Harmonica Monday with the Piano Man @BillyJoel

This Billy Joel classic has one of the most recognizable harmonica riffs played throughout the song.

For me, the lyrics are both beautiful and melancholy … but life’s like that. I’m learning to play the song through on the harmonica this week.

If you like your stories with a touch of melancholy, pick  up Fall into Winter, which includes harmonica in the first story, “Seduced by the Blues.”


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Filed under Musical Mondays

21 responses to “Harmonica Monday with the Piano Man @BillyJoel

  1. Still sung loudly by inebriated patrons in NJ bars, almost word-for-word. First time I heard ‘… and put bread in my jar’ I couldn’t understand where they got the bread and why they put it in a jar. I thought it was a metaphor I didn’t get so I never asked anyone.


    • They still sing it? That’s kind of sweet to know. Joe … if anyone asks you for bread and you’re not sitting down for a meal, I hope you know they don’t want that doughy thing you spread peanut butter and jam on. 😉

      Thanks for the comment, lovely man,


  2. John Dolan

    I love Billy Joel. How about some early Bob Dylan soon, Ms Baylee? 🙂


  3. Another idea for Harmonica Monday. I love the Pretenders and Chrissy Hynde. How about her harmonica riff in “Middle of the Road”?


  4. Lance

    My first concert was November 1982 at the Omni in Atlanta – Billy Joel’s Nylon Curtain tour. I was 12. There was no opening act and Billy played two sets – one of the 70s stuff, Piano Man included, then his newer 80s stuff.
    As we walked out of the show and headed toward the concourse to get on the Marta train, somebody with a harmonica started playing Piano Man’s opening bars. Then about 100 or so people started singing. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.


    • Wow, that is very cool. I’ve liked Billy Joel since he came on the scene, mainly for his writing. Always thought he had such visual lyrics, which he does – it tells a story. And your story about him is terrific.

      Thanks Lance for the comment,


  5. I remember first hearing that song sometime on the radio as a kid, and wondering what those lyrics meant…


  6. Billy Joel has always been one of my favorite artists and Piano Man will always be in the Top 20 for me.


  7. Billy Joel has always been one of my favorite artists, and Piano Man will always remain in the Top 20 songs for me. I’d love to hear you play the harmonica for this song! 🙂


  8. Hi Eden – Well, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to resist the urge to comment on this one as Billy Joel is my favorite performer 🙂 Legend has it that he wrote that “Piano Man” during a short stint when he did play at a bar. Lawyers at Columbia were working to get him out of his first (bad) record deal with another firm.


  9. Pingback: Life’s Playlist… Piano Man by Billy Joel @billyjoel | Notes from a Southern Kitchen

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