It’s not easy being a teenage Billy Joel fan in a world of rap music and Auto-Tuned pop songs. However, the constant teasing about his age and appearance are far outweighed by the extreme talent of this legend. While I have only admired him for a short period of his career, his songs have taught me more about life than I could have ever learned from today’s hits. I could probably write a life lesson from every song of his, but these are some of my favorites.
1. He taught me that life is full of ups and downs.
“And though we choose between reality and madness, it’s either sadness or euphoria.”
"Summer, Highland Falls" (1976)
"Summer, Highland Falls" taught me that life has it’s ups and downs, but that I don’t need to take them to the extreme. I learned that if I only focused and the highs and lows of my life, I could miss all the in between.
2. He taught me the rarity of honesty in this world.
“Honesty is such a lonely word. Everyone is so untrue. Honesty is hardly ever heard and mostly what I need from you.”
"Honesty" taught me that everyone knows honesty is the best policy, but not everyone acts in that manner. I learned that even if it’s hard to say, it’s better to tell the truth.
3. He taught me the importance of taking life day by day.
“Slow down you crazy child, you’re so ambitious for a juvenile.”
"Vienna" taught me that you have so much living to look forward to in a world that teaches you the brevity of life. I learned to take life day by day in the present rather than living in the future.
4. He taught me the importance of proclaiming your love.
“Tell her about it, tell her all your crazy dreams. Let her know you need her, let her know how much she means.”
"Tell Her About It" (1983)
The anthem of every guy about to let a girl slip through his fingers, "Tell Her About It" taught me that if you care for someone you should tell them. I learned that it’s better to express your love rather than lose someone because of it.
5. Finally, he taught me about staying true to oneself.
"It’s the next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways. It’s still rock and roll to me."
"It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" (1980)
"It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" taught me that society is going to tell me that I need to buy the latest gadget or style my hair a new way all the time, but it's better to stay true to who you are. I learned how to be confident in my "last season" shoes and the music that I listen to (which is basically just Billy Joel).