Ok, so there’s a funny story behind this song (at least I think it’s funny). I was in college when I first heard Elton’s Song, and I must admit that I thought (or more accurately, hoped) that he could very well be singing about me:
I love your gypsy hair
And dark brown eyes
For your pointed replies
And then I read a review of the album (The Fox), and the reviewer described the song as a Elton’s “homoerotic lament.” HEAVY.SIGH.
So that’s my funny story. Today I can LOL, but back then, I could only be disappointed.
It’s hard to grin and bear
When you’re standing there
My lips are dry
I catch your eye and look away
Haven’t we all felt that way about someone, sometime? Truly, it’s irrelevant your gender or sexual orientation.
I do find this song quite poignant, regardless of the “true” meaning. Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, let me submit that meaning is in the ears and heart of the listener. So to me, it is still my song just the same. (I know, silly girl).
Elton takes a mournful approach to the music, quite appropriate for the lyrics, because the protagonist is ashamed of his feelings. And the music is also quite stark, which is reminiscent of how alone he feels.
Now seeing the video (it was banned in 1981 because it was quite controversial), I realize I was way off in my aspirations for this song, but it is still a beautiful piece, one that I can’t help but hold close to my heart even to this day.
Oh yes, the lyrics to this song were not written by Bernie, but by Tom Robinson.
Elton’s Song (The Fox – 1981)