Song of the Day #4,509: ‘Stop in Nevada’ – Billy Joel

If you’re a Billy Joel fan, as I am, you find gems no matter where in his catalog you go. OK, maybe his last couple of albums were a bit thin on great material, but prior to the mid-80s, he was firing on all cylinders.

Take today’s SOTD, a cut from the second half of Piano Man, Joel’s 1973 sophomore album and his commercial breakthrough. ‘Stop in Nevada’ is a great song in the same country rock vein as much of the record. Casual Joel fans have probably never heard it. But if you know and love the man, this is one more solid song in a sea of them.

Incidentally, my reading about this song suggests that the woman’s “stop in Nevada” is to get a quickie divorce from the schlub she’s leaving behind.

Also, Joel is pronouncing Nevada wrong. It should be “va” as in “vapid.”

[Verse 1]
He always found it hard to take her
She wouldn’t listen to advice
And though he never tried to make her
She often thought it would be nice

[Chorus]
Oh, and now she’s headin’ out to California
It’s been a long time comin’
But she’s feelin’ like a woman tonight
And she left a little letter
Said she’s gonna make a stop in Nevada
Goodbye. Goodbye

[Verse 2]
She tried for years to be a good wife
It never quite got off the ground
And all those stories of the good life
Convinced her not to hang around

[Chorus]
Oh, and now she’s headin’ out to California
And she doesn’t know what’s comin’
But she sure knows what she’s leavin’ behind
And she left a little letter
Said she’s gonna make a stop in Nevada
Goodbye. Goodbye

[Bridge]
And though she finds it hard to leave him
She knows it would be worse to stay
He wouldn’t understand the reasons
That make a woman run away

[Chorus]
Oh, and now she’s headin’ out to California
With some money in her pocket
She’s a rocket on the Fourth of July
And she left a little letter
Said she’s gonna make a stop in Nevada
Goodbye. Goodbye

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,509: ‘Stop in Nevada’ – Billy Joel

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    This has always been one of my favorite of the lesser known Joel songs, even if he mispronounces the state’s name. By the way, who decides what the correct pronunciation is anyway? If the word derives from Spanish, the soft “a” would seem right. Is this a case of Americans deciding to Americanize a name?

  2. Dana Gallup says:

    Seems I am right. The original and arguably correct pronunciation is with the soft “a,” and it changed with northern and Midwestern people moving into the state. I applaud Billy Joel for honoring the native pronunciation!

  3. Peg says:

    Love Billy Joel. “You say Nevada and I say Nevada let’s call the whole thing off” pretend I am singing that 😊

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