Song of the Day #1,288: ‘Temptation’ – Billy Joel

And my second Random Weekend selection is… ‘Temptation’ from Billy Joel’s 1986 album, The Bridge.

Well, it could have been worse. It could have been ‘This is the Time.’

The Bridge is an interesting album in that it features some of Joel’s most ambitious, complex work (songs such as ‘Big Man on Mulberry Street,’ ‘Running On Ice’ and ‘Code of Silence’) but also some of his worst forays into MOR sap.

I will admit I softened a lot toward ‘Temptation’ when I learned it was about his daughter, Alexa. It’s hard to dis a song a father writes for his kid. But the production of this track just turns me off from the start, and the lyrics just get so melodramatic by the end. He’s losing composure and restraint, he’s not a hero or a saint… all because he likes playing with his kid too much?

It’s time for me to be on my way I know
I’ve got business to conduct and I’ve got places to go
But I can’t help looking at her sleeping instead
Another morning I’ll have trouble climbing out of this bed

Because – she’s such a temptation
It’s driving me crazy
And it’s my fascination that’s making me act this way
And I know what all of my friends say
They’re afraid that I’m losing my touch
But she’s such a temptation

I look so tired ’cause I don’t get much sleep
And I’ve got too many commitments that are too hard too keep
And I try to be rational and I try to be wise
But it all gets blown to pieces when I look in her eyes

Because – she’s such a temptation
And nothing can save me
Any my only salvation is tearing myself away
I know what all of my friends say:
There’s a danger in wanting too much
She’s such a temptation

I should be leaving, but I can’t cut it loose
I have my reasons for resistance, but I have no excuse
And I lose my composure; I could use some restraint
I never claimed to be a hero, and I never said I was a saint

She’s such a temptation
And it’s driving me crazy
And it’s my fascination that’s making me act this way
And I can just hear all my friends say:
“Better watch out, you’re losing your touch”
She’s such a temptation
Yes she is
She’s such a temptation
Yes she is
Yes she is
She’s such a temptation

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,288: ‘Temptation’ – Billy Joel

  1. Dana says:

    I had always assumed this song was about his wife, and I can see being softer on it because it’s about his daughter, but the song is still lame for all of the reasons you mentioned.

    Hard to believe this song coexists on the same album as something as wonderful as “Big Man on Mulberry Street.”

  2. Amy says:

    I agree with everything you said except for your disdain for “This is the Time,” a song I find far more worthwhile than today’s SOTD. Still, this album has some fabulous songs, and it is so easy to hit skip when you come across one of the lesser tracks (unless, of course, it has popped up for a random weekend blog post)

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