Saturday, April 17, 2010

Billy Joel : Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)

SONG Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel



APPEARS ON River of Dreams (1993)

When I was a younger man with a lot less responsibility and a different outlook on life I did a lot of crazy things. I used to blow a lot more money and stay out a lot later doing all kinds of crazy things. I don’t have a problem with people who live on the edge as long as they are not harming anyone or affecting anyone else’s life in the process. I had a good time. When I had my first daughter I didn’t know what to expect. I spent so much time having fun and being loose that I was worried about whether or not I could pull it all together and do what it took to make her life as comfortable as possible. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. I was wondering if the responsibility would kick in. All it really took is watching her take her first breath and hearing her cry. That did it for me. I think that’s why so many young men in my community run before things get to that point because seeing them makes the reality harder to deal with when you don’t want to be responsible. I have no respect for those cats. I don’t know how they do it.

Life is rough sometimes and I don’t always make the right decisions. Sometimes when things get a little heavy I feel like shutting down and getting away from it all but I can’t because when the babies go to sleep I want them to be at peace knowing daddy has everything covered. If things happen and it doesn’t go as smoothly as you planned they should at least know you loved them enough to try. The desire to give them that feeling will get you through a lot of things. A two year old got me through living in a hotel after Hurricane Katrina because I never wanted to take that pain out on her or have her feel the despair going on around her. Every morning I would wake up before she did, get a cup of coffee, and watch her sleep to keep myself going. That’s what I think about every time I hear this Billy Joel song. The song is from his 1993 River of Dreams album and was written for his daughter Alexa. It's one of the best songs written by a father to his child and I know exactly what he was feeling when he wrote this. It’s funny because the way life works there’s going to be a time about 12 years from now when they think “Let’s go through the front door because daddy’s in the back listening to that old song that makes him cry again and he’s going to want a hug or something.” It’s alright if they do that because I did it too. They’ll understand when they have their own kids.

Good night my angel time to close you eyes
And save these questions for another day
I think I know what you've been asking me
I think you know what I've been trying to say

I promised I would never leave you
And you should always know
Where ever you may go
No matter where you are
I never will be far away

Good night my angel now it's time to sleep
And still so many things I want to say
Remember all the songs you sang for me
When we went sailing on an emerald bay

And like a boat out on the ocean
I'm rocking you to sleep
The water's dark and deep
Inside this ancient heart
You'll always be a part of me

Goodnight my angel now it's time to dream
And dream how wonderful your life will be
Someday your child will cry and if you sing this lullaby
Then in your heart there will always be a part of me

Someday we'll all be gone
But lullabies go on and on
They never die that's how you and I will be


  1. Cliff! Great to have you back!

    I did not really appreciate songs like this or "Forever Young" or "Isn't She Lovely" or "Turn Around" until I had kids. I probably thought they were a little hokey. Then the kids arrive and it turns that the songs ring completely true.

    The wonderful video reminds of a New Orleans vignette from my 2008 visit. Near Jackson Square, I saw a couple of nuns cheerfully herding a group of kids all dressed in white either to or from their First Communion. That took me back, I don't mind saying.

  2. All those songs are hokey until you have kids!

  3. Then all of a sudden they're profound. Go figure.

  4. Beautifully written and tender, Cliff; from the heart. (I'm talking about what you wrote here, although I realize I could also be describing the song.)

    Yesterday afternoon, I asked K. what this song was. I was down in the kitchen cooking, and it just about made me cry.

  5. I love this song and the whole concept of your blog. Will follow now.