♫ Your Song ♫

I’m in the mood for some Elton tonight, so I hope you are too!

This was one of the first songs Elton John wrote with Bernie Taupin. They met after a record company gave Elton some of Taupin’s lyrics to work with. Eventually, they both moved into John’s parents’ house, where they started working together.
The song was written in 1967, when Bernie Taupin was 17 and Elton was 20. Both Elton John and Bernie Taupin agree that this is one of their best efforts. Said Taupin:

“I think ‘Your Song’ is a gem. Our classic, I’m not sure. I’ll let others decide that. But it’s like an old friend, it means so many things on equally as many levels. It’s certainly proved its worth, and I’ve heard it sung a million times. It’s like a good dog, it’s always there.”

Elton performs this at all his concerts. He once said of this song: “I don’t think I’ve written a love song as good since.” He has called it “A perfect song,” and says that the older he gets, the more the lyrics resonate with him.

 

Your Song
Elton John

It’s a little bit funny this feeling inside
I’m not one of those who can easily hide
I don’t have much money but boy if I did
I’d buy a big house where we both could live
If I was a sculptor but then again no
Or a man who makes potions in a traveling show
Oh I know it’s not much but it’s the best I can do

My gift is my song
And this one’s for you
And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it’s done
I hope you don’t mind
I hope you don’t mind
That I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world

I sat on the roof and kicked off the moss
Well a few of the verses well they’ve got me quite cross
But the sun’s been quite kind
While I wrote this song
It’s for people like you that oh
Keep it turned on

So excuse me forgetting
But these things I do
You see I’ve forgotten
If they’re green or they’re blue
Anyway New York, what we really mean
You’re one of the nicest crowds oh yeah, we’ve ever seen
Thank New York, you’re one of a kind
And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but
Now that it’s done

I hope you don’t mind
I hope you don’t mind
That I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world
I hope you don’t mind
I hope you don’t mind
That I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world, oh yea yeah

Writer/s: BERNIE TAUPIN, ELTON JOHN
Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

♫ Your Song ♫

Hey Friends!  I’ve been ranting ’til my chest aches and I’m in the mood for me some Elton John tonight, what do you think?

Written, as are most of Elton’s songs, by Bernie Taupin, the song came to life in October 1970 as the B-side to Take Me to the Pilot. Both songs received airplay, but Your Song was preferred by disc jockeys and replaced Take Me to the Pilot as the A-side, eventually making it to number eight on the Billboard chart. The song also peaked at number seven on the UK Singles Chart, as well as charting in the top 10 in several other countries.

Your Song was first released by American rock band Three Dog Night in March 1970 on their third studio album, It Ain’t Easy. John was an opening act for the band at the time and allowed them to record it. They did not release it as a single as they wanted to let John, then an upcoming artist, have a go with it.

In 1998, Your Song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2004 the song was placed at number 137 on Rolling Stone’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”, as well as in its 2010 list.

Your Song
Elton John

It’s a little bit funny, this feeling inside
I’m not one of those who can easily hide
I don’t have much money, but boy if I did
I’d buy a big house where we both could live

If I was a sculptor, but, but then again, no
Or a woman who makes potions on a traveling show
I know it’s not much, but it’s the best I can do
My gift is my song, and this one’s for you

And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple, but now that it’s done
I hope you don’t mind
I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is, now you’re in the world

I sat on the roof and kicked off the moss
Well, a few of the verses, well, they’ve got me quite cross
But the sun’s been quite kind while I wrote this song
It’s for people like you that keep it turned on

So excuse me forgetting, but these things I do
You see, I’ve forgotten if they’re green or they’re blue
Anyway, the thing is, what I really mean
It’s yours are the sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen

And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple, but now that it’s done
I hope you don’t mind
I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is, now you’re in the world

I hope you don’t mind
I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is, now you’re in, you’re in, you’re in, you’re in the world

Songwriters: Bernie Taupin / Elton John
Your Song lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ You Gotta Love Someone ♫

I’m in the mood for some Elton tonight … anybody else?  I can’t offer much information about this one, such as what inspired Elton and Bernie Taupin to write it, or interesting trivia about the song, for I’ve searched high and low and there just isn’t any.  Some songs have page after page of background information, but every now and again I hit on one that just has none.

It was released in 1990 as a single from the Days of Thunder soundtrack; the single was also used to promote the Rocket Records 2-CD retrospective “The Very Best of Elton John,” issued largely in overseas markets excluding the U.S., where the more expansive box set “To Be Continued…” was issued.

The single peaked at number forty-three on the Billboard Hot 100, but spent five weeks at number one on the Adult Contemporary chart, his tenth number one on the chart (which is interesting, as the single was not released in America).

So, just sit back, close your eyes and listen …

You Gotta Love Someone
Elton John

You can win the fight, you can grab a piece of the sky
You can break the rules but before you try
You gotta love someone
You gotta love someone

You can stop the world, steal the face from the moon
You can beat the clock, but before high noon
You gotta love someone
You gotta love someone

You’ve got one life with a reason
You need two hearts on one side
When you stand alone and there’s no one there
To share the way it feels inside and baby

You can cheat the devil and slice a piece of the sun
Burn up the highway but before you run
You gotta love someone
You gotta love someone

When you’re gonna play with fire
You let someone share the heat
When you’re on your own and there’s no one there
To cool the flames beneath your feet and baby

You can win the fight, you can grab a piece of the sky
You can break the rules but before you try
You gotta love someone
You gotta love someone

You gotta love someone
You gotta love someone

Songwriters: Elton John / Bernie Taupin
You Gotta Love Someone lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me ♫

Elton John has had a few hits that I didn’t care for, but for the most part I find Elton’s work strikes some chord in me and makes me either tap my feet or sit down and cry.  Either way, it’s all good.

This song’s lyrics were, as were most of Elton’s songs, written by Bernie Taupin, who said …

“My only recollections of this is that we wanted to write something big. I mean, big in that dramatic Spectory (as in Phil Spector) style, like ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.’ Hopefully being powerful without being pompous. I’m not sure that with this in mind it made me fashion the lyrics any differently. Although, in retrospect, they do seem to have a slightly more Brill Building flair to them, so it’s entirely possible that I did.

Of course, I always seem to have to revert to a crib sheet to check these things, as I just seem to have a really bad memory of my own work. In fact, it makes me think of a situation that I found myself in a few years ago watching some TV with some friends of mine. There was a game show on where one of the categories happened to be my lyrics. And there were, I believe, five questions, and four of them I got wrong.”

This was extremely difficult and frustrating to record. Elton was not satisfied with any of his vocal takes, and the producer Gus Dudgeon had fits trying to mix all the voices and instruments that went into this. In Philip Norman’s book Sir Elton: The Definitive Biography, Dudgeon said, “When Elton recorded this track, he was in a filthy mood. On some takes, he’d scream it, on others he’d mumble it, or he’d just stand there, staring at the control room. Eventually, he flung off his headphones and said, “Okay, let’s hear what we got.” When Gus played it for him, Elton said, “That’s a load of crap. You can send it to Engelbert Humperdinck, and if he doesn’t like it, you can give it to Lulu as a demo.” My, my … it’s a wonder it ever got recorded.

I am putting up two versions.  The first is the original by Elton.  In 1991 there was a George Michael concert in London on March 25, which was Elton’s 44th birthday. Elton appeared as a surprise guest at the show and the two did a duet, which was a #1 hit in both the US and UK.  I am not as fond of the duet as I am the original, but I must admit there is an energy, a camaraderie, that is great.  Since it was such a big hit, I thought I would offer both and you can watch whichever you wish … or both.  And so, without further ado …

And the duet …

Don’t Let the Sun Go Down
Elton John (and George Michael)

I can’t light no more of your darkness
All my pictures seem to fade to black and white
I’m growing tired and time stands still before me
Frozen here on the ladder of my life

It’s much too late to save myself from falling
I took a chance and changed your way of life
But you misread my meaning when I met you
Closed the door and left me blinded by the light

Don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I see
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free, oh
But losing everything is like the sun going down on me

I can’t find
Oh, the right romantic line
But see me once and see the way I feel
Don’t discard me, baby don’t
Just because you think I mean, you harm
(Just because you think I mean you harm, oh)
But these cuts I have (cuts I have)
They need love (they need love, they need love)
To help them heal

Oh, don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I see
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free, oh
‘Cause losing everything is like the sun going down on me
Don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else that I see, yeah
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free baby, oh
‘Cause losing everything is like the sun going down on me

Songwriters: Bernie Taupin / Elton John
Don’t Let the Sun Go Down lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Tiny Dancer ♫

I had a strange medley playing in my head yesterday … the song I posted last night, Reach Out I’ll Be There, by the Four Tops, and this one … Tiny Dancer by Elton John.  The two intertwined, almost but not quite making an entirely new song.  I purged the first by posting it last night, and so now I am sharing the second in hopes of opening my head for … what???  Who knows?  New songs, new experiences, enlightenment or illusion?

The lyrics, written by Bernie Taupin, were inspired by Taupin’s first visit to the US in 1970, and were intended to capture the spirit of California, where he found the women he met highly contrasted with those who he had known in his home country of England. A common misconception is that the song’s lyrics were about Taupin’s first wife, Maxine Feibelman. Taupin has stated that this wasn’t true, and that the belief came about due to the song being dedicated to Feibelman on the original album.

Due to the song’s lengthy run time and lack of a hook, Tiny Dancer was initially a non-starter as a single in the US, reaching only #41 on the U.S. pop chart, and was not even released as a single in the UK.  Eventually, the song slowly became one of John’s most popular songs even in the territories that initially failed to embrace it.

Tiny Dancer
Elton John

Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band
Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you’ll marry a music man
Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
And now she’s in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand

Jesus freaks out in the street
Handing tickets out for God
Turning back she just laughs
The boulevard is not that bad

Piano man he makes his stand
In the auditorium
Looking on she sings the songs
The words she knows, the tune she hums

But oh how it feels so real
Lying here with no one near
Only you and you can hear me
When I say softly, slowly

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today

Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band
Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you’ll marry a music man
Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
And now she’s in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand

But oh how it feels so real
Lying here with no one near
Only you and you can hear me
When I say softly, slowly

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today

Songwriters: Bernie Taupin / Elton John
Tiny Dancer lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Goodbye Yellow Brick Road ♫

I am an Elton John fan, and hardly a day passes that I don’t catch myself singing or humming one of his tunes.  This one has, for some reason, been with me most of the day today.

It goes without saying that the “Yellow Brick Road” image comes from the book/movie The Wizard of Oz written by L. Frank Baum.  Bernie Taupin, who wrote the lyrics to this and most of Elton’s other songs often seems to write about Elton, but this one appears to be about himself. The lyrics are about giving up a life of opulence for one of simplicity in a rural setting.

Speaking about the song, Taupin said:

“It’s funny, but there are songs that I recall writing as if it was yesterday. And then there are those I have absolutely no recollection of, whatsoever. In fact, I’d have to say that for the most part, if someone was to say that the entire Yellow Brick Road album was actually written by someone else, I might be inclined to believe them. I remember being there, just not physically creating.

There was a period when I was going through that whole ‘got to get back to my roots’ thing, which spawned a lot of like-minded songs in the early days, this being one of them. I don’t believe I was ever turning my back on success or saying I didn’t want it. I just don’t believe I was ever that naïve. I think I was just hoping that maybe there was a happy medium way to exist successfully in a more tranquil setting. My only naiveté, I guess, was believing I could do it so early on. I had to travel a long road and visit the school of hard knocks before I could come even close to achieving that goal. So, thank God I can say quite categorically that I am home.”

ben-jerrysIn 2008, Ben & Jerry’s created a flavor of ice cream in honor of Elton John called “Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road.” Made of chocolate ice cream, peanut butter cookie dough, butter brickle and white chocolate chunks, it was made to commemorate Elton’s first concert in Vermont (home of the ice cream makers) on July 21, 2008 at the Essex Junction fairgrounds. Elton had played every other state before his Vermont show. He had some of the ice cream before the show.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Elton John

When are you gonna come down?
When are you going to land?
I should have stayed on the farm
I should have listened to my old man

You know you can’t hold me forever
I didn’t sign up with you
I’m not a present for your friends to open
This boy’s too young to be singing, the blues

So goodbye yellow brick road
Where the dogs of society howl
You can’t plant me in your penthouse
I’m going back to my plough

Back to the howling old owl in the woods
Hunting the horny back toad
Oh I’ve finally decided my future lies
Beyond the yellow brick road

What do you think you’ll do then?
I bet that’ll shoot down your plane
It’ll take you a couple of vodka and tonics
To set you on your feet again

Maybe you’ll get a replacement
There’s plenty like me to be found
Mongrels who ain’t got a penny
Sniffing for tidbits like you on the ground

So goodbye yellow brick road
Where the dogs of society howl
You can’t plant me in your penthouse
I’m going back to my plough

Back to the howling old owl in the woods
Hunting the horny back toad
Oh I’ve finally decided my future lies
Beyond the yellow brick road

Songwriters: Bernie Taupin / Elton John
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

 

♫ Candle in the Wind ♫

Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jean Mortenson on June 1st 1926, died of a drug overdose on August 5th 1962.  This song, Candle in the Wind, is a tribute to Ms. Monroe, written by Elton John’s writing partner, Bernie Taupin.  Said Taupin:

“I think the biggest misconception about ‘Candle In The Wind’ is that I was this rabid Marilyn Monroe fanatic, which really couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s not that I didn’t have a respect for her. It’s just that the song could just as easily have been about James Dean or Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain. I mean, it could have been about Sylvia Plath or Virginia Woolf. I mean, basically, anybody, any writer, actor, actress, or musician who died young and sort of became this iconic picture of Dorian Gray, that thing where they simply stopped aging. It’s a beauty frozen in time.”

On April 7, 1990 Elton dedicated this to Ryan White, one of the first high-profile AIDS patients, when he performed it at Farm Aid 4. White, who got the disease from a blood transfusion, died the next night at age 18.

Taupin rewrote the lyrics to this song after Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car accident on August 31, 1997. Diana was friends with Elton John and also a big fan – she identified with the sentiment in “Candle In The Wind,” especially the lyrics, “They made you change your name, never knowing who to cling to when the rain set in” and “even when you died, the press still hounded you.” 

With the song rewritten, most notably with the first line changed from “Goodbye Norma Jean” to “Goodbye England’s Rose,” Elton played it at Princess Diana’s funeral on September 6.  I love both versions, but for tonight I will play the original …

Candle in the Wind
Elton John

Goodbye Norma Jean
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
They crawled out of the woodwork
And they whispered into your brain
They set you on the treadmill
And they made you change your name

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did

Loneliness was tough
The toughest role you ever played
Hollywood created a superstar
And pain was the price you paid
Even when you died
Oh the press still hounded you
All the papers had to say
Was that Marilyn was found in the nude

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did

Goodbye Norma Jean
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
Goodbye Norma Jean
From the young man in the twenty second row
Who sees you as something more than sexual
More than just our Marilyn Monroe

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did

Songwriters: Elton John / Bernie Taupin
Candle in the Wind lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group