Song Of The Day: Billy Joel ‘Summer Highland Falls’

Billy Joel sings 'Summer Highland Falls'
Billy Joel sings ‘Summer Highland Falls’ (screen cap via YouTube)

Making my way these days – COVID, writing, life – Billy Joel’s “Summer Highland Falls” (from his 1976 album Turnstiles) recently bubbled up in my psyche.

I have a real estate listing here in Las Vegas where the market is insanely hot for Sellers, but the flip-side to that is Buyers are having a tough, tough time getting offers accepted with so much competition.

In a wider view, I’m reminded of life’s highs and lows, seeing the other sides — of arguments, positions, perspectives…

“They say that these are not the best of times,” Billy got that right. And amid the pandemic, we find “there is a time for meditation in cathedrals of our own.”

Watching the political landscape, my spirit resonates with the sentiment, “So we’ll argue and we’ll compromise, and realize that nothing’s ever changed…”

And taking in the constantly roiling race relations across the country, I can hear the insight in Billy’s 1976 prose offering, “And as we stand upon the ledges of our lives with our respective similarities, it’s either sadness or euphoria…”

Billy has said in interviews it’s one of his favorite songs he ever wrote. Mine too.

The song began with the chords, but he developed the rolling piano figure to express the manic-ness he often feels.

Humanity in three minutes.

They say that these are not the best of times
But they’re the only times I’ve ever known
And I believe there is a time for meditation
In cathedrals of our own
Now I have seen that sad surrender in my lover’s eyes
And I can only stand apart and sympathize
For we are always what our situations hand us
It’s either sadness or euphoria

So we’ll argue and we’ll compromise
And realize that nothing’s ever changed
For all our mutual experience
Our separate conclusions are the same
Now we are forced to recognize our inhumanity
Our reason coexists with our insanity
But we choose between reality and madness
It’s either sadness or euphoria

How thoughtlessly we dissipate our energies
Perhaps we don’t fulfill each other’s fantasies
And as we stand upon the ledges of our lives
With our respective similarities
It’s either sadness or euphoria