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Songs of Sacrilege: Only the Good Die Young by Billy Joel

Warning! Lyrics may contain offensive, vulgar language.

This is the one hundred and fifty-sixth installment in the Songs of Sacrilege series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a song that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please send me an email.

Today’s Song of Sacrilege is Only the Good Die Young by Billy Joel.

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Come out, Virginia, don’t let me wait
You Catholic girls start much too late
But sooner or later it comes down to fate
I might as well be the one
They showed you a statue and told you to pray
They built you a temple and locked you away
But they never told you the price that you pay
For things that you might have done…
Only the good die young

You might have heard I run with a dangerous crowd
We ain’t too pretty, we ain’t too proud
We might be laughing a bit too loud
But that never hurt no one
So, come on, Virginia, show me a sign
Send up a signal I’ll throw you the line
The stained-glass curtain you’re hiding behind
Never lets in the sun
Darling, only the good die young

You got a nice white dress and a party on your confirmation
You got a brand new soul
And a cross of gold
But, Virginia, they didn’t give you quite enough information
You didn’t count on me
When you were counting on your rosary

They say there’s a heaven for those who will wait
Some say it’s better but I say it ain’t
I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints
The sinners are much more fun…
You know that only the good die young

You say your mother told you all that I could give you was a reputation
She never cared for me
But did she ever say a prayer for me?

Come out, come out, come out
Virginia, don’t let me wait,
You Catholic girls start much too late,
But sooner or later it comes down to fate
I might as well be the one,
You know that only the good die young
Tell you baby
You know that only the good die young
Only the good die young
Only the good
Only the good die young

Voices of Reason sing Only the Good Die Young A capella

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Series Navigation<< Songs of Sacrilege: Jesus Love You (Unless You Smoke Pot) by BrainsnoozeSongs of Sacrilege: I Like it Heavy by Halestorm >>


  1. Avatar
    Karen the rock whisperer

    When I first heard this song, I was still one of those Catholic girls he was singing about (well, maybe a little older than some, but.)

    At the time, I knew that all good things were Not Fun, and that I wasn’t meant to have fun except in very limited, parental-approved ways that didn’t seem fun at all. But unlike Virginia, there were no boys pining for me; I was fat and ugly. I didn’t pine for boys particularly. They were out of reach, so why bother?

    Later, in college, I met a man who didn’t mind the fat and didn’t think I was otherwise ugly, and married him. Turned out to be a wonderful husband, and we’re doing fine 37-odd years later. But in retrospect, looking back on my life, Joel was right. The Virginias of the world need to get out there and have some fun (while using birth control wisely).

  2. Avatar

    My local train often has lots of irish folk on it going to the irish ferryport from the UK mainland to Dublin. They are often very chatty, in a way that we reserved brits aren’t usually. An irish woman sat by me and spent a lot of time reprimanding her small son. She said she was going home to bury her sister. ‘Ah’ she sighed, ‘God always takes the good ones first’. Without drawing breath, the boy retorted, ‘Thank goodness I’m one of the bad ones then’. I wanted to tell him I was on his side…

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