What does The Entertainer mean?

Billy Joel: The Entertainer Meaning

Album cover for The Entertainer album cover

Song Released: 1975


The Entertainer Lyrics

I am the entertainer,
And I know just where I stand:
Another serenader,
And another long-haired band.
Today I am your champion.
I may have won your hearts.
But I know the game,
You will forget my name,
And I won't be here
In another...

  1. anonymous
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    Dec 8th 2012 !⃝

    "It was a beautiful song
    But it ran too long
    If you're gonna have a hit
    You gotta make it fit
    So they cut it down to 3:05"

    This part was about Piano Man. Radio stations often cut it to 3:05 (removing a significant portion of the song) and Billy Joel wasn't very happy about it. Amusingly, this song runs a little over 3 minutes. Intentional?

  2. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 13th 2011 !⃝

    It's about his life. Musians are wanders and no matter how much he wants to, he can't stay in one spot for long or else he'll go cold.

  3. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 28th 2011 !⃝

    I reckon it's about an Entertainer.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 14th 2008 !⃝

    This song is Billy's way of telling his critics and fans alike, that he knows what and who he is. At this point in his carrear (1974) he knows the music industry up, down, left and right. He knows exactly how it works and exactly how he may end up.

    "But I know the game, you'll forget my name
    And I won't be here in another year
    If I don't stay on the charts"

    If he doesn't keep comming out with good music, everyone will forget about him and make room for the new super-stars

    "It was a beautiful song
    But it ran too long
    If you're gonna have a hit
    You gotta make it fit
    So they cut it down to 3:05"

    This describes how record companies pretty much ran everything for you back in those days. They wanted a good song to be short enough to keep the listener's attention and make them wanna hear it again and again and again.

    "Today I am your champion
    I may have won your hearts
    But I know the game, you'll forget my name
    I won't be here in another year
    If I don't stay on the charts"

    Once again stating how everyone loves him now that he has a great song that just came out, but in 3 or 4 years, no one will remember who he is unless he writes another great song that everyone wants to listen to.


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