"Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" as written by and Billy Joel....
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 me
A heart attack (ack)
You oughta know by now (oughta know)
Who needs a house out in Hackensack?
Is that what you get with your money?

It seems such a waste of time
If that's what it's all about
If that's movin' up then I'm movin' out

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
He's tradin' in his Chevy for a Cadillac
You oughta know by now
And if he can't drive
With a broken back
At least he can polish the fenders

It seems such a waste of time
If that's what it's all about
If that's movin' up then I'm movin' out

You should never argue with a crazy mind (mmm)
You oughta know by now
You can pay Uncle Sam with overtime
Is that all you get for your money?
It seems such a waste of time
If that's what it's all about
Good luck movin' up
I'm moving out
If that's movin' up then I'm movin' out


Lyrics submitted by kevin

"Movin Out (Anthony's Song)" as written by Billy Joel

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Movin' Out (Anthony's Song) song meanings
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33 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentTwo words: Heart attack-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack.
    Selfmutilizedon December 15, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI never thought about it being about immigrants, but it does make sense. Look at the names he mentions: Anthony, Mama Leone, and Cacciatore are all Italian, and O'Leary is Irish. In New York, the Italian and Irish populations are quite large. The references to getting out of the ghetto and the dead-ends jobs seem like traditional "immigrant kids make good" stories. Also, the mention of Uncle Sam fits the bill. This is a really good song. The whole "Stranger" album is phenomenal.
    LittleBriddieon June 26, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthmm good song, but i have spent so long trying to figure out what its about! I just don't get it! I never said anything because I thought everyone else might know and I didn't want to look stupid, but it looks like no one else knows either. Fantastic I'm not alone. O and that musical idea is terrible! Why Billy?!Why??
    queenjaneon March 02, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is so irritating it gives me a heart attack-ack-ack-ack-ack...
    Heliamphoraon June 30, 2005   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI believe the song has two solid comparisons of the typical western lifestyle of working your ass off for a home or car your whole life and Billy says ' if bustin your ass your whole life for a house in Hackensack or a new cadillac, then count me out."

    "He's tradin' in his Chevy for a Cadillac
    You oughta know by now
    And if he can't drive
    With a broken back
    At least he can polish the fenders"

    I love the broken back part. its so true people work their bodys to death and when the retire, they cant even enjoy it except for polishing your fenders.

    I have a similar opinion on life. Id rather be poor with no "american dream" expenses to ball-and-chain me for 30 years. Living a simple life in a van with a minimum wage job or doing odd jobs across the country with little bills to pay is the life i wish i chose.
    kylemtncruzron January 09, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentImmigrants...? Lolwhut XD I always thought it was about how futile the struggle for wealth is. A few quotes to sum it up nicely:
    "Working too hard will give you a heart attack", "Sergeant O'Leary is walking the beats, at night he becomes a bartender": Examples of how everyone is spending so much time working to try and move up in life ("house out in Hackensack", "trading in his chevy for a Cadillac").
    "If he can't drive with a broken back, at least he can polish the fenders": This part sums up the whole song quite well- Sergeant O'Leary has worked two jobs day in day out to afford a better car, but all the work he's put in without rest has 'broke his back', so he can't actually drive the cadillac he's worked so hard for, but "at least he can polish the fenders"; he'll look rich, and that's all that matters.
    In other words, the car is a metaphor for how we put so much energy into working harder than is sometimes good for us, just for money we spend on useless things to make ourselves feel rich or upper-class.
    Of course, the song is rejecting that lifestyle, as Anthony in the song is simply "saving his pennies for some day", happy with the life he has, and objects (assuming the song is kind of indirectly from Anthonys point of view?) to moving to somewhere quieter (or "moving up").
    DiamShadowWraithon January 27, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPainful, an now a Broadway Musical!
    feinsteinon June 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMovin Out is about immigrants. I love Billy Joel's music more than life but I always thought the musical idea was corny.
    suckmykisson March 16, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMovin Out is about immigrants. I love Billy Joel's music more than life but I always thought the musical idea was corny.
    suckmykisson March 16, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentReally, why not? I thought it was pretty self-explanatory.
    suckmykisson April 07, 2003   Link

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