H.P. Lovecraft Poem Syncs Up Perfectly With Billy Joel's 'Piano Man'

Saturday, 20 January 2018 - 3:06PM
Saturday, 20 January 2018 - 3:06PM
H.P. Lovecraft Poem Syncs Up Perfectly With Billy Joel's 'Piano Man'
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A sketch of Cthulhu drawn by H.P. Lovecraft.
If you've ever heard Billy Joel and H.P. Lovecraft appear in the same sentence together before now, either you have some extremely varied tastes, or you're dabbling in Doctor Strange sorts of weirdness while listening to classic rock. Perhaps you're just in a Yog-Sothoth state of mind, and wondering why blobs covered in eyes don't appear in enough famous songs.

But there is a connection, likely an unintended one. Recently, a ripple spread across Twitter as someone made the connection that an old poem called "Nemesis" by legendary sci-fi horror author H.P Lovecraft (the creator of notoriously unpronounceable monsters like Cthulhu) just so happens to match up perfectly with one of Billy Joel's most famous songs, "Piano Man."

See Lovecraft's poem below, about an evil entity that could just as quickly be Lucifer as any of the author's own monstrous creations, which has a nearly identical meter to Joel's tale about a down-on-his-luck bar pianist who can't escape his small town:




Of the many poems Lovecraft wrote in addition to his cosmic horror fare, "Nemesis" was written around the middle of his career in 1917, clocking in at just over a hundred years old. In comparison, "Piano Man" was Billy Joel's first single from 1973, which set the tone for his melancholy tales of ordinary Joes trying and often failing to live their lives in worthwhile ways.

But you're probably waiting for somebody to actually combine the poem and the song, which has now been done a couple times since the connection was made. Here's a rendition from musician Julian Velard called "H.P. Joelcraft," as well as a version released by Birth Movies Death called "R'lyeh Joel":





Frankly, if it weren't for the fact that Lovecraft was prone to anti-Semitic rants (something his Jewish wife often called him out for) while Billy Joel comes from a Jewish family, the two seem like they would get along. Both like to tell stories about hopeless lives - it's just that Joel's stories end with a bartender bemoaning the fact that he's sure he could be a movie star, while Lovecraft's stories end up with everyone in the bar going insane when the spawn of some ancient alien is found in the basement.

And if Guillermo Del Toro ever managed to make his movie adaptation of Lovecraft's "In the Mountains of Madness", a project that's now tragically gone for good, this would've been an amazing choice for the credits.
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