C’etait Toi (You Were The One)

Song: C’etait Toi (You Were the One)

Album: Glass Houses (1980)

When I arrived at side two of Glass Houses I was faced with a clean slate; five songs I had never heard before. If you’re keeping score at home I’ve liked the first song, didn’t love the second and now I’m at the midway point.

Some thoughts finding myself at the midpoint of this mystery side of songs.

1.The tone has drastically changed from side one. The lean rock sound on side one has been pushed aside in favor of the more traditionally melodic Billy Joel sound.

2. Lyrically the tone has also shifted. It has moved to what feels like an introspective place. I don’t think Billy Joel is singing specifically about himself but I get the sense that he intimately understands the what he’s singing about on these songs?

And just what is he singing about? Through the first three songs it’s mostly romance and regret.

On “C’etait Toi (You Were The One)” Billy Joel is once again singing about somebody on the losing end of love. This time he uses the well worn trope of a guy drinking alone regretting the one who got away. In this instance he adds a little zest by singing the middle verses in French (the French Language verses simply repeat the English verses).

Unfortunately for me, I found Billy Joel’s French accent to be the most interesting part of the song. The melody is nice enough but the lyrics feel incomplete and merely padded by the inclusion of the French verses. It feels like there’s one song on every album that just fails to click for me and this is the one on Glass Houses.