Whatever and Ever Amen (1997)
Piano music has had a long history. For a while, it was all anyone could talk about (“The harpsichord will never go out of style, right guys?”), and it hasn’t gone away. In the long tradition that has been piano music the first genre that comes to mind is “classical”. However, true fans of the instrument will recall its sorted history as a staple of beer halls and burlesque acts. This is, in short, the piano as a “honky-tonk” instrument.
Ben Folds remembers this history. He has his share of “classical” songs; he has his share of “honky-tonk” songs. This is one such song. The piano pounds out its drinking song, a bitter serenade to heartbreak. The narrator implores an old flame, with whom he is on poor terms, to give him his money back. And don’t forget his white t-shirt.