Throwback Friday: “You’re Only Human” by Billy Joel (in honor of World Suicide Prevention Day)

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, and I wanted to big a Throwback Friday post that addressed the issue of suicide.  I picked Billy Joel‘s “You’re Only Human (Second Chance)” because he cleverly took a serious topic and managed to make an upbeat sounding track about it.  The song was written to address teenage suicide, something that is a matter of his own heart as you hear in the lyrics.  In Billy Joel’s biography, “Billy Joel: The Life and Times of an Angry Young Man” written by Hank Bordowitz, he admits he tried to commit suicide in his early 20s by swallowing a bottle of furniture polish.  His life was saved by a band member .  Also, in 2009, his daughter Alexa Ray Joel swallowed a bottle of pills in an attempted suicide. (see Associated Content article, “Billy Joel’s daughter attempts suicide, as he once did as well“).

This is dedicated to anyone who has ever thought of, attempted to, or has lost a loved one to suicide. Plus, it’s a great pick me up for those days when you need a little boost.

Lyrics (source:

Song: You’re Only Human (Second Chance)

You’re having a hard time and lately you don’t feel so good
You’re getting a bad reputation in your neighborhood
It’s alright, it’s alright, sometimes that’s what it takes
You’re only human, you’re allowed to make your share of mistakes
(You’re only human, ooo-ooo)

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

Don’t forget your second wind
Sooner or later you’ll get your second wind

It’s not always easy to be living in this world of pain
You’re gonna be crashing into stone walls again and again
It’s alright, it’s alright, don’t you feel your heart break
You’re only human, you’re gonna have to deal with heartache
(You’re only human, ooo-ooo)

Just like a boxer in a title fight
You got to walk in that ring all alone
You’re not the only one who’s made mistakes
But they’re the only thing that you can truly call your own

Don’t forget your second wind
Wait in your corner until that breeze blows in

You’ve been keeping to yourself these days
Cause you’re thinking everything’s gone wrong
Sometimes you just want to lay down and die
But that emotion can be so strong
But hold on ’till that old second wind comes along
(You’re only human, ooo-ooo)

You probably don’t want to hear advice from someone else
But I wouldn’t be telling you if I hadn’t been there myself
It’s alright, it’s alright, sometimes that’s what it takes
We’re only human, we’re supposed to make mistakes
(You’re only human, ooo-ooo)

I survived all those long lonely days
When it seemed I did not have a friend
Cause all I needed was a little faith
So I could catch my breath and face the world again

Don’t forget your second wind
Sooner or later you’ll feel that momentum kick in
(One more time!)
Don’t forget your second wind
Sooner or later you’ll feel that momentum kick in

Don’t forget your second wind
(You’re only human, ooo-ooo)

Read all of my Throwback Friday posts by CLICKING HERE.

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