slow down you crazy child.

Friday, April 25, 2008

If you know me well, you know that I have been a Billy Joel fan my entire life. I grew up listening to his music everyday. My first concert ever was a Billy concert when I was in elementary school. I was with my parents and we were in the third row. I will never forget that experience. My parents of course love Billy Joel, especially my Dad. So much so that he used to have a “Billy” party every year- with a quiz and everything. He sent the quiz to Billy once, and Billy actually responded! {he said the test was hard} My parents have met him several times as well; I have not yet had that honor, but I have seen him in concert twice. So many of his songs have inspired me throughout my life…

“Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)” is a song that my Dad used to sing to me- we played it for our Father/Daughter dance at our wedding. “Piano Man” is our family song- our entire extended family. It is tradition that at every major family event we play that song and get in a circle and sing it together. Sorry if this sounds too kumbaya for you, but it really is sweet.

In any event, I want to share just one of my favorite Billy songs with you, because I have way too many to share them all. It seems that whenever I go through a rough patch in life or I’m super stressed, I swear that I feel better after listening to this song. It is called “Vienna” {and yes you may have heard it since it was made popular by the flick 13 Going On 30.} But if you just listen to the lyrics, his melody, and the sincerity in his voice- I think that this song will help to escape your crazy life as it always does for me. Enjoy.

Slow down you crazy child
You're so ambitious for a juvenile
But then if you're so smart tell me why
You are still so afraid?
Where's the fire, what's the hurry about?
You better cool it off before you burn it out
You got so much to do and only
So many hours in a day
But you know that when the truth is told
That you can get what you want
Or you an just get old
You're gonna kick off before you even get halfway through
When will you realize
Vienna waits for you
Slow down you're doing fine
You can't be everything you want to be
Before your time
Although it's so romantic on the borderline tonight
Too bad but it's the life you lead
You're so ahead of yourself
That you forgot what you need
Though you can see when you're wrong
But you know you can't always see when you're right
You got your passion you got your pride
But don't you know only fools are satisfied?
Dream on, but don't imagine they'll all come true
When will you realize
Vienna waits for you
Slow down you crazy child
Take the phone off the hook
And disappeaar for a while
It's alright you can afford to lose a day or two
When will you realize
Vienna waits for you.

I think this song explains itself. Slow down every once in a while and enjoy your life. “Vienna” symbolizes your future happiness and that you will get there. Take your time and enjoy your life because “Vienna waits for you.” But this song could mean so many different things to different people, and that just makes me appreciate it all the more.

Billy wrote this song while in Vienna, Austria after watching an elderly woman proudly sweeping the sidewalk in front of her home. He was inspired by how much old age and wisdom was appreciated. Billy was asked about the significance of Vienna, and why it was dedicated a song, and replied (paraphrased by Ann M. Leonhardt:)
He told us that he was very impressed at the respect given to elders in Europe. One day he saw an old woman sweeping a public street with great pride, and it made an impression. He wanted people to realize that there is time in life to accomplish our goals and everything doesn't have to be at a break-neck speed. Instead of fearing old age as we do here, it should be anticipated and valued. So, instead of rushing to accomplish everything in youth you should remember…

"Vienna waits for you."

{photo "Sing A Song of Distant Shores" by Alicia Bock.}

Currently listening to :: Vienna by Billy Joel.


Kristy said...

Lullabye was the song my father and I danced to as well! We are date twins and song twins! :)
I adore Billy Joel...

kari said...

I LOVE that song, I listen to it whenever I am feeling overwhelmed.