"The Entertainer" as written by and Billy Joel....
I am the entertainer
And I know just where I stand
Another serenader
And another long haired band
Today I am your champion
I may have won your hearts
But I know the game, you'll forget my name
And I won't be here in another year
If I don't stay on the charts

I am the entertainer
And I've had to pay my price
The things I did not know at first
I learned by doin' twice
Ah, but still they come to haunt me
Still they want their say
So I've learned to dance with a hand in my pants
I let 'em rub my neck and I write 'em a check
And they go their merry way

I am the entertainer
Been all around the world
I've played all kinds of palaces
And laid all kinds of girls
I can't remember faces
I don't remember names
Ah, but what the hell
You know it's just as well
'Cause after a while and a thousand miles
It all becomes the same

I am the entertainer
I bring to you my songs
I'd like to spend a day or two
I can't stay that long
No, I've got to meet expenses
I got to stay in line
Gotta get those fees to the agencies
And I'd love to stay but there's bills to pay
So I just don't have the time

I am the entertainer
I come to do my show
You've heard my latest record
It's been on the radio
Ah, it took me years to write it
They were the best years of my life
It was a beautiful song
But it ran too long
If you're gonna have a hit
You gotta make it fit
So they cut it down to 3:05

I am the entertainer
The idol of my age
I make all kinds of money
When I go on the stage
Ah, you've seen me in the papers
I've been in the magazines
But if I go cold I won't get sold
I'll get put in the back in the discount rack
Like another can of beans

I am the entertainer
And I know just where I stand
Another serenader
And another long haired band
Today I am your champion
I may have won your hearts
But I know the game, you'll forget my name
I won't be here in another year
If I don't stay on the charts


Lyrics submitted by kevin

"The Entertainer" as written by Billy Joel

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Entertainer song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commentto Globberts/bugmenot123:

    "I am the entertainer
    And I dress to fit the style
    I wear all kinds of sparkles
    I flash the crowd my smile

    But when the night is over
    And I stand without my clothes
    Perspiration stains, vericose veins
    My eyes look shot
    My belly's gone pot
    And there's a pimple on my nose"
    Palomitzon April 26, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is a commentary on "pop" bands and really the whole music industry. Billy is saying that those kind of bands are superficial and aren't real musicians- where it doesn't matter what they sound like but what they look like. I think this was a sticky point for Billy, because we all know that he is very talented, but he doesn't have the "pretty face" of a lot of "one hit wonder" groups. So maybe he was fed up with people focusing on looks rather than musical substance. It's definitely a commentary on the music industry.
    krisstieon June 27, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthe was simply telling it like it is -- you gota have a hit or or YOU'RE GONE. Remember, there was no MTV or videos when this song was written. Image was less important than talent. If the public didn't buy your record, you were GONE. Period.
    LolaBaton November 20, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis verse is just the best: I am the entertainer, I've come to do my show
    You've heard my latest record, it's been on the radio
    It took me years to write it, they were the best years of my life
    It was a beautiful song but it ran too long
    If you're gonna have a hit you gotta make it fit
    So they cut it down to 3:05

    I was so surprised when I was singing along with "Piano Man" on the radio when I began singing a verse and a different one was being played. My parents explained to me that songs that are too long are cut short, and I thought that was insane.
    lilamishgirl26on March 05, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is so great! Though, it was the only hit single on the album "Streetlife Serenade" I LOVE the album cover.
    KennyIngramon October 22, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis feels like a commentary on the modern music industry.
    atemu1234on May 18, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis reminds me of American Idol.

    -EE
    Endarireon June 01, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust a general statement by BJ on what he thinks of the music biz - that its great for everyone but the talent. That they use up the artist and work him hard until he is done, and then move onto the next victim:
    I am the entertainer, I bring to you my songs
    "I'd like to spend a day or two but I can't stay that long
    I got to meet expenses, I got to stay in line
    Got to get those fees to the agencies
    And I'd love to stay but there's bills to pay.
    So I just don't have the time

    I love how there is no bride in this song, and every verse just adds in another instrument until you hear the whole band at the end.
    crdesqon March 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentexcuse me, no "bride" but "bridge".
    crdesqon March 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne thing about this song, Billy Joel actually made something like 12 more verses, which have never been released. I've been told by a person who knows the verses that they were very good, and pretty funny.
    globbertson April 18, 2006   Link

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