Tomorrow Is Today

Album: Cold Spring Harbor (1971)

Songfacts®:

  • Joel has stated that this was his suicide note written into a song... back when he tried to kill himself by drinking furniture polish. His suicide attempt failed to kill him, but did give him an upset stomach.

Comments: 7

  • Le MasterHe talked about this song on the Billy Joel Channel. He reiterated it was a sort of suicide note. He was 21 and very depressed at the time and full of self pity.
  • Teagan from Grand Rapids, MiThank you for clarifying that the drummer rushed him to the hospital. Although it's still not clear if Joel was actually drunk when he attempted. Joel has gone through depression a good amount of his life. It could have been made in his depressive state. Abram says "He must have been drunk/intoxicated" but it is not specified by Joel or anyone else. Although Joel does make the statement, "Furniture polish looked tastier than bleach".
  • Ken from Louisville, KyThis is one of the Cold Spring Harbor songs where Joel's voice was mastered at a higher speed, making him sound, as Billy later put it, like a "castrata".
  • Abram from Fairfield, VtOk so it's true that he tried to kill himself using furniture polish but just to clarify a few things. At the time he must have been drunk or intoxicated somehow because his reason for not using bleach (which would have actually killed him) was that he thought "Furniture polish just looked tastier". Second he almost succeeded in killing himself, he was found by his drummer passed out on the floor of his apartment and was rushed to the hospital. When Billy fired and hired new band players the only performer he kept form the former band was his drummer who saved him.
  • Jack from Elmira, NyThis song is one of my all time favorite songs. It's so great and it has also gotten me through some tough times.
  • Landon from Winchester, OhThis is a really beautiful song. Very emotional and well played. Not the song to listen to if you're really feeling depressed though. I have a tendencies of suicidal thoughts myself, and sometimes when I hear this song I suddenly think about ending my own life. Thankfully, though I have problems in my family, I have some steady friends and hobbies to keep me strong, a future to think about, and some enjoyment every now and then, so I think I'm being taken care of. If you've already heard this song, listen to "You're Only Human (Second Wind) by Billy Joel. Since his suicidal attempt failed to kill him, he decided to write an empowerment song encouraging depressed teens that their life will surely improve. It's really good stuff. Listen to it after this song, and notice the difference. You won't believe it's being performed by the same person. Awesome.
  • Randy from Reading, PaThis song got me through some tough times in my teens. I love the line I don't have to see tomorrow cause I saw it yesterday.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Early Days of MTV

Early Days of MTVFact or Fiction

If you can recall the days when MTV played videos, you know that there are lots of stories to tell. See if you can spot the real ones.

Song Cities

Song CitiesMusic Quiz

Nirvana, Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen are among those who wrote songs with cities that show up in this quiz.

James Bond Theme Songs

James Bond Theme SongsMusic Quiz

How well do you know the 007 theme songs?

Jesus Thinks You're a Jerk: Rock vs. Televangelists

Jesus Thinks You're a Jerk: Rock vs. TelevangelistsSong Writing

When televangelists like Jimmy Swaggart took on rockers like Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica, the rockers retaliated. Bono could even be seen mocking the preachers.

Julian Lennon

Julian LennonSongwriter Interviews

Julian tells the stories behind his hits "Valotte" and "Too Late for Goodbyes," and fills us in on his many non-musical pursuits. Also: what MTV meant to his career.

Part of Their World: The Stories and Songs of 13 Disney Princesses

Part of Their World: The Stories and Songs of 13 Disney PrincessesSong Writing

From "Some Day My Prince Will Come" to "Let It Go" - how Disney princess songs (and the women who sing them) have evolved.