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30 Sept 2008

The Story Behind "Candle In The Wind"

"Candle in the Wind" is one of Elton's best-known classics. It's really sad because it's dedicated to Marilyn Monroe. The song took its title from a newspaper cutting that was about the death of Janis Joplin, but the sentiment was for Marilyn Monroe.

Bernie wrote “Candle in the wind” to illustrate how the Hollywood Star system could destroy that which it so desperatly sought to create. In the lyrics, Bernie tried to convey his belief that people fell for Marylin not because she was a sex object, but because they saw her vulnerability and wanted to comfort and protect her. “I wanted to say that it wasn't just a sex thing. That she was someone everybody could fall in love with, without being out of reach” explained Bernie.

“Candle in the wind” was released as a British single in February 1974, making number eleven in the charts. In January 1988, he had had a surprise single hit with his live Australian concert version of the song, which made number five in Britain and six in America.

For years, it has been the farewell encore of every concert, moving the audience to strike matches and cigarette lighters, and hold them aloft as in one huge, dark altar of frailly flickering candle flames. In Elton's words: “It's the only song I've ever written where I get goose bumps every time I play it”.

“Candle in the wind” Covers by other artists:
BB Band; Kate Bush; Classic Dream Orchestra; pianist Richard Clayderman; Countdown Singers; Roberto Danova; Sandy Denny; Eric Donaldson; Junior English; Evening Star Orchestra; James Galway; Innovations; Kostia; Erich Kunzel; Byron Lee; Bill Lefler; Moods Unlimited Orchestra; Moonlight String Orchestra; John Morgan Orchestra; ONeill Brothers; David Osborne; Overtures; Panpipes; Dwight Pinkney; Tim Reed; Jorge Rico; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Shadows; Spectrum; Starlite Orchestra; Boko Suzuki; David Syme; Synthesizer Rock Orchestra; Gary Tesca Orchestra; Tribute; Danny Wright; David Young.

Elton sang the song, a personal favourite of Princess Diana Spencer, at her funeral. Months earlier Elton had cradled the princess in his arms at the death of their mutual friend, designer Gianni Versace. Who first had the idea that popstar Elton John should sing at the funeral service will never be absolutely clear: Diana's elder sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale, or Virgin tycoon Richard Branson, a moving spirit in the funeral organisation. The number that Elton first considers playing was “Your song” but one whose first line “It's a little bit funny...” may not be quite suited to present circumstances. At least, Elton phoned Bernie in America and asked him to rework the lyrics of the original 1974 song. The Royal family have indicated that they are special uncomfortable with the original line “Loneliness was tough, the toughest role you ever played (...) Even when you died, all the press still hounded you (...). After only a couple of hours, he faxed the new lyrics to Elton, which in turn faxed them to the Prime Minister and Diana's family for approval. Numerous people protested that the song should not call Princess Diana “England's rose”, sice she was princess to the people of Scotland and Wales too. But the lyrics remained as written.

The best-selling single in the history was this Elton's "Candle in the wind 1997" tribute to Lady Diana Spencer, bringing 1 multiplatinum, six platinum and 19 gold.

The Story Behind "Bennie And The Jets"

Lyricist Bernie Taupin -- the man who wrote the words for Elton John -- talked about how he turned such phrases into solid gold rock'n'roll. "I'm a title freak," explained Bernie. "My usual method of writing is by titles. If I come up with a really good title, then I'll build a song around it. I'll be walking down the street, or in the bath, scrubbing my back. I'll think of a line and say, 'Now that's good. I'll have to build a song around it.' Or, I'll just think of a subject."

Bernie has explained that the song is about a futuristic rock’n’roll band made up of identical-looking female David Bowie types, that reaches the top of the charts. It refers subtly to a “hip” early girlfriend of Bernie, Sally Bennington, “Bennie”.

In 1974, there was one subject that Bernie and Elton could hardly keep from thinking about, and that was the worldwide record industry. As the hottest single performer of the seventies, Elton got to witness and experience far more of the multifaceted music scene than nearly any other participant. He was, at once, a pop fan, record collector, record producer, performer, singer, songwriter, spokesman, musician, actor, and owner-director of his own label (Rocket Records). He was also, to millions, the logical successor to Elvis Presley and the Beatles -- a kind of bizarre but beloved musical messiah.

"Bennie and the Jets" was written as a satire, lyrically poking fun at the trendy nature of the mid-seventies music scene. Oddly enough, though, it was nearly not pulled as a single. MCA fully intended to release another album track, "Candle in the Wind." However, WJLB, Detroit's number one black station, began playing "Bennie" experimentally as an album cut. Within a matter of days, 80 percent of all phone requests were for "Bennie and the Jets." Rival CKLW then added the song, and MCA was forced to issue it as a 45.

That was in February 1974. By April, "Bennie and the Jets" was a gold record, and America's number-one hit, both pop and R&B. Elton helped that along by visiting both kinds of deejays, and making a rare TV appearance on the dance show, "Soul Train." "Bennie and the Jets" clung to the charts for more than four months, selling over two million copies.

The album it was off didn't do too poorly, either. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road remained in the LP Top 10 for three-quarters of the year. "It is like the ultimate album for me," said Elton. "It takes in everything I've ever written, or sounded like. Now I've got to start all over again."

Bennie And The Jets
Lyrics by Bernie Taupin / Music by Elton John

"Hey kids, shake it loose together
The spotlight's hitting something
That's been known to change the weather
We'll kill the fatted calf tonight
So stick around
You're gonna hear electric music
Solid walls of sound

Say, Candy and Ronnie, have you seen them yet
But they're so spaced out, Bennie and the Jets
Oh but they're weird and they're wonderful
Oh Bennie she's really keen
She's got electric boots a mohair suit
You know I read it in a magazine
Bennie and the Jets

Hey kids, plug into the faithless
Maybe they're blinded
But Bennie makes them ageless
We shall survive, let us take ourselves along
Where we fight our parents out in the streets
To find who's right and who's wrong

28 Sept 2008

The Eltonite's Day: My special guest is... TheFox1981!!!!

Well, this is the “Live (II)” Tour. When I wrote this week, I thought about inviting an eltonite from one of those countries that meant something special in Elton’s career. I thought about the 1979 “A Single Man Tour” because Elton tried to play in places that hadn’t been before, where he had great fans following him, where it was difficult to buy his albums, and it was the first time that a western singer performed in one of those: it’s Russia. So I’ve been in touch with an special guest, from there... welcome TheFox1981. I am really happy you accept the invitation. Thanks!!!

First... Could you tell us, please, who are you and where are you from?

Hello! My name is Ira. I'm from Moscow, Russia, and I'm a BIG Elton fan, just like you.

Right. When did you became an Eltonite? Remember the first time you heard Elton's music and what moves you to buy his music?

I've been crazy about Elton and his music for 21 years since the very first time I saw one of his videos on TV when I was only 6. That time I didn't know English at all and of course couldn't read the name of the artist. It took me a couple of years to learn that my fascination was Elton John. They didn't often broadcast foreign videos here those years, but if I managed pitch upon some EJ clip on TV or a song over the radio, I rushed to my VHS recorder or inserted a tape into my radio/cassette recorder and later on had much fun watching and listening to those masterpieces. I still have them :) Elton's music charms me, and what I like most is that he improvises in various music styles.

Wow!!! Which is your Elton's item that you really appreciate, for being hard to get or for the happiness you've got to have it?

I can't say I have many EJ items, I'm not a collector, and it's music that I care for in the first place. But I've got a pretty bunch of clippings (articles and pictures), some photos (one is signed but I can't say for sure it's authentic), a poster of Elton from the 90s (from Hi-Fi & Music), of course all albums, VHSs and DVDs with Elton's concerts, clips and interviews, and some books about our Captain. I've got 2 gramophone records (Soviet Union Melodia edition 1987) with songs from 1969-71 and 1971-72, guess these are the only rarities I possess lol. I love the t-shirt (black, Rocket Man the Definitive Hits) my partner presented me with when we went to the St. Petersburg gig. The only problem with, it is that the t-shirt is XXL but I am M, though S fits me better LOL. But the items I really appreciate are the concert tickets 'cos they remind me of the wonderful time I had at the gigs.

Hahaha. Nice story!!! And what it was like seeing Elton for the first time and how many concerts have you been? And also, could you tell us if you ever have been in touch with him? Have ever exchanged words with him?

I've been to only two EJ concerts (sob). The first time Elton came to Russia was in 1979, but it was before I was born. Then he came in 95, 01 and 03, but I was too young and my parents didn't allow me to go. I remember banging the doors and refusing to talk to them lol

The last time he came was 2007, and this time I was like no matter what it costs me I go! and had a run of two gigs, first St. Petersburg July 6, and then Moscow September 18.

St. Petersburg had something special in storage for us EJ fans. In the morning and afternoon the weather was great, the sun was shining. The gig was to begin at 7.30. At approximately 7.15 the blue sky turned to black (no, not grey, it was black!) (exactly above Dvortsovaja Square where the stage was) and the pouring rain washed away all the VIPs lol only real fans stayed there wondering if the gig will be postponed. The stage staff covered and uncovered the piano, tried to repair one of the big screens in which lightning hit, securities ran nervously to and fro 'cos fans jumped up onto the plastic seats and all together moved closer towards the stage. We all were drenched to the skin, umbrellas were useless. ELTON, YOU ARE THE GOD!!! When it was pouring hard and thunder rolled across the sky, Elton sat down to his piano and the magnificient sounds of "Funeral for a friend/Love lies bleeding" hit the air. Now imagine the weather, and you will understand how terrific those sounds were... Then it was a solid wall of sound, Elton rocked his best. It seemed he felt sorry for us and tried to cheer us up with rocks and particularly passionate performing. He played us some extras. The list: FfF/LLB, The Bitch is Back, Hercules, Madman across the Water, Tiny Dancer, Daniel, Rocket Man, Honky Cat, Sacrifice, IGTWTCitB, Burn Down the Mission, The Bridge, SStbtHW, Candle in the Wind, Benny and the Jets, Philadelphia Freedom, Are You Ready for Love, Something about the Way You Look Tonight, Sad Songs, I'm Still Standing, Crocodile Rock, SNAfF, DLtSGDoM, and Your Song. Euphoria was in the air. What a gig it was!!!

A month later it was Moscow. Well...the Kremlin...a beautiful historic sight... and definitely NOT a place for a rock gig. (Why does he like performing there so much??? =\ ) The gig was half an hour late, the first rows were full of fat cats and celebrities most of whom had no idea who Elton John is. Securities said they were filming something and didn't allow us stand up from our seat (already boring). Thank god, there was a group of EJ fans who dared go nap and when Elton was playing "Saturday Night's..." they rushed to the stage. I was among them with a huge bunch of flowers for Elton and a letter I wrote to him. Now it was much better standing there in the aisle dancing and singing together with other like-minded people. I was lucky enough to present Elton with the flowers and he was very kind to come to me once again to pick the letter wow I didn't pluck courage to call him for a third time to get his autograph lol Despite all the problems with the spotlights which blinded Elton and the audience, not very good sound from the dynamics, the hall full of people who came there only to show off, Elton perfomed perfectly, and mentioned Rastropovich, a Russian musician who was his friend.

That's great!!! And... how was the success of Elton John in your country? Which references had russians about Elton, specially after the 1979 gigs? Was there a regular market of western pop music? And are there so many eltonites now?

I can't remember the Soviet time very well, I was still too young. But what I know is that Russians (especially youngsters) were always crazy about foreign musicians. I guess Elton was not a top priority (everybody loved Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, ABBA of course, Chilintano and others). It was extremely difficult to find a tape of just any foreign musician, so if some lucky person was allowed to go abroad he would bring some records and re-record them for friends, they would do the same for their friends and so on. So you can imagine the quality of those records the country was listening to lol And of course if some foreign star came to our country people did their best to get to the concert. So, when Elton came in 1979 I guess everyone wanted to be there. Most tickets were given to Communistic Party workers, and very few were available for ordinary people. There were Elton fans those times but I don't think there were many of them. Then it was like 'bring us something foreign and we'll buy it' lol Now everything is different, and yes here are lots of EJ fans. But Russia is not a country where you'll see people wearing EJ t-shirts even when it's his gig, very few of us would make some special sign to show Elton our love, we won't wear oversized glasses or pink jackets with green stripes and blue buttons. Most people adore him ...hmm...silently. I bet everyone knows at least two or three of his songs even if they are not EJ fans. But Elton, dear, don't make us sing la-la-la-la-la-la in "Crocodile Rock", we just can't remember the words LOL

Perfect. Had Elton's record company published some compilations in your country, over the years, particularly different from other countries? If so, which were the name of the compilations and the tracks in?

Hm... I'm not the best sourse of information of this kind... I can only tell about the ones I've got.

1. A tape "Ballads", no info about the publisher. Side A: Sacrifice, Nikita, Easier to Walk Away, Blue Eyes, Sad Songs, Song for Guy. Side B: You Gotta Love Someone, Your Song, Rocket Man, Daniel, SStBtHW, Too Low for Zero.
2. CD from GrandCollection (1 of 18) by KvadroDisk (1997) (lots of typos): Believe, It Ain't Gonna be Easy, Big Dipper, Can You Feel the Love Tonight, Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest (and that's it, no Word), Blessed, The End Will Come, Crocodile Rock, I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That, Theme From a Non-Existen TV SERIES, Don't Go Breaking My Heart, Runaway Train, Good BUY Yellow Brick Road (LOL), Have Mercy On the Criminal, We All FOOL in Love Sometimes (LOL), The Big Picture, Candle In the Wind.
3. CD King Of Great Music (Elton John) by Alba Records (2001): Take Me to the Pilot, Madman Across the Water, Honky Cat, Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters,Levon, Your Song, Country Comfort, Ballad of a Well-Known Gun, Son of Your Father, Amoreena, Tiny Dancer, I Think I'm Going to Kill Myself, Rocket Man, The Greatest Discovery, Empty Sky, Skyline Pigeon.
4. MP3 (4 discs) from Domashniaya Kollektsia (Home Collection) by Delta-MM Corp / Navigator (Programma 2000) (2001) contains EJ's bio, pics, lyrics and 36 albums (among the others: Rare Masters 1,2; The Lion King, The Muse, Aida, The Road to El Dorado).
5. Gramophone record "Honky Cat" by Melodia (1987). Side A: Levon, Razor Face, All the Nasties, Daniel. Side B: Madman Across the Water, Rocket Man, Honky Cat, Crocodile Rock.
6. Gramophone record "Your Song" by Melodia (1987). Side A: Your Song, Son of Your Father, Where to Now St. Peter, Talking Old Soldiers, Ballad of a Well-known Gun. Side B: Border Song, Tiny Dancer, Country Comfort, Amoreena, Goodbye.

Thank you!! You know this is "Live" week. Which could be a great set list, in your opinion? Is there any song that Elton hasn't played yet, and you think that he should do it? And you prefer the Elton's solo tours or better with band? With the same musicians as his current band or you miss someone of the past?

I love Elton's rock songs, those fast ones, you know. I really loved the list he played in St. Petersburg. Though I like almost every song of Elton, still I must confess I'm fed up with Greatest Hits! I wanna hear him play something rare, old and new. I'd love him play "And The House Fell Down", "Rotten Peaches", "Val-Hala", "Screw You", "Teacher I need You", "Where to now St. Peter", "I Think I'm Going to Kill Myself", "Slow Rivers" (oh, don't get me started, there are hundreds of songs I wanna hear live!!!!!)

I like it more when Elton plays with the band, I like guitars and drums. With the band on stage he plays more rocks. But if it's solo tour he brings here someday, be sure I'll go :) it's a different experience and I wanna have that too.

I loved Ray Cooper a lot, a genius.

He is, sure!!! Finally, could you tell me your five favourite Elton John's songs in running order, for my AllSongsList, please?

Oh no, this torture again! lol Really difficult... I know! I'll cheat you! :)

1. Everything that is rock-n-roll and dancing (yeah, yeah, I'm old-fashioned)
2. Songs with religion and politics in them (don't know, just like them)
3. Humorous songs
4. Duets
5. hm.. Love song?
At least this is the list of today, tomorrow it can be different :)

Hahaha Thank you!! Would you want to add some observation or suggestion, or something you want to say to other eltonites?

Being an EJ fan I've met a lot of interesting and nice people. EJ fans are like a big family and that's cool! Keep on rocking!

Yes, we are a great family!!! Oh, what do you think about recent news of Elton going to studio again for a 2009 album? What type of album would you expect? And the record's company release of more DeLuxe editions, without forgetting an special box of Elton's duets and rock numbers, and so on?

Oh, if it's true and Elton finally cuts a new album. What can I say... GREAT!!! He should have done that a couple of years ago LOL Will buy it no matter what it is, but I don't want another Songs from The West Coast, maybe something from the east this time? lol no seriously I would love something like The One.

I haven't bought any of Deluxes yet and not sure I will. Here they cost pretty a lot and I don't understand it why pay such huge sums for two or three songs which I can listen to on the Net. If they release a disk with rarities and songs which haven't been released yet I will pay for that for sure. I've got Dream Ticket, Rocket Man and MSG 60 and they are worth every rouble I paid :)

Thanks a bunch, TheFox1981. Really a pleasure to chat with you. I was funny doing this interview with you, it was an enjoyable and worth experience for me and you did it very very well.Thank you. Take care.

Thank you Miquel for inviting me. You know I didn't fancy it at first, but the interview was really great and I enjoyed every minute of it. You made me cast my mind back to the times I can't remember lol, and thanks to you I lived through the fun times again. Thank you. Cheers.


27 Sept 2008

The Story Behind "Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend"

On 3th April 2000, Elton was feted by Broadway stars at the New Amsterdam Theatre in a concert to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS on what was titled "This Is Your Song: Broadway Sings Elton John". Theatre luminaires as Betty Buckley, Andrea McArdle, Sandra Bernhard, Adam Pascal & Heather Headley or Deborah Gibson, sang some of Elton's hits even less-than-obvious selections like "Country Comfort" or "The Last Song".

Elton's band rehearsed for four days prior the concert with the various artists "the performers were singin' Elton's songs in either different keys or varying arrengements. We really were relearning them to some extent. It kept us on our toes and made for a fun show from our standpoint" explained guitarrist John Jorgensson, then on the band. Nigel Olsson was back on drums after long time.

Elton hit the stage bathed in glittery diamonds on his ears, wrists, feet and atop his head. Flanked by a group of bare-chested Chippendale's dancers, Elton gave Marylin Monroe a run for her money with his sassy version of "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend", with the approval of the crowd.

Sources from AllSongsList archive and EEL #39

25 Sept 2008

The Story Behind "Children Of The Revolution"

When Elton joined Marc Bolan in 1972 to this T-Rex classic, couldn't imagine that another version, this time with rebel Pete Doherty, from Babyshambles, would be his worst ever duetting performance. Not for Elton, who sang an energetic performance, but for Pete's erratic behaviour.

Dressed in an Edwardian military cropped jacket - like those favoured by The Libertines in their early days - and heavy Marc Bolan-style eye make-up, and introduced by Elton as "the new talent", Pete Doherty delivered the most infamous show. Reviews called the performance "terrible" Elton John has since blamed it on the singers nerves. Doherty blamed it on Bob Geldof's daughter Peaches: "Just before I went on stage, she whispered something rather suggestive to me. It left me in such shock I didn't know where I was...".

Elton told The Daily Telegraph: "We rehearsed it and it was absolutely tip-top, but on the day he was really nervous. He's a mess. It's really sad." Elton added: "I don't think the people around Pete set a good example. But you know he had his chance to do it. At least he looked great!"

George Michael, for his part, said: "I don't know Elton was hoping to achieve by doing a duet with Pete Doherty at Live 8. It was almost like it was Doherty's duty to be wasted and stumble about on stage".

24 Sept 2008

The Story Behind "La Cienaga Just Smiled"

Coming out of Raleigh, N.C., Adams works in a country-rock hybrid similar to the Byrds or Gram Parsons. Elton has called Adams' "Heartbreaker" albums as "the most beautiful album of 2000," and he credits the work with inspiring him to get back to basics on his album, "Songs From the West Coast": "If I hadn't heard Heartbreaker, I'd probably be lost in overproduction somewhere" explained Elton.

The night Ryan Adams and Elton John shared a stage together, was on April 2, 2002. Showing his deep admiration for Ryan Adams, Sir Elton John addressed the young rock and roller as "fabulous one" during a taping for "CMT Crossroads", in Studio A at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. "Let's see if you know this one," Elton John says modestly, leading into his classic "Tiny Dancer." The two artists collaborated on all performances of the one-hour show, with additional interview and behind-the-scenes footage.

"La Cienega Just Smiled"
Lyrics by Ryan Adams

"Oh the night... here it comes again"
It's on with the jeans, the jacket and the shirt
How'd I end up feeling so bad
For such a little girl
And I hold you close in the back of my mind
Feels so good but damn it makes me hurt
And I'm too scared to know to how I feel about you now
La Cienega just smiles..."see ya around"
And I hold you close in the back of my mind
And raise my glass 'cause either way I'm dead
Neither of you really help me to sleep anymore
One breaks my body and the other breaks my soul
La Cienega just smiles as it waves goodbye
"Ah the it comes again"
It's off with the jeans, the jacket and the shirt
How'd I end up feeling so bad
For such a little girl
And I hold you close in the back of my mind
Feels so good but damn it makes me hurt
And I'm too scared to know how I feel about you now
How I feel about you now
La Cienega just smiles and says, "I'll see you around"

20 Sept 2008

Eltonite's Day With The One And Only... BiteUrLip!!!!!!!

Welcome to "The Big Picture" Week to everyone. This was the last album Elton collaborated with Chris Thomas, the producer. Elton saw the album as a Reginald Maudlin album for its romantic and slow pieces. The album had success, maybe because it came at the time of Elton's emotive performance on the Princess Diana Funeral. To chat a little about that and about Elton's world, I have to bring a person who's an incredible eltonite... Ladies & Gentlemen, from Finland, BiteUrLip!!!

But first... Could you tell us, please, who are you and where are you from?

My real name is Antti Honkasalo and I live in Turku, Finland.

Right! When did you became an Eltonite? Remember the first time you heard Elton's music and what moves you to buy his music?

I became a fan when my father bought his Greatest Hits 1970-2002 UK Bonus Edition to my mom at Christmas about six years ago or so. I didn't listen to any music back then but this compilation changed my life - the first favorite Elton song was "The One", and it still is one of my favorites although not the most favorite one. First I started to collect other famous artist's compilations too, and took long before I started to buy Elton albums. But why exactly Elton? Because he simply IS a composer genius, and his catalog includes so many great melodies/hooks and music styles that it's really amazing. I have all his albums in cd-format except Leather Jackets, and also a couple concert DVD's. ;)

Great. What was it like seeing Elton for the first time and how many concerts have you been? And also, could you tell us if you ever have been in touch with him, get a signed autograph or even, speak with him or with other member of his band?

I saw Elton the first time during his Peachtree Road tour in Turku. He played the most usual hits in that one, but also a few songs from Peachtree - "Answer In The Sky", "They Call Her The Cat" and "Turn Out The Lights When You Leave". It was a good concert although I wasn't fully able to enjoy of it - I didn't eat well before the show and that a bit spoiled the event. But still it was a good concert and I was happy to see him live with my own eyes. When he opened the show with "Your Song" it was a really emotional moment. After the concert I sent a short review of it to and it became published!! I was very happy because of that although they removed the few critics I wrote too :p

Even more amazing than that however is that I believe I was the fan behind the idea of a sequel to Captain Fantastic - I remember I made up the idea of it somewhere shortly after the release of Peachtree Road and sent a message to about it. I didn't write very much, a few sentences like "what would you think about a sequel to Captain Fantastic?" or "Elton and Bernie definitely should have many stories to tell", and I don't think that they replied to that message. But afterwards I was very amazed to notice that they took the idea, and really believe it could've been originally from me. :) That's why it would be cool to meet Elton some time (if possible) and ask about it from himself.

Wow!!! And which songs do you think Elton should add to his current set list, and what would it be life if Elton suddenly played a song that he has never played live? And your favorite live songs to be on? And, for you, which member of the band is (or was) irreplaceable? Miss someone, now?

Well I personally think (and I believe that many other fans too) that he should really get out of the seventies and take a look at his vast catalog of songs throughout the years... song like "White Lady White Powder", "Healing Hands" or "Original Sin" would all be great to hear live. About his live songs it's easier to say what are not my favorites... like "Bennie And The Jets" where I really miss the Here & There -typic performance. "Philadelphia Freedom" is another song that I think doesn't work very well live. But after all I think it's really more about luck... sometimes the band plays better, sometimes worse. That's it.

About band members would definitely like to get John Jorgensson back, his a great multi-instrumentalist and would fit well in.

Ok! And which is your Elton's item that you really appreciate, for being hard to get or for the happiness you've got to have it?

My most precious Elton item is the black & white mug I bought as a souvenir from my debut EJ concert. I think that was really a cool choice - I've been able to advertise Elton with it quite a lot. :p
On the other side of the mug there is a text "Elton John" with black on grey letters "ej". The other side has a black picture of young Elton with sunglasses. The picture is from the times of his self-titled album.

How it was, and still is, the success of Elton in your country? Which have been his hits in sales terms? And which are Finland's favorite Elton's albums or songs? And could you still hear Elton's music in the radio, nowadays? And which should do Elton's next step in his music career?

I think Elton hasn't been very succesfull here... and been better rather in countries like "Sweden". Finland is so much around heavy metal nowadays... that doesn't leave much room to anything else although I know that other styles are liked much too. Elton's most popular songs here are probably "Crocodile Rock", "Candle In The Wind" and "Can You Feel The Love Tonight?". Something like "Island Girl", "Philadelphia Freedom", "Someone Saved My Life Tonight", "Nikita" or "The One" are sadly those which are not known. And definitely not my title song I bet! :p

I see... Well, you know this is “The Big Picture” week. And it was 1997, the “Candle in the wind 1997” thing. What do you think about the rewritten song, for Princess Diana? And Elton’s performance? Or do you prefer the 1973 original Marilyn Monroe’s version, or the 1987 live version with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra?

I don't remember quite anything about the event as I was quite young back then... but today when thinking about it, in my opinion it was a great idea to redo the song again. I bet that helped many people survive from those tough times, and of course created the biggest-selling single at the same time... ;)

The best version of the song for me is however definitely the live 1987 Australian live version. Instrumentally it is very well done and Elton sings with big passion. The original version deserves full points too. The 1997 version is a bit boring to me because of the arrangement, although the new lyrics of course are great.

In the perspective of time... what do you think about Diana’s song in Elton’s career? And without that... “Something About The Way You Look Tonight” and “The Big Picture” album, would they be the hits as they were, in your opinion?

It of course helped to spread the A-side around without a doubt... and maybe improved a little the sales of The Big Picture album. But in the long time run I think the single didn't have very much effect to his new songs/albums popularity. But at least that made him more respected as an artist, at least for most of the people.

And finally, could you tell me your five favorite Elton's songs in running order, for my AllSongsList?

Yep, I know they will change and this is hard, but I will give credit for songs that are not so often seen in here. Also gotta remember my first Elton John song favorite, "The One".

1. Hard Luck Story
2. Bite Your Lip (Get Up And Dance!)
3. Island Girl
4. Someone Saved My Life Tonight
5. The One

Thank you. Would you want to add some observation or suggestion, or something you want to say to other eltonites?

Well, it has been really great to hang around the Elton fan communities with cool people so all I can say is...

Keep rockin'! ;)

Unforgettable People (XXXIV): Lady Diana

Diana Frances Spencer was born as the youngest daughter of Edward Spencer, Viscount Althorp, and his first wife, Frances Spencer, Viscountess Althorp (formerly the Honourable Frances Burke Roche) at Park House on the Sandringham estate. Diana was educated at Riddlesworth Hall in Norfolk and at West Heath Girls' School, where she was regarded as an academically below-average student, having failed all of her O-level examinations. Diana was a talented amateur singer, excelled in sports and reportedly longed to be a ballerina. Diana was working as an assistant at the Young England kindergarten in Pimlico when she met Prince Charles.

When Diana Spencer was introduced to the British public as the betrothed of the Prince of Wales, she was just 19, and seemed the epitome of the shy, pretty, slightly dim girls who spend a few years in London before returning to their natural environment among the landowning old money of the countryside. The wedding took place at St Paul's Cathedral in London on Wednesday 29 July 1981 before 3,500 invited guests (including Mrs. Parker Bowles and her husband, a godson of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother) and an estimated 1 billion television viewers around the world.

Starting in the mid-to-late 1980s, the Princess of Wales became well known for her support of charity projects, and is credited with considerable influence for her campaigns against the use of landmines and helping the victims of AIDS.

On 31 August 1997 Diana was involved in a car accident in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris, along with her friend and lover Dodi Al-Fayed, and their driver Henri Paul. "I always thought the people that really felt for her and really were true to her she just was a bit airy fairy towards in the end." said Elton about his friend. Rest in peace!!!

19 Sept 2008

The Story Behind "If The River Can Bend"

"The song is about all the possibilities if you're willing to change. Never give up, there's always hope" said Elton in wise words. "And there's so much to do. But you have to be true to yourself, because you're creating your own future".

With the line "all the boats your rocked / with your harmony" may reference the longtime union between Elton and Bernie and might be an allusion to the late "Harmony" 1973 song, "looking for an island in our boat upon the sea".

"If The River Can Bend" serves as teasing proof that the rock flame behind such early John showstoppers as "Burn Down the Mission" is far from out.

18 Sept 2008

Unforgettable People (XXXIII): David Furnish

David Furnish was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on October 25, 1962. His father, Jack, was an accountant of Bristol-Myers and Gladys Furnish, his mother was a homemaker. David graduated in 1981 from the Sir John A. Macdonald Collegiate Institute in the Scarborough Region of Toronto. He graduated from the business program at the University of Western Ontario in 1985. He worked in a middle management job at the advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather in London's docklands.

A mutual friend of Furnish and Elton John left a message for Furnish inviting him to a dinner party at Elton John's house on October 30, 1993. Initially fearing that the dinner would be unpleasant, or that John would be boring, he instead found John to be interesting and engaging. Both were attracted to each other; John asked for his phone number and the two had a private dinner the following night. Within a few weeks they were attending a film premier together.

David resigned from his position in 1994 after finding it increasingly difficult to balance the position's demands with the demands of his new life with Elton. Elton proposed to David in May 2005 at a dinner party with friends and family at their home in Old Windsor. "I've always considered myself committed to Elton and he's the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with. So in that sense, I don't feel like the dynamic of our relationship is going to change" David had said about his partner. On 21 December 2005, they entered into a civil partnership.On the actual day, a low-key ceremony with their parents, photographer Sam Taylor-Wood and her husband Jay Jopling, and John and Furnish's dog Arthur in attendance was held at the Guildhall, Windsor, followed by a lavish party at their Berkshire mansion, thought to have cost £1 million. Superintendent Registrar Clair Williams and Registrar Peter Edwards were the officiates for the ceremony. Their parents were at the small ceremony and acted as witnesses. They took their parents to lunch in a black Rolls-Royce after the ceremony. "Meeting David has been the greatest thing to happen to me. Yes, we spend a lot of time apart and it's hard, but we make it work".

With a keen interest in film, Furnish enrolled in courses at the British Film Institute. He is currently co-chief of Rocket Pictures along with Elton, and he's a contributing editor for Tatler magazine and also a regular columnist for Interview and GQ. Currently, he serves on the board of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, attending fundraisers and other events in support of that cause. Elton and David set up the company Rocket Pictures and David began to make films. His first project was "Tantrums & Tiaras" which was a warts-and-all fly-on-the-wall documentary about Elton John. It was nominated for a Bafta award in 1996.

17 Sept 2008

The Story Behind "Fly Away"

Remixed by David Morales, it starts off very mid-tempo, before breaking out into an up-tempo song with a brilliant dance beat. It was based on the Elton John song "Skyline Pigeon". On the song's lyrics, Carey comments "It was '97 and I was leaving my marriage (to Tommy Mottola) which encompassed my life” declared the diva.

It was a moderate success on charts that airplay-only singles were allowed to enter. It did not appear on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart because it was not issued as a commercial single in the United States. It was credited “Written By Carey, John, Morales, Taupin”.


"Don't be afraid to fly
Spread your wings
Open up the door
So much more outside

Don't be afraid to fly
Come spread your wings
And just fly
Come spread your wings
And you'll see it's alright to
Fly, just fly,
Don't be afraid
Don't let your spirit die

She said,
Spread your wings and prepare to fly
For you have become a butterfly
Spread your wings and prepare to fly
For you have become a butterfly
Don't be afraid
Don't be afraid
Don't be afraid to fly
Fly, so much more outside
Come spread your wings and just fly into the sun

Don't be afraid to fly
Don't be afraid to just fly
Have become a butterfly
Don't be afraid to just fly
How to fly
Oh, hey, fly
You have become a butterfly
Fly away

Ooh, oh, ooh
Butterfly, free to fly, butterfly
Oh, hey
Spread your wings and prepare to fly
For you have become a butterfly
Spread your wings and prepare to fly
For you have become a butterfly

Fly away (butterfly)
Fly away (butterfly)
Fly away (butterfly)

16 Sept 2008

The Story Behind "Candle In The Wind 1997"

On September 2, Elton got a call from businessman Richard Branson saying that princess' sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale wanted him to sing at the funeral service and he should be prepared, just in case. Elton phoned Bernie saying he needed something to sing at the funeral if this was approved, and mentioned the ubiquitousness of "Candle In The Wind" in British press and how Lady Diana liked the song.

Elton John thought Bernie Taupin's new lyrics was able to poignantly express the grief that the world was experiencing. "I tried to write it from a nation's standpoint and not as a singular person paying tribute" explained Bernie. On thursday 4th he was invited to sing at the funeral officially.

"Candle in the Wind 1997" means the difference between comfort and sorrow for those in real need, while the 1973 version was about the pressure of the Hollywood stardom and the final dying fall of a star. Unlike Marylin Monroe, Princess Diana was born to privilege, married into royalty and was willingly (for a time) sold as the fairy-tale symbol of a rotting institution. That she suffered in her marriage but used her position to help others is undeniable. And if Marylin was "whispered into her brain by traidmill operators", Diana "whispered to those in pain" who needed. It was said that the Royal Family are specially uncomfortable with the original line "even when you died, the press still hounded you", so a revision was needed.

Elton John performed the new version of Candle in the Wind - Goodbye England's Rose at the funeral for Princess Diana on September 6, 1997 in Westminster Abbey. "What was going through my mind was, 'Don't fuck this up. Don't sing a wrong note. Don't sing the wrong note. Be stoic. Don't break down and just do it to the best you can possibly do it without showing any emotion whatsoever". And so it was: Elto sang an emotionally rendition tribute to his friend, one of his best ever live performances.

The Story Behind "Something About The Way You Look Tonight"

"It was the first song I wrote for the album. Bernie came with a pile of lyrics and I wanted to pick something positive to begin with" explained Elton in the album promo. And added "The songs on the album are almost about relationships and I wanted to start with one about a relationship that was working well".

If that was a great period for Elton, for his relationship with David Furnish, Bernie was in trouble with his third marriage, that ended soon after the album's release.

Lyrically, the song was one of Bernie's best, for lines like "But in the moonlight / You just shine like a beacon on the bay", what the great reviewer Jim Turano define as the "most lazy lyric of Bernie's career".

Recently Elton dedicated live this song to his partner, David.

13 Sept 2008

The Eltonite's Day: Ladies & Gentlemen, from Missouri... The One & Only... BlueJeanBaby!!!!!!!!!

Welcome back, eltonites. After vacation, I was very keen to interview great people of Elton's fan universe. So I had to bring someone very special. Someone who said the following: "After I meet Elton John I can die happy (but not right away)" Wow!!! The lady I have here today, in the Eltonite's day, has a good sense of humour. Welcome BlueJeanBaby, it's an honour to be here with you, chatting for a while. I really like your thoughts and comments about Elton in the boards so, let's talk a little about him, if you're so kind ...

But first... Could you tell us, please, who are you and where are you from?

My real name is Karen and I live in St Louis, MO, USA. I am married and I have 2 daughters, ages 4 and 7. I am a veterinarian since 1993.

Ok!! When did you became an Eltonite? Remember the first time you heard Elton's music and what moves you to buy his music?

I don't' remember the first time I heard his music. It seems like it was always around. I guess I could say I became a serious fan when I saw the Central Park concert on HBO. I did not remember seeing him play live before that and he just blew me away. I started collecting records shortly after that. Or maybe hoarding is the correct term. : )

Right! What was it like seeing Elton for the first time and how many concerts have you been? And also, could you tell us if you ever have been in touch with him, get a signed autograph or even, speak with him or with other member of his band?

Elton came here in 1982, when I was 15 and I was not allowed to go. I had to wait 10 long years before he came back here in 1992 on The One tour. I was trembling the whole time I was so excited. I have been to 10 concerts. I feel very fortunate that I have seen him when he played the Roland, when Ray Cooper was still in the band, with a backing trio, with Billy Joel, with Voice of Atlanta, solo, and of course with the current band. I am travelling to Las Vegas in October to go see the Red Piano, so I am very excited.

I have never tried to write or contact him. I don't know what I would say that he has not heard a million times already. So I wait.

I have gotten 4 things signed at concerts, all within the last year. The rush of that first time getting up to the stage is to never be forgotten. It was shortly after my 40th birthday and I made a sign saying "I'm Celebrating My 40th Birthday with Elton John." He saw it and pointed to me and mouthed "thank you". Just being noticed by him was a huge thrill. When he came out to sign autographs before the concert, he signed "Elton X" on my sign. My friend was so intent on making sure I got an autograph she forget to get one for herself! The next show I went to, in Kansas City, I rushed the stage again and got a program signed which I gave to her. In Florida, I got my Goodbye Yellow Brick road album signed by Elton, John, Bob, Nigel and Davey and Elton signed my piano scarf.

I had the good fortune to meet all the current band members earlier this year in Florida. We were staying at the same hotel as they were. They were all very nice and were happy to sign things for us and pose for pictures. Nigel even waited for me in the lobby while I went up to my room and got my Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album. We only saw Guy in passing but he did say hi and wave to us when we said hi to him.

Wow!! Which songs Elton should added to his current set list, that songs you thought you would never hear it live in yours 40 years of elton fan and, suddenly, he played it? And your favourite songs to be on? And, for you, which member of the band is (or was) irreplaceable? Miss someone, now?

I remember being blown away the first time I head Tiny Dancer live. I had no idea what I would be hearing and that has always been my favorite song. I would like to hear him play more album cuts. It seems like when a new album comes out, he plays songs from them very briefly and then they are never heard again. I was very happy to have heard "Alice" and "Holiday Inn" live on the most recent tour. I missed "Mission" though.

I wish he would listen to those of us on his message boards and play some of the songs we are clamoring for. I would love to hear "Healing Hands" back in the set list.

My favorite band member is Nigel. I have always loved him. So cute!! I would love to see John Jorgensen and/or Ray Cooper back. John added so much to the overall sound of the band, he is a genius. Ray was just a wild man in front of a crowd and very entertaining.

Great. How it was, and still is, the success of Elton in your country? Which have been his hits in sales terms? And which are the people favourite Elton's albums or songs? And could you still hear Elton's music in the radio, nowadays? And which should do Elton's next step in his music career?

Elton does not do well on the pop charts anymore but he is alive and well in the adult contemporary charts. There are lots of Elton John fans here in the midwestern US and concerts sell out very quickly.

Elton has sold over 60 million albums in the US. We all know that "Candle In the Wind 1997" is the biggest selling single ever and Greatest Hits is among the 20 biggest selling albums of all time, with over 16 million sold.

I do hear his songs on the radio, depending on what stations I listen to. There are three here that play his music quite frequently.

I don't know what the next step he should take. I should enjoy anything he is willing to give us. I guess I am one of the few that would be intrigued to hear a hip hop album, but I don't see that happening anymore. I enjoy today's popular music and I love to dance to it! I just hope he continues to write and record new music for us.

Well, you know that’s the “Live Duets” week. Do you like duets, or prefer an Elton “Duet For One”? In that case, which song and which partner have Elton to duet with? Which Duet have not to be happened? Do you detested anyone?

For the most part, I like the duets Elton participates in live. I love his two with Mary J Blige, IGTWTCITB and Nighttime Is the Right Time. I would have loved to hear him sing with Celine Dion when they did a charity event together in Vegas. One person I would like to hear him sing with is another favorite of mine (please don't groan, Eltonites) Mariah Carey. I like all the divas, especially the biggest one of all: Elton. : )

Right! And which is your Elton's item that you really appreciate, for being hard to get or for the happiness you've got to have it?

Wow that's hard to answer, but if I had to pick I would say my first autograph from him and the happy and exciting memories it brings back to me.

Fabulous!! And finally, could you tell me your five favourite Elton's songs in running order, for my AllSongsList?

1. Tiny Dancer (obviously)
2. Conquer the Sun
3. Someone Saved My Life Tonight
4. Things Only Get Better with Love
5. Red

2-5 can and will change at any given time

Thank you. Would you want to add some observation or suggestion or to other eltonites?

I discovered the Elton John internet community a little over a year ago and I am blown away by love between all Elton fans because of our common love for him. We are a very diverse group of people brought together by the love of two men's music. I would like to thank everyone on the and Hercules message boards for making me part of their families. I have learned a lot from all of you, and not just about Elton or even music in general. (I thought I knew a lot about Elton to begin with!!)

Oh, once you said “He still sells out concerts very quickly wherever he goes, so I don't think lack of popularity is a problem.” Why you think so?

Just for that reason. He may not sell a lot of albums or chart very high anymore, but he still sells out stadiums pretty much anywhere he goes in the world. If that is not a testament to his enduring popularity, I don't know what is. I think his albums don't sell very well anymore because he is part of UMG, which is too big and too busy promoting younger artists to promote him. I would like to see him sign with a smaller label that will give him the attention he deserves.

I think you have reason. Thank you very much, Karen. It was an enjoyable experience to interview you. Take care

12 Sept 2008

The Story Behind "Me And My Shadow"

Sir John Gielgud duetted on stage with Elton John in December 1984 at Drury Lane Theatre in London. The occasion was a performance of "The Mother Goose Play" to benefit "The National Youth Theatre in Britain", a children theatre organization Elton has been active since 1972 and being the vice-president since 1975.

According to wikipedia, Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH (14 April 1904 – 21 May 2000), known as Sir John Gielgud, was an English theatre and film actor particularly known for his warm expressive voice, which his colleague Sir Alec Guinness likened to "a silver trumpet muffled in silk." Gielgud is a member of the short list of entertainers with the distinction of having won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony award.

"Me and My Shadow" is a 1927 popular song by Dave Dreyer, Billy Rose, and Al Jolson and has become a standard, with many different versions.

(Al Jolson / Dave Dreyer / Billy Rose)

"Shades of night are falling and I'm lonely
Standing on the corner feeling blue
Sweethearts out for fun
Pass me by one by one
Guess I'll wind up like I always do
With only....

Me and my shadow
Strolling down the avenue
Oh, me and my shadow
Not a soul to tell our troubles to
And when it's twelve o'clock we climb the stairs
We never knock 'cause nobody's there
Just me and my shadow
All alone and feeling blue

When the sun sets on the far horizon,
And the parlour lamps begin to glow
Jim and Jack and John
Put their slippers on.
They're all set but we're still on the go
So lonely....

Me and my shadow
Strolling down the avenue
Oh, me and my shadow
Not a soul to tell our troubles to
And when it's twelve o'clock we climb the stairs
We never knock 'cause nobody's there
Just me and my shadow
All alone and feeling blue

10 Sept 2008

The Story Behind "Sisters"

Elton John gave his only UK concert to top the bill at the 1995 Equality Show in the Royal Albert Hall. That was a fund raising benefit show to help a gay pressure group.

"We rehearsed weekly (in Aldgate) without Elton John who was then touring the States. It was arranged that he would fly in and out on the day of the concert (a Sunday) via Concorde and we would rehearse with him from noon at the concert venue" explained one of the members of The Pink Singers Choir, about the show.

Elton performed in drag and joined and ducted with Kylie Minogue for this fantastic duet, a version of Andrew Sisters' song. He completed his set with "I'm in Love With a Wonderful Guy" and "There is Nothing Like a Dame".

5 Sept 2008

Unforgettable People (XXXII): Ray Williams

Ray Williams was born in 1947, in London, England. During the 1960s, Williams worked with Cathy McGowan, who presented "Ready Steady Go". He was also a press agent for a number major artists such as Sonny & Cher, Cream, Robert Stigwood, and for Brian Epstein's Saville Theatre. He eventually moved up to head the A&R department for Liberty Records, where he signed upcoming artists who went on to achieve major successes with Jeff Lynne (Idle race and ELO), The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and Mike Batt, among others.

By this time Williams’ reputation for discovering major talent was gaining credence. In 1967, he discovered Elton John and introduced him to Bernie Taupin. "He had something in his voice. He certainly didn't have any writing ability at that time. But he had a great voice, even then. It had great warmth, character and appeal. It was one of those great recording voices" explained in a 1992 interview with John F. Higgins when he remembers his first meeting with Reg Dwight. "Bernie said, basically, "I'm a poet and I think that my words might be suitable as lyrics if set to music." There were dozens of people sending in lyrics. Most of them were "moon in June" and that sort of stuff. But there was some sort of imagination attached to Bernie's. They weren't just the norm, even though we couldn't understand all of them. I think that it was this (imagination) that made me think that I should put him in touch with Elton... that he was the one. You know, it could easily have gone no further. But there were these lyrics and I wrote Bernie back saying I'd pass them on and that sort of thing. And that's how it all started".

Williams managed Elton for his first five albums. He also launched and managed Stealers Wheel (Gerry Rafferty) and The Blues Band.

Since 1984, Williams has been one of Europe’s leading film and television music producers. His impressive credits include Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Last Emperor" (1988), which collected the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Grammy and the L.A. film critics’ award for best score and "The Sheltering Sky" (1990), which won the Golden Globe and L.A. film critics’ award.

The year 1996 brought more success as Williams produced the soundtrack for Lars Von Triers' "Breaking The Waves", a critically acclaimed film and winner of the Grand Prix Award at Cannes and an Academy Award nomination in Hollywood.

From 1997 to 2002, Williams went on to produce and supervise several soundtracks including Saving Grace, the film which won Robert Redford‘s Sundance Festival Best Film Award, and Dancer in the Dark, Lars Von Trier’s classic film starring Björk, which went on to win the coveted Palme d'Or Award for best film at the Cannes Film Festival.

During this period, Williams was instrumental in the acquisition of Bill Lowery’s legendary Atlanta-based Lowery Music Publishing Group for Sony Music Entertainment. The catalogue included the songs "Be Bop a Lula", "Young Love" and "Rose Garden". He was appointed as Sony’s consultant for three years to oversee the transition of the business.

Williams currently (2007) runs his own music publishing/production company, "Crumbs Music" and continues to sign new artists, composers, and catologues.His latest project is on Crumbs-The Label is Ali Campbell's(UB40) album 'Running Free' featuring Smokey Robinson, Katie Meluar,Lemar,Beverley Knight,Robin Campbell and Bitty McLean.

3 Sept 2008

The Story Behind "Turn To Me"

Elton and Bernie were a bit disappointed with few musicians expressing interest in their songs. The exception was “Turn To Me”, a song that fit neatly in pop vein, as Dick James Music wishes, and a song that Elton John never recorded. Plastic Penny recorded this early Elton/Bernie tune on their 1969 "Currency" album, which Nigel Olsson sang backing vocals on as well as playing the drums.

James encouraged the pair to write hits for mainstream acts like Engelbert Humperdinck but without such success: “Taking the sun from my eyes” was the “B” side of a single by Ayshea; “The Tide Will Turn For Rebecca” was for actor Edward Woodward new DJM acquisition; “When The First Tear Shows” was the “A” side of Brian Keith. Finally they decided to play themselves their own songs. The rest is well known.

Lyrics by Bernie Taupin:

"Turn to me, turn to me when you're lonely
Brush them aside, gather your pride
Baby turn to me
Turn to me, turn to me when you're lonely
Brush them aside, gather your pride
Baby turn to me
Don't listen to the people
Who spread lies about your name
I know it hurts
But baby I've had it too

I've learned to live with their abuse
I've learned to live with those who choose
To disregard my emptiness and lose me

Your laughter has died in the heat of the night
The people they pretend that company is bright
But brighter you'll wait by the phone that has died
Don't bury your hopes, there's nothing that's left for you to confide in

But you seem to be happy just for now to go on
Try to see through them baby, can't you see what is wrong
You're hurting yourself more that you'll ever know
You're pushing the people to tell you to go