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  • Writer's pictureJeffrey Wilsor

You're Only Human (Second Wind)

As we stride ever onward, now into a summer that promises to be one like we have never experienced before, we continue to take a moment each day with music. Throughout these next few months, look for some more offbeat choices, many more of your own community selections and comments, and as ever, a little injection of faith, hope, and love into your day.

Got a song you just love? Email to tell Jeff about it!


It’s been quite a long time since I went on a Billy Joel binge. Choosing “The River of Dreams” for worship yesterday set me off again, as happens every few years. I remembered a lesser-known single of his that might kick off this week healthily. In the mid-80s, Joel released a 2-volume greatest hits compilation, and (probably to incentivize purchasers) also released a brand new pair of radio singles that would only be included on the compilation. While it didn’t turn out to be a huge hit, I think it’s pretty fun!

“You’re Only Human (Second Wind)” is a highly energetic dose of sympathetic encouragement, perfect to fire up a new week. It’s a friend lifting up a friend in a time of strife, a pretty common trope in music - “Lean On Me,” “I’ll Stand By You”…the list goes on. But what most of them have in common is a sort of grounded seriousness. The music understands the gravity of the situation as well as the lyrics do. With this one, Billy Joel takes a different approach. Maybe what this friend needs is not a gentle hand to hold but someone to grab their hand and drag them to the dance floor, get them to loosen up, laugh a little. This song bounces like Flubber and places its bets on smile therapy. Even though the words are at the same level of gravity as those slower, more grounded songs, this song tosses them to lively backup vocalists and boing-y synthesizers and a constant, unrelenting hi-hat symbol, and then the chorus winds all over the chordal scale, a surprising but confident jolt for the listener. I hope that you can giggle to this song along with me, especially if you’re needing a little extra energy in your body and spirit.

You're having a hard time and lately you don't feel so good

You're getting a bad reputation in your neighborhood

It's alright

It's alright

Sometimes that's what it takes

You're only human

You're allowed to make your share of mistakes

You better believe there will be times in your life

When you'll be feeling like a stumbling fool

So take it from me you'll learn more from your accidents

Than anything that you could ever learn at school

Don't forget your second wind

Sooner or' later you'll get your second wind

It's not always easy to be living in this world of pain

You're gonna be crashing into stone walls again and again

It's alright

It's alright

Though you feel your heart break

You're only human

You're gonna have to deal with heartache

Just like a boxer in a title fight

You got to walk in that ring all alone

You're not the only one who's made mistakes

But they're the only thing that you can truly call your own

Don't forget your second wind

Wait in that corner until that breeze blows in

You've been keeping to yourself these days

'Cause you're thinking everything's gone wrong

Sometimes you just want to lay down and die

That emotion can be so strong

But hold on

Till that old second wind comes along

You probably don't want to hear advice from someone else

But I wouldn't be telling you if I hadn't been there myself

It's alright

It's alright

Sometimes that's all it takes

We're only human

We're supposed to make mistakes

But I survived all those long lonely days

When it seemed I did not have a friend

'Cause all I needed was a little faith

So I could catch my breath and face the world again

Don't forget your second wind

Sooner or later you'll feel that momentum kick in



Holy Joy, Invade my troubles today with your surprising energy.

We also lift up the following prayers shared during last Sunday's worship service:

  • For the women and children in Afghanistan. Such turmoil right now.

  • For Jane's friend Craig is healing from cancer.

Even in our separation, God, help us to feel the deep delight of your love for all. Amen.

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