Laura

Album: The Nylon Curtain (1982)

Songfacts®:

  • In this song, Laura is a character who frustrates the singer by constantly getting in trouble and not taking responsibility for her actions. Joel even curses in this song for emphasis, as he sings, "Here I am, feeling like a f--king fool."
  • Billy Joel says that this is one of his most misinterpreted songs, as many listeners believe it's about a girlfriend or an ex-lover. Speaking at a Howard Stern Town Hall in 2014, Joel explained: "It's about somebody in my family who's a pain in the ass."

    He added that Laura was not this person's real name - he picked it because it fits. He also said that the person he wrote it about never knew she was the song's subject.

    Joel later revealed what many suspected: the song is about his mother, Rosalind, who died on July 13, 2014 at age 92.

Comments: 6

  • Davedsone from UsaFunny as I listened to this for the first time since about 1985 my first thought was how it sounded very much like a Beatles song. Then I come here and it seems every one else thinks so too.
  • Groovus Maximus from Boston, MaUnbelievable song! So great and, as noted elsewhere, very Beatle-esque!! Powerful imagery and superbly crafted lyrics; when Billy drops the F-bomb, you can tell he really means it, as he's never even come close to cursing anywhere else in his illustrious career, and it fits, too (notice the alliteration of several words which start with the same letter, a favorite literary device: "Here I am, feeling like a f**king fool"). An extremely deep, very meaningful song with which I've always identified - quite Freudian, indeed! Overlooked gem from a sadly underrated album, full of quirky, clever songs & inventive production work capturing killer performances. All hail Billy Joel...
  • Ken from Louisville, KyNow that she is deceased, it has been revealed, and Joel has confirmed, that "Laura" is about his mother. She put him on a typical Jewish mother's guilt trip until she died. And since this was Joel's "Beatlesque" album, the influences from John Lennon's "Mother" jumps out. Joel even sounds like Lennon on this song.
  • Randy from Reading, PaThe guitar solo is very much a Beatle-esque George Harrison solo.

    I dated a girl named Laura and it was very close to these lyrics.
  • Kevin from Memphis , Tnyes Billy dropped the "f bomb", but it fits the mmod of the song (anger/revenge)
  • Ken from Louisville, KyJoel and Phil Ramone deliberately recorded Joel's voce and piano slightly out of phase on this track. This was a studio trick the Beatles sometimes used starting with the White Album.
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