"Vienna" Billy Joel's Legendary Song Inspired by His Estranged Father

- 26 June 2022 11:51 WIB
Vienna by Billy Joel. (Photo/Screenshot Billy Joel’s YouTube channel)
Vienna by Billy Joel. (Photo/Screenshot Billy Joel’s YouTube channel)


JAKARTADAILY.ID – Vienna” in One of the legendary track from Billy Joel’s  fifth studio album “The Stranger”.

Release in 1997, “Vienna” was written by Joel and produced by Phil Ramone.

Billy never released a mosic video for “Vienna”, but in March 2012, Billy Joel’s YouTube channel upload the audio of the track, which currently have 20 million views and over 286 thousand likes.

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Quoted from thetimes.co.uk, Billy said that the inspiration for the song came when he was visiting his estranged father, Helmut (Howard) Joel, in Vienna, Austria.

He saw an elderly woman sweeping the streets, and told his father that it was awful to see an old woman doing that, but his father pointed out that she was doing something useful and productive.

Billy has also said that "Vienna" may subconsciously be about his father.  Billy's father had left the family when Billy was a child and returned to Europe. 

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Billy and his father reunited in the early 1970s after Billy had released Cold Spring Harbor in the US and Europe. Billy learned that his father had re-married and Billy had a half-brother, Alexander, who became a conductor.

When Billy appeared on The Howard Stern show in 2010, Joel revealed that he doesn't always know what a song is about when he writes it, and he came to realize that he was dealing with his feelings about his father in this song.


Editor: Muhamad Al Azhari


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