The Billy Joel
actually began as Levittown
and was to be a song about where Joel
grew up. Unfortunately he found the city rather boring and these are the lyrics he wound up with:
Well we're living here in Levittown
And there's really not much going down.
I don't see much when I look around,
The grass is green, the trees are brown
And we're living here in Levittown.
Obviously, that isn't album material. Around the time Joel was writing the song he visited Allentown, PA and saw the plight of the steel workers and thought, "Hey, there's a song in this."
And so, Levittown was rewritten into Allentown with the lyrics we know today.
Billy Joel told this story at a 1996 lecture appearance. I was in the audience that night.