Out! Out! Billy Joel!

Billy Joel is stuck in my head. I’m not a huge fan; I’ve never owned an album or single. I don’t know all the words to any of his songs, but never the less I can’t get him out of my head! I need to hear Piano Man, or I will die a horrible death. My brain is churning all spare cycles on decoding this song. I never asked it to do this, and I haven't got a clue how to stop it.

Ever had a song stuck in you head and not know all the words? I find there are a number of resolutions to the issue.

  • Sing what you know.
    Wash, rinse, repeat. This will inevitably lead to the loop. You are looping 15% of the song over and over again. Either the song will be purged from your mind by the monotony of it, or you will become psychotic and your friends will loathe your company. I recall once I had a television jingle stuck in my head. Dum da da dum. That’s all I knew. I would sit and listen to conversations and whenever someone tried to engage me I would say “dum da da dum” It was pitiful. People were scared to talk to me, I was in agony and how no idea how to make it stop. Anyway after a number of weeks of this antisocial behavior I saw the V8 commercial from where this came, and all was good again. I just got lucky, I'm not sure what would have happened if the cycle hadn't been broken.

  • Bottle it up inside.
    I can’t give much advice on this one. I’m not one for hiding my feelings. I imagine this would be like shaking pop for an extended period. Sooner or later, something’s going to blow.

  • Make up your own words.
    This is very popular with some folks. They don’t care what words they sing as long as the tune is carried. I do this every once in a while, but would prefer the authentic lyrics. Imagine this in my case… “Sing us a song you’re the singing man, I’m not sure what your name is, but were all sitting here on the barstools, and you’ve got us feeling right yea.” Today this is not working for me.
I'm sure I'll survive this problem and soon be on to my next obsession.

On a side note, if your ever bored here's a fun game. Hum or whistle a part of song, over and over and see what people around you do. My favorite is stopping before the last two beats on “shave and a haircut” (shave-and-a-hair-) This one is great at parties.

Your results my vary.


J Crew said...

We didn't start the fire.. Rock a roll and color wars, I can't take it anymore.

Chris said...

You just need to listen to Weird Al's "Ode to a Superhero" as it is the same tune but much better lyrics IMHO.

kludge said...

I'll check it out!

I'm a huge fan of his "complicated" parody.

Ando said...

Billy Joel did a Complicated parody?

It's nine o'clock on a Saturday
The regular crowd shuffles in
There's an old man sitting next to me
Making love to his tonic and gin

He says, "Son can you play me a memory
I'm not really sure how it goes
But it's sad and it's sweet
And I knew it complete
When I wore a younger man's clothes"

Sing us a song you're the piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well we're all in the mood for a melody
And you've got us feeling alright

Now John at the bar is a friend of mine
He gets me my drinks for free
And he's quick with a joke or to light up your smoke
But there's someplace that he'd rather be

He says, "Bill, I believe this is killing me"
As a smile ran away from his face
"Well, I'm sure that I could be a movie star
If I could get out of this place"

Now Paul is a real estate novelist
Who never had time for a wife
And he's talking with Davy, who's still in the Navy
And probably will be for life

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 drinking alone

Sing us a song you're the piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well we're all in the mood for a melody
And you've got us feeling alright

It's a pretty good crowd for a Saturday
And the manager gives me a smile
'Cause he knows that it's me they've been coming to see
To forget about life for a while

And the piano sounds like a carnival
And the microphone smells like a beer
And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar
And say "Man what are you doing here?"

Sing us a song you're the piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well we're all in the mood for a melody
And you've got us feeling alright

Brendan said...

In my feable, but ongoing attempts at learning to play the guitar, I discovered the same thing to be true with the tune "la bamba"... play right up until the "la bamba" chorus and people will *always* start to sing it..

Heavy G said...

I figured out the chords to that one and can play it on a piano. Does that make me a piano man?

Joshua P. Allem said...

I can think of worse things to have stuck in my head besides Billy Joel...like the chorus from WannaBe by the Spice Girls. Try moving forward with dignity and grace with that stuck in your head all day!

kludge said...


Thanks... I've now been singing the correct lyrics... still not showing any signs of slowing.

kludge said...

Heavy G - You'll always be the man with me, piano or not.

Brendan- Thanks... now I have that one in my head too!

kludge said...


Thanks for stopping by!

I agree, Spice girls had a way of doing that... and the whole social fopah bit too. At least with billy Joel no one gives me "those" looks.

I still haven't found time to listen to the Alien Encounters post, but I was intriged.

Anomie-Atlanta said...

Darn you! Now I have Piano Man stuck in my head.

SJ said...

That happened to me too - I read Ando's comment and now it has been stuck there for the last two days.

kludge said...

See... Billy Joel IS evil!

Jill's world of research, reaction, and millinery said...

You, my man, have an ear worm. That IS the techical name for it.
The cure is to sing the Hallaluia Chorus outloud. It works! And always have something to ponder to keep the worms from getting in in the first place.
Do a blog search on ear worms for more info!

kludge said...

Thanks for stopping by.

I think I've been diagnosed! Thanks, it helps have a name... honest :)