This is a stunningly beautiful song Billy never officially recorded or released. It’s called “Rosalinda” (Not to be confused with “Rosalinda’s Eyes” off of 52nd Street). It is not only a sad song but a deeply personal one at that. It is about his Mother, Rosalind Nyman Joel. You can tell Billy cared very deeply for her when you listen to this.
Below: Billy Joel, Judy Joel, Rebecca Nyman (Billy’s Grandmother) and Rosalind Nyman Joel.
Billy and Rosalind
This particular version was recorded live at a radio station in 1972. The musicality here is obviously brilliant; So haunting with a simple yet painfully dark melody that glides along on these flurries of somber notes. What’s more impressive still is the lyrical content that occupies the brooding melody. Billy is such an under-appreciated lyricist. One only has to listen to “Summer, Highland Falls”, “Miami 2017” or “The Great Suburban Showdown” to understand that his lyrical capabilities are FAR above average. I always thought this was intersting because I’ve heard Billy state more than once in various interviews that he’s always hated writing lyrics and would prefer to not do so at all. I think this is probably a slight exaggeration on his part that perhaps relfects his current taste and shift of interest to classic music. Please comment and tell me what you think of “Rosalinda”.