On some days when the speed of all that can spin past you and around you in the span of a mere 12 hours can scram you out, you can be lifted by the memory of a song. Today Billy Joel’s old classic ‘Just the Way You Are’ came back and occupied center stage for no discernible reason. It took me back to being an extremely privileged high school student at a rather special boarding school when some of us would gather in the evening around an old vinyl record player and put on Billy Joel’s 1977 The Stranger album.
His raspy voice, crystal clear delivery and faultless, undoubted immersion in the mood the words evoke gets under my skin even now after all these years. And the promise he makes to a real or imaginary lover/friend/partner reminds me of the ideal that so many of us are taken up by. To have amidst those we know someone who will abide. No matter what. No matter where. No matter how.
Ridiculously irrational and hopeless romantic ideals but deliciously life affirming and spirit lifting all the same.
Someday I hope to try my hand at singing this at a karaoke bar! There. I said it.
Below is the man and his song.