I am not exactly sure how I’m going to structure The Music Challenge. So forgive me if it changes a bit from post to post. The one thing I do know is that they will not be in any particular order. I’m not ranking them. How would one even begin to rank 365 songs?
Also, I have changed my Thursday-Thank-Yous page (no one seemed particularly thankful on Thursdays) to The Music Challenge to keep my ongoing list of one year’s worth of songs that transport me or remind me of something special.
Kicking things off – today I share with you my beloved Billy Joel. I’m sure he’ll show up a few more times (big fan). However, there was one song that always throws me back to my tween years.
I watched the video a thousand times. It was pretty iconic for a music video in the day. It was also one of those songs, as a naïve tweener, where you know this musician is totally hitting the nail on the head. He’s calling out the man and sharing a killer message everyone should be listening to. I was being told by Billy Joel himself (in 4 minutes and 49 seconds) 40 years of newsworthy history that had brought us to the world as we knew it then (1989). Mind. Blown.
Every time I hear the song now, I’m reminded of a conversation I had with one of my uncles over dinner in Savannah. We were at Churchill’s Pub eating fish and chips. I remember that part as clear as day. I don’t know how we got on the topic. I was probably being some idealistic college student talking about changing the world because it’s so tragic now and that’s what you do in college – swim in idealism. He took in what I said, listening to me rant with a knowing look in his eye, and then proceeded to tell me how every generation thinks theirs is the one that’s messed up and destroying the world. They think every other generation had it so much better than theirs does. Maybe the 80s had things like The Cold War, but the 50s had things like the Korean Conflict. It wasn’t all poodle skirts and house fraus waiting on their husbands and children like some Leave It To Beaver episode. Yeah, my uncle is pretty smart. I loved that dinner with my uncle. I think it was the only one-on-one with him I’ve ever had.
Billy Joel is smart, too. This song is probably far from many a fan’s favorite of his, mine included, but it is memorable and it does remind me of an awesome moment shared with my uncle during a surprise dinner while he dropped knowledge bombs left and right. Backing up my uncle’s words, the song states, pretty boldly might I add, that the grass is not greener. Nor was it ever. A great song to kick off The Music Challenge.
- We Didn’t Start The Fire (1989)
I would love your thoughts on this song! Love it? Hate it? Does it remind you of something in particular?