Maureen Seaberg, a Staten Island based writer, is working on a book about famous synesthetes. According to Seaberg, "Synesthetes are people who blend senses - such as seeing color when listening to or playing music. Billy Joel is one; so are Pharrell Williams, John Mayer, Tori Amos and even Aristotle and physicist Richard Feymann. It is tentatively titled, "Kaleidoscope Minds." Ms. Seaberg is herself a synesthete."
While interviewing Billy Joel, Seaberg asked him about his 1981 lyric from the song "Everybody Loves You Now," which says...."between you and me and the Staten Island Ferry......"
His answer was as follows:
"The lyric, 'between you and me and The Staten Island Ferry' - that was actually a colloquialism...when somebody would pull someone aside and say, 'Hey, listen, between you and me and the Staten Island Ferry.' Like between you, me and the lamp post. When I was a little kid, my grandfather took me to Staten Island on the ferry and I had heard the expression the Staten Island Ferry and I remember being on the ferry going, 'So this is the Staten Island Ferry that everybody talks about. As if it was some great secret, 'Hey, between you and me and the Staten Island Ferry.' That's where that lyric came from; it's just a colloquialism."
"I'm from an island and you know sometimes when we go to Manhattan island, people tend to look down their noses at people from other islands, which I think is hysterical because New York is actually an archipelago. There are thousands of islands in the New York Bight. It's an exploded archipelago. You've got Fire Island, Staten Island, Long Island, Manhattan island, Randall's Island, Ellis Island, Bedloe Island, Liberty Island, Block Island... There are thousands of islands. When I'm in New York sometimes if I'm at a snooty party and someone says, 'Oh, you're from Long Island," I'll say, "Well, yeh, you're from an island too, except mine's bigger!"