The Stranger Album

Artist(s): Billy Joel

Cover Art

Billy Joel The Stranger Cover Art

Tracklist

Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)

length: 3:30
producer: Phil Ramone
engineer: Jim Boyer and Phil Ramone
piano: Billy Joel
lead vocals: Billy Joel
saxophone: Richie Cannata
electric bass guitar: Doug Stegmeyer
drums (drum set): Liberty DeVitto
lyricist: Billy Joel
composer: Billy Joel

Anthony works in the grocery store
Savin' his pennies for someday
Mama Leone left a note on the door
She said
"Sonny, move out to the country"
Workin' too hard can give me
A heart attack (ack...)
You oughta know by now (oughta know)
Who needs a house out in Hackensack?
Is that what you get with your money?

It seems such a waste of time
If that's what it's all about
If that's movin' up then I'm movin' out

Sergeant O'Leary is walkin' the beat
At night he becomes a bartender
He works at Mister Cacciatore's down
On Sullivan Street
Across from the medical center
He's tradin' in his Chevy for a Cadillac (ac...)
You oughta know by now
And if he can't drive
With a broken back
At least he can polish the fenders

It seems such a waste of time
If that's what it's all about
If that's movin' up then I'm movin' out

You should never argue with a crazy mind (mmm...)
You oughta know by now
You can pay Uncle Sam with overtime
Is that all you get for your money?
It seems such a waste of time
If that's what it's all about
Good luck movin' up
I'm moving out
If that's movin' up then I'm movin' out

The Stranger

length: 5:10
producer: Phil Ramone
piano: Billy Joel
lead vocals: Billy Joel
engineer: Phil Ramone and Jim Boyer
electric bass guitar: Doug Stegmeyer
percussion: Ralph MacDonald
drums (drum set): Liberty DeVitto
whistling: Billy Joel
lyricist: Billy Joel
composer: Billy Joel
Well, we all have a face that we hide away forever
And we take them out and show ourselves when everyone has gone.
Some are satin, some are steel,
Some are silk and some are leather.
They're the faces of a stranger,
But we'd love to try them on.

Well, we all fall in love,
But we disregard the danger,
Though we share so many secrets,
There are some we never tell.
Why were you so surprised that you never saw the stranger?
Did you ever let your lover see the stranger in yourself?

Don't be afraid to try again.
Everyone goes south every now and then.
You've done it.
Why can't someone else?
You should know by now.
You've been there yourself.

Once I used to believe I was such a great romancer.
Then I came home to a woman that I could not recognize.
When I pressed her for a reason,
She refused to even answer.
It was then I felt the stranger kick me right between the eyes.

Well, we all fall in love
But we disregard the danger
Though we share so many secrets
There are some we never tell
Why were you so surprised that you never saw the stranger
Did you ever let your lover see the stranger in yourself.

Don't be afraid to try again.
Everyone goes south every now and then.
You've done it.
Why can't someone else?
You should know by now.
You've been there yourself.

You may never understand how the stranger is inspired.
But he isn't always evil and he is not always wrong.
Though you drown in good intensions,
You will never quench the fire.
You'll give in to your desire when the stranger comes along.

Just the Way You Are

length: 4:51
producer: Phil Ramone
engineer: Jim Boyer and Phil Ramone
lead vocals: Billy Joel
keyboard: Billy Joel
percussion: Ralph MacDonald
acoustic guitar: Hugh McCracken and Steve Burgh
electric bass guitar: Doug Stegmeyer
drums (drum set): Liberty DeVitto
alto saxophone: Phil Woods
composer: Billy Joel
lyricist: Billy Joel
Don't go changing to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don't imagine you're too familiar
And I don't see you anymore

I would not leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I'll take the bad times
I take you just the way you are

​Don't go trying some new fashion
​Don't change the color of your hair
​You always have my unspoken passion
​Though I might not seem to care

​I don't want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are

I need to know that you will always be
The same old someone that I knew
Ah, what will it take till you believe in me?
The way that I believe in you?

I said I love you and that's forever
And this I promise from the heart
But I couldn't love you any better
I love you just the way you are

​(Solo)

​I don't want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are

​Oh... Yeah....

Thanks to Ismael for the correction

Scenes From an Italian Restaurant

length: 7:37
producer: Phil Ramone
piano: Billy Joel
lead vocals: Billy Joel
engineer: Phil Ramone and Jim Boyer
electric guitar: Steve Burgh
electric bass guitar: Doug Stegmeyer
acoustic guitar: Hugh McCracken
accordion: Dominic Cortese
clarinet: Richie Cannata
saxophone: Richie Cannata
drums (drum set): Liberty DeVitto
composer: Billy Joel
lyricist: Billy Joel
A bottle of white, a bottle of red
Perhaps a bottle of rose instead
We'll get a table near the street
In our old familiar place
You and I,face to face

A bottle of red, a bottle of white
It all depends upon your appetite
I'll meet you any time you want
In our Italian Restaurant.

Things are okay with me these days
Got a good job, got a good office
Got a new wife, got a new life
And the family's fine
We lost touch long ago
You lost weight I did not know
You could ever look so good after
So much time.

I remember those days hanging out
At the village green
Engineer boots, leather jackets
And tight blue jeans
Drop a dime in the box play the
Song about New Orleans
Cold beer, hot lights
My sweet romantic teenage nights

Brenda and Eddie were the
Popular steadys
And the king and the queen
Of the prom
Riding around with the car top
Down and the radio on.
Nobody looked any finer
Or was more of a hit at the
Parkway Diner
We never knew we could want more
Than that out of life
Surely Brenda and Eddie would
Always know how to survive.

Brenda and Eddy were still going
Steady in the summer of '75
When they decided the marriage would
Be at the end of July
Everyone said they were crazy
"Brenda you know you're much too lazy
Eddie could never afford to live that
Kind of life."
But there we were wavin' Brenda and
Eddie goodbye.

They got an apartment with deep
Pile carpet
And a couple of paintings from Sears
A big waterbed that they bought
With the bread
They had saved for a couple
Of years
They started to fight when the
Money got tight
And they just didn't count on
The tears.

They lived for a while in a
Very nice style
But it's always the same in the end
They got a divorce as a matter
Of course
And they parted the closest
Of friends
Then the king and the queen went
Back to the green
But you can never go back
There again.

Brenda and Eddie had had it
Already by the summer of '75
From the high to the low to
The end of the show
For the rest of their lives
They couldn't go back to
The greasers
The best they could do was
Pick up the pieces
We always knew they would both
Find a way to get by
That's all I heard about
Brenda and Eddie
Can't tell you more than I
Told you already
And here we are wavin' Brenda
And Eddie goodbye.

A bottle of red, a bottle of white
Whatever kind of mood you're in tonight
I'll meet you anytime you want
In our Italian Restaurant.

Vienna

length: 3:35
producer: Phil Ramone
piano: Billy Joel
lead vocals: Billy Joel
engineer: Phil Ramone and Jim Boyer
electric bass guitar: Doug Stegmeyer
accordion: Dominic Cortese
drums (drum set): Liberty DeVitto
lyricist: Billy Joel
composer: Billy Joel
Slow down, you crazy child
You're so ambitious for a juvenile
But then if you're so smart, then tell me
Why are you still so afraid?

Where's the fire, what's the hurry about?
You'd better cool it off before you burn it out
You've got so much to do
And only so many hours in a day

But you know that when the truth is told
Then you can get what you want or you can 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
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, you know
You can't always see when you're right. you're right

You've got your passion, you've got your pride
But don't you know that 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
And take the phone off the hook and disappear for awhile
It's all right, you can afford to lose a day or two
When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?
And you know that when the truth is told
That you can get what you want or you can just get old
You're gonna kick off before you even get half through
Why don't you realize, Vienna waits for you
When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?

Only the Good Die Young

length: 3:55
producer: Phil Ramone
engineer: Jim Boyer and Phil Ramone
piano: Billy Joel
lead vocals: Billy Joel
saxophone: Richie Cannata
organ: Richie Cannata
electric bass guitar: Doug Stegmeyer
drums (drum set): Liberty DeVitto
composer: Billy Joel
lyricist: Billy Joel
Come out Virginia, don't let 'em wait
You Catholic girls start much too late
Aw but sooner or later it comes down to faith
Oh I might as well be the one

Well, they showed you a statue, told you to pray
They built you a temple and locked you away
Aw, but they never told you the price that you pay
For things that you might have done
Only the good die young
That's what I said
Only the good die young
Only the good die young

You might have heard I run with a dangerous crowd
We ain't too pretty we ain't too proud
We might be laughing a bit too loud
Aw but that never hurt no one

So come on Virginia show me a sign
Send up a signal and I'll throw you the line
The stained-glass curtain you're hiding behind
(you know)
Never lets in the sun
Darlin' only the good die young
Woah
I tell ya
Only the good die young
Only the good die young

You got a nice white dress and a party on your confirmation
You got a brand new soul
Mmm, and a cross of gold
But Virginia they didn't give you quite enough information
You didn't count on me
When you were counting on your rosary
(oh woah woah)

They say there's a heaven for those who will wait
Some say it's better but I say it ain't
I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints
The sinners are much more fun

You know that only the good die young
That's what I said
I tell ya
Only the good die young
Only the good die young

Well your mother told you all that I could give you was a reputation
Aw a hey never cared for me
But did she ever say a prayer for me? oh woah woah

Come out come out come out Virginia don't let 'em wait,
You Catholic girls start much too late
Oh sooner or later it comes down to faith
Oh I might as well be the one,
You know that only the good die young

I'm telling you baby
You know that only the good die young
Only the good die young
Only the good
Only the good die young
Only the good
Only the good die young

She’s Always a Woman

length: 3:21
producer: Phil Ramone
engineer: Phil Ramone and Jim Boyer
piano: Billy Joel
lead vocals: Billy Joel
flute: Richie Cannata
acoustic guitar: Hugh McCracken and Steve Burgh
electric bass guitar: Doug Stegmeyer
composer: Billy Joel
lyricist: Billy Joel
She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes,
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies,
And she only reveals what she wants you to see.
She hides like a child but she's always a woman to me.
She can lead you to love, she can take you or leave you,
She can ask for the truth but she'll never believe you,
And she'll take what you give her as long as it's free

Yeah she steals like a thief but she's always a woman to me.
Oh, she takes care of herself, she can wait if she wants,
She's ahead of her time.
Oh, she never gives out and she never gives in,
She just changes her mind.

And she'll promise you more than the garden of Eden
Then she'll carelessly cut you and laugh while you're bleeding,
But she brings out the best and the worst you can be.

Blame it all on yourself cause she's always a woman to me.
Oh, she takes care of herself, she can wait if she wants,
She's ahead of her time.
Oh, she never gives out and she never gives in,
She just changes her mind.

She is frequently kind and she's suddenly cruel,
She can do as she pleases, she's nobody's fool,
But she can't be convicted, she's earned her degree,
And the most she will do is throw shadows at you
But she's always a woman to me.

Get It Right the First Time

length: 3:58
producer: Phil Ramone
piano: Billy Joel
lead vocals: Billy Joel
engineer: Jim Boyer and Phil Ramone
flute: Richie Cannata
electric bass guitar: Doug Stegmeyer
acoustic guitar: Hugh McCracken
percussion: Ralph MacDonald
drums (drum set): Liberty DeVitto
lyricist: Billy Joel
composer: Billy Joel
I don't believe in first impressions
For just this once I hope that looks don't deceive
I ain't got time for true confessions
I've got to make the move right now
Got to meet that girl somehow
I've gotta get it right the first time
That's the main thing, oohh oohh
I can't afford to let it pass
You get it right the next time that's not the same thing, ooh ooh
Gonna have to make the first time last
La, la, la, la, la (Repeat)

I'm not much good at conversation
I was never to smooth at comin' on real strong
If all it takes is inspiration
Then I might have just what it takes
If I don't make no bad mistakes and I get it right the first time
That's the main thing
Can't afford to let it pass
You get it right the next time that's not the same thing
Have to make the first time last
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la (Repeat)

I might find the courage, yeah
I might get up the nerve
But if my timing ain't just right
What purpose would it serve?
I don't know, I don't know
I don't know how to say those first few words
If I want to put myself in touch
The first few moments mean so much

So I suppose it's now or never
Before that woman walks right out of my life
Just let me pull myself together
I've got to give it one good try
Gotta take my chance tonight
I've gotta get it right the first time
That's the main thing
I can't afford to let it pass
You get it right the next time it's not the same thing
Gonna have to make the first time last
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la (Repeat)

Everybody Has a Dream

length: 4:35
producer: Phil Ramone
engineer: Jim Boyer and Phil Ramone
organ: Richard Tee
background vocals: Patti Austin, Gwen Guthrie, Lani Groves and Phoebe Snow
percussion: Ralph MacDonald
acoustic guitar: Hugh McCracken
lyricist: Billy Joel
composer: Billy Joel
While in these days of quiet desperation
As I wander through the world in which I live
I search everywhere, for some new inspiration
But it's more than cold reality can give

If I need a cause for celebration
Or a comfort I can use to ease my mind
I rely on my imagination
And I dream of an imaginary time

[Chorus: ]
I know that everybody has a dream
Everybody has a dream
And this is my dream, my own
Just to be at home
And to be all alone...with you

If I believe in all the words I'm saying
And if a word from you can bring a better day
Then all I have are these games that I've been playing
To keep my hope from crumbling away

So let me lie and let me go on sleeping
And I will lose myself in palaces of sand
And all the fantasies that I have been keeping
Will make the empty hours easier to stand

[Chorus: ]

Everybody has a dream... (Repeat)

The Stranger (reprise)

length: 1:57
producer: Phil Ramone
engineer: Jim Boyer and Phil Ramone
lyricist: Billy Joel
composer: Billy Joel
Well, we all have a face that we hide away forever
And we take them out and show ourselves when everyone has gone.
Some are satin, some are steel,
Some are silk and some are leather.
They're the faces of a stranger,
But we'd love to try them on.

Well, we all fall in love,
But we disregard the danger,
Though we share so many secrets,
There are some we never tell.
Why were you so surprised that you never saw the stranger?
Did you ever let your lover see the stranger in yourself?

Don't be afraid to try again.
Everyone goes south every now and then.
You've done it.
Why can't someone else?
You should know by now.
You've been there yourself.

Once I used to believe I was such a great romancer.
Then I came home to a woman that I could not recognize.
When I pressed her for a reason,
She refused to even answer.
It was then I felt the stranger kick me right between the eyes.

Well, we all fall in love
But we disregard the danger
Though we share so many secrets
There are some we never tell
Why were you so surprised that you never saw the stranger
Did you ever let your lover see the stranger in yourself.

Don't be afraid to try again.
Everyone goes south every now and then.
You've done it.
Why can't someone else?
You should know by now.
You've been there yourself.

You may never understand how the stranger is inspired.
But he isn't always evil and he is not always wrong.
Though you drown in good intensions,
You will never quench the fire.
You'll give in to your desire when the stranger comes along.