Yesterday was Valentines Day, and I found myself trying to figure out what my favorite Elton John love songs are. It came to me that I don’t think there are as many love songs (in the classic sense of the term) as you might think (especially with a portfolio as long and robust as the boys’). So many of Bernie’s lyrics are truly story telling, picture painting – a “mini movie,” as Elton has oft described them.
What do you think constitutes a love song? There are so many different kinds of love. I am drawn to songs that portray the realities of love, even a love that has not ended well. (I love books and movies that make me cry, too – can you spot a trend)?
Most of us have had several experiences with love, each one providing a different stroke, color or texture to the portrait of who we are.
If I were to rank my top 10 Elton John/Bernie Taupin love songs, today it would be:
- Original Sin: Beyond control, passionate love (“I can’t eat, can’t sleep, still I hunger for you when you look at me. That face, those eyes, all the sinful pleasures deep inside“)
- Amoreena: Innocent love (“Lately I’ve been thinking how much I miss my lady, Amoreena’s in the cornfield brightening the daybreak, living like a lusty flower, running through the grass for hours, rolling through the hay like a puppy child“)
- Pinky: A first real love (“You don’t want to tell me but somehow you’ve guessed that I know, oh when dawn came this morning you discovered a feeling that burned like a flame in your soul“)
- Come Down in Time: Unrequited love (“There are women and women and some hold you tight, while some leave you counting the stars in the night“)
- The Greatest Discovery: Brotherly love (“And all you ever learned from them, until you grew much older, did not compare with when they said, this is your brand new brother“)
- The One: Relieved that I finally found my one love (“In the instant that you love someone, in the second that the hammer hits, Reality runs up your spine and the pieces finally fit”)
- Blues for Baby and Me: Rebellious love (“I called you my child, said honey now this is our game, there’s two of us to play it and I’m happy to be home again“)
- Tonight: This is how it really is love (“Tonight, just let the curtains close in silence…Tonight, why not approach with less defiance the man who’d love to see you smile, who’d love to see you smile…Tonight“)
- The Last Song: Love that sets you free (“I can’t believe you love me, I never thought you’d come, I guess I misjudged love between a father and his son“)
- I Must Have Lost it on the Wind: Grateful for love, in all its shapes and forms (“And from one you learn something, and another you learn nothing, and there’s one who might teach you everything“)
[Side note: I’ve blogged about all of the Top 10 except The One. Hmmmm…]
Honorable mentions go to:
- Tiny Dancer
- Oceans Away
- We All Fall in Love Sometimes
- Feel Like a Bullet (in the Gun of Robert Ford)
- (Of course) Your Song
And probably quite a few more that should’ve made one of these two lists! (Ok, so I guess there are certainly more “love songs” than I originally surmised. And I’m sure if you asked me tomorrow, my Top 10 list would be different).
And then there is Believe – probably in the Top 10 for a lot of you. Can I be honest? This is one song that, dare I say (as I brace myself for the arrows), I really don’t like that much. I always felt like the music didn’t fit the words (that it was a bit too much like a funeral dirge and that the lyrics were too simplistic for such lofty thoughts). With that said, though, it is amazing live, so it has grown on me.
What are YOUR favorite Elton John/Bernie Taupin love songs? I’d really like to know which ones hold a special place in your heart. And Happy (belated) Valentines Day to you, too!