10 Best Billy Joel Wedding Songs for Your Big Day

Billy Joel, “The Piano Man,” as he’s been called, is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, having sold 160 million albums to date. Not to mention, Joel is a quadruple threat as a singer, songwriter, composer, and pianist!

Self-described as a power pop artist — a genre that blends the cheer of traditional pop with a sense of yearning or despair — Billy Joel reached the height of his success in the 1980s, releasing a slew of catchy pop hits and emotionally evocative ballads and love songs.

Many of his love songs were written for particular wives and girlfriends, speaking to the power and depth of his love and connection with them.

While the relationships may not have lasted, the emotions preserved in the music are classic and timeless, making his songs a great addition to any wedding playlist. Here are 10 of the best Billy Joel wedding songs.

billy joel wedding songs

“Uptown Girl”

Lyrics you’ll love:

“Uptown girl/You know I can’t afford to buy her pearls/But maybe someday when my ship comes in/She’ll understand what kind of guy I’ve been/And then I’ll win.”

This fun doo-wop classic is a great song to play at your reception. It’s a cheerful, upbeat dance song about a guy successfully wooing a girl who’s a bit out of his league.

Though the song is fun and generally lighthearted, there’s a more serious message about love and marriage in the lyrics.

Lasting love isn’t driven by shallow things that inevitably change, money and or looks; it’s driven by the intimate connections people choose to build with each other.

“Tell Her About It”

Lyrics you’ll love:

“You’re a big boy now/You’ll never let her go/But that’s just the kind of thing/She ought to know/Tell her about it/Tell her everything you feel.”

This fun, uptempo, pop love song is guaranteed to get your friends and family on the dance floor. Joel sings cheerfully in close harmony with traditional Motown-style backup singers imploring a young friend not to make the same mistakes he’s made in love.

In addition to being a fun, family-friendly tune, there is some excellent, straightforward advice in the lyrics. Communication can make or break a marriage, so young couples would do well to “tell her about it.”

“The Longest Time”

Lyrics you’ll love:

“Oh, oh, oh For the longest time Oh, oh, oh/For the longest/If you said goodbye to me tonight/There would still be music left to write/What else could I do I’m so inspired by you/That hasn’t happened for the longest time.”

In his time, Joel was well known for writing heart-melting courtship songs. “The Longest Time” is one of those.

This is a hopeful and slightly pensive Doo-wop tune. Joel croons sweet endearing lyrics intended to make sure the target of his affections not only knows the depths of his feelings for her but that he’s ready to risk it all.

“Always a Woman”

Lyrics you’ll love:

“She just changes her mind/She is frequently kind and she’s suddenly cruel/But she can do as she pleases, she’s nobody’s fool/And she can’t be convicted, she’s earned her degree/And the most she will do is throw shadows at you But she’s always a woman to me.”

Written for then-wife Elizabeth Webb, this is a folksy ballad on the reflections of a man who has fallen in love with every part of his wife, the good, the bad, and everything in between.

Joel had signed some exploitative recording contracts in his early career and he and Webb struggled financially.

She took over managing his career and renegotiated those contracts, making them fairer. This was the late 1970s, and bitter at no longer being able to exploit a talent, folks in the industry criticized Webb as unfeminine. “She’s Always a Woman” was Joel’s response.

Beautifully sung, Joel speaks honestly and sincerely, conveying a deep abiding love for his wife.

This simple folk ballad and the story behind it really speak to what it means to be in love, married, work together and take care of one another, and that’s why it’s a must-play for any reception.

“She’s Got a Way”

Lyrics you’ll love:

“She’s got a way about her/I don’t know what it is/But I know that I can’t live without her/She’s got a way of pleasin’, mmh/I don’t know what it is/But there doesn’t have to be a reason… She’s got a way about her.”

This gentle piano ballad could easily serve for a first dance. It’s a beautifully written slower song sung by a man completely in love and marveling at the effects of that love on his mind, his spirit, and of course, his heart.

This lovely soulful song should be on every wedding playlist!

“Shameless”

Lyrics you’ll love:

“Well I’m shameless when it comes to loving you/I’d do anything you want me to/I’d do anything at all/And I’m standing here for all the world to see/There ain’t that much left of me That has very far to fall.”

A lesser, known country-rock ballad, “Shameless” shows Joel’s range in both vocal style and genre. He’s shameless in his love, wholly lost to it and on his knees before her.

This is the kind of classic ballad you don’t hear too much these days, a tough man humbled by his love, and for that reason alone, it’s a must-have for weddings.

“You’re My Home”

Lyrics you’ll love:

“When you look into my eyes/And you see the crazy gypsy in my soul/It always comes as a surprise/When I feel my withered roots begin to grow/Well, I never had a place that/I could call my very own/But that’s all right, my love, ’cause you’re my home.”

The story behind this tender folksy ballad is that Joel wrote it to make up for the fact that he was short on rent, and it did. Any love song that can make you feel ok with the possibility of looming homeless speaks to both the power of the song and the power of the emotions that inspired it. That kind of power easily earns a place on this list.

“Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)”

Lyrics you’ll love:

“Goodnight my angel, time to close your eyes/And save these questions for another day/I think I know what you’ve been asking me/I think you know what I’ve been trying to say/I promised I would never leave you/Then you should always know/Wherever you may go, no matter where you are/I never will be far away.”

While this list has been dominated by love songs and ballads, we had to include this tender lullaby as an option for the father-daughter dance.

This is a sweet, hopeful song sung from father to daughter, reassuring her of his steadfast love, support, and the transcendental power of their love.

The beautiful tenderness of the lyrics is guaranteed to bring a tear to your guest’s eyes if you choose this one for your father-daughter dance.

“You’re Only Human”

Lyrics you’ll love:

“You’re allowed to make your share of mistakes/You better believe there will be times in your life/When you’ll be feeling like a stumbling fool/So take it from me you’ll learn more from your accidents/Than anything that you could ever learn at school.”

This upbeat and joyful song may seem like a bit of a departure from the love songs that have dominated this list.

The lyrics speak more to confused teenagers than confident adults, but there’s some fundamental underlying truth in these. We’re only human, we make mistakes, and we can be forgiven, an important sentiment to remember when we embark on the journey that is marriage.

And that may have just sounded really serious, but the song is warm, upbeat, and joyful, a cheery pop tune that’s sure to get everyone on the dance floor feeling good about being alive and “only human”.

“To Make You Feel My Love”

Lyrics you’ll love:

“When the rain is blowing in your face/And the whole world is on your case/ I could offer you a warm embrace/To make you feel my love/When evening shadows and the stars appear/And there is no one there to dry your tears I could hold you for a million years/To make you feel my love.”

Another touching, tender ballad rounds out the list. This one is a love song in the grand tradition of love songs. A song of promises that mimics the vows every wedded couple must speak. This would be an ideal song for the bride and groom’s first dance.

The melody is simple as Joel sings confidently of the strength and caring power of love and its ability to shelter and protect. “Make You Feel My Love” will make you feel dreamy inside as you gently sway together on the dance floor.

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