Monday Morning Insights

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    The New Piano Man

    New Piano Man
    By Billy Joel and Edward Sans Gillies III
    (Regrets to Mr. Joel)

    VERSE 1
    It’s 10:45 on a Sunday morn
    The regular crowd shuffles in
    There’s an old man sitting next to me
    Playing bass but his ear’s made of tin
    He says,
    “Son, I can’t play these new melodies
    I’m not really sure how they go
    Won’t you sing ‘Tis so sweet?’
    – I know that one complete
    But this new-fangled stuff has to go!”

    Oh la la la, de de da
    La la, de de da

    Sing the old songs, New Piano Man
    Sing or prepare to fight
    Well we’re all in the mood
    For a worship war
    And you’ve got us feeling uptight

    VERSE 2
    Now John on guitar
    Loves his power chords
    But he only plays in E
    And he’s quick with a joke
    Or to light up his smoke
    After church when no one can see
    He says, “Ed, this just isn’t fulfilling me”
    As the smile runs away from his face,
    Well I’m sure
    That I could play for Mercy Me
    If I could get out of this place.

    Oh la la la, de de da
    La la, de de da


    VERSE 3
    Now Paul is an old school hymnologist
    Who sings sweet duets with his wife
    He’s a whiner and crier,
    Stirring strife in the choir
    And probably will be for life
    And the pastor
    Has mastered church politics,
    His associates are all nicely cloned
    Yes, they’re sharing a think
    That’s called phoniness
    But it’s better than thinking alone.


    VERSE 4
    It’s a pretty good crowd
    For a Sunday morn
    And an elder gives me the look
    ‘Cause he knows that they’ll seethe
    If I don’t quickly sing
    A song from the sacred hymnbook
    And the piano
    It sounds very synthesized
    And the microphone rings
    Loud and clear
    And they sit in their pews
    Slowly coming unglued
    And say,
    “Man, what are you doing here?”

    Oh la la la, de de da
    La la, de de da


    Edward Gillies sent me some lyrics he wrote out of his experience as a worship leader. I've encouraged him also to record a demo of the song. It's based on Billy Joel's "Piano Man". I think you'll enjoy it!


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    1. Rob Grayson on Fri, January 26, 2007

      Thanks for posting this, Todd. It’s great - definitely one to add to the repertoire…(especially if, like me, you’re a longtime Joel fan).


    2. I_am_not on Fri, January 26, 2007

      Love it. This would be good for a sound check song. Perhaps some passersby might take note of the lyrics.

    3. Ladonna on Fri, January 26, 2007

      Well, Todd, thank you for publishing this great new version of Billy’s song. Obviously, the writer is a very talented man who is in close touch with the real attitudes and latitudes of church members toward us as church musicians, as well as toward our music.


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