Downeaster Alexa | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/25/10
The places specified by Billy Joel are not important. We have to "willfully suspend our disbelief" to appreciate the song. The point of the song: fishermen can no longer make ends meet. Fishes are not abundant anymore. And they need to travel further to get some catch. The rise of luxury resorts or condos have eroded the islands "aint no island left for islanders like me". Song is very true.
Awesome | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/28/10
I've had this song stuck in my head for weeks now, I'm not a native Long Islander or anything, but I truly appreciate the lyrics in this song. Billy Joel's music is truly inspiring to me, and this song of his especially is just perfectly put together in my mind, though my brother says the drummer is intensely boring.
Are you dumb? ... If you go by "shoreline" Alaska has us all beat by far... over 6,000 miles of shore line. If you go by COASTLINE Florida kills almost everyone (BECAUSE IT IS ONE GIANT PENINSULA). The only states that even really get close are California and, again Alaska... There is some argument about which is actually "longer" because not everyone measure the coast INSIDE a Bay, or an Inlet, they simply cut across the inlet in a straight line.
As for the lyrics, I would ask you the same question. Yes, we know where Block Island Sound is. And yes he "charted" to Martha's Vinyard.. but he is heading for Nantucket... BUT HE DIDNT LEAVE FROM THERE... ITS WHERE HE IS SAILING THROUGH... HE LEFT FROM LONG ISLAND!!! ... They picked up diesel in MONTAUK (yesterday haha) and "LEFT FROM THE BELL IN GARDINER'S BAY" ... Gardiner's Island is in between the north and south forks on Long Island... you know... WHERE MONTAUK POINT LIGHT HOUSE IS!!! It is kind of famous... It was commissioned by the 2nd Continental Congress in 1792 under a little guy named GEORGE WASHINGTON... (Construction was started and completed in 1796) ...
Billy Joel is a LONG ISLANDER, he has like 4 houses here... He gets drunk here... and CRASHES HIS CARS HERE!!!
I am not saying it'd be impossible for him to write a song about another location... but by VAST majority... he mentions locations on or around long island/New York in well over 75% of his songs... Think about the Lyrics to NEW YORK STATE OF MIND... or Miami 2017 ... or Scenes from and Italian Restaurant... THAT'S why so many people who post comments talk about LONG Island and not RHODE Island...
Besides... your Pizza SUCKS anyway...
To "A Native Rhode Islander" | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/19/10
You said that Rhode Island has more coastline than any state in the country. That is totally false. Perhaps you meant to say that it has the most coastline percentage-wise. However, I'm fairly certain that Alaska holds the record for most coastline, and if not Alaska, then California.
Long Islander | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/12/10
Hey there native rhode islander, he is definitly talking about leaving long island since he even says he fueled in montauk long island and left through gardiner bay on long island. billy joel is also from long island and owns several boats that sail out of the east end of long island one of which is named alexa. his father also was a bayman out of long island. he may be sailing up that way but he is singing about long island. you should probably think a little more before the next time you open mouth and insert foot.
A native Rhode Islander..... | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/31/09
When you review the lyrics, and everyone posts comments about Long Island, he is leaving out of Point Judith, Rhode Island. That's why when he's leaving port he's traveling through Block Island Sound. That's Block Island, Rhode Island. It also explains his father being a bayman. Narragansett Bay has serviced the fishing industry since the beginning of our country. It is now not feasible for a bayman to make a living, over fished and pollution (heartbreaking). That would also explain why he is so close to both Martha's Vineyard (I believe he has a home there) and Nantucket. As a Rhode Islander, everyone thinks your from Long Island. Unfortunately, this tiny state often is like stepping through time. Our state has more coastline than any other state in the country. We are loaded with tiny fishing villages to this day. It makes me proud that we all recognize what these families sacrifice everyday.
People don't realize | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/21/09
It ’s no fish ye ’re buying, it ’s men’s lives.
-Sir Walter Scott
This quote goes through my mind every time I hear this song. I wonder how many people realize the number of fishermen that die each year--it's a risky business, both financially and personally.
God bless the Gloucester fleet.
Moved | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/2/09
I have never lived on the coast, always grew up inland -- th ocean and beaches were a summer vacation. I am moved lieterally to tears by the thought of these families that have deep roots anchored off shore and how they're being worn down and disappearing along with a wonderful history of our country. I have great admiration for the men (and women?) who do work their fingers to the bone to support their families. Too many fathers abandon their families due to selfish whims and here is a great picture of dedication and the strength of the human spirit to giva all we have to do what is nesessary. Beautiful, incredible poetry and stunning visual!
I'm sixteen years old, and I live in Greenport, Long Island. that's two towns away from the very tip, and this song is my family's life story. My father was a fisherman, who made his living off Bass fishing, and it's depressing watching the ways of life on my island dissapear.. I always wanted to fish, just like my father, having started when I was two, but that's just not a good way to make a living anymore. You either move away and take on a new life, or just wither away with the rest of the impoverished locals..
Tangier Island | Reviewer: concerned! | 1/6/09
I am from Tangier Island, and like most fishing communities, we are being hit hard by all the laws and restrictions on our watermen. Most of our men have left to go on tug boats and are only home 2 weeks a month. For those that have stuck it out, they are trying to put food on the table, and our wonderful state keeps taking it. We recently had crab dredging taken from us...translation: Our boys lost about 4 months worth of income. After begging the higher up decision makers, they have now offered our boys something called ghost potting. It's nice that they tried to put back what they have taken, but our boys just want to work for a living. Let them do what they do best. Just 10 years ago we had fishing community of over 800 people. We are now down to about 600. We are being forced off of our island, our home. Pray for us.
Favorite song | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/10/08
Growing up on upstate ny and living in long island after college for 10 years i just cannot get enough. Like many others def my fav billy joel song with billy the kid right behind. I had to post to get the negative post off of the page. Living in california now it is nice to hear places around long island the sound up the coast and think about how much i still love ny.
Baygirl | Reviewer: Singer
I've lived my life with the pounding of waves in my ears. As I make my way through life I am haunted by the memory of my father's voice singing of the Downeaster. He is a Rhode Island native and this song is real to me. As he sings, I see the lighthouse.
Well done, Billy
:D | Reviewer: jon
this song has been a favorite of mine since 7th grade... i understand all of your interpretations... but i relate to this song in that i feel as if i am a explorer and there is no islands or distant lands for me to search for anymore... i feel like that in many different spectrums of life :(
Fellow islander | Reviewer: peter
Being from rhode island and growing up around the water my whole life this song hits home with me. People dont realize how important it is to keep our waters profitable for our fisherman. We need to do our part in keeping our waters clean fishing is a very important industry for our eastern coast line. I play this sond everytime before leaving port a song that gives the captain a pat on the back for his hard work and a feeling for a safe return home. Thanks Billy
My favorite song | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/6/07
I grew up in NYC and loved listening to Billy Joel. This song is my favorite song ever and reminds me a lot of my father b/c of the places in the song we visited when we were younger. I now have a little girl of my own who is named "Alexa."