Movin' Out (Anthony's Song) Lyrics - Billy Joel

Review The Song (15)

Anthony works in the grocery store
Savin' his pennies for someday
Mama Leone left a note on the door,
She said,
"Sonny, move out to the country."
Workin' too hard can give you
A heart attackackackackackack
You oughta know by now
Who needs a house out in Hackensack?
Is that all you get for your money?

And it seems such a waste of time
If that's what it's all about
Mama, If that's movin' up then I'm movin' out.
Mmm, I'm movin' out. Ooh-hoo, uh-huh, mmmm

Sergeant O'Leary is walkin' the beat
At night he becomes a bartender
He works at Mister Cacciatore's down
On Sullivan Street
Across from the medical center
Yeah and he's tradin' in his Chevy for a Cadillacacacacacacacac
You oughta know by now
And if he can't drive
With a broken back
At least he can polish the fenders

And It seems such a waste of time
If that's what it's all about
Mama, If that's movin' up then I'm movin' out.
Mmm, I'm movin' out. Ooh-hoo, uh-huh, mmmm

You should never argue with a crazy mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mind
You oughta know by now
You can pay Uncle Sam with the overtime
Is that all you get for your money?

And if that's what you have in mind
yeah if that's what you're all about
Good luck movin' up 'cause I'm movin' out.
Mmm, I'm movin' out. Ooh-hoo, uh-huh, mmmm

I'm movin' out...

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Who was Sargent O'Leary | Reviewer: Tomny Tunez | 12/3/12

Sargent O'Leary is a character based on the many officers in the Oyster Bay Police force that beat the crap out Billy Joel and his buddys on a nightly basis back in the '60s and '70s.

to me | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/31/11

funny how people are the same all over the world, to me this is about people working two jobs and working overtime, to try and appear as if they are rich, with the good clothes and fancy car........Joel appears to have spotted a problem back in the 1970's that has become the root of most of our cashflow problems of toda.....

agreement | Reviewer: Crimson Liquid | 8/15/11

I agree with the statement made previously about broken back being a metaphor, as well as the one making it possibly actual injuries that occurred from overstress. Both are very valid points, and are both acceptable, yet in this case, I believe it really is a metaphor, referring to breaking the 'back' of your morals to get where you want to be, but then realizing that you don't want it, or you don't think it's morally right. But both points are valid and acceptable.

More than you think | Reviewer: guy | 3/23/11

You make some good points friend,especially with the concept of the american dream, but there is more to say about this song than can be written in a hundred of these little white comment boxes.
The entire song is about people working hard to get from middle class to upper middle class (as shown by sergent O'leary trading in his chevy for a caddie) but at too high of a cost. You took "broken back" as a metaphor, and that is certainly acceptable, but I think it is also intended to refer to actual injuries that come from too much stress and working too hard. Same as with the heart attack mentioned in the first stanza. This is more than just the economy, but also weaknesses in humanity. The sergent chose to have this life style, and once he accomplished his goal, he cannot even enjoy the rewards.

The American Dream - Nightmare | Reviewer: Bradlee | 3/19/11

Are you people kidding? Not making sense? This song (and the whole LP) is Billy Joel's magnum opus. Movin'Out is about everyone busting your rear end, working two jobs, etc. and not getting anywhere. It's a referendum on the American Dream. Sure the characters are ethnic - they're people Billy Joel knew growing up on Long Island and NJ. "Sargent O'Leery" the Irish cop who made sergeant, but still had to tend bar at night. The broken back isn't from work, it's from having to cross the line as a cop and probably getting his back broken by the mob- probably handling bookies or whatever at the bar. Mama Leone's was an Italian Restaurant in Manhattan that sold out to a big chain (120 units) in the late '60s (a few years before Billy wrote the song). She "moved out" poof - get it?

Kid | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/9/10

reviewer: xylene | 3/25/10

im eleven years old and i need to sing this song for a concert in my school everybody from my class is gonna sing together.but this song is for old people no offense old people.:)i need to sing this weird soooooooong lolz.

One day you'll learn that this song is amazing. Good luck singing it.

Correct Synopsis | Reviewer: Joe | 8/19/10

You were close. You are correct about people living in NYC or any big city but the song is suggesting that it would be better to get out of the city rather than bust you hump trying to get ahead. Just my 2cents.

Synopsis | Reviewer: Jason | 4/23/10

For all you people who don't quite get this song here is a good synopsis. The song is the stories of people who lice in Nyc and are ethnic (hence names like Anthony, O'Leary, Leone) and who want to get out of there slums. It explains how movin out will only end up with a heart attack or a broken back.

Thought thiswould help people understand this song because it is definately one of Billy's best songs.

. | Reviewer: xylene | 3/25/10

im eleven years old and i need to sing this song for a concert in my school everybody from my class is gonna sing together.but this song is for old people no offense old people.:)i need to sing this weird soooooooong lolz.

It's good | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/12/10

Well, now, it is a good song, although I would prefer it if it actually made... sense. But, he sings well, I guess. I'm a fan of his other songs, and this one too. I'd also like to see what cadillacacacaca means...

Miraculous | Reviewer: Narumi | 3/24/09

Not only am I another your Billy Joel fan, but this is one of his greatests! God, no matter how much music styles fade and change, he will always have something for us to listen to and enjoy miraculously.

Wow! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/8/08

I think the truck sounds at the very end are neat. And yeah, I'm only, like, thirteen, fourteen, and I've been into Billy Joel since I was about eleven. I drove my classmates crazy because they all liked country. (That's satisfaction for you.) I love Billy! I wish I could go to a concert of his... Or is he still performing? I don't know. All I know is that I can sit here and listen to his songs over and over again...

love this | Reviewer: Carly | 3/24/08

one of my favorites, as well.
i bought the album on vinyl at a record-resale store (they buy and sell old albums). brilliant. best $1 i spent all weekend!
i'm a 21 year old, so of course, i'd love to be able to purchase all of "The Stranger" on iTunes and put it in my iPod, but if it's only $1, i'll happily stay in my dorm room with the windows open, the speakers cranked up (to 11), and the phono spinning deliciously.

and ellie, i definitely agree. i can't get "cadillacacacacacac!" out of my head. great! :)

No doubt, no doubt!!! | Reviewer: Debra | 2/24/08

Billy Joel is what I would consider a "over looked" genius! I don't think he got the recognition he should have. I am a 44 year old female, have been into Billy Joel music as far back as I could remember and I am rediscovering him in a whole different way! His lyrics are pure unadulturated genius! The melodies are certainly not bad either. I just ordered "The Stranger" cd last week.

I want to share a true moment with you all: when 52nd street came out, I fell totally in love with the (back then, tape), learned every word to every song. When I was a college freshman in 1981, I went to a prodominately white college, could you imagine the look on my roomates face when she opened the door to find me: black/indian me, singing Billy Joel, word for word! It was truly a classic moment!

Cracking song! | Reviewer: Ellie | 5/22/07

This song is cracking, and here's why:
It makes a lovely comment on values in society, presented quite innocently and brilliantly.
The lyrics are classic and utterly singable - "workin' too hard can give you a heart attackackackackackack" (how sick are the people in town of me singing this out and about on my bike?!).
The instrumentals build up gradually and the general effect is brilliant from this.
Billy Joel at top standard!
This is cracking!

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------ Performed by Billy Joel

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