Big Man On Mulberry Street

Album: The Bridge (1986)
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  • Why can't I lay low?
    Why can't I say what I mean?
    Why don't I stay home?
    And get myself into some boring routine

    Why can't I calm down?
    Why is it always a fight?
    I can't get unwound
    Why do I throw myself into the night?

    I'm on the outside
    I don't fit into the groove
    Now I ain't a bad guy
    So tell me what am I trying to prove

    Why can't I cool out?
    Why don't I button my lip?
    Why do I lash out?
    Why is it I always shoot from the hip?

    I cruise from Houston to Canal Street
    A misfit and a rebel
    I see the winos talking to themselves
    And I can understand
    Why is it every time I go out
    I always seem to get in trouble?
    I guess I made an impression on somebody
    North of Hester and south of Grand

    And so in my small way
    I'm a big man on Mulberry Street
    I don't mean all day
    Only at night when I'm light on my feet

    What else have I got
    That I'd be trying to hide?
    Maybe a blind spot
    I haven't seen from the sensitive side

    But you know in my own heart
    I'm a big man on Mulberry Street
    I play the whole part
    I leave a big tip with every receipt

    I'm so romantic
    I'm such a passionate man
    Sometimes I panic
    What if nobody finds out who I am? Writer/s: Billy Joel
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 5

  • Neil from Detroit, MiThe jazz influence and assertive melody of this song is quite appealing. According to Joel himself, the song is about an average guy who thinks that he's this "Big Shot" (no pun intended) but isn't in reality.
  • Steve from Columbia Heights, MnDonen modeled the dance sequence after the one featuring Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse in 'Singing In the Rain'. In fact, there were several references to that movie in the entire episode.
  • Sharon from Ottawa, CanadaBack to the Moonlighting episode; that dance sequence was choreographed and directed by the legendary, Stanley Donen.
  • Dennis from Anchorage, AkJoel has said that this is a song about a loser who WANTS to be a big man on Mulberry Street.
  • Kei from Salem, OrI always had a feeling that this song was about mobster John Gotti - back when The Bridge was released, he WAS a "big man on Mulberry Street", literally. Could be wrong, though.
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