Song of the Day #3,775: ‘Everybody Loves You Now’ – Billy Joel

Here’s a great song from Billy Joel’s debut album, 1971’s Cold Spring Harbor. A live version was later released on the 1981 compilation album Songs in the Attic.

‘Everybody Loves You Now’ is a bitter serenade to a woman who hit it big and, in the narrator’s eyes, turned her back on the neighborhood (“you ain’t got the time to go to Cold Spring Harbor no more”).

Reading the lyrics, I feel the singer isn’t entirely fair to this woman. He doesn’t present any evidence that she has turned into a horrible person. He seems to hold it against her that he remains attracted to her despite his disdain.

Of course, reading this song as a misogynistic attack doesn’t make it any less compelling. Joel captures the mindset and voice of this character and sets it to the most propulsive piano and drum performance on the album.

Baby all the lights are turned on you
Now you’re in the center of the stage
Ev’rything revolves on what you do
Ah, you are in your prime
You’ve come of age

You can always have your way somehow
Because everybody loves you now

You can walk away from your mistakes
You can turn your back on what you do
Just a little smile is all it takes
And you can have your cake and eat it too

Loneliness will get to you somehow
But everybody loves you now

Ah, they all want your white body
And they await your reply
Ah, but between you and me and the Staten Island ferry
So do I

All the people want to know your name
Soon there will be lines outside your door
Feelings do not matter in your game
Because nothing’s gonna touch you anymore

So your life is only living anyhow
And everybody loves you now

Close your eyes when you don’t want to see
And stay at home when you don’t want to go
Only speak to those who will agree
Yeah, and close your mind when you don’t want to know

You have lost your innocence somehow
But everybody loves you now

Ah, you know that nothing lasts forever
And it’s all been done before
Ah, but you ain’t got the time
To go to Cold Spring Harbor no more

See how all the people gather around
Hey, isn’t it a thrill to see them crawl
Keep your eyes ahead and don’t look down
Yeah, and lock yourself inside your sacred wall

This is what you wanted, ain’t you proud
Because everybody loves you now

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,775: ‘Everybody Loves You Now’ – Billy Joel

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Always loved this song, especially the live version on Songs in the Attic. It is, to be sure, bitter, but I don’t see it as misogynistic. Indeed, a woman could have written this about a male celebrity. Actually, I guess a woman kinda did with Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain.”

  2. Peg says:

    Nice to start the day with a Billy Joel song ❤️

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