Name That Tune!

Not long ago, I listened to a remarkably wretched piece of music, perhaps dating from the late 1980s, while waiting for someone. Now I had not heard this song for a number of years. It was sung by a needlessly husky New Age-like Michael McDonald-sounding singer. Perhaps it was McDonald for all I knew. The song was certainly written and recorded with the intention of being played all the time on easy listening radio.

Days later, the manufactured melody has become a dreaded earworm. What is most curious about this insipid little song is that, perhaps in an effort to protect myself, I have deliberately blanked out on the lyrics. Maybe I just don’t want to remember. Or perhaps this reflects a certain trauma related to the song that may come up once I have discovered its identity. But the phrase “matter of touch” seems to be there. Here are the notes in question for the main verse, which repeats about four times in the song:

F# / F# / F# / F# / F# / G / F# / E / D / C# / A
F# / F# / F# / F# / F# / G / F# / E / D / C# / A
(one octave lower) F# / A / C# (suspiciously similar — perhaps deliberately so? — to the beginning of the crescendo of the Carpenters’s “Close to You”)
A / B / C# / C# / C# / C# / C# / B / A / C#
A / B / C# / C# / C# / C# / C# / D / E / D

Now in that last line, this McDonald-like warbler ends this tune with the lyrical fragment in question. It could be something along the lines of “But it’s really just a matter of touch.” That sounds right, although I suspect it’s dreadfully wrong.

Do you know what this song is? And if you have had to endure it at any point in your life, have you experienced any specific trauma related to it? What I think we need to do here is determine what the song is, track down the people responsible (I will make phone calls; don’t you worry), and find out why this tune was emitted over the airwaves. There is, I suspect, a big story here that may yield unexpected truths.

[UPDATE: The ever helpful Doug Finch has correctly identified the song as Billy Joel’s “A Matter of Trust.” Rest assured, there will be efforts to track down Mr. Joel and get him to answer for this atrocity. This particular song in his oeuvre is the least Billy Joel-sounding — a fey cross between Michael McDonald and Bruce Springsteen. More TK.]


  1. Sweet Jesus, you’re right! He doesn’t even sound like himself in that song — some heavily reverbed cross between Michael McDonald and Bruce Springsteen.

  2. Dear Billy, you are the best, we love you just the way you are. Thank you for all these years of fantastic music.
    From Spain,
    Pablo Bosch

  3. ” A Matter of Trust ” sounds neither like Bruce nor Michael. Especially not like Michael! Perhaps, you, sir, should get your hearing fine tuned.
    In the words of, Mr Joel…fuck you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *