The Stranger

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  • Well, we all have a face
    That we hide away forever
    And we take them out
    And show ourselves when everyone has gone
    Some are satin, some are steel
    Some are silk and some are leather
    They're the faces of a stranger
    But we'd love to try them on

    Well, we all fall in love
    But we disregard the danger
    Though we share so many secrets
    There are some we never tell
    Why were you so surprised
    That you never saw the stranger
    Did you ever let your lover
    See the stranger in yourself

    Don't be afraid to try again
    Everyone goes south every now and then
    You've done it
    Why can't someone else
    You should know by now
    You've been there yourself

    Once I used to believe
    I was such a great romancer
    Then I came home to a woman
    That I could not recognize
    When I pressed her for a reason
    She refused to even answer
    It was then I felt the stranger
    Kick me right between the eyes

    Well, we all fall in love
    But we disregard the danger
    Though we share so many secrets
    There are some we never tell
    Why were you so surprised
    That you never saw the stranger
    Did you ever let your lover
    See the stranger in yourself

    Don't be afraid to try again
    Everyone goes south every now and then
    You've done it
    Why can't someone else
    You should know by now
    You've been there yourself

    You may never understand
    How the stranger is inspired
    But he isn't always evil
    And he is not always wrong
    Though you drown in good intentions
    You will never quench the fire
    You'll give in to your desire
    When the stranger comes alongWriter/s: BILLY JOEL
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
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Comments: 9

  • Ken from Louisville, KyAfter the failure of Joel's 1976 album Turnstiles, Columbia Records wanted his next album produced by an expert. They contacted George Martin who said he'd do it, but only if it was recorded in London with Elton John's backing band. Joel rebelled against that, saying he wanted to record in New York with his own band. Columbia gave in and suggested Phil Ramone instead. Ramone and Joel had several meetings and hit it off. Later, after hearing the album, Martin said he wished he had produced it! Joel and Martin did become friends and Martin interviewed Joel for a television series about music.
  • Jstroker from Calgary, AbElements of this song were introduced to a whole new audience when the whistling intro was sampled by rapper Xzibit for his track "The Foundation" (At the Speed of Life, 1996)
  • J.b. from San Jose, CaBilly's interview with "20/20" (ABC) in 1980: "I wrote the main portion of the song, but at the end I thought the stranger,the stranger, hmmm....something's missing, something's missing. I imagined this guy walking down a lonely street with a trench coat over her shoulder, with fog, whistling... and..."

  • Deo from Annandale, VaGreat song. Not my favorite piano piece from Billy, but it is relitivly unknown to the modern world. I do like the message and lyrics. The whistling is cool, I know I could never hit those notes whistling.
  • Chris from Seattle, WaMagnificent, under-appreciated song about the masks we all wear, and how we often don't know what is underneath.
  • Leyna from SpLol, I was reading in his biography that one day, he was peforming live, whistling the intro. When the spotlight shone accross the other band members, they each turned to face him. Turned out, they were all wearing black eye patches and had blackened their teeth. Billy was caught off guard, and he blew the sensitive whistling in front of the whole crowd. Humiliated, he proceeded to play the piano. When his fingers hit the keys, he realized the guys had lined every single one with adhesive tape!! :P:P
  • Pete from Providence, RiThe piano intro to this song is used in an independent film called The Carlson Complex.
  • Melissa Mandall from Long Branch, NjSounds like a sadomasochist to me. lets put on a steel leather mask and show our lover. lol
  • Ken from Louisville, KyBilly Joel told producer Phil Ramone that he thought the song needed an jazz-oriented "into" and "ending" to offset the rocking guitar lead-in and play-out. When Ramone asked Joel if he had any ideas, Joel whistled it to him. He then asked Ramone what instrument should play it and Ramone said he liked it as a whistle, so that's how Joel recorded it.
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