Billy Joel – Leningrad (FFM 2016)


Victor was born
The spring of 44
and never saw
His father any more
A child of sacrifice
A child of war
Another son who never had
A father after Leningrad.


Went off to school
and learned to serve his state
followed the rules
and drank his vodka straight
the only way to live
was drown the hate
the Russian life was very sad
and such was life in Leningrad.


I was born in 49
A cold war kid in McCarthy times
Stop ’em at the 38th parallel
blast those yellow reds to hell
cold war kids were hard to kill
under their desks in an air raid drill
haven’t they heard we won the war
what do they keep on fighting for?


Victor was sent
to some red army town
served out his time
became a circus clown
the greatest happiness
he’d ever found
was making Russian children glad
when children lived in Leningrad.


The children lived in Levittown
hid in the shelters underground
Til the Soviets turned their ships around
tore the Cuban missiles down
and in that bright October sun
we knew our childhood days were done
And I watched my friends go off to war
What do they keep on fighting for?


So my child and I came to this place
to meet him, eye to eye and face to face
He made my daughter laugh
Then we embraced
We never knew what friends we had
Until we came to Leningrad.


The following video was presumably made via smartphone, the sound was way better. The audience was awestruck.

Enjoy, my friends!  🙂



5 thoughts on “Billy Joel – Leningrad (FFM 2016)

  1. One of the reasons I always love Joel’s songs are the stories they tell. I heard him being interviewed once by of all people Howard Stern during a Town Hall series for Sirius Radio. I was on my way to Baltimore from NC and got to hear all three hours, edited that long once they added in the songs he would mention. It was wonderful to hear the stories about how they came into being. I never knew that he would hear a melody and write the music and then find a story in the lyrics that fit what he’d written. A few times something that he’d written and put in a slow, love song beat didn’t work lyrically and when he changed the timing to something upbeat, it became a totally different sound–and song. A master musician, composer, lyricist.

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