Top 10 Well Written Rock Songs (Number 6: Honesty - Billy Joel)

Song Name: Honesty

Band: Billy Joel

Album: 52nd Street

Released Date: October 13th, 1978

Written by: Billy Joel

 

Background

 

Billy Joel has been writing and performing for over 40 years. He has been performing lately at Madison Square Garden in a long string of sold out shows. He has had many hits most notably Piano Man and New York State of Mind. I could have picked from a few of his albums but I decided to choose a song that is not as well known in North America for some reason. This song did not appear on the Greatest Hits package in NA. However, it did appear on other compilations across the world.

 

The song that I picked for my sixth choice is Honesty off the 52nd Street album. 52nd Street is not his best effort but there are a few good songs on there such as Big Shot and My Life. It was good enough to be in the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

 

So what is this song about? In short it is how Love is easier to find than truthfulness. This is evident in the first part of the song:

 

If you search for tenderness
It isn't hard to find
You can have the love you need to live
But if you look for truthfulness
You might just as well be blind
It always seems to be so hard to give

 

Lyrics

 

(Verse 1)
If you search for tenderness
It isn't hard to find
You can have the love you need to live
But if you look for truthfulness
You might just as well be blind
It always seems to be so hard to give

(Hook)
Honesty is such a lonely word
Everyone is so untrue
Honesty is hardly ever heard
And mostly what I need from you

(Verse 2)
I can always find someone
To say they sympathize
If I wear my heart out on my sleeve
But I don't want some pretty face
To tell me pretty lies
All I want is someone to believe

(Hook)

(Bridge)
I can find a lover
I can find a friend
I can have security
Until the bitter end
Anyone can comfort me
With promises again
I know, I know

(Verse 3)

When I'm deep inside of me

Don't be too concerned

I won't ask for nothin' while I'm gone

But when I want sincerity

Tell me where else can I turn

Cause you're the one that I depend upon

 

(Hook)

Bottomline

 

When I first listened to this song a very long ago, I just thought that it was just another song. However as I grew older, I noticed that it became more and more true.  I have had relationships in the past where honesty was not always there on both sides.  I find that in general though, honesty is not as easy to come by than I remembered. May be this is not true and it is me becoming more cynical as time goes by. 

 

That is why I try to be honest with everyone that I talk to, let it be family and friends. When I know someone is being level with me, I appreciate it very much. In a time where taking criticism puts everyone in a defensive position, I find that honesty is what keeps me grounded. You may not always hear what you want to hear but more of what you need to hear. I understand that there are times where it may not always be ideal, but I try to be as honest as I can everyday. 

 

The moral of this song is simple and it is also true. To find love is easy but to find true love, that is something that is rarer. 

 

Honesty - Billy Joel

 What do you think? Is this is good one for the list?

 

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