Jul 27, 2012

Living Here In Allentown

In 1982, when Billy Joel wrote Allentown, they were still serving strawberry pie in the basement at Hess's. Mayor Pawlowski has hired an Australian, from Macungie, to rewrite the iconic song. I don't think that toothpaste is going back in the tube. Perhaps, it would be better if Pawlowski concentrated on improving the city, instead of the song. There's even a delusion that perhaps Billy will come back to Allentown, and perform the new version. A comment to The Morning Call said that in retrospect, 1982 were the good old days.


Anonymous said...

Pawlowski couldn't hire a single Allentonian to write the lyrics!

michael molovinsky said...

pawlowski hired a consultant for the city's 250th anniversary, who in turn hired this guy. click on The Morning Call, in red letters, to read the newspaper report.

Anonymous said...

"I just thought, the song is 30 years old, a lot has happened in 30 years and it would be nice if we could rework the song to show what's changed," he said.


"A lot has happened in 30 years." Is that what he said? He wants to rewrite the song to update everyone on the city's progress since 1982?

Allow me.

Well we're living here in Allentown...

...and they've torn all the factories down.

Out in Bethlehem they've turned the corner, the whole city seems warmer.

Well our fathers fought the Second World War
Spent their weekends on the Jersey Shore
Met our mothers at the USO
Asked them to dance
Danced with them slow
And we're leaving Allentown.

Well I'm leaving Allentown
And it's hard to keep a good man down.
But I won't be getting up todaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy
aaaaaaaaaaah aaaaaaaaaaah aaaaaaaaah.


Anonymous said...

Well I'm living' here in Allentown,

Where the mayor put a hole in the ground...

Anonymous said...

Even if on a much, much smaller scale --- that would be ironic if Premier Pawlowski was enabling another crony Capitalism Parade.

Was it me, or did the Morning Call appear to be gloriying the 'friends hiring friends' thing?

Anonymous said...

Well we are living here in Allentown
And they closed all the factories down
Out in Bethlehem they’re killing time
Playing slots, standing in buffet lines
Well our fathers protested the War
Spend their weekends watching Jersey Shore
Met our mothers at Banana Joe's
Asked them to dance, danced with them slow
And we're surviving here in Allentown

The American Plaza came crumbling down
And it's getting very hard to stay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay.
*machine noises*
And we're waiting here in Allentown
For the sink holes yet to be found
For the promises that pols gave
If we worked hard, if we behaved
So the diploma's hang on the wall
But with high unemployment never helped us at all
No they never taught us what was real
Silver and Gold, big stock deals
And we're barely surviving here in Allentown

But they've fracking all the gas from the ground
And the government pensions went astray-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay

Every man had a pretty good shot
To get at least as far as their old man got
Something happened on the way to that place
They threw “bailouts” in our face
*machine noises*

Well, I'm dying here in Allentown
And it's hard to keep the tax man down
But I won't be betting today-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay

*instrumental break*
*machine noises*
That I’m going to stay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay
And we're dying here in Allentown
*machine noises*

michael molovinsky said...

dear readers, thanks for the submissions, but i will not be publishing anymore lyrics. please restrict comments to concepts; i.e., pawlowski more concerned with perception than reality, anniversary celebrations being designed by people essentially unfamiliar with allentown, etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

Didn't seem as if reporter Sheehan was giddy about this new song about the wonders that are Allentown since Billy Joel first wrote it. Let's not forget that it was Democrat Daddona who gave the keys to the city to a guy who demeaned it. I would love to see an honest discussion about what is 'better' about the city today as opposed to then.

michael molovinsky said...

@5:47 i didn't think the song "demeaned" allentown. it acknowledged that allentown was suffering the same fate as a hundred other rustbelt cities. i think, all and all, the song publicized allentown, probably to it's benefit. i consider this project a moronic waste of money. the anniversary efforts should be going into preserving some aspects of allentown's past, such as the WPA structures, not trying to rewrite history.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry MM his honor will go down in history as the mayor that sealed allentowns fate with the kiss of death on the Brown Hole in downtown.

michael molovinsky said...

@8:13, i would worry about that. i want neither pawlowski or allentown to fail. that said, allentown should be able to tolerate some scrutiny; they should welcome opposition and debate.

Anonymous said...

Not to quibble on the word 'demeaning' but Joel (from the armpit of Long Island called Hicksville (no kiddin)} but he took the troubles of Bethlehem and the 'coal region' and laid it over Allentown simply because he used to play at the Roxy and had his early music played on WSAN. Mack was thriving, Air Products and other companies were fine and even the retail sector was years away from their demise. And Allentown an its environs was a magnate for 'achievers' from NY and NY, not those locals' moochers as we see today. I'm curious to see how this new 'songwriter' handles that.

Anonymous said...

The following is posted only to indicate Allentown "could" do something about the housing
condicion (according to citizen reports) of about 600 units if they wanted. It's the wanting that missing.

Courtesy: Express-Times
"Judge J. Brian Johnson on Monday declared the XXXX Lanark Road propery owned by XXXX "A junkyard and a public nuisance."

Upper Saucon's zoning and code enforcement officer is scheduled to inspect the 1.15-acre property Aug. 23, according to the order. If it doesn't pass inspection, the township is entitled to "remove all junk, nuisances and dangerous structures" from the property and bill the Ritters, the judge said. The order prohibits the couple from accumulating more junk on the property once it's cleaned up."

LVCI said...

Billy Joel penned that song after visiting a friend in Bethlehem. Billy Joel said the song was intended to speak of the steel's closing in Bethlehem.

Billy Joel when questioned, then why Allentown, said he couldn't find anything that rhymed with his lyrics by using Bethlehem..

Can anyone think what would have rhymed or fit in with the notes using "Bethlehem"?

Anonymous said...

All bullshit. Yes Bethlehem had issues but it was great and lively then. Without the glitz of today. Not at all depressing or rundown.
Billy Joel's an asshole and a pumped up lounge act who has written a couple of decent pop songs and a lot of drivel. Secound rate pop act at best.
He's no Elvis Costello.

Anonymous said...

I travel all over this great country. Where ever I go people relate the song to Allentown and it has never ever been a positive association. Years ago I started to tell people I'd meet I was from Lehigh County Pa.
The song makes Allentown out to be a shithole,period.
No amount of silly revisionist song writing changes that. With so much real work to do in this town, and so many good people who feel their contributions are no longer welcome,this glitzy PR fix is all the more insulting.

Anonymous said...

It comes down to perception, and while the song's lyrics don't help things, it is hard to argue against the 2012 fact, that Allentown is a failing, post industrial poster child...

Anonymous said...

A paid consultant from the boonies of Macungie? What are the chances that the new song lyrics praise the City's diversity and political leadership and the looming renaissance ushering a bright future?

I'd like to see some lyrics about Allen High School becoming a slice of the Bronx, broken down bridges, sold off water systems, unpermitted mancaves donated by city contractors and Roy Afflerbach's pension give away to cops working overtime at the Allentown Fair to name a few.