"Summer, Highland Falls" as written by and Billy Joel....
They say that these are not the best of times
But they're the only times I've ever known
And I believe there is a time for meditation
In cathedrals of our own

Now I have seen that sad surrender in my mother's eyes
I can only stand apart and sympathize
For we are always what our situations hand us
Its either sadness or euphoria

So we'll argue and we'll compromise
And realize that nothing's ever changed
For all our mutual experience
Our separate conclusions are the same

Now we are forced to recognize our inhumanity
A reason coexists with our insanity
Though we choose between reality and madness
Its either sadness or euphoria

How thoughtlessly we dissipate our energies
Perhaps we'll help fulfill each other's fantasies
And as we stand upon the ledges of our lives with our respective similarities
Its either sadness or euphoria


Lyrics submitted by fletch699, edited by DuncanIdaho

"Summer, Highland Falls" as written by Billy Joel

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Summer, Highland Falls song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +4
    Song MeaningIn a recent interview, Billy said the meaning of this song is dealing with the Manic modes, and deppressed states that people suffering with Bi-Polar disease go through (which they just called Manic Depression when he wrote this song) ... when he wrote the melody he especially kept this in mind as you hear the rising and falling notes throughout the song. Makes me sad when I hear it as I have a brother who suffers from this disease. So the verdict is in, this is straight from the horses mouth... I had heard the song many times before and never made the connection until after that interview. Now I am shocked that I did not connect the dots before.
    tommydkaton February 14, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFrom Billy in the "To Make You Feel My Love" CD Single....

    "The other song you asked about was 'Summer, Highland Falls.' I lived, actually, in a town--upstate New York, right on the Hudson, just below West Point--and it's called Highland Falls. And I lived there, and it was at a time when I was in a relationship where the bloom was off the rose, the honeymoon was over. And, you realize how disappointing it can be when you love somebody so much and then you're mean to each other and you do hurtful things to each other. It's all out of love, but it's that first understanding that all is not right.

    You either accept it and say, 'maybe we're not as perfect as we thought we were'--there's a certain disappointment, but there's also an acceptance. I was looking for one of those yin-yang kind of things."
    Uncle Monkeyon June 30, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is my fave Billy Joel song. He wrote it thirty years ago and hasn't topped it, in my view - although there are a few others which come very close. I love the way he keeps the music and the lyrics simple, but manages to convey a wealth of emotion in three minutes. It's a sad song about the end of the relationship, but somehow there is a positive feeling about it too, like you can choose to wallow in it, or get on to better days (sadness or euphoria). That's what makes Billy so awesome - he really knows how to capture complex emotions.
    neurotic.housewifeon May 09, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI always thought that this was about how people are just that: people. About how we tend to fool ourselves into believing what is convenient, and how even though we think we're different from each other somehow, we're all the same. To be honest, I'm kind of disappointed to find that it's just a love song... To me, human nature is alot more interesting.
    FuzzySockon February 23, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a really nice song! The piano part is beautiful. I don't see the connections between the rest of the lyrics and the sadness or euphoria line, but I can definitely relate to the apparent references to a rough relationship.
    TDEguitar2on May 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGiven the lyrics and repeating piano phrases, I think he was pretty depressed when he wrote it about being unhappy living a monotonous life in L.A. at the time.
    wpoton October 15, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is my favourite Billy Joel song, I'm obsessed. I agree that it has to do with rough relationships, rough times .. and it's gotten me through plenty of rough times. The man is a genius.
    BellaCaelaon March 18, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFrom Billy in the "To Make You Feel My Love" CD Single....

    "The other song you asked about was 'Summer, Highland Falls.' I lived, actually, in a town--upstate New York, right on the Hudson, just below West Point--and it's called Highland Falls. And I lived there, and it was at a time when I was in a relationship where the bloom was off the rose, the honeymoon was over. And, you realize how disappointing it can be when you love somebody so much and then you're mean to each other and you do hurtful things to each other. It's all out of love, but it's that first understanding that all is not right.

    You either accept it and say, 'maybe we're not as perfect as we thought we were'--there's a certain disappointment, but there's also an acceptance. I was looking for one of those yin-yang kind of things."
    Uncle Monkeyon June 30, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFrom Billy in the "To Make You Feel My Love" CD Single....

    "The other song you asked about was 'Summer, Highland Falls.' I lived, actually, in a town--upstate New York, right on the Hudson, just below West Point--and it's called Highland Falls. And I lived there, and it was at a time when I was in a relationship where the bloom was off the rose, the honeymoon was over. And, you realize how disappointing it can be when you love somebody so much and then you're mean to each other and you do hurtful things to each other. It's all out of love, but it's that first understanding that all is not right.

    You either accept it and say, 'maybe we're not as perfect as we thought we were'--there's a certain disappointment, but there's also an acceptance. I was looking for one of those yin-yang kind of things."
    Uncle Monkeyon June 30, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFrom Billy in the "To Make You Feel My Love" CD Single....

    "The other song you asked about was 'Summer, Highland Falls.' I lived, actually, in a town--upstate New York, right on the Hudson, just below West Point--and it's called Highland Falls. And I lived there, and it was at a time when I was in a relationship where the bloom was off the rose, the honeymoon was over. And, you realize how disappointing it can be when you love somebody so much and then you're mean to each other and you do hurtful things to each other. It's all out of love, but it's that first understanding that all is not right.

    You either accept it and say, 'maybe we're not as perfect as we thought we were'--there's a certain disappointment, but there's also an acceptance. I was looking for one of those yin-yang kind of things."
    Uncle Monkeyon June 30, 2004   Link

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