The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Five Long Songs

This seemed like an interesting music meme.

Kip over at A Stick Stitch in Haste was holding forth about hearing a truncated version of Billy Joel's "Piano Man" on the radio recently, with several verses and a few important characters missing.

So I'm listening to the radio this morning, and they play Billy Joel's most famous song*, Piano Man. I listen with only one ear as the lyrics progress through the well-known cast of characters:

And he's quick with a joke
or to light up your smoke
But there's someplace that he'd rather be.

And the waitress is practicing politics…

Huh, what? Did the vinyl** skip or something?

Where does John-at-the-Bar want to be?
What happened to Davey, who's still in the Navy?
What happened to Paul the closeted homosexual?***

Then he listed the five longest songs in his iTunes library (not counting live performances). It seems like a potentially interesting music meme, considering how often people probably add to their music collections. So I thought I'd give it a spin. Here's what I got.

  1. Béla Bartok – String Quartet No. 3 from the album "White Man Sleeps" by Kronos Quartet (15:30)
  2. Quiet Nights from the album "I Thought About You" by Shirley Horn (11:56)
  3. Billie's Blues (I Love My Man) from the album "The Comple Billie Holiday on Verve 1945-1959 (Disc 2)" by Billie Holiday (11:39)
  4. Song For Shelter from the album "Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars" by Fatboy Slim (11:26)
  5. After The War (Steve Reich from the album "Different Trains" by Steve Reich, Kronos Quartet, Pat Metheny (10:31)

Hmm. Kip eliminated live performances. I eliminated dance mixes (for obvious reasons), but I may need to eliminate jazz and classical pieces if this is gonna work.

Oh, an as for "Paul the closeted homosexual"? Well.

Now paul is a real estate novelist
Who never had time for a wife

"Never had time for a wife?"

Mmm hmm.


  1. Um, “Stick”? 😉

    For what it’s worth, I also said rock songs — I would think that most people’s “longest songs” would be something classical.

    Thanks for the linkage! 🙂

  2. Jethro Tull’s “Thick as a Brick” would have to be near the top of “long ones.” 🙂

  3. I’m not sure if you want to call it Rock or not (it sure isn’t classical) but one of my favorites that I’ve listened to for years is “Don’t let me be misunderstood” By Santa Esmeralda 16:12

    A blend of several musical styles released (I believe) in the 70’s will stun people who listen to it on their computers in 5 channel sound. Released in a format called Quadraphonic the music and Flamenco dancers literally dance around you in circles.

    ps My iTunes has it listed as Rap?