Elton John

Born in 1947 as Reginald Dwight, now Elton John is a well known pianist and singer. He has over 50 hits that have been on the top 40, and has received six grammies. He has sold over 300 million records, making him one of the best selling musicians of the world. (Source 2)
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Goodbye Yellow Brick Road


1 When are you gonna come down
2 When are you going to land
3 I should have stayed on the farm I should have listened to my old man
4 You know you can't hold me forever
5 I didn't sign up with you
6 I'm not a present for your friends to open
7 This boy's too young to be singing, the blues
8 So goodbye yellow brick road Where the dogs of society howl
9 You can't plant me in your penthouse I'm going back to my plough
10 Back to the howling old owl in the woods Hunting the horny back toad
11 Oh I've finally decided my future lies Beyond the yellow brick road
12 What do you think you'll do then I bet that'll shoot down your plane
13 It'll take you a couple of vodka and tonics To set you on your feet again
14 Maybe you'll get a replacement
15 There's plenty like me to be found
16 Mongrels who ain't got a penny Sniffing for tidbits like you on the ground
17 So goodbye yellow brick road Where the dogs of society howl
18 You can't plant me in your penthouse I'm going back to my plough
19 Back to the howling old owl in the woods Hunting the horny back toad
20 Oh I've finally decided my future lies Beyond the yellow brick road
(Source 4)

Initially when I heard the song "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" it was being sung by the artist Sara Bareilles (source 1) in an extremely dramatic and slow way, as opposed to Elton John's original poppy song. This made me look at this song with a very deep vision. Instantly when I hear "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" a vision of the Wizard Of Oz is painted in my mind. But to me this song is not the literally about Dorothy and the land of Oz. They are just metaphors. I see it as getting lured into a life that isn't really who you are and getting surrounded by people that aren't a true reflection of what you want. This song to me is a song about waking up and trying to come back to reality when you realize your life isn't really yours. It usually takes a hurt that makes us want to go back to our comfort zone, which is what I think line 3 is saying. "The Dogs Of Society" in the song refer to the image of a luxury lifestyle that everyone wants to have, but as we see in the poem once you have it, you just long for your roots whether that be your home or your old soul. Line 14 and 15 say "Maybe you'll get a replacement, there's plenty like me to be found" which means in this high in of society life, everyone is the same and your originality is not even seen. Even though most of our lives are "ordinary" they are a reelection of who we are, so when we loose sight of that it is only natural to long for our lives again. "When are you going to come down" (line 1) is basically asking "when are you going to go back to the real you?" Each line in this poem possesses lots of imagery and details to create a clear picture. The tone in this poem is regretful and almost pleading.


Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

Mona-Lisa.jpg

1 And now I know
2 Spanish Harlem are not just pretty words to say
3 I thought I knew
4 But now I know that rose trees never grow
5 In New York City
6 Until you've seen this trash can dream come true
7 You stand at the edge while people run you through
8 And I thank the Lord
9 There's people out there like you
10 I thank the Lord there's people out there like you
11 While Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
12 Sons of bankers, sons of lawyers
13 Turn around and say good morning to the night
14 For unless they see the sky
15 But they can't and that is why
16 They know not if it's dark outside or light
17 This Broadway's got
18 It's got a lot of songs to sing
19 If I knew the tunes I might join in
20 I'll go my way alone
21 Grow my own, my own seeds shall be sown, in New York City
22 Subway's no way for a good man to go down
23 Rich man can ride and the hobo he can drown
24 And I thank the Lord for the people I have found
25 I thank the Lord for the people I have found
26 While Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
27 Sons of bankers, sons of lawyers
28 Turn around and say good morning to the night
29 For unless they see the sky
30 But they can't and that is why
31 They know not if it's dark outside or light
32 And now I know
33 Spanish Harlem are not just pretty words to say
34 I thought I knew
35 But now I know that rose trees never grow
36 In New York City
37 Subway's no way for a good man to go down
38 Rich man can ride and the hobo he can drown
39 And I thank the Lord for the people I have found
40 I thank the Lord for the people I have found
41 While Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
42 Sons of bankers, sons of lawyers
43 Turn around and say good morning to the night
44 For unless they see the sky
45 But they can't and that is why
46 They know not if it's dark outside or light
47 They know not if it's dark outside or light
(Source 3)

This is my favorite Elton John song. There is so much symbolism in it that can be interpreted in several different ways, allowing this analysis to be creative. The first thing that I see is all the references to time. Line 28 "Turn around and say good morning to the night" is a metaphor about how time is flying by. Morning and night start to blend together because life goes by so fast. On the contrary line 29- 31 talk about how life does fly by but if you are one of the few that appreciates each day you will better understand the value of life. This is also a song of realization that life is kind of brutal. Mona Lisa's are fake people with frozen smiles and mad hatters are crazy people. Nothing comes easy and life isn't fair for everyone. But what makes life worth while are the few beautiful people. "I thank the Lord, there's people out there like you" (line 10) emphasizes this point. Life doesn't value you, people do. "Rose Trees never grow in New York City" is a metaphor that life doesn't just give you opportunities at your feet. (line 4 and 5) Later in the poem he states "I'll go my way alone grow my own, my own seeds shall be sown, in New York City" meaning that even though New York isn't giving him opportunities, he is going to make his own opportunities and not wait around and feel entitled to a dream. Throughout this poem we see analogies, metaphors, and symbolism that have way more of a deeper meaning than what is at the surface.

Rocket Man

1 She packed my bags last night, pre-flight
2 Zero hour, nine AM
3 And I'm gonna be high as a kite by then
4 I miss the earth so much, I miss my wife
5 It's lonely out in space
6 On such a timeless flight

7 And I think it's gonna be a long, long time
8 Till touch down brings me 'round again to find
9 I'm not the man they think I am at home
10 Oh, no, no, no, I'm a rocket man
11 Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone

12 Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids
13 In fact, it's cold as Hell
14 And there's no one there to raise them if you did
15 And all this science I don't understand
16 It's just my job five days a week
17 A rocket man, a rocket man
18 And I think it's gonna be a long, long time

I wasn't going to use this song at first, but then I read it and saw it in a whole new light. This song is almost spoken from a perspective of a father who abandoned his children. We criticize fathers who aren't present in their child's life, but we never think about their reasoning. I can see being in such mess, that you don't want to bring your offspring into that mess. You don't want to have a relationship with your children until you have your life in order. The line "Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids In fact, it's cold as hell" of this poem shows this. Many fathers may miss their children and want a relationship, but they know they are not in a place to have a part in raising them so they stay absent. There are several metaphors in this poem including the title "Rocket Man". "Rocket Man" is basically saying that this guy is someone is has had to separate himself from his life, and is "up in space." "Timeless Flight" is a metaphor for a journey of getting himself together that he doesn't know long it will take. Elton John seems to use a regular rhyme scheme to make his songs for clear and the message easier to follow. There is a regular meter and lots of repetition to emphasize certain messages. The phrase "I think its gonna be a long long time" is repeated several times to show his long process of helping himself.

Your Song


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

5 If I was a sculptor but then again, no
6 Or a man who makes potions in a traveling show
7 Oh, I know it's not much but it's the best I can do
8 My gift is my song
9 And this one's for you

10 And you can tell everybody this is your song
11 It may be quite simple but now that it's done
12 I hope you don't mind
13 I hope you don't mind
14 That I put down in words
15 How wonderful life is while you're in the world

16 I sat on the roof and kicked up the moss
17 Well, a few of the verses, well, they've got me quite cross
18 But the sun's been quite kind
19 While I wrote this song
20 It's for people like you that
30 Keep it turned on

31 So excuse me forgetting
32 But these things, I do
33 You see, I've forgotten
34 If they're green or they're blue
35 Anyway, the thing is, what I really mean
36 Yours are the sweetest eyes I've ever seen

37 And you can tell everybody this is your song
38 It may be quite simple but
39 Now that it's done
40 I hope you don't mind
41 I hope you don't mind
42 That I put down in words
43 How wonderful life is while you're in the world
44 I hope you don't mind
45 I hope you don't mind
46That I put down in words
47 How wonderful life is while you're in the world

I love this song for so many different reasons. This song expresses love in a kind, non provocative way. When I read it I saw the message of this song as a man trying to say that he loved this person so much he wanted to give them his most intimate and special part of himself, his song. He says "Or a man who makes potions in a traveling show Oh, I know it's not much but it's the best I can do, My gift is my song" which to me shows that everyone has their different ways of expressing love and that he wished he could show his love in so many ways, but his song was the most special. Another line that expresses his love is "But the sun's been quite kind..it's people like you that keep it turned on." This is showing how he thinks so highly of her personality that he believes it powers the world. His use of the word sun is showing how bright of a light he thinks she is. Elton John uses repetition through this song. He repeats "I hope you don't mind" several times clearly showing that he hopes that his talent and his voice are enough for her. His rhyme scheme is also evident. His flowing rhyme makes his message of love very clear to read and listen too. It also makes it a more friendly tone. The tone of this poem is very loving and not aggressive Although he says he wants to buy her a house its more of a "I want to do life with you" tone instead of a possessive one.








Works Cited


1. "Sara Barielles Cover of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." Youtube. Sara Barielles, 15 July 2013. Web. Mar.-Apr. 2015.


2. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 09 Mar. 2016.


3. "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters." Google Play. Google. Web. Jan.-Feb. 2015.


4."Elton John Lyrics." AZ Lyrics. Musixmatch, 2000. Web. Jan.-Feb. 2016.


5. "Rocket Man." Google Play. Google, 2000. Web. Jan.-Feb. 2016.

6. "Elton John- Your Song." Youtube. Elton John, 1970. Web. Jan.-Feb. 2016.