Ripping off Billy Joel?

Dear Billy Joel,
Many years ago when I ran our local folk club here in Yorkshire, a very traditional English folk duo sang what struck me as a wonderful example of a traditional style ballad in ‘modern dress’. They then revealed that it was your ‘Downeaster Alexa’. This must have made an impact because for many years now I have been writing tunes and one of them kept saying to me in an accusing tone of voice: “I am not your child - you stole me”. I now realise to my shame it was right; the first half of my tune is for the main part the same as the first half of the verses in ‘Downeaster Alexa’.
One day I intend to put the best of my tunes in a book to publish privately and give to friends. Would the inclusion of this tune with a detailed credit to you be something for which you would give permission? If there is a way to attach things to these messages I can send the score for you to see.
Ray Black
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