♫ Sad Songs (Say So Much) ♫

The other night I played an Elton favourite, Daniel, and a couple of suggestions were forthcoming for future Elton songs.  This was the one I had intended to play before I got caught up in Daniel, and I promised then that you would see it soon … glad David reminded me!

I really don’t have much trivia about this song, other than it was co-written, as were most of Elton’s songs, by Bernie Taupin and Elton.  This song is the closing track on the 1984 album Breaking Hearts. It reached #7 on the UK charts and #5 on the U.S. charts. The lyrics describe how it sometimes helps for someone who is feeling sad, or who has lost a partner, to listen to old radio blues classics.  Personally, that seems rather like pouring salt into a wound, and if I’m sad I’d much rather listen to something cheerful and upbeat, like The Carpenter’s Top of the World, or Leslie Gore’s Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows!

Elton performed this song on One Night Only: The Greatest Hits Live at Madison Square Garden with Canadian rock star Bryan Adams. In 2013, John was joined by Rod Stewart in a special performance of the song at the London Palladium after being presented with first Brits Icon award in recognition of his “lasting impact” on UK culture.

Sad Songs (Say So Much)
Elton John

Guess there are times when we all need to share a little pain
And ironing out the rough spots
Is the hardest part when memories remain
And it’s times like these when we all need to hear the radio
‘Cause from the lips of some old singer
We can share the troubles we already know

Turn ’em on, turn ’em on
Turn on those sad songs
When all hope is gone
Why don’t you tune in and turn them on

They reach into your room, oh oh oh
Just feel their gentle touch (gentle touch)
When all hope is gone
Sad songs say so much

If someone else is suffering enough oh to write it down
When every single word makes sense
Then it’s easier to have those songs around
The kick inside is in the line that finally gets to you
And it feels so good to hurt so bad
And suffer just enough to sing the blues

So turn ’em on, turn ’em on
Turn on those sad songs
When all hope is gone
Why don’t you tune in and turn them on

They reach into your room, oh oh oh
Just feel their gentle touch (gentle touch)
When all hope is gone
You know sad songs say so much

Sad songs, they say
Sad songs, they say
Sad songs, they say
Sad songs, they say so much

So, turn ’em on, (turn ’em on), turn ’em on, (turn ’em on)
Turn on those sad songs
When all hope is gone
Why don’t you tune in and turn them on

They reach into your room, oh oh oh
Just feel their gentle touch (gentle touch)
When all hope is gone
You know sad songs say so much
When all hope is gone
You know sad songs say so much

When ever little bit of hope is gone
Sad songs say so much
When ever little bit of hope is gone
Sad songs say so much
When all hope is gone
Sad songs say

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bernie Taupin / Elton John
Sad Songs (Say So Much) lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Daniel ♫

I was amazed last night to find two Elton John songs, ones that I like and that other people liked as well, that I had not yet played here!  I tossed a coin and decided that between the two I wanted to play this one instead of Sad Songs (Say So Much).  But never fear, for you’ll likely see that one pop up before long, too.

The lyrics were written by Bernie Taupin, Elton’s writing partner. He explained the inspiration on his web site:

“I’d seen this article in Time magazine on the Tet Offensive. And there was a sidebar next to it with a story about how many of the soldiers that were coming back from ‘Nam were these simple sort of down home country guys who were generally embarrassed by both the adulation and, depending on what part of the country you came from, the animosity that they were greeted by. For the most part, they just wanted to get back to a normal life, but found it hard, what with all the looky loos and the monkeys of war that they carried on their backs.

I just took it from there and wrote it from a younger brother’s perspective; made him disabled and wanting to get away. I made it Spain, basically, because it rhymes with plane.”

(And now I find myself humming “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain” from the musical My Fair Lady!)

When Elton wrote the music for this song, he chopped off the last verse because he thought the song was already too long. The deleted verse explained that “Daniel” was a Vietnam vet who returned home to the farm after the war, couldn’t find peace, and decided to leave America and go to Spain. With the last verse chopped off, it became a fairly vague story of two brothers who part ways, although Bernie Taupin says that losing the verse wasn’t a big deal …

“We had that whole thing about the missing verse that everybody seems to believe explained the true meaning of the song. I think that’s just an urban legend. It didn’t really explain anything. Sure, it was cut out. But that used to happen all the time with our songs. I would often overwrite, and Elton felt it necessary to edit somewhat. But believe me, it didn’t say anything that the rest of the song didn’t say.”

The record company didn’t want to release this as a single because they thought it was too long and somber to be a hit. Elton had other ideas, and insisted they release it as a single before the album came out. The record company did, but with very little promotion. It became a hit anyway.

The song is featured on the 1973 album Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player.  According to Elton John: The Definitive Biography, here’s how the album got its title: While in Los Angeles, Elton was introduced to the legendary comedian Groucho Marx. They hit it off, but Groucho was always giving Elton a hard time about his name, insisting that he must have it backwards and really be John Elton. After Groucho refused to lay off the name thing at a party, Elton threw up his hands and said jokingly: “Don’t shoot me, I’m just the piano player.”

Bernie Taupin has told a different story, claiming that he found the phrase on a plaque at an American junk shop.

The song peaked at #1 in Canada, #2 in the U.S., and #4 in the UK … not too shabby, eh?

Daniel
Elton John

Daniel is traveling tonight on a plane
I can see the red tail lights heading for Spain
And I can see Daniel waving goodbye
Oh it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes

They say Spain is pretty though I’ve never been
And Daniel says it’s the best place that he’s ever seen
He should know, he’s been there enough
Oh I miss Daniel, oh I miss him so much, oh

Daniel my brother you are older than me
Do you still feel the pain of the scars that won’t heal?
Your eyes have died but you see more than I
Daniel you’re a star in the face of the sky

Oh Daniel my brother you are older than me
Do you still feel the pain of the scars that won’t heal?
Your eyes have died but you see more than I
Daniel you’re a star in the face of the sky

Daniel is traveling tonight on a plane
And I can see the red tail lights heading for Spain
And I can see Daniel waving goodbye
Oh it looks like Daniel, it must be the clouds in my eyes
Oh God it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Elton John / Bernie Taupin / Vladimir Cort
Daniel lyrics © Dick James Music Ltd.

♫ Your Song ♫ (Redux)

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.

In 1998, Your Song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2004, the song was placed at number 137 on Rolling Stones list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”, as well as in its 2010 list. The song is listed among the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. A demo version was included in John’s 1990 box set album To Be Continued.

The song has been covered by a number of artists, including Ellie Goulding, whose version reached number two on the UK Singles Chart in late 2010, and Lady Gaga. The song was also covered by Ewan McGregor in the 2001 musical film Moulin Rouge! and by Taron Egerton in the 2019 film Rocketman. The song was eventually certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA.

Your Song hit #8 in the U.S., #3 in Canada, and #7 in the UK.

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, heh, but then again, no
Or a man who makes potions in 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 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 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
Yours are the sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen

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
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 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

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Elton John / Bernie Taupin
Your Song lyrics © Dick James Music Ltd.

 

♫ Don’t Go Breaking My Heart ♫

I played this one exactly a year ago today, on February 29th, 2019 (yes, I know today is March 1st, but last year was a leap year, so February had that pesky extra day).  I’m reduxing it today for the simple reason that it’s a fun song … just that … no hidden meanings, no broken hearts, just a lot of fun.  The camaraderie between a young Elton and Kiki Dee was contagious and you can’t watch this and not smile.

Released in 1976 by Elton John and Kiki Dee, this song was written by Elton John with Bernie Taupin under the pseudonyms “Ann Orson” and “Carte Blanche”, respectively.  John and Taupin originally intended to record the song with Dusty Springfield, but ultimately withdrew the offer; Springfield’s partner Sue Cameron later said this was because she was too ill at the time.

Elton recorded his part in Toronto, then the tape was sent to London where Kiki Dee recorded her vocal. Producer Gus Dudgeon recalls …

“I was with Elton in Canada and he actually sang about three quarters of the song and gave Kiki about four lines. I said, ‘Hang on a minute, is this supposed to be a duet or a guest appearance?’ Elton replied, ‘A duet.’ Then you’ve got to give her at least 50% of the song.”

Interestingly, this was the second-biggest-selling record of 1976 in both the UK and US, and topped the charts in a number of countries, including France, Italy, Australia and Canada.  I was quite surprised to find out that it was Elton’s first #1 in the UK. He had to wait 14 years for his next UK #1, which was Sacrifice.

When, in preparation for this post, I read that Elton John performed this on a Season 2 episode of The Muppet Show in 1977 with Miss Piggy, you just know I had to go … in search of!  And found!  So, since this is a “just-for-fun” music post, you get two versions tonight, the second for all my fellow Muppets fans out there!

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
Elton John/Kiki Dee/Miss Piggy

Don’t go breaking my heart
I couldn’t if I tried
Honey, if I get restless
Baby, you’re not that kind

Don’t go breaking my heart
You take the weight off me
Oh, honey, when you knock on my door
Ooh, I gave you my key

Ooh-hoo, nobody knows it
When I was down
I was your clown
Ooh-hoo, nobody knows it, nobody knows
Right from the start
I gave you my heart
Oh oh, I gave you my heart

So don’t go breaking my heart
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart

And nobody told us
‘Cause nobody showed us
And now it’s up to us, babe
Whoa, I think we can make it

So don’t misunderstand me
You put the light in my life
Oh, you put the spark to the flame
I’ve got your heart in my sights

Ooh-hoo, nobody knows it
When I was down
I was your clown
Ooh-hoo, nobody knows it, nobody knows
Right from the start
I gave you my heart
Oh oh, I gave you my heart

Don’t go breaking my heart
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart

Ooh-hoo, nobody knows it
When I was down
I was your clown
Right from the start
I gave you my heart
Oh oh, I gave you my heart

Don’t go breaking my heart
I won’t go breaking your heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
(Don’t go breaking my)
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart

Songwriters: Elton John / Bernie Taupin
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues ♫

All day long, I’ve had a song in mind to play for my music post … ALL DAY!  Even as recently as about 7:00, that song was playing non-stop, over and over in my head.  And now, at just after midnight … where do you think the song is?  That’s right …

Poof-2

Gone.  I’ve wracked my brain for it, but … I draw a blank.  All I can think of is … guacamole!  Hmmm … I do have two avocados in the fridge … I could make a nice little bowl of guacamole, and there are some extra thin crispy tortilla chips …

back-in-a-minute

Ahhhh … here … I’ll even share …

guacamole

Okay, now back to the business at hand … er … could somebody remind me just what business was at hand?  Oh yeah!  A song.  Well, since the song wouldn’t come back to my head, I closed my eyes, leaned my head back in my chair … and fell asleep!

sleeping-woman

Anyway … I finally came up with a tune for today!  You guys know how I love Elton John, right?  And I haven’t played any Elton for a while now, right?  And, I found one that I’ve never played … not ever on this blog!

As is the case with most of Elton’s songs, the lyrics were written by Bernie Taupin.  Taupin wrote this song as a love letter to his wife at the time, Toni Russo, who is the sister of the actress Rene Russo. In the album credits, Bernie wrote, “Hey Toni, this one’s for you.”  According to Taupin …

“I wrote this in Montserrat, an island that, tragically, no longer exists. Basically, it’s a letter home with a small tip included about making the most of time, not wishing it away just because you can’t be with the one you love. Time is precious; read books, paint a picture, bake a cake. Just don’t wallow, don’t be content.”

This song contains one of the few lyrics that Bernie Taupin regrets. He later said:

“The whole ‘loving you more than I love life itself’ is something I would never say now. It’s kind of a crass sentiment and totally false. It’s quite another thing to love someone deeply with your whole heart without stooping to this kind of lie. I loathe giving songwriting advice, but were I pushed, I’d say, ‘Never say you love someone more than life or that you’d die for someone in a song.’ It’s just such a disservice to your own spirit. I’d like to think that I’d lay down my life for my children, but until you’re faced with the reality, it’s kind of a moot point. Rambling, I know, but relative nonetheless.”

Stevie-Wonder-harmonicaNow here’s something that was news to me … another of my all-time favourites, Stevie Wonder, played harmonica on this track!  Now the song is even more special, knowing that!

The song made it to #4 in the U.S., #5 in the UK, and #1 in both Canada and Zimbabwe!

I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues
Elton John

Don’t wish it away
Don’t look at it like it’s forever
Between you and me I could honestly say
That things can only get better

And while I’m away
Dust out the demons inside
And it won’t be long before you and me run
To the place in our hearts where we hide

And I guess that’s why they call it the blues
Time on my hands could be time spent with you
Laughing like children, living like lovers
Rolling like thunder under the covers
And I guess that’s why they call it the blues

Just stare into space
Picture my face in your hands
Live for each second without hesitation
And never forget I’m your man

Wait on me girl
Cry in the night if it helps
But more than ever I simply love you
More than I love life itself

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bernie Taupin / Davey Johnstone / Elton John
I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Nikita ♫

This one was mentioned in a conversation a day or two ago, and it’s been stuck in my head ever since.

Released in 1985, in this Cold War ballad, a Westerner falls in love with an East German citizen he cannot meet because he is not allowed to cross the Berlin Wall. This was a very revolutionary song during the Cold War; Eastern Europeans who lived in the communist block would listen to Western radio stations like Free Europe and pick up on the sentiments.

What I did not know is that George Michael sang backing vocals on this track, as well as several other Elton songs including one of my very favourites, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.

Elton John, Bernie Taupin and Big Pig Music were accused of plagiarism by South African photographer and songwriter Guy Hobbs. Hobbs wrote a song in 1982 entitled Natasha, about a Russian waitress on a cruise ship, who was never allowed to leave it. The song was copyrighted in 1983, and sent to Big Pig Music (John’s publisher) for a possible publishing deal, but Hobbs never heard back from the publisher. In 2001, Hobbs came across the lyric book to “Nikita” and noticed similarities with his song. Despite repeated attempts by Hobbs to contact John over the issue, he never heard from him and so commenced legal action in 2012.  On 31 October 2012, a US federal judge granted John and Taupin’s motion to dismiss, finding that the song did not infringe Hobbs’ copyright because the only similar elements were generic images and themes that are not protected under copyright law.

Nikita
Elton John

Hey Nikita is it cold
In your little corner of the world
You could roll around the globe
And never find a warmer soul to know

Oh I saw you by the wall
Ten of your tin soldiers in a row
With eyes that looked like ice on fire
The human heart a captive in the snow

Oh Nikita you will never know, anything about my home
I’ll never know how good it feels to hold you
Nikita I need you so
Oh Nikita is the other side of any given line in time
Counting ten tin soldiers in a row
Oh no, Nikita you’ll never know

Do you ever dream of me
Do you ever see the letters that I write
When you look up through the wire
Nikita do you count the stars at night

And if there comes a time
Guns and gates no longer hold you in
And if you’re free to make a choice
Just look towards the west and find a friend

Oh Nikita you will never know, anything about my home
I’ll never know how good it feels to hold you
Nikita I need you so
Oh Nikita is the other side of any given line in time
Counting ten tin soldiers in a row
Oh no, Nikita you’ll never know

Oh Nikita you will never know, anything about my home
I’ll never know how good it feels to hold you
Nikita I need you so
Oh Nikita is the other side of any given line in time
Counting ten tin soldiers in a row
Oh no, Nikita you’ll never know

Nikita counting ten tin soldiers in a row
Nikita counting ten tin soldiers in a row
Nikita counting ten tin soldiers in a row
Nikita

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bernard J.P. Taupin / Bernie Taupin / Elton John
Nikita lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Crocodile Rock ♫

The past couple of nights, my music posts have been chosen based on what’s going on in our world today, based on my depth of sorrow and angst at seeing the nation of my birth torn apart and burning to the ground.  Tonight, I went in search of another such song, but it only took me a few minutes to realize that … I needed something upbeat, I needed something to take my mind off it all, I needed something to let me breathe, if only for a few minutes.  I figured if I needed that, then so do you guys.  And so, I dug way back in Elton’s archives and found Crocodile Rock!  Tacky?  Sure.  This was never among my favourite Elton songs, but you’ve got to admit, it will get your feet tapping!

Released as a single in 1972, and in 1973 on his album titled Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player, this became his first U.S. number-one single, staying in the top spot for three weeks in February 1973.

The lyrics take a nostalgic look at early rock ‘n’ roll, dating and youthful independence of that era. Elton John band members, including Davey Johnstone on guitars, Dee Murray on bass and Nigel Olsson on drums, were also performers on the song. Elton John, however, did all the vocals, including the falsetto backing vocals.

The song, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, was inspired by Elton’s discovery of leading Australian band Daddy Cool and their hit single Eagle Rock, which was the most successful Australian single of the early 1970s (with 1,000,000 sold), remaining at #1 for a record of 10 weeks. John heard the song and the group on his 1972 Australian tour and was greatly impressed by it. The song also is said to have been strongly influenced by songs from the late 50s-early 60s , including Del Shannon’s 1962 Cry Myself to Sleep and Little Darlin’ (recorded in 1957 by The Diamonds and The Gladiolas), and lyrically by Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and his Comets. The opening riff heavily resembles Let’s Dance by Chris Montez, and the chorus resembles Speedy Gonzales by Pat Boone.

In a 1974 lawsuit filed in the US District Court of Los Angeles by attorney Donald Barnett on behalf of Speedy Gonzales’ composer Buddy Kaye, it was alleged that defendants Elton John and Bernie Taupin illegally incorporated chords from Speedy Gonzales which produced a falsetto tone into the Crocodile song.  The parties reached a settlement between them, thus there was no need for a duel at dawn.

Elton performed this on The Muppet Show when he appeared on a Season Two episode in 1977. A very popular song with kids, it made for a great opening number, with Elton performing in a swamp with a crocodile chorus.  Now, you guys already know that I am a Muppets fan, so it naturally follows that, since I’m trying to cheer us all up with this song, I’m going to include that one too!

Crocodile Rock
Elton John

I remember when rock was young
Me and Suzie had so much fun
Holding hands and skimming stones
Had an old gold Chevy and a place of my own
But the biggest kick I ever got
Was doing a thing called the Crocodile Rock

While the other kids were Rocking Round the Clock
We were hopping and bopping to the Crocodile Rock
Well Crocodile Rocking is something shocking
When your feet just can’t keep still
I never knew me a better time and I guess I never will
Oh Lawdy mama those Friday nights
When Suzie wore her dresses tight
And the Crocodile Rocking was out of sight

La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la

But the years went by and the rock just died
Suzie went and left us for some foreign guy
Long nights crying by the record machine
Dreaming of my Chevy and my old blue jeans
But they’ll never kill the thrills we’ve got
Burning up to the Crocodile Rock
Learning fast as the weeks went past
We really thought the Crocodile Rock would last

Well Crocodile Rocking is something shocking
When your feet just can’t keep still
I never knew me a better time and I guess I never will
Oh Lawdy mama those Friday nights
When Suzie wore her dresses tight
And the Crocodile Rocking was out of sight

La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la

I remember when rock was young
Me and Suzie had so much fun
Holding hands and skimming stones
Had an old gold Chevy and a place of my own
But the biggest kick I ever got
Was doing a thing called the Crocodile Rock
While the other kids were Rocking Round the Clock
We were hopping and bopping to the Crocodile Rock

Well Crocodile Rocking is something shocking
When your feet just can’t keep still
I never knew me a better time and I guess I never will
Oh Lawdy mama those Friday nights
When Suzie wore her dresses tight
And the Crocodile Rocking was out of sight

La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la
La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la
La lalalala la lalalala la lalalala la

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bernie Taupin / Elton John
Crocodile Rock lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Downtown Music Publishing

♫ I’m Still Standing ♫

For the past two weeks, a song that I absolutely abhor has been popping into my head at random moments, like when I first wake, when I’m in the shower, or folding laundry.  I’ve tried everything to get it to leave once and for all, including smacking myself upside the head, but the only song that seems able to push the ugly song out is this one by Elton John.  Can you guess what the awful song is?  Hint:  It is sexist, male-chauvinist, and is a Burt Bacharach tune.  Anyway …

While this one isn’t my most favourite of Elton’s repertoire, I do like it … it makes the toes start tapping (and it chases away the hideous song).

As with so many of Elton’s songs, the lyrics were written by Bernie Taupin.  The song is directed at a former lover, as Elton sings about how he is still standing strong without this person.  While the song is often seen as a statement of Elton’s resilience, Taupin says he wrote it with a specific person in mind …

“It’s perhaps one more example of the original idea being interpreted by everyone into something quite different. I think people see it as an anthem based on Elton’s strong sense of survival in the face of adversity. Which, believe me, is perfectly fine by me. In fact, it’s probably infinitely more interesting, perhaps, than what it was initially written about. Which, if my memory serves me correctly, it was a sort of kiss off to an old girlfriend. You know the sort of thing, ‘Don’t you worry about me, I’ll be perfectly fine.’ Unlike George Jones’ ‘She Thinks I Still Care,’ where, in fact, he really did, I really didn’t.”

The video, directed by Russell Mulcahy, was shot in Cannes (InterContinental Carlton Cannes) and Nice on the Côte d’Azur in France and features the colours of the French flag.

Bruno Tonioli, later a judge on the hit shows Strictly Come Dancing for BBC (UK) and its American adaptation, Dancing with the Stars for ABC in the US, appears as one of the dancers in the video.

It was due to be shot over the course of two days, but a camera full of the first day’s film was ruined when Mulcahy accidentally fell into the sea with it. Therefore, it had to be filmed again on another day. During the shoot for the video, John came across Duran Duran. He complained he was exhausted at having been up since 4 o’clock in the morning. Simon Le Bon decided John should have a martini. “So I did,” John later recalled, “I had six.”

This hit #4 in the UK and #12 in the U.S., but made it all the way to #1 in Canada.

I’m Still Standing
Elton John

You could never know what it’s like
Your blood like winter freezes just like ice
And there’s a cold lonely light that shines from you
You’ll wind up like the wreck you hide behind that mask you use

And did you think this fool could never win
Well look at me, I’m coming back again
I got a taste of love in a simple way
And if you need to know while I’m still standing you just fade away

Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I’m still standing after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah
I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

Once I never could hope to win
You starting down the road leaving me again
The threats you made were meant to cut me down
And if our love was just a circus you’d be a clown by now

You know I’m still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I’m still standing after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah
I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I’m still standing after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah
I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah
I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bernie Taupin / Elton John
I’m Still Standing lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me ♫ (Redux)

Sorry for another redux … well, no actually I am not sorry.  I make no apologies for playing good music, for expressing myself through the music I play, even if I did just play this one back in 2018.  I’m tired tonight, feeling somewhat hopeless over the state of humans, the state of this nation, the state of the world, and wondering, quite frankly, if it’s worth the fight.  In those circumstances, some Elton is just what’s called for, yes?


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

♫ Candle in the Wind ♫ (Redux)

I first posted this one in August 2018, but I think it’s worth repeating.  

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