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Beyond the Yellow Brick Road
Why the lyrics seemed to speak to me I do not know. I had no idea, as a young teen, what the heck the "dogs of society" were or in fact why they would howl. I didn't know what Elton John meant about "goin' back to my plow", at least how it related to the "owl in the woods". But whatever the reason, I sang along to that song and the rest on this delicious album until it became my personal set of anthems. It was my secret escape.
Elton sang with such passion, especially on the "Goo ooo oood Bye eye eye eye eye"...and as I sang along with him I got to feel a little bit of that passion too. I think it's a coming of age song too, so at 13 and 14 and 15, I really felt that kind of urge to leave my childhood behind and face what would be my adulthood with a bit of excitement. That's what it made me feel, anyway. Ironically, the song is really about going back to your roots.... leaving the hustle and bustle and finding a simpler life. Funny how to me it was different.
I think another reason I liked it was the reference in the title to the Wizard of Oz. In my adult life, the movie is one of my all time favorites, but as a child, it was really scary to me and I think as I was singing "goodbye yellow brick road, where the dogs of society howl", I was thinking about leaving behind my fears and all the mean grownups like the wicked witch.... and finding my own safe path (goin' back to my plow).... .so you can see how a young teeny bopper might take it completely differently than the way Bernie Taupin might have meant it when he wrote it.
Aside from the title song, which is the absolute best, I loved "Candle in the wind" too. It was about Marilyn Monroe (later revised to honor Lady Di after her death.... it's kind of ironic that the album starts out with "Funeral for a Friend"...did he know?). I could relate to this one. As one who had incredible hopeless crushes on boys who didn't even know me. I could feel that pain, of watching and loving from a distance.
Bernie Taupin was the lyric man, and Elton John the music man. These two were such a perfect pair. It's so rare - a perfect collaboration such as theirs. This album may be their best. It's probably a double album because they just could not stop their creative flow!
The introduction to "Funeral for a Friend" rises from some dark soulless place to a heart on fire. Once you're a couple of minutes in, the album has you hooked. It is absolutely one of those that must be "experienced" as an entire album, rather than one song at a time. The transitions are as impressive as the songs themselves.
Bennie..... Bennie Bennie Bennie Bennie.... and the Jeh eh ets. Jeh eh ets. I wish I could write how it really sounds. The thing to do, really, is to give it a good listen.
Elton the entertainer: what a fun time he has!
I think performers are all show-offs anyway, especially musicians. Unless you show off, you're not going to get noticed.— Elton John
A little more in depth discussion of the album
Why Sir Elton John is Such a Phenomenal Entertainer
- We never tire of him.
- He's been entertaining us for so many years with such passion and flair.
- He is a strong humanitarian leader
- He inspires us
- He makes us laugh
- We love to sing along
- Dressing up at concerts!
- He's a survivor
- oh and there's his awesome music!
- and his unique voice and sound
Powerful song, and nicely done tribute video.
The great thing about rock and roll is that someone like me can be a star.— Sir Elton John