This song runs the range from Victorian vaudeville to hardcore rock. Turner told NME: "I'm really proud of it, because I feel like within one four-minute song, it's got elements of music hall, barbershop, punk rock and classic rock. It kind of feels like Queen to me."
Turner told The Evening Standard regarding the song's meaning: "I tell people it's about dancing but it's really a song about punk rock and the pleasantly surprising revelation that, at 31, my ethics and approach to music are the same as when I was 15."
"Piano Man" was inspired by Billy Joel's time playing at a piano bar in Los Angeles. The "real estate novelist" was a guy who always talked about writing a book, but spent all his spare time in the bar.