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1 Dec 2007

The Story Behind "Elton's Song"

"I wrote the lyric for this song" explained lyricist Tom Robinson. "Unusually for those times EJ commissioned a video director, Russell Mulcahy, to shoot clips for the entire album, not just the singles. That's how come this clip exists, even though the song was never a single". The resulting collection was released under the title VISIONS on Videodisc (an early precursor of DVD on large LP-sized discs), which didn't catch on much outside Japan and parts of the USA.

The video was directed by Russell Mulcahy and written by Keith Williams and was not based on Lindsay Anderson's movie "If" but an idea supplied by Elton John himself who wanted a mini-movie made from the song without him necessarily having to appear/perform in it.

The theme of unrequited homosexual love on this video caused a controversy, when it was released, with tabloid news headlines like "Elton's gay video shocker". Apparently the headmaster of the school where this was shot had no idea of what the film was about, and it may be that the video had to be quietly withdrawn.

According to Elton John, the dark and noir "Elton's Song" remains a favorite, and he very occasionally revives it for live performances. Recently singer John Legend has sampled this song. It has the same tune, but different words. It was released on July 27, 2007.

Elton's Song lyrics:
Music by Elton John
Lyrics by Tom Robinson

"Staring all alone
And your grace and style
Cut me to the bone
With your razor blade smile
I watched you playing pool
It's all around the school that I love you

I love your gypsy hair
And dark brown eyes
Always unprepared
For your pointed replies
Cynical and lean
I lie awake and dream about you

If you only knew
What I'm going through
Time and again I get ashamed
To say your name
It's hard to grin and bear
When you're standing there
My lips are dry
I catch your eye and look away

Sitting in my room
I've got it bad
Crying for the moon
They think I'm mad
They say it isn't real
But I know what I feel and I love you

But I would give my life
For a single night beside you

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