Given Twitter’s recent obsession with turning old poems into memes, it should be no surprise that someone dug up some old H.P. Lovecraft verse and found a way to have fun with it. What should be surprising is that notorious keyboard smasher Billy Joel has somehow found his way into the conversation. It all started last week when Twitter user @OurWorldcomic realized that Lovecraft’s haunting poem “Nemesis” has the exact same meter as Billy Joel’s “Piano Man.” Once you realize it, it becomes one of those things you can’t un-hear.
It may seem like an odd pairing at first, but it kind of makes sense from a certain point of view. Lovecraft is famous for his weird and disturbing tales about monstrous god-creatures and people descending into the blackened pits of madness. Billy Joel writes about Long Island. Both are truly the masters of horror fiction.
Over at Birth Movies Death, they weren’t satisfied with simply imagining Joel crooning about “the dark universe yawning.” They wanted to actually hear what this would sound like. Of course, before they could even get someone in the studio, somebody else had already recorded their own version of the ’70s classic with its haunting new lyrics. Thank you, New York-based songwriter Julian Velard:
Birth Movies Death did eventually get a friend of theirs to record an even eerier take on the song, backed by ominous tones and drones that sound more terrifying than someone referring to a gin and tonic as “tonic and gin” just for the easy rhyme.
But the legend of Joel and Lovecraft isn’t quite at an end yet. Yesterday morning Patton Oswalt took to Twitter to beg Billy Joel himself to record a version of what some are calling “Nemesis Man.” So far, there’s been no word from Joel’s camp, but we can’t imagine he would pass on an opportunity to appease the great Cthulhu.