Piano Man (5:38)

Cover of Piano Man

From Piano Man and 60 other releases

“Piano Man” was Billy Joel’s first major hit and is considered Joel’s signature song. The verses of the song are sung from the point of view of a bar piano player who focuses mainly on everyone else at the bar: John the bartender, the waitress, and bar regulars like Paul and Davy. Most of these characters have unfulfilled dreams, and the pianist’s job, it seems, is to help them “forget about life for a while”. The chorus, in bar-room sing-along style, comes from the bar patrons themselves, who plead, “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.”

“Piano Man” has been released as a single and on several albums.

“Piano Man” is a fictionalized retelling of real people Joel met during his days as a piano-lounge singer in Los Angeles, after the failure of his first album, Cold Spring Harbor. Joel’s own personal feelings about this failure are expressed in the failed dreams of the characters in his song. At the time, Joel was trying to get out of a bad deal with the record company Family Productions, so, according to Joel, he was “hiding out” at the bar, performing under the name Bill Martin while Columbia Records tried to get him out of the deal.


Everyone’s tags

More tags

Preview this track (0:30)

Position: 00:00
More about this track…

Albums featuring this track (61)

Similar Tracks

  Track   Duration Listeners
  Billy Joel - She's Always A Woman 3:21 183,561
Billy Joel - New York State Of Mind 6:01 152,873
Don McLean - American Pie 8:33 367,142
Elton John - Tiny Dancer 6:13 456,852
Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl 3:07 542,853
Elton John - Rocket Man (I Think It's Going to Be a Long Long Time) 4:43 125,350

Listening Trend

437,838listeners all time
2,106,085scrobbles all time
Recent listeners trend:

Explore more


Leave a comment. Log in to Last.fm or sign up.
  • frearson10

    "and they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar and say man, what are you doing here?" Just classic!

    4 Jul 3:06pm Reply
  • brokenheadband

    Haha TOMHINK it only took lastfm 4 songs to play this for me ;] "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" and the piano riff that follows = my favorite part.

    27 Jun 11:36pm Reply


    20 Jun 7:36pm Reply
  • alienseyeview

    if you have ever been a barfly you can relate to this song

    19 Jun 3:37am Reply
  • tabletopdrummer


    14 Jun 6:55pm Reply
  • TWHsr

    Such a good song, I have always loved it since I first heard it.

    8 Jun 6:29am Reply
  • kuehlewind58

    suber suber

    5 Jun 1:29pm Reply
  • frearson10

    Early Billy Joel captured characters as they truly were. Not every bar is like "Cheers". BJ was genius at writing music based on real life in America, with all our flaws and deficiencies. I salute him

    27 May 6:25pm Reply
  • stovallnikov

    I can list superlatives all day about this song...I don't believe they'd equal how special it is to me though. Billy Joel is one of the few people ever so gifted at singing, putting music together and writing great lyrics.

    24 May 7:55pm Reply
  • Ferdokki

    I agree with tabletopdrummer. The cool thing about this song is that the characters sung about in the song are all relatable to real types of people in life. And I guess that's what makes this song so timeless and fantastic.

    16 May 7:00am Reply
  • TWHsr

    Got that right davidbowiegirl.

    8 May 1:58am Reply
  • davidbowiegirl

    Good song

    5 May 2:39pm Reply
  • tabletopdrummer

    lyrics really tell a timeless story, about being with Bill, John,Paul, Davey, the old man, and all the people in this smokey bar.

    2 May 5:12pm Reply
  • TWHsr

    Such a good song and I can relate.

    18 Apr 6:04am Reply

    OMG! Really? Love! Love~ !

    8 Apr 9:44am Reply
  • Ferdokki

    Aw man, it's 9:52 on a Saturday. *sigh* Someday I'll catch him at 9:00 on a Saturday on my last.fm radio...

    31 Mar 2:53am Reply
  • TWHsr

    Super song

    26 Mar 6:33am Reply
  • greenvillepa


    19 Mar 2:04am Reply
  • Ferdokki

    Haha, it's 9:00 on a Monday where I am right now. XD During football season, we played this song before every game. Good times, good times...

    19 Mar 1:55am Reply
  • ati1978

    ...and the piano sounds like a carnival and the micrphone smells like a beer!

    4 Mar 4:33am Reply
  • All 567 shouts

Listening Now

Top Listeners