An Innocent Man
Billy Joel Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Some people stay far away from the door
If there's a chance of it opening up
They hear a voice in the hall outside
And hope that it just passes by

Some people live with the fear of a touch
And the anger of having been a fool
They will not listen to anyone
So nobody tells them a lie

I know you're only protecting yourself
I know you're thinking of somebody else
Someone who hurt you
But I'm not above
Making up for the love
You've been denying you could ever feel
I'm not above doing anything
To restore your faith if I can
Some people see through the eyes of the old
Before they ever get a look at the young
I'm only willing to hear you cry
Because I am an innocent man
I am an innocent man
Oh yes I am

Some people say they will never believe
Another promise they hear in the dark
Because they only remember too well
They heard somebody tell them before

Some people sleep all alone every night
Instead of taking a lover to bed
Some people find that it's easier to hate
Than to wait anymore

I know you don't want to hear what I say
I know you're gonna keep turning away
But I've been there and if I can survive
I can keep you alive
I'm not above going through it again
I've not above being cool for a while
If you're cruel to me I'll understand

Some people run from a possible fight
Some people figure they can never win
And although this is a fight I can lose
The accused is an innocent man
I am an innocent man
Oh yes I am
An innocent man

You know you only hurt yourself out of spite
I guess you'd rather be a martyr tonight
That's your decision
But I'm not below
Anybody I know
If there's a chance of resurrecting a love
I'm not above going back to the start
To find out where the heartache began

Some people hope for a miracle cure
Some people just accept the world as it is
But I'm not willing to lay down and die
Because I am an innocent man

I am an innocent man




Oh yes I am
An innocent man

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of Billy Joel's "An Innocent Man" is about a sensitive man trying to convince a woman who has been hurt in the past to stop protecting herself and open up to him. The song's lyrics are full of empathy and understanding for someone who has been hurt before. In the first verse, the songs talk about how some people tend to stay far away from doors if there's a chance of it opening up because it might remind them of their past trauma. They live with the fear that they might be hurt again. The second verse talks about people who've been hurt before and find it easier to hate rather than to wait for love. The chorus of the song talks about how the singer is an innocent man, wants to restore the woman's faith in love, and is willing to do anything to resurrect the love that the woman has been denying herself.


Line by Line Meaning

Some people stay far away from the door
There are people who avoid opening themselves up to new opportunities or new people in their lives.


If there's a chance of it opening up
They are hesitant to let new experiences in, as they fear the unknown and the potential for pain and disappointment.


They hear a voice in the hall outside
Even the slightest possibility of danger or discomfort can cause them to retreat and avoid confrontation.


And hope that it just passes by
They would rather avoid any potential obstacles or challenges than confront them head-on.


Some people live with the fear of a touch
There are people who are afraid to let anyone get close to them physically or emotionally.


And the anger of having been a fool
They may harbor resentment or frustration over past mistakes or bad decisions.


They will not listen to anyone
These people may be stubborn and resistant to change, even when they know it is for the better.


So nobody tells them a lie
Others may refuse to give them false hope or reassurance, knowing it will only reinforce their avoidance behavior.


I know you're only protecting yourself
The singer recognizes that the person he is addressing is acting out of fear and self-preservation.


I know you're thinking of somebody else
He understands that she may have been hurt in the past and is hesitant to open up to anyone else because of it.


Someone who hurt you
He acknowledges that her hesitation to trust is a direct result of someone else's actions.


But I'm not above making up for the love
Despite this, he is willing to take the risk of being vulnerable and putting himself out there to show her that not everyone will betray her.


You've been denying you could ever feel
He recognizes that she may have convinced herself that she is incapable of love, but aims to prove her wrong.


I'm not above doing anything
He is willing to go to great lengths to restore her faith in love and in herself.


To restore your faith if I can
He wants to rebuild her trust in others and provide her with hope for the future.


Some people see through the eyes of the old
There are people who have a jaded or cynical outlook on life due to past experiences or biases.


Before they ever get a look at the young
They prejudge others without giving them a fair chance or getting to know them.


I'm only willing to hear you cry
The singer is empathetic and willing to listen to her pain and understand her perspective.


Because I am an innocent man
He reassures her that he has no ulterior motives or intention of hurting her, and that his intentions are pure.


Some people say they will never believe
There are people who have lost hope in the possibility of change or redemption due to past disappointments.


Another promise they hear in the dark
They have been let down too many times before to take promises or reassurances at face value.


Because they only remember too well
Past traumas have made a lasting impact on their psyche and behavior.


They heard somebody tell them before
They have experienced betrayal or disappointment from others and as a result, are hesitant to trust or believe in anyone else.


Some people sleep all alone every night
There are people who avoid emotional intimacy and prefer to be alone rather than risk getting hurt.


Instead of taking a lover to bed
They may reject potential romantic partners or push away those who are interested in them.


Some people find that it's easier to hate
They may harbor resentment or anger towards others, rather than face their own fears or shortcomings.


Than to wait anymore
They may be impatient and want to avoid any delay or difficulty in their lives, even if it means sacrificing potential happiness.


I know you don't want to hear what I say
He recognizes that she may be resistant to his attempts to help her.


I know you're gonna keep turning away
He knows that it may take time for her to become receptive to his efforts.


But I've been there and if I can survive
The singer has been in difficult situations before and was able to overcome them, giving him hope for her potential recovery.


I can keep you alive
He is willing to support her emotionally and help her through her struggles.


I'm not above going through it again
He is willing to take risks and potentially suffer again if it means helping her recover or thrive.


I've not above being cool for a while
He is willing to be patient and understanding of her needs and emotions, even if it means sacrificing his own desires or goals.


If you're cruel to me I'll understand
He understands that she may still be guarded or hesitant to trust him, and will not take it personally if she acts distant or harsh.


Some people run from a possible fight
There are people who avoid conflict or confrontation, even in situations where it may be necessary to stand up for oneself or others.


Some people figure they can never win
They may feel defeated or hopeless about certain situations or endeavors, and give up before even trying.


And although this is a fight I can lose
The singer's efforts to help her may not be successful, but he is still willing to try.


The accused is an innocent man
He is not trying to harm her in any way and hopes to prove his intentions are genuine.


You know you only hurt yourself out of spite
She may be holding onto grudges or anger towards others, but her refusal to trust others is ultimately hurting her more than anyone else.


I guess you'd rather be a martyr tonight
She may feel like she is sacrificing her own happiness or well-being, but in reality, this behavior is not serving her or others around her.


That's your decision
The singer acknowledges that ultimately, it is up to her to make the choice to trust others and move forward.


But I'm not below anybody I know
He is confident in himself and his intentions, and does not feel inferior or subservient to anyone else, including her.


If there's a chance of resurrecting a love
He is willing to try to help her find love or meaning despite her past struggles and fears.


I'm not above going back to the start
He is willing to start from scratch and work his way up with her to create a healthy and trusting relationship.


To find out where the heartache began
He aims to understand her past traumas and pain in order to better help her move forward and heal.


Some people hope for a miracle cure
There are people who cling to unrealistic hopes or expectations for a quick or easy solution to their problems.


Some people just accept the world as it is
Others may become resigned or apathetic towards their suffering or challenges, feeling like they have no control over their circumstances.


But I'm not willing to lay down and die
The singer is not willing to give up or accept defeat, but rather will fight for himself and others he cares about.


Because I am an innocent man
He is not guilty of any wrongdoing or malice, and wants to help others without any ulterior motives or selfishness.


I am an innocent man
He repeats this line to reinforce his pure intentions and lack of harmful behavior or attitudes.


Oh yes I am
He is confident in himself and his abilities to help others, and wants to reassure her that she can trust him.




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: Billy Joel

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

@mennos7770

Full lyrics:

Some people stay far away from the door
If there’s a chance of it opening up
They hear a voice in the hall outside
And hope that it just passes by

Some people live with the fear of a touch
And the anger of having been a fool
They will not listen to anyone
So nobody tells them a lie

I know you’re only protecting yourself
I know you’re thinking of somebody else
Someone who hurt you
But I’m not above
Making up for the love
You’ve been denying you could ever feel
I’m not above doing anything
To restore your faith if I can
Some people see through the eyes of the old
Before they ever get look at the young
I’m only willing to hear you cry
Because I am an innocent man
Oh yes I am

Some people say they will never believe
Another promise they hear in the dark
Because they only remember too well
They heard somebody tell them before
Some people sleep all alone every night
Instead of taking a lover to bed
Some people find that’s it’s easier to hate
Than to wait anymore
I know you don’t want to hear what I say
I know you’re gonna keep turning away
But I’ve been there and if I can survive
I can keep you alive
I’m not above going through it again
I’m not above being cool for a while
If you’re cruel to me I’ll understand

Some people run from a possible fight
Some people figure they can never win
And although this is a fight I can lose
The accused is an innocent man
Oh yes I am
An innocent man

You know you only hurt yourself out of spite
I guess you’d rather be a martyr tonight
That’s your decision
But I’m not below
Anybody I know
If there’s a chance of resurrecting a love
I’m not above going back to the start
To find out where the heartache began

Some people hope for a miracle cure
Some people just accept the world as it is
But I’m not willing to lay down and die
Because I am an innocent man

I am an innocent man
Oh yes I am
An innocent man



@sukranpolat9116

Some people stay far away from the door
If there's a chance of it opening up
They hear a voice in the hall outside
And hope that it just passes by

Some people live with the fear of a touch
And the anger of having been a fool
They will not listen to anyone
So nobody tells them a lie

I know you're only protecting yourself
I know you're thinking of somebody else
Someone who hurt you
But I'm not above
Making up for the love
You've been denying you could ever feel
I'm not above doing anything
To restore your faith if I can
Some people see through the eyes of the old
Before they ever get a look at the young
I'm only willing to hear you cry
Because I am an innocent man
I am an innocent man
Oh yes I am

Some people say they will never believe
Another promise they hear in the dark
Because they only remember too well
They heard somebody tell them before

Some people sleep all alone every night
Instead of taking a lover to bed
Some people find that it's easier to hate
Than to wait anymore

I know you don't want to hear what I say
I know you're gonna keep turning away
But I've been there and if I can survive
I can keep you alive
I'm not above going through it again
I've not above being cool for a while
If you're cruel to me I'll understand

Some people run from a possible fight
Some people figure they can never win
And although this is a fight I can lose
The accused is an innocent man
I am an innocent man
Oh yes I am
An innocent man

You know you only hurt yourself out of spite
I guess you'd rather be a martyr tonight
That's your decision
But I'm not below
Anybody I know
If there's a chance of resurrecting a love
I'm not above going back to the start
To find out where the heartache began

Some people hope for a miracle cure
Some people just accept the world as it is
But I'm not willing to lay down and die
Because I am an innocent man

I am an innocent man
Oh yes I am
An innocent man



@---Avalon---Sky---

@@billyjoel786
Angel is waiting for you
to surprise us
with a brand new
masterpiece,
this is the time,
to remember,
and it won't last forever.
🌹🕯️Sal from Ghost
Motorcycles in Port
has gone on his final
electric glide ride.
Ride safe,we can wait, 😎👍🙏



All comments from YouTube:

@lisaw7089

How on earth can people vote this down??? One of the best vocalists who has ever existed

@lisaw7089

@@billyjoel6168 I've loved your songs since I was 10 in 1983 and first heard the Glass Houses and Innocent Man album - I have pretty bad hearing but your songs were crystal clear for me and it meant it was so much easier for me to catch the words and as you always so helpfully put lyrics with your cassettes it really helped too - my friends and I all danced on the bench singing Uptown Girl pretending to be mechanics lol! Thanks for the great songs!

@royaltinman2226

@@lisaw7089 I'm probably too late but if this billy joel person is still emailing you I advise you halt all contact, they are not billy joel and is trying to steal from you in discreet ways

@lisaw7089

@@royaltinman2226 thanks for this, I did reply stupidly at first but very soon stopped contact - thank you so much!

@PrinceChaloner

Millennials...

@Squab1972

Wankers with no taste in music

14 More Replies...

@leecowell8165

Listen carefully to the lyrics. this is an incredibly underrated song by Joel. This is my all time favorite of his.

@geoh7777

I think it's his best by a considerable margin.

@CindyFarr-fb5nl

An innocent man is one of my all time favorites.billy Joel is a master

@LawlessAsFUcK

Same. It’s amazing

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