Where's The Orchestra?

Album: The Nylon Curtain (1982)
  • Where's the orchestra?
    Wasn't this supposed to be a musical?
    Here I am
    In the balcony,
    How the hell could I have missed the overture?

    I like the scenery
    Even though, I have absolutely no, idea at all,
    What is being said, despite the dialogue,
    There's the leading man

    The movie star who never faced an audience
    Where's the orchestra?
    After all, this is my big night on the town
    My introduction to the theatre crowd

    I assumed that the show would have a song
    So I was wrong
    At least I understand
    All the innuendo and the irony

    And I appreciate,
    The roles the actors played
    The point the author made
    And after the closing lines,

    And after the curtain calls,
    The curtain falls
    On empty chairs,
    Where's the orchestra? Writer/s: BILLY JOEL
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 4

  • Brian from MilwaukeeI have no specific evidence to back this up but I'm convinced that the song is in part a tribute to Harry Nilsson. The phrasing, the style and the melodic and harmonic progression are so like Nilsson. I also think that it's placed at the end of the album as a statement. This album more than any other is so unlike Billy Joel's previous material I imagine this song a s way of recognizing (and maybe even satirizing people who bought the album, listened to it expecting something else and saying "Wait a minute, this isn't Billy Joel." Just my take.
  • Richard from Stone Harbor, NjI forgot to mention how forgotten the song is under the piles of his other stuff. It's a friggin' great song.
  • Richard from Somerdale , NjThis song kinda made The Nylon Curtain similar to The Stranger (album) because it revisits the main song in the end. It differs because at the end of Everybody Has a Dream, it is an almost direct copy of the intro to The Stranger (song), and in Where's the Orchestra?, it is a much slower and more peaceful version of Allentown and not a direct copy.
  • Nikki from Ny, FlMy interpretation is, it's a sad outlook upon life in general at this moment in Billy's life, as many of us go through at least once.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Gary Lewis

Gary LewisSongwriter Interviews

Gary Lewis and the Playboys had seven Top 10 hits despite competition from The Beatles. Gary talks about the hits, his famous father, and getting drafted.

Danny Kortchmar

Danny KortchmarSongwriter Interviews

Danny played guitar on Sweet Baby James, Tapestry, and Running On Empty. He also co-wrote many hit songs, including "Dirty Laundry," "Sunset Grill" and "Tender Is The Night."

Incongruent Opening Acts

Incongruent Opening ActsSong Writing

Here's what happens when an opening act is really out of place with the headliner, like when Beastie Boys opened for Madonna.

Jonathan Edwards - "Sunshine"

Jonathan Edwards - "Sunshine"They're Playing My Song

"How much does it cost? I'll buy it?" Another songwriter told Jonathan to change these lyrics. Good thing he ignored this advice.

Charlie Daniels

Charlie DanielsSongwriter Interviews

Charlie discusses the songs that made him a Southern Rock icon, and settles the Devil vs. Johnny argument once and for all.

Donald Fagen

Donald FagenSongwriter Interviews

Fagen talks about how the Steely Dan songwriting strategy has changed over the years, and explains why you don't hear many covers of their songs.