There will always be the haters who say it is too early to listen to Christmas music. But, don't listen to them! It is never too early, and guess what, last time I checked there is no Thanksgiving music! So, I will continue to listen to Christmas music through out November, and I hope you will too. Just don't forget about these Christmas songs, because I know I have in the past!
Everyone knows the classic Billy Joel songs. "Uptown Girl," "Piano Man," "Only the Good Die Young," etc. But have you ever taken a moment to trust listen to a Billy Joel song and appreciate the lyrics? His lyrics are incomparable to any other artist. Joel takes inspiration from prominent real-world events and things that he witnesses in his own life and neighborhood and turns them into beautiful poems set to beautiful melodies.
Here are 14 lyrics that prove that Billy Joel is the ultimate king of songwriting.
"We Didn't Start the Fire"
The entire song, really.
"I can always find someone
To say they sympathize
If I wear my heart out on my sleeve
But I don't want some pretty face
To tell me pretty lies
All I want is someone to believe"
"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"
"The River of Dreams"
"I don't know why I go walking at night
But now I'm tired and I don't want to walk anymore
I hope it doesn't take the rest of my life
Until I find what it is that I've been looking for"
"She's Always a Woman"
"She can do as she pleases, she's nobody's fool
But she can't be convicted, she's earned her degree
And the most she will do is throw shadows at you
But she's always a woman to me"
"We came in spastic
Like tameless horses
We left in plastic
As numbered corpses"
"Just The Way You Are"
"I wouldn't leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times; I'll take the bad times
I'll take you just the way you are"
"New York State of Mind"
"It was so easy livin' day by day
Out of touch with the rhythym and blues
But now I need a little give and take
The New York Times, the Daily News"
"You're My Home"
"If I travel all my life
And I never get stop and settle down
Long as I have you by my side
There's a roof above and good walls all around
You're my castle, you're my cabin
And my instant pleasure dome
I need you in my house
'Cause you're my home"
"Only the Good Die Young"
"The stained-glass curtain you're hiding behind
Never lets in the sun
Darlin' only the good die young"
"It's Still Rock and Roll To Me"
"Oh, what's the matter with the crowd I'm seeing?
'Don't you know that they're out of touch?'
Well, should I try to be a straight-A student?
'If you are then you think too much'"
"You May Be Right"
"Remember how I found you there
Alone in your electric chair
I told you dirty jokes until you smiled
You were lonely for a man
I said take me as I am
'Cause you might enjoy some madness for a while"
"The Ballad of Billy the Kid"
"Well he never traveled heavy
yes he always rode alone
and he soon put many older guns to shame
and he never had a sweetheart
but he finally found a home
under the boothill grave that bears his name."
"You've got your passion, you've got your pride
But don't you know that only fools are satisfied?
Dream on, but don't imagine they'll all come true
When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?"
Avatar: The Last Airbender ended in 2008, but I've watched the full series at least ten other times since then. I was a big fan of ATLA when it was first airing, but sometimes I marvel at how lasting it's impact is over a decade later. I've seen ATLA bumper stickers and tattoos depicting the four elements, not mention that I myself have a "Jasmine Dragon" sticker on my laptop resembling the Starbucks logo. ATLA was incredible. It's witty, fun, emotionally impactful, interesting in plot, and filled with relatable characters. "Korra" was a nice attempt to follow up on a passionate fanbase, but it ultimately didn't resonate with viewers to the same degree. That said, sometimes people wonder why I'm still so invested in a kid's cartoon from the 2000s. Here's why.
The show referenced a variety of cultures from around the world
If you've watched the show, you've probably realized that there aren't actually any "white" characters in the Avatar-verse. Not that European cultures aren't valid, but it is notable that the show was created as an appreciation of cultures that often go overlooked. The art and music were heavily influenced by East and South Asia, and the different nations clearly reference Asian and indigenous traditions. Earth Kingdom cities were based off of real cities in East Asia, and the culture depicted drew from various East Asian nations as well. The same applies to the fire nation, which was originally modeled off of Japan and China. The water tribes have their foundations in Inuit and Sireniki cultures, and the air nomads are based on Tibetans, Sri Lankan Buddhists, and Shaolin Monks. There are many other historical references throughout "Avatar," including a nod to ancient Mesopotamia in the Sun Warriors.
The characters were complex and relatable
"ATLA" didn't just give us a typical group of teenage heroes, with each one fitting into a typical mold. They were complex and realistic, and that's what made them relatable. We saw Aang balance his role as Avatar with his personal moral philosophy, all while experiencing the onset of puberty and young adulthood. We watched Katara struggle with responsibility as the main female role model in her family after her mother's death. We observed and related to Toph and Zuko's complex relationships with their families, including the influence that an abusive parent can have on a young life. We experienced the struggles of inferiority to "better" friends with Sokka, and even learned about toxic friendships with Mai and Ty Lee. These were all growing kids and teenagers, and nothing could have been more genuine.
"ATLA" gave us some incredible, strong female leads to look up to
Katara was truly the first feminist I ever encountered on television. Not only did she become a master waterbender in the span of weeks, she also taught the Avatar! And the whole time, she reminded us that strong fighters can be feminine too. Meanwhile, Toph showed us that just because a person has a disability, doesn't mean that they are defined by it. In fact, Toph's blindness only enhances her abilities, rather than holding her back. We also encounter powerful female characters like Azula (I know, she's evil, but that doesn't make her any less of a prodigy), Ty Lee, Mai, Suki (and all the Kyoshi warriors for that matter), Smellerbee, and even Princess Yue (who literally died for her people, mind you).
It made a deep, dramatic topic witty and fun
It occurred to me recently that "Avatar" is basically about imperialism and genocide. The Fire Nation decides to take over the world through military force, and it does so by exterminating an entire people and occupying and colonizing everyone else. For such a deep topic, you wouldn't think the show would be quite as fun as it is, but it is. I've restarted watching, and I find myself constantly laughing. With Sokka's sarcastic comments, Iroh's oddities, and everybody else's regular quips, "ATLA" is regularly lighthearted and never takes itself too seriously.
There's some real wise advice throughout
Finally, what "ATLA" is really known for, is its heart. Uncle Iroh provides us with a regular understanding of the world around us, encouraging us to see the world in balance and look for our true selves. His wise words ring true throughout childhood and adulthood. The underlying themes and messages of the show, including balance, friendship, love, and loyalty, all serve the greater purpose of advising the audience.
In summary, "Avatar" was amazing. If you haven't, I highly recommend you do. If you have, maybe go rewatch!