If it seems like I've been lost
In let's remember
If you think I'm feeling older
And missing my younger days
Oh, then you should have known
Me much better
Cause my past is something that never
Got in my way
Oh no

Still I would not be here now
If I never had the hunger
And I'm not ashamed to say
The wild boys were my friends
Oh
Cause I never felt the desire
'Til their music set me on fire
And then I was saved, yeah
That's why I'm keeping the faith
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Keeping the faith

We wore matador boots
Only Flagg Brothers had them with the Cuban heel
Iridescent socks with the same color shirt
And a tight pair of chinos
Oh
I put on my shark skin jacket
You know the kind with the velvet collar
And ditty-bop shades
Oh yeah
I took a fresh pack of Luckies
And a mint called Sen-Sen
My old man's Trojans
And his Old Spice after shave
Oh
Combed my hair in a pompadour
Like the rest of the Romeos wore
A permanent wave
Yeah
We were keeping the faith
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Keeping the faith

You can get just so much
From a good thing
You can linger too long
In your dreams
Say goodbye to the
Oldies but goodies
Cause the good ole days weren't
Always good
And tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems

Learned stickball as a formal education
Lost a lot of fights
But it taught me how to lose O.K.
Oh
I heard about sex
But not enough
I found you could dance
And still look tough anyway
Oh yes I did
I found out a man ain't just being macho
Ate an awful lot of late night drive-in food
Drank a lot of take-home pay
I thought I was the Duke of Earl
When I made it with a red-haired girl
In the Chevrolet
Oh yeah
We were keeping the faith
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Keeping the faith

You know the good ole days weren't
Always good
And tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems

Now I told you my reasons
For the whole revival
Now I'm going outside to have
An ice cold beer in the shade
Oh
I'm going to listen to my 45's
Ain't it wonderful to be alive
When the rock 'n' roll plays
Yeah
When the memory stays
Yeah
I'm keeping the faith
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Keeping the faith
I'm keeping the faith
Yes I am


Lyrics submitted by kevin

Keeping The Faith Lyrics as written by Billy Joel

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Keeping The Faith song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

10 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General Comment

    I think this song is about growing up and being young but also about moving on and growing up...

    SomthinCorporaton May 01, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I like these lines: You can get just so much From a good thing You can linger too long In your dreams Say goodbye to the Oldies but goodies 'Cause the good ole days weren't Always good And tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems because it's so easy to linger in the past. That's not helpful, because the past probably wasn't as good as it seemed and there's no way the change it now.

    musicchick44on June 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I Think Billy Joel Has So Much Talent, I listen to this song when I need advice and I look forward to another day:)

    LisaBv1921on August 17, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This song makes me want to have an ice cold beer in the shade...

    Yum.

    Surfpicoon April 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    my gosh Billy can i shake your hand? the best song in the history of life because its ABOUT life, growing up and all that jazz

    DiegoTheGreaton February 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Great song. Relaxing and at the same time kinda telling everybody's life story. Awesome.

    Geofreakon May 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Wow, this song is all about life and it's so true. I look back on my mall bangs and pegged jeans and wonder, "What was I thinking?" I guess I was keeping the faith.

    rocknrolljessieon May 13, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This is another Billy Joel song with many historical markers (Much like "We didn't Start the Fire) as well as references to HIS actual life. He says "I'm not ashamed to say the wild boys were my friends" in reference both to the novel/film "The Wild Boys" and as that is about a gay gang it is his real life reference that he got his New York start in the gay community! (As in his bio-theme song Piano Man is about playing in a gay piano bar!) "Til the music set me on fire" refers to the Hendrix song "come on baby Light my Fire" as is shown by the official video having in the court gallery Jimmy Hendrix as he appeared at Woodstock. (I was there!)
    "Matador boots, only Flagg Brothers had them with the Cuban Heels" refers to the typical stage outfit of Sergio Mendez & Brazil 66 as well as bob Cuban and the in men and so much Cuban, Puerto Rican, and South American influence to some of the Billy Joel sound! (Also that the "upscale" shoe store for most stage wear was a store named "Flagg Brothers Shoes" in Brooklyn!) And again in the video we see a reference to "West Side Story" with a dance troupe routine from the play! The "Shark skin jacket with the velvet collar" is the reference to stage wear of Sha na na who did the referred to song "The Duke of Earl" The "Red haired girl in a Chevrolet" refers to Lucille Ball and her show "I Love Lucy" being sponsored by Chevrolet and that brought the Cuban sound to him as a child via Desi Arnez (I Love Lucy husband Ricky) The line "Learned how to dance and still look tough" refers to John Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever" as does the "stick ball" reference, etc. "Learned about sex, but not enough" is referring to the Aides crisis and those he lost in his life. Also the "good ole day weren't always that good, and tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems" refers to the hit TV show "Happy Days" and it showing that teen struggles are time/era universal. As I've said, this whole song is his strolls through the events and influences throughout his live up to then and that absorbing everything thrown at you is "keeping the Faith" in the music world. The video has so very many portrayals of icons that it is a whole presentation of it's own to compliment the song! Nowhere in the song does he reference The Supremes yet he shows them in their final stage outfit of gold lame when the judge says "that's not appropriate dress for a courtroom" Watch it and see if you can spot some music icons! Scotty

    scottyboydon August 09, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    It’s a song about enjoying your youth. While not condemning fun youthful behaviors as rebellious, it is saying there comes a time to move on and grow up and be more down to earth about life. It is being reminiscent about those times and taking a look back at them.

    Babybackeron February 12, 2019   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Ok... the entire album "An Innocent Man" was a collection of songs done in tribute to various 50s and 60s artists. This song closes the album and explains it. He's saying, "If you think I'm just on some sad nostalgia kick, that isn't true. This album was a fun look at the past, but it's time to start looking forward."

    His next studio album was "The Bridge," which was the appropriately named, serving as the bridge between the 80s Joel and the very different direction he took in the 90s starting with "Storm Front."

    D. Dodge Silveron November 13, 2019   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Light Up The Sky
Van Halen
The song lyrics were written by the band Van Halen, as they were asked to write a song for the 1979 movie "Over the Edge" starring Matt Dillon. The movie (and the lyrics, although more obliquely) are about bored, rebellious youth with nothing better to do than get into trouble. If you see the movie, these lyrics will make more sense. It's a great movie if you grew up in the 70s/80s you'll definitely remember some of these characters from your own life. Fun fact, after writing the song, Van Halen decided not to let the movie use it.
Album art
Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
Led Zeppelin
This is about bronies. They communicate by stomping.
Album art
Dreamwalker
Silent Planet
I think much like another song “Anti-Matter” (that's also on the same album as this song), this one is also is inspired by a horrifying van crash the band experienced on Nov 3, 2022. This, much like the other track, sounds like it's an extension what they shared while huddled in the wreckage, as they helped frontman Garrett Russell stem the bleeding from his head wound while he was under the temporary effects of a concussion. The track speaks of where the mind goes at the most desperate & desolate of times, when it just about slips away to all but disconnect itself, and the aftermath.
Album art
I Can't Go To Sleep
Wu-Tang Clan
This song is written as the perspective of the boys in the street, as a whole, and what path they are going to choose as they get older and grow into men. (This is why the music video takes place in an orphanage.) The seen, and unseen collective suffering is imbedded in the boys’ mind, consciously or subconsciously, and is haunting them. Which path will the boys choose? Issac Hayes is the voice of reason, maybe God, the angel on his shoulder, or the voice of his forefathers from beyond the grave who can see the big picture and are pleading with the boys not to continue the violence and pattern of killing their brothers, but to rise above. The most beautiful song and has so many levels. Racism towards African Americans in America would not exist if everyone sat down and listened to this song and understood the history behind the words. The power, fear, pleading in RZA and Ghostface voices are genuine and powerful. Issac Hayes’ strong voice makes the perfect strong father figure, who is possibly from beyond the grave.
Album art
When We Were Young
Blink-182
This is a sequel to 2001's "Reckless Abandon", and features the band looking back on their clumsy youth fondly.