Summer, Highland Falls

For those of you who know me well, you know I am a HUGE Billy Joel fan. HUGE. I woke up this morning with this song in my head. It’s by far one of my favorites.

Summer, Highland Falls
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

And 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 co-exists with our insanity
So 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

Lyrically I think he’s a genius. I once saw an interview where someone said that he, Billy, was able to sum up an entire lifetime of experiences in three minute songs. I think Summer, Highland Falls is one of those songs. I think it takes the ups and downs of life and says, you know what, you have a choice in your life. Things are going to happen. Life is going to happen. But there is another place between sadness and euphoria that exists…it’s the grey area between those two drastic emotions. Strangely enough, there is another Billy Joel song that deals with that issue, as well…

Shades of Grey
Some things were perfectly clear, seen with the vision of youth
No doubts and nothing to fear, I claimed the corner on truth
These days it’s harder to say I know what I’m fighting for
My faith is falling away
I’m not that sure anymore

Shades of grey wherever I go
The more I find out the less that I know
Black and white is how it should be
But shades of grey are the colors I see

Once there were trenches and walls and one point of every view
Fight ’til the other man falls – kill him before he kills you
These days the edges are blurred, I’m old and tired of war
I hear the other man’s words
I’m not that sure anymore

Shades of grey are all that I find
When I look to the enemy line
Black and white was so easy for me
But shades of grey are the colors I see

Now with the wisdom of years, I try to reason things out
And the only people I fear are those who never have doubts
Save us all from arrogant men, and all the causes they’re for
I won’t be righteous againI’m not that sure anymore

Shades of grey are all that I find
When I look to the enemy line
Ain’t no rainbows shining on me
Shades of grey are the colors I see
Shades of grey wherever I go
The more I find out the less that I know
Ain’t no rainbows shining on me
Shades of grey are the colors I see

Both of these songs are in my head today. We talked about it at church on Sunday- gone are the days of black and white. I don’t think this entry has a point, other than to 1 say Billy Joel is still a genius, even if he’s a drunken genius, and 2, life is good. It’s hard and there is a lot going on, but at the end of the day, it’s all worth the tears and the triumphs.

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