The Stranger Lyrics - Billy Joel

Review The Song (11)



Well we all have a face
That we hide away forever
And we take them out and
Show ourselves
When everyone has gone
Some are satin some are steel
Some are silk and some are leather
They're the faces of the stranger
But we love to try them on

Well we all fall in love
But we disregard the danger
Though we share so many secrets
There are some we never tell
Why were you so surprised
That you never saw the stranger
Did you ever let your lover see
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The stranger in yourself?

Don't be afraid to try again
Everyone goes south
Every now and then
You've done it, why can't
Someone else?
You should know by now
You've been there yourself

Once I used to believe
I was such a great romancer
Then I came home to a woman
That I could not recognize
When I pressed her for a reason
She refused to even answer
It was then I felt the stranger
Kick me right between the eyes

Well we all fall in love
But we disregard the danger
Though we share so many secrets
There are some we never tell
Why were you so surprised
That you never saw the stranger
Did you ever let your lover see
The stranger in yourself?

Don't be afraid to try again
Everyone goes south
Every now and then
You've done it why can't
Someone else?
You should know by now
You've been there yourself

You may never understand
How the stranger is inspired
But he isn't always evil
And he is not always wrong
Though you drown in good intentions
You will never quench the fire
You'll give in to your desire
When the stranger comes along.



Click here to submit the Corrections of The Stranger Lyrics
it's about sex | Reviewer: lorelei | 4/19/13

this song is about dark sexual desires that most people keep hidden deep in their closets... like BDSM, being gay, cross dressing, etc. "Some are satin some are steel, some are silk and some are leather" certainly paints a picture. Great tune!

Sort of relates to psychology | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/6/13

I recently learned about MBTI typology and cognitive functions. The second I found out what a shadow function is (which the internet does an unfortunately bad job of explaining) I immediately remembered this song. Great song, by the way.

The Real Stranger | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/14/11

When it says “we take them out and show ourselves when everyone has gone” I think it really means the stranger is us when no one else is around ex: you are really nice- with other people. you are really mean and nasty- alone. So basically I think the stranger is us when we are alone

Smashed Illusions | Reviewer: Ralph | 6/29/11

I relate this song to the fourth stanza about coming home to a woman that I did not even know. Joel points out that we shouldn't be so crushed in such situations since such smashed illusions often are mutual.

Euphemisms | Reviewer: Aurelio | 2/14/10

Charles Anthony: "...none of us could always do the right thing...our incomplete nature"; Mike: "sometimes we fall short." You guys are way understating who the stranger is. It's the dark side of human nature, which is in each one of us. Joel's line, "He isn't always evil" [i.e., he usually is evil] confirms this. However you interpret it, I agree with you guys and everyone in this thread that it is a haunting song.

who are we? | Reviewer: charles anthony | 7/28/09

I was referred to this song in a men's support group. We all have experienced some level of failure despite good intentions. We recognized that none of us could always do the right thing. Yet we were looking for hope despite our incomplete nature. I wonder if the line " not all our strangers are wrong" means there is truth about ourselves in our failures that is informative? Only God knows all this and we are accepting such love as affirmation of us, not condemnation from judging strangers.

Human Nature and the Joel | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/17/09

Many songs are made every day but few are fitted with so many great combos that it sticks for ages. I didn't even know much about this song until it was requested by a man in the movie "Stepbrothers". Joel puts the truth of human nature ,meaning a face aka personality that we hide from everyone else, in such a solid punch with the catchy'ist of melodies ive ever heard. I love songs that dont have to have a rhym setups and still sound great.

I agree with all other comments.

Billy Joel Touches the Truth with the Stranger | Reviewer: Mike | 1/27/09

Sometimes the words of a song cut right through to one's heart and soul. I first heard this song in 1979 and immediately saw myself in the lyrics. We all want to do what is right, but sometimes we fall short and that is when the Stranger comes along. Songs which emphacize that we all fall short of our own ideals are powerful and Joel's music and lyrics hits home in this wonderful balad. The whistling at the beginning and end of the song adds a depth and demension that seems to take us into the twilight zone that is the Stanger.

the stranger minus the whistling intro... | Reviewer: john | 1/10/08

Billy Joel told Hughes Downes back in a 20/20 1980 interview that when he wrote "The Stranger", he had not written the whistling intro. The whistling which is at the begining and end of the song, was a result as Billy sat in the studio recording session. He listened and listened to the chorus and guitar, etc and thought "The Stranger....Hmmm.....something's missing, something's missing..." He thought about an image of a Humphrey Bogart person, wearing a trench coat, walking down a dark street, whistling....get the picture?

Great Song | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/1/07

This song is so true, Its something that everyone thinks only they have. We all act differently then we feel...

Only Billy Joel song I like! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/18/06

I am not a fan of Billy Joel, but when I heard this song on the radio, I liked it immediately, as much as I didn't want to. The lyrics are clever, true, and relatable, and the melody is interesting, and the high falsetto chorus adds a great dimension to the entire song. This is overall a great song, and I don't mean just great for being a Billy Joel song; it stands tall on its own.



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------ Performed by Billy Joel

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------ 10/30/2014

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