Sometimes I get so afraid
I'll say something so wrong
Just to have something to say
I haven't written about a Billy Joel song in a while and I had completely forgot about this song. One of the many things that I admire about his songwriting is his ability to tell a story through his music. I can easily imagine in my own mind what the music video would look like based on characters that I know (real and fictitious) that suit the characters. Things that had seemed so simple in the past, suddenly seem really difficult to talk about, because now you put too much emphasis on getting things wrong.
I know the moment isn't right
To tell the girl a comical line
To keep the conversation light
I guess I'm just frightened out of my mind
Fear is a very real thing and it can cripple us if we let it. Think about situations that cause this level of paralysis in you. I don't know how many conversations I've had that have seemed quite awkward because you could sense that there was more to what was being said; there was actually more weight in the silences between the words being said. Those pregnant pauses that hang quite heavily in the air seemed to linger above our heads and bring a certain heaviness to the situation. You could be forgiven then for trying to lighten the mood with comical lines that can fall flat. It's not your fault. It's the fear popping up again.
But if that's how I feel
Then it's the best feeling I've ever known
It's undeniably real
Leave a tender moment alone
Here lies the dilemma. You recognise it for being the best feeling and acknowledge the reality and gravity of it, but you won't touch it because it's so tender, it's so delicate. Love does that to you. It makes you fall for someone but yet you don't want to go near them. Sometimes the very thing that you fear is also the same thing that you can't live without. I think Bob Marley said it best when he said that "the biggest coward of a man is to awaken the love of a woman without the intention of loving her."
Yes I know I'm in love
But just when I ought to relax
I put my foot in my mouth
Cause I'm just avoiding the facts
I have found it quite fascinating that people will rarely ever tell you the truth or state the facts, unless they are absolutely certain that the truth or facts will be accepted or received in the spirit of its intention. In other words, people never really take a punt at being honest unless they know they will not be punished for it or suffer any repercussions. Where's the growth in that right? You'll just go through life trying to protect yourself and never really develop the resilience you need to pick yourself up or challenge or extend yourself when you need to do so. To each their own I guess.
If the girl gets too close
If I need some room to escape
When the moment arose
I'd tell her it's all a mistake
Sometimes they won't tell you there's no mistake. They just might stop talking to you altogether. Let him escape to where he needs to go. If you try to confront him, he might deny it and say you've misread the situation - that's a classic man trap that women fall into quite regularly. Guys are built like this - they're never willing to really tell you how they feel because they are afraid of rejection so they kick into self preservation mode, or they don't know how they feel, in which case, they had no business making you fall in love with them in the first place (thanks Mr. Marley).
But that's not how I feel
No that's not the woman I've known
She's undeniably real
So leave a tender moment alone
So what do you do to avoid having a tender moment? You make small talk about inane subjects or topics that you both know are a complete waste of time. It can bring a wry smile to your face at the best of times, or make you roll your eyes internally away from prying eyes. Should you apologise for being undeniably real? No. Not at all. The world is full of so many fake things or people, that you must be your authentic self as much as you can. It might take you a while to be comfortable in your skin in this way, so don't worry about things so much.
But it's not only me
Breaking down when the tension gets high
Just when I'm in a serious mood
She is suddenly quiet and shy
This part of the song acts as a bridge just before the harmonica solo appears. The mismatch between the two parties is shown in the level of emotions displayed, the dynamics between when one is highly engaged in their expressions of feelings, whilst the other is quite subdued - there never is a time when both are in sync. Why do we do this to ourselves? What do we hope to gain from this deadly dance? Who knows what is meant to happen here. I don't know. Do you?
I know the moment isn't right
To hold my emotions inside
To change the attitude tonight
I've run out of places to hide
I hope that you find the courage to say what you want to say. There can never be a right time to say or do things that may hurt others, so I guess you just need to figure out how to minimise the collateral damage as much as possible. What will you change your attitude to? When our attitudes get the better of us, it can tip the balance that you need to foster with others. Some of us are hell bent on playing melodies all the time and expect others to adapt and play harmonies to these melodies all the time. When will the moment be right anyway? There's no such thing. What transpires after a revelation - that's the right moment. Because it is only then that things start to happen, that motion can move forward. Otherwise our lives will be just a series of actions where instead of confronting our feelings, we decide that it is too much to bear and we constantly choose to leave a tender moment alone, leave it alone. . .