My daughter turned seventeen recently, and lo and behold, it dawned on me that my son will turn twenty in January. Which, of course, triggered that one degree of separation synapse in my brain and (flash!) Between Seventeen and Twenty came to mind.
Supposedly, Bernie wrote this song about his first wife Maxine (she of Tiny Dancer fame). He met her when she was 17 and he 20. They were divorced when this song was released, and she had fallen for Elton’s new bassist, Kenny Passerelli.
I wonder who’s sleeping in your sheets tonight
Whose head rests upon the bed
Could it be a close friend I knew so well
Who seems to be so close to you instead
Close to you instead
It is also rumored that the song could be about Bernie and Elton, because Bernie was 17 and Elton 20 when they met. And not long after Blue Moves was released, Bernie and Elton went on their separate (but thankfully short lived!) ways. Personally, I prefer (and tend to believe) the first story line.
Of course, I have my own “between seventeen and twenty” story. As if. Mine is nowhere near as dramatic as either of the two above, but my first long-term relationship spanned that very same timeframe and those very same ages. We were both the same age, though, so the story line diverges from there. And I had never felt about that person like Bernie felt about Maxine when he wrote Tiny Dancer. But it was an impactful time in my life nonetheless, especially the twenty part (when I asserted my independence). And let’s just leave it at that.
So much has flown between the years
When I was twenty and you were seventeen
I’m hypothesizing now that many of you, too, have your own “between seventeen and twenty” stories. It’s a time in most people’s lives that is rife with new experience: High school, testing the waters, love, heartbreak, college, moving away from home and so much more. What’s your “between seventeen and twenty” story?
Oh, and I wish my two children their own memorable “between seventeen and twenty” experiences, too (preferably without the heartbreak and rebelliousness).
Between Seventeen and Twenty (Blue Moves – 1976)