Well, we're living here in Allentown
And they're closing all the factories down
Out in Bethlehem, they're killing time
Filling out forms
Standing in line
Well, our fathers fought the Second World War
Spent their weekends on the Jersey Shore
Met our mothers at the USO
Asked them to dance
Danced with them slow
And we're living here in Allentown

But the restlessness was handed down
And it's getting very hard to stay

Well, we're waiting here in Allentown
For the Pennsylvania we never found
For the promises our teachers gave
If we worked hard
If we behaved

So the graduations hang on the wall
But they never really helped us at all
No, they never taught us what was real
Iron and coke
Chromium steel
And we're waiting here in Allentown

But they've taken all the coal from the ground
And the union people crawled away

Every child had a pretty good shot
To get at least as far as their old man got
But something happened on the way to that place
They threw an American flag in our face

Well, I'm living here in Allentown
And it's hard to keep a good man down
But I won't be getting up today

And it's getting very hard to stay
And we're living here in Allentown


Lyrics submitted by kevin, edited by kaey99, axcohn, kevinmkr

Allentown Lyrics as written by Billy Joel

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Allentown song meanings
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22 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThe line "they threw an American flag in our face," I think, refers to the Reagan Administration's attempt to fix the American post-industrial problem through vigorous patriotism and renewed faith in the American Dream. Unfortunately, this new optimism did not help create any new manufacturing jobs.
    IvoKenton November 12, 2005   Link

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