Only The Good Die Young – Billy Joel

January 8, 2022

Today’s song is “Only The Good Die Young.” It was Billy Joel’s most popular song from his 1977 album. 

Enjoy some facts about Billy Joel and his hit. 

Song Facts:

  • Billy Joel was born on May 9, 1949, in New York, NY.
  • He has sold millions of records in his lifetime.
  • In 2014, Joel received the Gershwin Prize from the Library of Congress for his lifetime contributions to American singing and songwriting.
  • The recorded song is three minutes and fifty-four seconds long.
  • “Only The Good Die Young” was originally released by Columbia records.
  • Billy Joel wrote a song that turned out to be one of the most controversial songs of its time. According to American Songwriter and other industry professionals, it was rumored that the song was written in 1977 for a love interest named Virginia, who happened to be Catholic. In this song, Joel was doing his best to convince Virginia Callahan to blow off her religion and spend time with him instead.
  • Religious groups at the time were against the lyrics in the song, citing that the song was anti-catholic.
  • The song was temporarily banned from radio stations due to its references to Catholicism.
  • Banning the song from popular radio stations had the opposite effect and actually made it even more popular at the time.
  • While the song eventually became one of Billy Joel’s most popular hits, it’s rumored that he never did convince Virginia to change her mind.

Lyrics: 

(Musixmatch)

Come out Virginia, don’t let ’em wait

You Catholic girls start much too late

Aw but sooner or later it comes down to faith

Oh I might as well be the one

Well, they showed you a statue, told you to pray

They built you a temple and locked you away

Aw, but they never told you the price that you pay

For things that you might have done

Only the good die young

That’s what I said

Only the good die young

Only the good die young

You might have heard I run with a dangerous crowd

We ain’t too pretty we ain’t too proud

We might be laughing a bit too loud

Aw but that never hurt no one

So come on Virginia show me a sign

Send up a signal and I’ll throw you the line

The stained-glass curtain you’re hiding behind

Never let’s in the sun

Darlin’ only the good die young

Woah

I tell ya

Only the good die young

Only the good die young

You got a nice white dress and a party on your confirmation

You got a brand new soul

Mmm, and a cross of gold

But Virginia they didn’t give you quite enough information

You didn’t count on me

When you were counting on your rosary

(Oh woah woah)

They say there’s a heaven for those who will wait

Some say it’s better but I say it ain’t

I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints

The sinners are much more fun

You know that only the good die young

I tell ya

Only the good die young

Only the good die young

Well your mother told you all that I could give you was a reputation

Aw she never cared for me

But did she ever say a prayer for me? oh woah woah

Come out come out come out Virginia don’t let ’em wait

You Catholic girls start much too late

Oh sooner or later it comes down to faith

Oh I might as well be the one

You know that only the good die young

I’m telling you baby

You know that only the good die young

Only the good die young

Only the good

Only the good die young

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