Vienna
© WienTourismus / Peter Rigaud

"Vienna waits for you" - Pop song with misunderstandings

The song is neither a general ode to the city’s beauty, nor is the chorus line “Vienna Waits for You” meant as a call to city tourists. And Joel certainly isn’t dedicating the song to young Mozart, as some have thought. Joel actually describes a certain attitude towards life in “Vienna”, which is based on a very personal experience. The city as a metaphor.

Vienna stirs feelings

Billy Joel über die Message des Songs:

"Which is really what the song is about: Slow down, look around you and have some gratitude for the good things in your life. That’s what Vienna represented to me."

The background: Joel first came to Vienna as a 23-year-old in the 1970s to meet his father, who had moved here. They last saw each other when Joel was eight. For the musician, this was the foundation of a very emotional relationship with the city. Vienna gave him the sense of having arrived.

"When I wrote ‘Vienna waits for you’, I meant that it is a place where you close the circle. By going to Vienna, suddenly things started to make sense in the world for me."

Vienna - Songtext

From the Album: The Stranger, Release Date: September 29, 1977

Slow down you crazy child
You’re so ambitious for a juvenile
But then if you’re so smart tell me why
You are still so afraid?
Where’s the fire, what’s the hurry about?
You better cool it off before you burn it out
You got so much to do and only
So many hours in a day
But you know that when the truth is told
That you can get what you want
Or you an just get old
You’re gonna kick off before you even get halfway through
When will you realize
Vienna waits for you

Slow down you’re doing fine
You can’t be everything you want to be
Before your time
Although it’s so romantic on the borderline tonight
Too bad but it’s the life you lead
You’re so ahead of yourself
That you forgot what you need
Though you can see when you’re wrong
But you know you can’t always see when you’re right
You got your passion you got your pride
But don’t you know only fools are satisfied?
Dream on, but don’t imagine they’ll all come true
When will you realize
Vienna waits for you

Slow down you crazy child
Take the phone off the hook
And disappear for a while
It’s alright you can afford to lose a day or two
When will you realize
Vienna waits for you

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