in my absence.

I'm writing this to you because you should how much you mean to me, even more so now than ever. Always know I'm proud of you. Distance can't break our bond, just like the rain couldn't stop our fun. Distance only drives us closer to one another.

Related Content

Facebook Comments