Code Of Silence

Album: The Bridge (1986)
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Songfacts®:

  • Billy Joel isn't entirely sure what this tune, which he wrote with Cyndi Lauper, is really about. "I was stuck on that song," he told Sirius XM in 2016. "I'm writing about silence and I have to talk. There's a conflict there already. A code of silence, I'm not supposed to talk about it, so why the hell am I?"
  • Lauper was working on her True Colors album at The Power Station in New York City, where Joel was recording The Bridge. She noticed he was struggling with writer's block and offered to pitch in some ideas, which resulted in a spontaneous collaboration.
  • Lauper also contributed backing vocals on the track. Joel returned the favor by singing on "Maybe He'll Know," the fifth single from True Colors.
  • Joel is accustomed to being a solo writer, but he doesn't mind giving Lauper most of the credit on this one. "She is, I think, the only other co-writer I was ever able to work with because she did all the work," he told Howard Stern in 2021. "The only other writer I gave credit to on a collaboration was Ludwig van Beethoven because I stole a piece of his music [on "This Night"]... I didn't pay him, but I gave him credit."
  • Joel and Lauper were both members of USA For Africa, the star-studded supergroup that recorded the 1985 charity single "We Are The World."

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