♫ That’s What Friends Are For ♫ (Redux)

I’m in a rather deep, dark rabbit hole tonight.  If you’ve read my morning post, you’ll understand part of it.  So, I decided it was time to treat myself to some Stevie Wonder, the man who can ALWAYS make me feel a bit better.  And when I was searching the archives for a Stevie song, I came upon this one that has not one, but four of my all-time favourite artists:  Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, Elton John, and Gladys Knight.  And the theme … the lyrics … just the perfect thing to help bring me out of this funk!  And just as happened four years ago, it brought a smile, but strangely tears, too. Perhaps that was what I needed …


February 2019 …

As I was rolling cigarettes tonight, a name came to me: Dionne Warwick. A sometimes-overlooked talent, a beautiful lady with a beautiful voice. So, I decided tonight would be a song from Dionne Warwick, and after I finished rolling smokes, finished my Jolly Monday post, and folded a load of laundry, I sat down to decide which song it would be. I picked this one to listen to first, and at the 0:33 point, I felt tears welling behind my eyes. I have no idea why, but I knew then that I had my song.

This version is the 1985 cover version by Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder. This recording, billed as being by “Dionne & Friends”, was released as a charity single for AIDS research and prevention. It was a massive hit, becoming the number-one single of 1986 in the United States, and winning the Grammy Awards for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Song of the Year. It raised over $3 million for its cause.

The song was originally written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager for the 1982 movie Night Shift, where it was recorded by Rod Stewart and played over the closing credits.

Hit the full screen button, turn the volume up, and just … enjoy … feel the love …

That’s What Friends Are For
Dionne Warwick

And I never thought I’d feel this way
And as far as I’m concerned
I’m glad I got the chance to say
That I do believe, I love you

And if I should ever go away
Well, then close your eyes and try
To feel the way we do today
And then if you can remember

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Well, you came in loving me
And now there’s so much more I see
And so by the way
I thank you

Oh and then for the times when we’re apart
Well, then close your eyes and know
The words are coming from my heart
And then if you can remember

Keep smiling and keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
In good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
Cause I tell you, that’s what friends are for
Whoa, good times and the bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Songwriters: Burt F Bacharach / Carole Bayer Sager
That’s What Friends Are For lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

♫ 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 (9 days, to be exact), right?  And, I found one that I’ve only played once, just over two years ago!

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

♫ He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother ♫

And to close our Neil Diamond Week here on Filosofa’s Word, we have this one that was requested by none other than rawgod.  (Bring on the Motown tomorrow!!!)


The history behind the name of the song is interesting …

The title came from the motto for Boys Town, a community formed in 1917 by a Catholic priest named Father Edward Flanagan. Located in Omaha, Nebraska, it was a place where troubled or homeless boys could come for help. In 1941, Father Flanagan was looking at a magazine called The Messenger when he came across a drawing of a boy carrying a younger boy on his back, with the caption, “He ain’t heavy Mr., he’s my brother.” Father Flanagan thought the image and phrase captured the spirit of Boys Town, so he got permission and commissioned a statue of the drawing with the inscription, “He ain’t heavy Father, he’s my brother.”

The statue and phrase became the logo for Boys Town. In 1979, girls were allowed and the name was eventually changed to Girls And Boys Town. The logo was updated with a drawing of a girl carrying a younger girl added.

In 1938, Spencer Tracy portrayed Father Flanagan in the movie Boys Town, which also starred Mickey Rooney. In 1941, they made a sequel called Men Of Boys Town, where they used the phrase “He ain’t heavy, Father, he’s my brother” for the first time in a movie.

This is a ballad written by Bobby Scott and Bob Russell. Originally recorded by Kelly Gordon in 1969, the song became a worldwide hit for the Hollies later that year and also a hit for Neil Diamond in 1970. It has been recorded by many artists in subsequent years. The Hollies’ version was re-released in 1988 and again was a major hit in the UK.

Scott and Russell were introduced to each other by Johnny Mercer, at a California nightclub. Although Russell was dying of lymphoma and the pair met only three times, they managed to collaborate on the song.

The Hollies’ recorded the song in June 1969 at the Abbey Road Studios, with Allan Clarke on lead vocals. I did not know that Elton John, who was working as a session musician at the time, played the piano on the song, as well their next single, I Can’t Tell the Bottom from the Top, for which he was paid a grand sum of £12. The song was released on 26 September 1969 and reached #3 in the UK, and #7 in the US. The song was re-released in August 1988 in the UK following its use in a television advertisement for Miller Lite beer. It reached the #1 spot in the UK chart for two weeks in September 1988.

And then, the following year, came Neil Diamond’s version that appears on his album Tap Root Manuscript, which was released in November 1970.

The song has been covered by many artists, including Olivia Newton-John and The Osmonds!  I like both the Hollies and Neil Diamond’s version, and since it IS Neil Diamond Week, and since rg did request the Diamond version, I shall play both, leading off with Neil’s version.

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother

The Hollies/Neil Diamond

… The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where, who knows where
But I’m strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

… So on we go
His welfare is of my concern
No burden is he to bear
We’ll get there

… For I know
He would not encumber me
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

… If I’m laden at all
I’m laden with sadness
That everyone’s heart
Isn’t filled with the gladness
Of love for one another

… It’s a long, long road
From which there is no return
While we’re on the way to there
Why not share?

… And the load
Doesn’t weigh me down at all
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

… He’s my brother
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Bob Russell / Bobby Scott

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother lyrics © Music Sales Corporation

♫ Tiny Dancer ♫

I told you last night when I played Goodbye Yellow Brick Road that you’d probably see this one soon, but I really didn’t think it would be quite this soon!  Oh well, here we are …

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 ♫

Last night after we returned from sharing Thanksgiving dinner with our friends, after the girls put away the leftovers and cleaned the kitchen (that’s our standing deal — I make the mess cooking and they clean it up while I take a break!), Chris started watching a biographical film about Elton John’s early years beginning in his childhood and going up through his rehab treatment after years of drug abuse and ultimately a heart attack.  I almost never watch television, but this one caught my interest so I ended up watching most of it, despite not being able to hear the music.  It was well worth the time spent, and now long story short, I’m in the mood to play some Elton John!  I debated between this one and Tiny Dancer … this one won out for today, but I suspect you’ll see Tiny Dancer here before long.


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

♫ Can You Feel The Love Tonight ♫

This is kind of, sort of, a redux, but more it’s a combination of two previous posts of this song — one in 2018 and one in 2019.  Initially, I knew only of the Elton and the “Lion King” versions, but when I posted those in 2018, someone mentioned another by a group called Pentatonix who, at that time, I had never heard of.  Turns out, they’re pretty darn good!  So, tonight I’m combining the two and you get a double dose of feeling that love tonight!


The song won the 1994 Academy Award for Best Original Song, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. It also earned Elton John the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

Working on The Lion King was a welcome opportunity for Elton, who had a say in how the songs he wrote for the film were used. He contributed most of the songs on the soundtrack, including Circle Of Life, which was also hit (Elton says that “Circle” is a better song and more deserving of the Academy Award).

Just a few years out of rehab, the soundtrack provided a career resurgence for Elton and led to more work writing for musicals – he would later write for Aida and Billy Elliot.

Elton wrote the music, Tim Rice wrote the lyrics. Rice made a name for himself putting lyrics to showtunes by Andrew Lloyd Webber. They wrote songs for Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ, Superstar, and Evita. Like Elton, Tim Rice has been knighted.

And now … heeeeeere’s Elton …


Pentatonix is a  talented diverse a cappella group is from Arlington,Texas. They are named after the Pentatonic Scale, a scale with 5 notes per octave that represents the 5 members of the group. They replaced the last letter of the word with an “x” to make it more appealing. In 2011 the third season of “The Sing-Off” with Nick Lachey as host premiered on Sept. 19th and featured Pentatonix. On November 28, 2011 the season concluded…with Pentatonix winning!  And here is their version of Can You Feel The Love Tonight

Can You Feel the Love Tonight
Elton John

There’s a calm surrender to the rush of day
When the heat of the rolling world can be turned away
An enchanted moment and it sees me through
It’s enough for this restless warrior just to be with you

And can you feel the love tonight? It is where we are
It’s enough for this wide-eyed wanderer that we got this far
And can you feel the love tonight? How it’s laid to rest
It’s enough to make kings and vagabonds believe the very best

There’s a time for everyone, if they only learn
That the twisting kaleidoscope moves us all in turn
There’s a rhyme and reason to the wild outdoors
When the heart of this star-crossed voyager beats in time with yours

And can you feel the love tonight? It is where we are
It’s enough for this wide-eyed wanderer that we got this far
And can you feel the love tonight? How it’s laid to rest
It’s enough to make kings and vagabonds believe the very best
It’s enough to make kings and vagabonds believe the very best

Songwriters: Elton John / Tim Rice
Can You Feel the Love Tonight lyrics © Walt Disney Music Company

♫ Sacrifice ♫

I last played this in 1920 and several readers said it was among their favourite Elton John songs, so since I’m tired and feeling a bit under the weather tonight, I thought it was a good time to redux it!

As is the case with most of Elton’s songs, the lyrics are by Bernie Taupin and the music by Elton.  It was inspired both by the Aretha Franklin song Do Right Woman, Do Right Man and described as a Percy Sledge song by Elton John.

This was released as a single in 1989, but stalled at #55 in the UK. Six months later it was revived in the UK by DJ Steve Wright, who began replaying it on his BBC Radio One afternoon show. He reported the great listener reaction to Rocket Records, which reissued it as a double A-side along with his previous release “Healing Hands,” which had also flopped in the UK. By mid-summer 1990, the single went to #1 in the UK, but only reached #18 in the U.S.

Actually, now that I think about it, it’s rather a sad song and I was hoping for one to give me good cheer.  Oh well.

Sacrifice
Elton John

It’s a human sign
When things go wrong
When the scent of her lingers
And temptation’s strong

Into the boundary
Of each married man
Sweet deceit comes calling
And negativity lands

Cold, cold heart
Hard done by you
Some things look better, baby
Just passing through

And it’s no sacrifice
Just a simple word
It’s two hearts living
In two separate worlds
But it’s no sacrifice
No sacrifice
It’s no sacrifice at all

Mutual misunderstanding
After the fact
Sensitivity builds a prison
In the final act

We lose direction
No stone unturned
No tears to damn you
When jealousy burns

Cold, cold heart
Hard done by you
Some things look better, baby
Just passing through

And it’s no sacrifice
Just a simple word
It’s two hearts living
In two separate worlds
But it’s no sacrifice
No sacrifice
It’s no sacrifice at all

Cold, cold heart
Hard done by you
Some things look better, baby
Just passing through

And it’s no sacrifice
Just a simple word
It’s two hearts living
In two separate worlds
But it’s no sacrifice
No sacrifice
It’s no sacrifice at all

No sacrifice at all
No sacrifice at all
No sacrifice at all
No sacrifice at all

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

♫ Your Song ♫ (Redux)

I know I just played this last year, and I do try not to redux a song for at least two years, but I have a reason for reduxing this one tonight!  On Friday night, Sir Elton John played at a concert in the White House hosted by President and First Lady Biden.  The concert, titled “A Night When Hope and History Rhyme,” was part of his farewell tour after a glittering 50-year career. It was also an event to honor “everyday history-makers in the audience,” according to the White House, among them teachers, military families and LGBTQ+ advocates.

Elton dedicated Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me to Ryan White and his mother, Jeanne White-Ginder, who attended the concert. Her son lost his life to AIDS-related complications after a blood transfusion and died in 1990, just a month before his high school graduation.

But the real surprise of the evening came at the end of the concert when President Biden awarded Elton John the National Humanities Medal for his work and activism with numerous charities and humanitarian causes, especially those tackling HIV/AIDS.  Said Elton, fighting back tears …

“I’m never flabbergasted, but I’m flabbergasted and humbled and honored by this incredible award from the United States of America. I will treasure this so much.”

And after seeing that … how could I not play some Elton?


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.

 

♫ 2Cellos — Thunderstruck ♫

Tonight, after my little bit of a rant, plus some house chores plus responding to comments, I am too drained to come up with an all new music post, so I went digging through my archives and found this little gem!  I guess when Clive challenged me to ‘step outside’ my box, I decided to stay out for just a while, for this is actually an AC/DC tune, but by a couple of guys that put an entirely new spin on it!


Typically, on these music posts I play music that has long been among my favourites.  I play whatever strikes my fancy, or perhaps a tune that is stuck in my head and I need to dilute it by sharing with you, my dear friends.  But tonight, I veer a bit off-course.

Recently, our friend David introduced me to 2Cellos, and I am so taken by their music, their sheer energy, that I just have to share it!  A bit of background …

2Cellos is a Croatian cellist duo consisting of classically trained Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser. Signed to Sony Masterworks since 2011, they have released four albums and play instrumental arrangements of well-known pop and rock songs as well as classical and film music. The duo performs internationally and has been featured on several US TV shows including Glee and The Bachelor.

Hauser, born in Pula, Croatia, and Šulić, born in Maribor, Slovenia, are classically trained musicians. They met at a master class in Pula while still in their teens. Šulić—the younger of the two by a year— attended the Academy of Music in Zagreb, and then studied in Vienna. Šulić later entered London’s Royal Academy of Music. Hauser attended the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, after completing his studies at Trinity Laban in London.

Elton John asked the duo to appear with him on his 2011 summer tour, which began in Cardiff, Wales on 8 June. John, who personally called Šulić, said that he had watched the “Smooth Criminal” video and wanted 2Cellos to participate in his thirty-city tour. The two had previously performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show of 25 April 2011. 2Cellos also performed at the 2011 iTunes Festival in London.

And I had never heard them until just a few nights ago!  Well, sit back and prepare to be entertained, my friends, for these dudes have talent!

No lyrics … it’s an instrumental, silly!

♫ Crocodile Rock ♫ (Redux)

Stress and tension seem to rule the day, no matter which side of the big pond you’re on this week, so I thought it was time for a toe-tappin’ tune!  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