Is there a spooky prediction in an old Billy Joel song?

Is there a spooky prediction in an old Billy Joel song?

Did Billy predict 2022 - and what are the implications for us?

Like 35,000 other Kiwis, I recently went to see Billy Joel perform live at Eden Park.

What an amazing concert! The voice isn’t quite what it was 30 years ago – but he more than made up for that with humour, humility and showmanship and I’m yet to hear a negative review. It was well worth the wait since I last saw him, in 1998, performing with Elton John in the Piano Men Face to Face tour – which went on to become the longest running and most successful concert tandem act in pop music history.

But what particularly struck me was the extent to which so many of Billy’s songs have a rebellious or defiant theme to them. I’ve been listening to, and loving, his music for decades, but I’ve never previously noticed just how strong that theme is. Perhaps it’s because the world has become so much more divided over the past 30 years – but it’s hard not to see resistance to authority and wokism in songs like You may be Right:

You may be right
I may be crazy
Oh, but it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for
Turn out the light
Don’t try to save me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right

If you’ve read any of the avalanche of social media posts warning about the dangers of the Covid vaccines or shining a light on the agenda of the WEF or the move to global passports (as just three examples of many) you can hear, in this song, the defiant, almost desperate, tone of those who believe that they see something that the rest of us don’t and who see their role as trying to warn us about these things – many doing so at great personal cost to their livelihoods and reputation. I don’t always agree with these views – but I have respect for the passion or commitment behind them.

Of course, You May be Right was released in 1980 and so Billy couldn’t possibly have foreseen the world of the 21st century – but it’s by no means the only one of his songs with such a prophetic theme. Have a look at his 1982 hit, ‘Pressure – which seems to anticipate the failed leadership of Jacinda Ardern 40 years ago – starting innocently in 2017 (some would say naively) but soon slipping into something darker and more subversive while, at the same time, Ardern was completely out of her depth and unable to handle pressure.

Indeed, if you read the lyrics of the entire song, you’ll be surprised at how much it gets right – even referencing the ‘ninth floor’ (of the Beehive) and ending with a reference to Time magazine and the superficiality of the early euphoria around Ardern’s actions.

Watch for yourself:

Spooky stuff – but there’s more.

The lyrics of yet another Billy Joel song epitomise – for me – the divide between the two worldviews that currently grip our planet. The song My Life released in 1978, is ostensibly the ballad of a man telling an ex-wife/partner/girlfriend that he’s ok and doesn’t need her to ‘check in on him’ anymore.

But at a deeper level, it’s also a song about individualism versus Nanny Statism:

I don’t need you to worry for me ’cause I’m alright
I don’t want you to tell me it’s time to come home
I don’t care what you say anymore this is my life
Go ahead with your own life leave me alone

The power of those words suddenly become haunting and poignant. It’s a mantra of individualism and the defiant call of a section of all western societies (arguably the majority) to say to authoritarian Governments and to the woke, in general, “I don’t need your regulations and your rules. I don’t want you to tell me what I should do, say and believe. I just need you to butt out of my life, and leave me and my family and loved ones alone to live our lives as we see fit”.

But is that even possible? If we manage to shake off the current shackles of tyrannical and authoritarian Government, are there any guarantees that they won’t just be replaced with a different form of control.

Yet another Billy Joel song suggests not. In 1989, he released the stunningly insightful We Didn’t Start the Fire – a song which, over the course of 4 minutes, identifies the key players, popular culture references, and cultural icons of the previous fifty+ years leading up to 1989.

Just look at these opening verses:

Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio
Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe

Rosenbergs, H-bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, “The King and I”, and “The Catcher in the Rye”
Eisenhower, Vaccine, England’s got a new queen
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana, goodbye

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning, since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it

There’s even a reference to a ‘vaccine’ in there – although this is almost certainly referring to the Polio vaccine of the 50s and 60s.

But the song is also a testament to my oft repeated view, and the words of King Solomon in noting that none of what happens is new and that, more importantly, the people and events which we think are so important today will only be faint memories tomorrow – replaced with new faces and names doing the same, or even worse, things than their predecessors.

If we’re honest, the moral decline in our societies over the thirty years since this song was released has continued, and even gathered pace, regardless of the colours of the party in power at the time.

The reason we haven’t noticed this is because parties of the right tend to be better managers of the economy and, because this is such a big part of our lives, it becomes a big factor in the way we vote. Parties of the right also tend to ‘say’ the things that we want to hear – but then do the opposite once in power.

As a result, there’s a pervasive sense of constantly losing ground and the lyrics “We didn’t start the fire, No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it” perfectly capture the very essence of both the passion and the futility of those trying to alter the course and trajectory of the world, even as we rush headlong toward Armageddon.

So, does this mean that our actions are futile?

The answer to that question really depends on your motivation. If your worldview is the pursuit of individualism for its own sake – the desire to simply be left alone to live your life in the belief that your actions are nobody else’s business – then the news is almost certainly all bad because, regardless of who governs your country, the current decline in morals and standards and trend toward state control will continue to impact attitudes and legislation.

That’s not just my view – it’s the prophetic assessment of a man who lived over two thousand years ago but saw, with absolute accuracy, what would be happening today:

In the last days terrible times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, without love of good, traitorous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, sharing a form of godliness but denying its power”

However, if you’re a Christian, the situation is different because you’re instructed to be ‘in the world, but not of it’. This means that, even though we live within societies that are moving further and further away from their Creator, we’re not to lose focus on our purpose and our responsibilities to God. That’s spelt out, explicitly, when we’re told to

“not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (so as to) be able to test and approve what God’s (good, pleasing and perfect) will (for you) is”

And therein lies the essence of what we’re called to do – seek Gods will and obey it.

That shouldn’t come as any surprise, of course – it’s spelt out right there in the opening verse of The Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done

On Earth as it is in heaven.

Whose will? Gods!

That means that our mission isn’t about reclaiming our ‘rights’ as so many Christians appear to believe it is – it’s about constantly seeking the will of God to understand what HIS will is. I can promise you that His will won’t always be the same as yours – but, in doing so, He will transform your life and provide for your every need.

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you”.

Sadly, what I’m currently seeing from many claiming to be Christians is an increase in racism, a focus on distractions such as Covid vaccines and the latest global conspiracies, and a pitched hatred targeted at those who are driving, or supporting, the decline in our moral standards.

None of this stuff is from God. We’re called to love our enemies, even while we hate what they’re doing – and reminded to remember that we, too, were once as they are now.

Most importantly, we’re called to act within the will of God – and that means talking to Him constantly to hear and understand what He wants of us. For most of us that’s a challenge – but it’s also an instruction, so we don’t have the luxury of ignoring it.

We may not have the power to stem the coming tide – but if we all acted as He has instructed us to, we could change many many lives.

Remember, behind every wide eyed young socialist, every Climate activist, every pro abortion protestor, every woke virtue signaller, and every agent of sexual confusion is another person who wants the same thing that you and I do. Safety, love, a sense of purpose, and a longing to understand the meaning of it all.

And, believe it or not, Billy Joel wrote about these people too:

In the middle of the night I go walking in my sleep
From the mountains of faith to the river so deep
I must be looking for something
Something sacred I lost
But the river is wide and it’s too hard to cross

Even though I know the river is wide
I walk down every evening and I stand on the shore
I try to cross to the opposite side
So I can finally find out what I’ve been looking for

In the middle of the night, I go walking in my sleep
Through the valley of fear to a river so deep
I’ve been searching for something
Taken out of my soul
Something I’d never lose, something somebody stole

I don’t know why I go walking at night
But now I’m tired and I don’t want to walk anymore
I hope it doesn’t take the rest of my life
Until I find what it is that I’ve been looking for

In the middle of the night, I go walking in my sleep
Through the jungle of doubt to a river so deep
I know I’m searching for something
Something so undefined
That it can only be seen by the eyes of the blind

In the middle of the night

I’m not sure about a life after this
God knows I’ve never been a spiritual man
Baptized by the fire, I wade into the river
That runs to the promised land

In the middle of the night, I go walking in my sleep
Through the desert of truth to the river so deep
We all end in the ocean
We all start in the streams
We’re all carried along
By the river of dreams

In the middle of the night




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