Billy Joel Reflects on Two of His Songs by Today’s ‘Woke Standards’
Billy Joel knows that if some of his songs were released today, they might raise some eyebrows.
It’s something he touched on in a new interview with the Los Angeles Times. He’s asked about putting together a setlist today and the song “Captain Jack.” (The outlet notes the song’s lyrics about “the junkies and the closet queens.”) When pressed on how he thinks that song and others are thought of in today’s climate, The Piano Man says, “You mean are they woke? It crosses my mind.”
Joel says “Captain Jack” bores him now due to the repetitive chord structure. He adds, ” … It’s this dreary story of some suburban kid j—ing off at home. My mind starts to wander during the song, so I don’t do it even though people want to hear it.”
Joel is then asked about his hit song “Only the Good Die Young.” The Los Angeles Times notes the song is “a touch sell by woke standards.” The track is a fan favorite and peaked at number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1978.
Joel said of the song, “It’s occurred to me recently that I’m trying to talk some poor innocent woman into losing her virginity because of my lust. It’s kind of a selfish song — like, who cares what happens to you? What about what I want?”
However, he does admit, “But on the other hand, it was of its time. This was written in the mid-’70s, and I was trying to seduce girls. Why bulls— about it?”