♫ 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

Good People Doing Good Things — Kleenex Is Included

If it’s Wednesday morning, then it must be time for us to go forth and find some … good people!  Guess what?  I found some!  Surprised, aren’t you? 😉  I’m even providing the tissues this week, in case you’ve run out and found the shelves bare at the market.

box of tissues


And with that Dailey newspaper you get …

Greg Dailey delivers newspapers to homes in the central New Jersey township of Cranbury, but last week he did much more than toss rolled up newspapers.  Many of the people on his paper route are seniors, and after one such woman asked him to start placing the newspaper against her garage, for she was afraid to walk down the driveway to retrieve it, Greg got an idea.  The next day, he placed a note in all 725 newspapers he delivered …

My name is Greg Dailey and I deliver your newspaper every morning. I understand during these trying times it is difficult for some to get out of their house to get everyday necessities. I would like to offer my services free of charge to anyone who needs groceries, household products, etc. I will be shopping at ShopRite and McCaffery’s and can deliver the goods directly to your front door.

He left his number and email address. The response was immediate, and not just with more requests for his new service. Oh, there were plenty of those — nine of them, in fact, on the first day alone. But there were more emails from people who wanted to help the man who had offered his help.

They wanted to send him gas money for his Ford Focus. They offered to leave him food on their doorsteps to his family. Mostly, though, they just wanted to say thank you.  Said one note …

“I know you only by the sound of your car in the morning and your good service, but your offer to help in our community is a step beyond. If you hear a little extra sound when you fly past our house, it will be us applauding and cheering for a good man.”

Greg-Dailey-2Greg’s service quickly became a family affair, with his wife Cherlyn, his three kids — Erin, Sean and Brian — and his mother-in-law Carol Krohn all involved. They used a Google document to keep the groceries organized, with every item highlighted on a receipt. They sort the items into separate bags in their dining room, and for safety, everything is cleaned with disinfectant wipes. Customers reimburse for the items, but there’s no charge for the shopping and delivery.

“Times are tough. Some of us should not be out of the house at all. They need produce. They need medicine. They need toiletries. I told one of the gentlemen, ‘I can stop at the liquor store if you want.’ His eyes went wide.”

Kleenex tissuesThe customers on his newspaper route can count on him. At a time when every community needs people to step up and help the people who need it the most, he delivers.


Handing out … lettuce leaves

Peter Darmos is a lawyer and businessman who lives in Melbourne, Australia, though he emigrated there from Greece as a child.  One day last week, Mr. Darmos happened to pass by the unemployment office, CentreLink, and saw a long line of people waiting to get in to file their claims. centrelinkHe said it made him feel sick to his stomach, and he had to do what he could.  He stopped and gave each of the people waiting in line $100 “to put some bread on the table for their family.”  In all, Mr. Darmos disbursed some $10,000.  He wished to remain anonymous, but somehow that didn’t happen.  He says he’s hoping that others who have the means will follow suit …

Peter-Darmos

box of tissues“I came here as a six-year-old from a village in Greece and this country has been good to me. We can all hit the Centrelink offices across the country in 30 seconds today and hand out a lettuce leaf to each person in need so they can put some food on the table for their families.”

 


What’s in the envelope?

Skylar Reeves, who owns Rosa’s Pizzeria in Prescott, Arizona, was loading orders for delivery and curbside pickup Tuesday when the woman approached him, handed him the envelope, and then left.  Reeves opened the envelope to find $2,000 in cash and an unsigned note …

“Hi there, As a neighbor and lover of Rosa’s, please accept the enclosed and use it as you see fit for your staff.”

Kleenex tissuesReeves said he was overcome with emotion, as he already has been forced to consolidate his three restaurants, pause his catering company and stop construction on his newest restaurant set to open next month. He also laid off nearly half of his 100-person staff, many of whom are friends, due to the virus.

With the money from the anonymous Good Samaritan, Reeves is asking his employees to bring him the bill that stresses them the most, and he’ll pay those bills with the envelope cash and his own money.


The Rocket Man delivers …

Elton John was in the middle of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour when the coronavirus called a halt to it.  But, not one to let an opportunity pass him by, Elton is instead planning a televised benefit concert to support and pay tribute to medical staff in America who are on the frontlines battling Coronavirus.Elton-2The commercial-free hour-long special, dubbed “Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America,” will air at 6 p.m. PST (9 p.m. EST) on FOX on Sunday, March 29 and will also be broadcast on iHeartMedia radio stations as well.

Singer-songwriters including Alicia Keys, the Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Mariah Carey and Tim McGraw will also make appearances from their homes and be included via clips filmed with their personal cell phones, camera and audio equipment, a release from Fox revealed.

Viewers will be able to make donations during the show, which will go to Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation.


You all know I don’t watch much television at all, and have never seen the show called The Office, though of course I have heard of it (I think).  One of the stars of that show is named John Krasinski, and he has started a ‘good news’ show on YouTube that I thought was a terrific idea!John-KrasinskiLast week, Krasinski took to Twitter and asked the world to send him any stories that made them feel good or smile.

“For years now I’ve been wondering why is there not a news show dedicated entirely to good news?”

So, he launched “Some Good News” (SGN) on YouTube to share all the heartwarming stories posted in the comments of his Twitter post.


These are challenging times in more ways than one for most all of us on the planet.  I find it particularly heartwarming to see people finding ways to help others, even though they have their own troubles.  We are, after all, all in this together.

♫ 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

♫ Don’t Go Breaking My Heart ♫

I had intended to play this one last night … er, yesterday … but as it happened, after eating about half a cup of soup, my body decided it was time for sleep, and nothing was going to convince it otherwise.  Heck, it was only 2:30!  Usually I’m good ’til at least 4:00 a.m.!  Anyway, tonight’s selection is staying in the “fun” mode that I started two nights ago with Do Wah Diddy Diddy by Manfred Mann.  No deep meaning, no sad ‘n sappy love gone wrong … just fun.  (Sorry, John … try not to overthink this one)

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

♫ You Gotta Love Someone ♫

I’m sitting here, really thinking it is past time I went to bed for a bit of reading, maybe even some sleep, but see … there’s this sleeping kittie in my lap, he’s purring his contentment with every breath he takes, and I cannot bear to disturb him.  It is, of course, Oliver, aka Ollie … the only one of our Feral Five who actually likes me!

So, since I will be sitting here for a bit longer, I might as well play a tune, don’t you think?  This one has been in my head all evening, since I was talking about it with a friend earlier on …

According to SongFacts …

“You can take on the world, go forth and conquer, but first, you gotta love someone. It’s a simple but eloquent lyric written by Bernie Taupin, and one that proved prescient when Elton John got his life in order a short time later. By 1990, Elton had spent years suffering from bulimia and cocaine addiction. When he finally decided to take action, it was prompted by his new love, Hugh Williams, who convinced him to go to therapy together. At those sessions, they were asked to list each other’s faults. Williams cited Elton’s bulimia, alcoholism, drug addiction and fits of rage. Elton flagged Williams for not putting away his CDs properly.

This got through to Elton, and in the summer of 1990 he entered a hospital in Chicago where he was treated, emerging six weeks later sober and determined to make positive lifestyle changes. His relationship with Williams didn’t last, but the sobriety stuck and Elton enjoyed a career revival, returning in 1992 with his hit album The One.”

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, BMG Rights Management

♫ I’m Still Standing ♫

I usually do these music posts after everything else is done for the night — comments answered, morning post written/edited/scheduled, important emails answered, smokes rolled, shower accomplished, kitchen cleaned, laundry folded, etc.  So, last night I was in the mood for some Elton and I had settled on Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, had the embed code, a bit of trivia, but … found that I had played it already back in September 2018, just over a year ago.  So, I picked this one, but … I was just too exhausted to dig up any trivia or songfacts, so instead … I went to bed.  But, that just means I can play it tonight!

I’m Still Standing was written, as were many of Elton’s, by Bernie Taupin, who said …

“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.”

This song hit #1 in both Canada and Switzerland, #4 in the UK, and only #12 in the U.S.

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.”

The next morning, John awoke with a hangover and wandered into his personal assistant’s room—which was “leveled”—and asked him “What happened?” His assistant laughed: “You happened!”

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

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

♫ Can You Feel The Love Tonight ♫

Naturally, given my love for all (or most, anyway — I never did care for Rocket Man) things Elton, I have already played Elton’s version of this song.  However, tonight I was pointed in the direction of a different version by a group called Pentatonix.

This 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!

Can You Feel the Love Tonight
Pentatonix

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

♫ Pastime Paradise ♫

A dear friend, whose name I shall not say except to note that the first and last letters of his first name are the same, shot this song into my brain last night, whereby it lodged and refused to budge.  All day, I have been humming or whistling this song, and so … sigh … sorry folks, but from my brain to yours it goes …

Pastime Paradise was first released on Songs in the Key of Life, which has become Stevie Wonder’s most highly praised album. Michael Jackson considered it Wonder’s best, whilst Elton John told interviewers it was “the best album ever made,” a sentiment shared by many in the listening public.

When one thinks of Stevie Wonder, “joy” is the operative word, but in Pastime Paradise the synthesizer strings – one of the first novel attempts at using this sort of string-synthesis in a song – create an edgy atmosphere of anxiety, substantiated by the lyrics which are insistently negative in tone until the final stanza. A combination of issues, from race and religion to the economy are vaguely alluded to by using catchwords like “Race Relations” and “Exploitation” without any further explanation. Anyone that would have been hearing these words in 1976 at the tail-end of the Black Power movement (1965-1975) would know exactly what they were referring to. However, Wonder’s final statement defines the actual message of the song: “Let’s start living our lives, living for the future paradise,” as opposed to living in the unhappy past, or the illusory future in order to escape present social issues.

Pastime Paradise
Stevie Wonder

They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a pastime paradise
They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a pastime paradise
They’ve been wasting most their time
Glorifying days long gone behind
They’ve been wasting most their days
In remembrance of ignorance oldest praise

Tell me who of them will come to be
How many of them are you and me
Dissipation
Race relations
Consolation
Segregation
Dispensation
Isolation
Exploitation
Mutilation
Mutations
Miscreation
Confirmation, to the evils of the world

They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a future paradise
They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a future paradise
They’ve been looking in their minds
For the day that sorrows gone from time
They keep telling of the day
When the savior of love will come to stay

Tell me who of them will come to be
How many of them are you and me
Proclamation
Of race relations
Consolation
Integration
Verification
Of revelations
Acclamation
World salvation
Vibrations
Stimulation
Confirmation, to the peace of the world

They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a pastime paradise
They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a pastime paradise
They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a future paradise
They’ve been spending most their lives
Living in a future paradise
We’ve been spending too much of our lives
Living in a pastime paradise

Let’s start living our lives
Living for the future paradise
Praise to our lives
Living for the future paradise
Shame to anyone’s lives
Living in the pastime paradise

Songwriters: Stevie Wonder
Pastime Paradise lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC