The River's Badge

Friday, March 29, 2013

I Like Elton John, But....

(I never, ever thought he was saying, "Tony Danza".)
 
 
I like Elton John's music a lot.  The trouble has always been that I never knew what the hell he was singing.

At first, I just assumed it was Bernie Taupin's lyrics that didn't make sense, so I looked those up.  They're not that bad ~ semi-cohesive, at least.  No, it's just the way Elton sings.

For example, Bennie and the Jets.  This is what I hear.  I will then look up the actual lyrics and compare.

What I hear:
 
Hey kids
Chainin' things together
As far as somethin' somethin'
We know will change the weather
Well, California called
So might as well stick around

You gotta hear electric music
Solid balls of sound
Say, turn 'em around
Have you seen 'em yet
Ooh, but they're so fazed out
B-b-b-Bennie and the Jets
 
Actual lyrics:
 
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?
Wow, but they’re so spaced out 
Bennie and the Jets 
 
See, the actual lyrics sorta make sense, but I don't sing those lyrics, when I'm singing along.  I sing mine.  
 
 
See, I'm right.
 
 
I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues (I'm thinking I did fairly well on this one; we'll see.  I highlighted the lines I'm pretty sure are wrong.)
 
What I hear:
 
Don't wish it away
Don't look at it like it's forever
Between you and me
I could honestly say
That things can only get better
 
And while I'm away
Dust our payments in site
And it won't be long
Before you and me run
To the place in our hearts
Where we hide
 
.... (more stuff)

Without me girl
Cry in the night if it helps
But more than ale
I simply love you
More than I love life itself

Actual lyrics:

Don’t wish it away
Don’t look at it like it’s forever
Between you and me
I could honestly say
That things can only get better


And while I’m away
Dust out the demons inside
And it won’t be long,
Before you and me run
To the place in our hearts
Where we hide

......

Wait on me girl
Cry in the night if it helps
But more than ever
I simply love you
More than I love life itself
 
 
Okay, Bernie's lyrics make way more sense than mine.
 
Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
 
What I hear:
 
I can't lied no more of the darkness
All my pictures seem to fade to black and white
I'm growin' tired and time stands still before me
Frozen here on the ladder of my life
 
It's too late; to save myself from foalin'
I took a chance and changed the way of life
But you misread my meanin' when I met you
Close the door and let me lie there by the light
 
Don't let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, there's always someone else I see 
I'm a light segment of my life you wanna free 
And losin' everything is like the sun goin' down on me

I can't find all the racks of mighty lime
See me once and see the way I feel
Don't discard me just because you think I mean ya harm
But these cuffs I have made you love to help you see

Actual lyrics:
 
I can’t light no more of your darkness
All my pictures seem to fade to black and white
I’m growing tired and time stands still before me
Frozen here on the ladder of my life.

Too late to save myself from falling
I took a chance and changed your way of life
But you misread my meaning when I met you
Closed the door and left me blinded by the light.

Don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself it’s always someone else I see
I’d just allow a fragment of your life to wander free
(oops, missed that one entirely)
But losing everything is like the sun going down on me.

I can’t find Oh, the right romantic line
But see me once and see the way I feel
Don’t discard me just because you think I mean you harm
But these cuts I have, Oh they need love to help them heal

(ooh, another bad interpretation, I see)
 
 
I'm feeling pretty good about that one.  I only had a few nonsensical lines
 

 
Listening to Elton John is a lot like reading for context.  As long as you catch the important words, you can just kind of fill in the blanks for the rest.
 
It struck me that the Elton John song for which I (almost) completely understood the lyrics was the first song I ever heard by him, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.  I'm not going to check, because I may end up disappointing myself.

I am a huge admirer of Elton John (truthfully, he could sing anyone's lyrics and I'd most likely love the song ~ it's the melody and the voice; much more than the lyrics).

Face it, we've all sung along to songs using nonsensical words.  And we're not alone.  Check the Kiss This Guy website and prove it to yourself. 

I actually enjoyed singing the wrong words of songs more; and when I learned what the real lyrics were, I was sort of disappointed.

Got this one down, though:








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