Song Lyric – The Piano Man

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

I wrote the lyrics to this song in 1983, but do not know how to write music, so never did more than sing it, in a Tom Waits-like voice, at poetry recitals. Then Tom Waits himself came to Chicago to perform, so I sent a copy to his hotel. He sent me back a note that said. “Dear Irving, Nice piece of work. Thanks, Tom Waits.”

And that was that, until I came across it recently and decided to post it. Some of you may be familiar with the lounge piano players that still perform in piano bars and hotel dining rooms. This is their song, circa 1983. And if any of you can write music and sing and play the piano, please help me and do something with it :)


(Refrain from In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning) 

Mmm, yeahhhh, the wee small hours of the morning…
I always find myself at 4:00 AM
With no idea in my mind
Of where I’ve been or where I’m going
Or what it is I left behind

And if I stop to think it over
It just doesn’t seem quite right
That all I’ve got left the next morning
Are the songs I sang last night

(Refrain from Memories, Light the Corner of My Mind)

Memorieeees, light the corner of my mind,
But I don’t remember much of nothin’
There’s no girl I left behind

I left behind some talent,
But there wasn’t much to lose
Still one step ahead of crazy
One step behind the blues

Yeah, yeah, yeah, just part of the dues…

(Refrain from It Was Just One of Those Things)

mmm I paid so many dues
In my struggle to succeed
That someplace I lost the glamour
Somewhere I misplaced the greed,

Well, that’s just one of those things, mmmm,

But there’s money in the tip
And someone passed the hat
Well, pass it again, it don’t go that far
But I can still get high on that,
Yeah, still get high on that

Sooooo, with a whiskey glow and a neon tan
I’m taking requests, I’m the piano man,
Yeah, the piano man

(Refrain from It Had To Be You)

It had to be you, it had to be you,
hmm, hmm, hmmmm, hmmmmmmm

Honey, it don’t have to be you,
In fact, it probably ain’t you,
But there’s some girls at the bar,
Lookin’ as me, trying to catch my eye,

Cause I can make them happy,
And I can make them cry
With someone else’s words
And a slow dance melody

Hmmm, think I’ll get one high and take her home with me
Yeah, get her high and take her home with me

(Refrain from As Time Goes By)

Yeah, they think I know of what I’m singing
But I don’t sing of love from knowing,
Only sing it on request… yeah, one dollar a request
That knowledge has escaped me,
Most likely for the best, hmm, most likely for the best
Sex and drugs and Stardust, just won’t let me rest.

Soooo, with a whiskey glow and a neon tan,
I’m taking requests, I’m the piano man, yeahhhhh, the piano man

The piano man…..

– Irving Karchmar, Copyright 1983 – 2014

One Response to Song Lyric – The Piano Man

  1. Tracy says:

    This is very beautiful! I wish I had more time with it and could hear it to music. I hope you find a way!

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