There are many songs that describe cities around the world. One of them is Vienna, written and performed by popular American artist Billy Joel. This particular song is included in his album entitled “The Stranger” released in 1977.
To those of you who may be wondering why Billy Joel decided to do a song on Austria’s capital, there’s actually a story behind it. This American artist drew inspiration from his own father when he thought of writing a song about Vienna. The song later became one of his two favorites together with “Summer, Highland Falls.” An article in the July 2008 New York Times revealed the details of how this song came about.
Billy Joel related that he was drawn to Vienna as part of his journey to find his father whom he hadn’t seen since he was 8 years old until he was 23 or 24 years old. His father migrated from Germany to stay away from Hitler and lived in Vienna since then.
It was while visiting his Dad in Vienna that Billy Joel noticed how the old people in the community were treated well in Vienna, Austria. This gave him a better outlook on life, making him realize to enjoy the moment.
The song is talking about a young person who sees life as an adventure and is rushing out in the world, but doesn’t take time to enjoy life to its fullest. “Vienna” wants people to realize that there is time in life to accomplish their goals and life doesn’t have to be at a break-neck speed. Everything, including your “Vienna,” will come in due time.
“When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?”