Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Billy Joel’

Song about an ordinary man – Wichita Lineman

I have always liked this song.  I’ve heard it off and on throughout most of my life.  It appeals to the “ordinary” in all of us.  I like what Jimmy Webb and Billy Joel said in their thoughts below:


“This was written by Jimmy Webb, who also wrote Campbell’s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and “Galveston.” He was driving along the Kansas-Oklahoma border when he saw a lonesome telephone lineman working atop a telephone pole. This gave him the idea for the song.

In our interview with Jimmy Webb, he explained how he puts himself into the shoes of the subjects of this songs. Said Webb: “I’ve never worked with high-tension wires or anything like that. My characters were all ordinary guys. They were all blue-collar guys who did ordinary jobs. As Billy Joel likes to say, which is pretty accurate, he said, ‘They’re ordinary people thinking extraordinary thoughts.’ I always appreciated that comment, because I thought it was very close to what I was doing or what I was trying to do. And they came from ordinary towns. They came from places like Galveston and Wichita and places like that.”

I notice ordinary people living ordinary lives too – and always wonder similar things about them.  What is their life like?  Who are their people?  Do they love the same as I do?  Do they have a family?  I think some of the greatest songs come out of the ordinary.  Things that happen in daily lives going about a ‘work-a-day’ week.  It doesn’t take the huge and significant things in our lives to make a difference.  It’s the little things.  The ordinary. 
I am a lineman for the county
And I drive the main road
Searchin’ in the sun for another overload
I hear you singin’ in the wire,
I can hear you through the whine
And the Wichita lineman is still on the lineI know I need a small vacation
But it don’t look like rain
And if it snows that stretch down south won’t ever stand the strain
And I need you more than want you,
And I want you for all time
And the Wichita lineman is still on the lineAnd I need you more than want you,
And I want you for all time
And the Wichita lineman is still on the lineWriter/s: WEBB, JIMMY
Universal Music Publishing Group
Lyrics Licensed and Provided By LyricFind

You’re My Home

My Life (Billy Joel song)

My Life (Billy Joel song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


It’s Billy Joel week on American Idol.  So far no one has done my very favorite song – so I thought I would post it here.

This was written for his first wife, Elizabeth. At the time, he didn’t have money for an anniversary gift, so he wrote this song instead.

When was the last time someone wrote you a song?  Pretty cool 🙂

Enjoy and God Bless

When you look into my eyes
And you see the crazy gypsy in my soul
It always comes as a surprise
When I feel my withered roots begin to grow
Well I never had a place that I could call my very own
That’s all right, my love, ’cause you’re my home

When you touch my weary head
And you tell me everything will be all right
You say, “Use my body for your bed
And my love will keep you warm throughout the night”
Well I’ll never be a stranger and I’ll never be alone
Whenever we’re together, that’s my home

Home can be the Pennsylvania Turnpike
Indiana’s early morning dew
High up in the hills of California
Home is just another word for you

Well I never had a place that I could call my very own
That’s all right, my love, ’cause you’re my home

If I travel all my life
And I never get to 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.
You’re my home.

You’re my home.

Music That I Love

English: Classical music. Public domain. Old e...

Image via Wikipedia

When I was growing up – KJR was the cool station that played the top 40’s.  I remember the music from the early 70’s and the count down with Casey Kasem every Saturday night.

Music has changed over the last 40 years – but I am still comfortable with music I grew up with and listened to during those crazy teenage years.  It’s comforting somehow – I can’t explain it.

My Dad always preferred classical music – so that is what was always played in our home  – even during every meal.

I studied music in college – even got a degree in vocal performance and had to study many different types of music – much of it classical.  I never developed a real love for it though, much to my dad’s disappointment, I’m sure.  I can appreciate it – which is something entirely different.  Mozart was a genius and so were many of the others – but I must admit – I can only listen to their creations in small doses before it starts making me edgy.

For example:

I was trying to find a station the other day, had grown tired of 106.9 because of the commercials and went exploring – and stopped on a lovely slow classical piece on the classical station.  I stepped into the shower hoping to have a lovely time relaxing and listening – and at first it was lovely – but then the tempo changed and suddenly everything became frantic and fast paced – and I found myself getting nervous and agitated.  I thought to myself, “this is why I don’t listen to classical music”.

I also don’t like commercials – who does?  Radio is really irritating to me – which is one of the reasons why I don’t like the Christian station 105.3.  WAY too many commercials for my taste – it’s not that I don’t like Christian contemporary – I think I like most everything (in moderation that is) it’s the commercials that drive me insane.

Then I remembered 95.7 – the oldies station for Seattle with very limited commercials and almost every song they play – I LOVE!

I played it today while in the shower and getting ready for the day – and it was so refreshing to me.  Don’t you just love it when music does that?

Now there’s nothing wrong with classical, or Christian contemporary, or smooth Jazz or easy listening – but if it’s something that relaxes me – it’s oldies and easy listening from the 70’s – up to today.

That being said – I also LOVE instrumental movie soundtracks.  James Horner and people like David Foster are amazing for bringing great music to highlight and bring out the very best in a film.  My very favorites are “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Leonard Bernstein and “Meet Joe Black” by Thomas Newman.  These are some of the modern-day genius composers and I know there are others.

I’m fascinated by all sorts of talent – old and new and LOVE a wide range of styles.  Christian music is far too limiting for me – although I have been criticized for being so open to other more popular kinds of styles.  It doesn’t bother me – I am secure in who I am.  I was raised in a fundamental Christian home where only classical music was played – so I feel no guilt in my departure from mainline Christian music.

That being said – I do love some of the more modern worship choruses sung today in our church worship services – not all – but definitely some.  I’m not big on repetition and so it’s hard to sing the same thing over and over, but there are some really beautiful new creations and I have been amazed at how much I really connect with them and love the lyrics.  And I only like the older hymns if they are not so predictable and stuffy.  I love beautiful chord structures and variety – inspiring lyrics and something that moves me – not just the status quo.

Because we have a great big world and much to listen to, appreciate and inspire us – I feel it is a shame to limit to just one style.  At the moment I’m listening to Jackie Evancho singing “Pie Jesu” with beautiful clarity, like an angel – and then I will hear James Taylor, Billy Joel or Josh Groban and they all make me feel happy – like an old friend.

Don’t you love that – when music has the power to make you feel happy?  Put a smile on your face – and a dance in your step?  Me too.

What’s your favorite station?  What song makes you feel good – makes you smile?  If you wrote it down, would you feel that someone might criticize you?   Here are a few of mine:

Jump  – by the Pointer Sisters

Sister Moonshine – by Supertramp

When you say you love me  – Josh Groban

Sweet Darling – Heart

Loving Arms – Darden Smith

Tiny Dancer – Elton John

Reaching – Bill and Gloria Gaither

January Rain – David Gray

Wild Horses – Susan Boyle

Leesha – Michael W. Smith

Shine on us – Phillips, Craig and Dean

and SO MANY others!

I hope you’ll share some of your favorites with me 🙂

God Bless

Got To Begin Again

Cover of "Cold Spring Harbor"

Cover of Cold Spring Harbor

Several weeks ago I watched a biography program on the life of Billy Joel.  It was interesting – many things I did not know about his life and journey that had led him to write such amazing songs.  Every song has a story – each is a chapter of his life.  I think this is why it is so easy to relate to them.  His lyrics are universal and have layers of meaning for him and everyone else who listens.

I don’t remember where I was when I first heard this song, but I was pretty young.  This song was on Billy’s first solo album “Cold Spring Harbor” written in 1971.  This album was his first after a suicide attempt due to depression from a broken relationship.  The lyrics are of a broken man – rising up to find hope and life again.

I know I can relate to lyrics like this.  No, I’ve never been depressed to the point of wanting to end my life – but I have been sad and felt hopeless at times.  I think we all have.  And it is only because of the love of Christ in me – that I have been able to gain my life back.  He has helped me on more than one occasion to see things clearly and with new purpose and understanding.  I can say each new morning, as I leave yesterday behind with all its hurt and disappointments – “I’ve got to begin again”

When was the last time you felt that God helped you to “begin again”?

God Bless

Well so here I am at the end of the road
Where do I go from here?
I always figured it would be like this
Still nothing seems to be quite clear

All the words have been spoken and the prophecy fulfilled
But I just can’t decide where to go
Yes, it’s been quite a day and I should go to sleep
But tomorrow I will wake up and I’ll know

That I’ve got to begin again
Though I don’t know how to start
Yes, I’ve got to begin again
And it’s hard

Well it’s been quite a while since I lifted my head
And I’m sure the light will hurt my eyes
I see the way that I´ve been spendin’ my days
And reality has caught me by surprise

I was dreamin’ of tomorrow so I sacrificed today
And it sure was a grand waste of time
And despite all the truth that’s been thrown in my face
I just can’t get you out of my mind

That I’ve got to begin again
Though I don’t know how start
Yes, I’ve got to begin again
And it’s hard

To Spotify Or Not To Spotify

Image representing Spotify as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

I love music.  Not noise – but real music.  I also love listening to what I want to listen to – without any other “fillers” or “lesser” songs – like on CD’s – or the radio.

I used to love Pandora because I could pick and choose and put together a “personal” station of artists that I enjoyed.  If one came along that I didn’t care for I could skip it  or even delete it permanently from my list.  That was nice.  And I was quite satisfied.

But then I started hearing about Spotify.  I got an invitation and signed up for free.  At first – I’ll be honest – I wasn’t thrilled with it.  Pandora had done all the work for me and let me just “like” or “delete” a song occasionally.  That’s NOT how Spotify works.  You have to make up your own playlists by doing the research and then painstakingly choosing one at a time which songs or albums you want.  This was a big turn off to me – at first.  Then I gave in.  Took the time.  Started finding artists that I like – AND the missing songs from my youth and one by one started building my playlist.  Spotify has EVERY song from your favorite artist – going back to the beginning of time.  Something Pandora does not do.

I was thrilled to find such classics as “Grey Seal” by Elton John – not heard in more than 30 years.  “Change of Heart” by Bread not heard since the early 70’s and old classics by Billy Joel such as “Got to Begin Again” and several from the group “Second Chapter of Acts”.  My list is long – and grows everyday as I remember other songs and artists from long ago – and recently.   Once I type in a name – I get a WHOLE LIST of songs and ideas.

There is no limit for what can be added to my personal list – at least none that I’ve found so far.

But here’s another really GREAT thing about Spotify.  You can see what others have found and have included in their own music list!  If they have an account like you do – they will show up on you home page and you can click on their name and be snoopy and find out what they like – and what they listen to.  It’s pretty cool!  I got some great ideas from some friends of mine last night.

I have the free account – but there are also a couple of paid accounts – and my friends love this because it allows them to play their music list from their phone or any other computer by just logging in.  And on the paid accounts there are no commercial interruptions.  Not thrilled about that on the free account – but used to it – Pandora had the same thing.

I would encourage you to join – at least the free account and snoop around at what all of us are listening to – you may find songs you have forgotten about – and you may make some pretty cool discoveries of your own!

I say – SPOTIFY!!!


God Bless


Cover of "Gabe Dixon Band"

Cover of Gabe Dixon Band

I love “The Gabe Dixon Band” and this is my favorite song.  Gabe reminds me of a young Billy Joel the way he handles the piano with such ease.  Beautiful lyrics and wonderful arrangements – I encourage you to take a close look at this band and see for yourself!  Click on the video and then click on “Watch on Youtube” to see this brilliant song.

God Bless


There’s no time for a warning
We’ve got to make our move
We can’t wait until morning
We’ll use the light of the moon

We’ve got love on our side
We’re one step ahead
There’s no time for lies
There’s no time for regret

Holding on to love,
we can’t give in ‘cause
Right or wrong,
We’ll hear the angels’ song and lose our fear
And we’ll disappear
Yeah we’ll disappear

I’ll kiss your lips when you’re dreaming
I’ll keep watch when you sleep
And I won’t stop believing
When time makes me weak

Holding on to love,
we can’t give in ‘cause
Right or wrong,
We’ll hear the angels’ song and lose our fear
And we’ll disappear
Yeah we’ll disappear

Falling slow
Fall from view
I’ll follow
I’ll find you

Holding on to love,
we can’t give in ‘cause
Right or wrong,
We’ll hear the angels’ song and lose our fear
And we’ll disappear
Yeah we’ll disappear

It Is What It Is

A warm embrace

Image by Tamara van Molken via Flickr

The longer that I live – the more I am convinced of two things:

1) I have WAY more questions than answers.


2) God is the one who adds and subtracts people from our lives.

To address point #1 – let me just say that I think this stinks – BIG TIME.  I’m a ‘give me an answer’ kind of girl.  Everything must happen for a reason – Every question should have an answer – every conflict should be able to be resolved – ask a simple question – get a simple answer etc, etc.  But this is clearly NOT the case when talking about complex people and complicated situations.  Unfortunately we allow things to be WAY more complicated than they need to be – but  it always comes down to this:

It is what it is.

And like the Billy Joel song I have posted below, that I love and can relate to in many ways, ‘And so it goes, and so it goes, and you’re the only one who knows.’  It is clear that we are not meant to know all the answers and…


It is what it is

And so it goes.

To #2 – I simply say this:  God does amazing things in our lives behind the scenes.  I am proof of  that.  Just when I’ve needed a certain personality in my world – He  positioned someone kind and accepting to help me through a dark and sad time of struggle.  And though it’s been said before – it bears repeating: Sometimes it is only for a season. And then – the next thing I know – they are gone – removed from my life like a distant echo of the past.  I miss them – their presence and difference they made in my life – the laughter and the happy times – so I mourn.  But only for a while.  Then something amazing will happen – another friend will step in who has ‘like mindedness’ and fills a gap in my wounded heart – and you know it’s a God thing.  These friends are the ones who stay. Bringing laughter, hope and understanding into my daily world.

But sometimes there are those who do damage on their way out of my life.  To those that do this – slam a ‘proverbial door’ as they leave my world – hide behind other people – blame – point fingers and run away – and allow themselves to adopt a mindset of distance and silence – believing things that they know deep down inside are not true – this makes me the most sad.   I believe it is those individuals that are missing out on God’s richest blessings of forgiveness and full reconciliation. They have bought into a lie:  That some things cannot be healed – some things cannot be forgiven.  And they will never know how their wounded and broken heart can be healed by the wonderful love and forgiveness of a lost friendship.  They will never know that those they have desperately tried to cut out of their lives – are the very ones that will be able to answer the questions for them and begin the healing process – and they will never know that these are the ones that will forgive and allow them to start over. Helping them to truly make sense of what went wrong in the first place.  That is a ‘God thing’ when it is done right – when hearts are soft and pliable – and people are ready to put the past finally and completely behind them.

But in the end –

It is what it is.

And so it goes.

I have been given a gift.  I have been forgiven.  And God’s richest blessings are now in my life.  I’m not perfect – I’ve blown it big time – but He’s allowed me to share in the gift of struggle – to understand myself and those around me.  And because He has lavishly poured His love out on me  – I can love and forgive you – and welcome you with open arms – even if you have wronged me.

I am praying God’s richest blessing on your life – that you will find that the  blessed additions and subtractions in your life – those that are there – or not there are for a reason – and is for a higher purpose than you know.  Although there are not always answers to the questions – there is always a reason. And forgiveness and reconciliation is always possible with God. Don’t give up.  Always trust, hope and believe – that there will be answers to the questions – one day.

God Bless

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