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Daniel

by

Elton John



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

The lyrics were written by Bernie Taupin, Elton's writing partner. He explained the inspiration on his web site: "I'd seen this article in Time magazine on the Tet Offensive. And there was a sidebar next to it with a story about how many of the soldiers that were coming back from 'Nam were these simple sort of down home country guys who were generally embarrassed by both the adulation and, depending on what part of the country you came from, the animosity that they were greeted by. For the most part, they just wanted to get back to a normal life, but found it hard, what with all the looky loos and the monkeys of war that they carried on their backs.

I just took it from there and wrote it from a younger brother's perspective; made him disabled and wanting to get away. I made it Spain, basically, because it rhymes with plane."
When Elton wrote the music for this song, he chopped off the last verse because he thought the song was already too long. The deleted verse explained that "Daniel" was a Vietnam Vet who returned home to the farm after the war, couldn't find peace, and decided to leave America and go to Spain. With the last verse chopped off, it became a fairly vague story of two brothers who part ways, although Bernie Taupin says that losing the verse wasn't a big deal. Said Taupin: "We had that whole thing about the missing verse that everybody seems to believe explained the true meaning of the song. I think that's just an urban legend. It didn't really explain anything. Sure, it was cut out. But that used to happen all the time with our songs. I would often overwrite, and Elton felt it necessary to edit somewhat. But believe me, it didn't say anything that the rest of the song didn't say."
This was written and recorded the same day. Taupin wrote the lyrics one morning at the recording studio and brought them downstairs to Elton, who put music to it and recorded with the band that day.
This was part of a very productive songwriting period for Taupin and John. In an effort to quickly record songs for the album, they wrote 12 songs over a two day period. This was one of them.
The record company didn't want to release this as a single because they thought it was too long and somber to be a hit. Elton had other ideas, and insisted they release it as a single before the album came out. The record company did, but with very little promotion. It became a hit anyway.
According to Elton John: The Definitive Biography, here's how the album got its title: While in Los Angeles, Elton was introduced to the legendary comedian Groucho Marx. They hit it off, but Groucho was always giving Elton a hard time about his name, insisting that he must have it backwards and really be John Elton. After Groucho refused to lay off the name thing at a party, Elton threw up his hands and said jokingly: "Don't shoot me, I'm just the piano player."
Elton John
Elton John Artistfacts
More Elton John songs
More songs with boys' names in the title
More songs thought to be too long to get radio play
More songs with extra verses edited out
More songs about a brother or sister

Comments (107):

I have listened to this song for many years but I never really heard it until I found my bother Daniel dead in his room right after my father passed. I have tears in my eyes even as I write this. You know he was a kind soul as strong as Samson and as wise as Solomon. So ever time I hear this song I get that peace of mind that he's okay when I see him wave and smile and say "see ya" boy I sure miss Daniel my bother.
- Kylie, arlington, VA
I think I have romanticized this song for years. Since my first visits to Spain, in the late 70s and 80s, I have always seen it as a welcoming, generous and warm country full of people who were kind to each other and who manifested a certain sense of fraternity with their fellow Spaniards and visitors. I attributed this to the bond they felt after the death (finally) of Franco. Daniel, to me, was always about an American older brother who was the wiser and the idealist, who joined the Lincoln Brigade (Americans) to help fight with the Republicanos against the Fascists in the Spanish Civil War, and he never returned.
- lisa, Stamford, CT
Thanks so much for this wonderful site! This song was very meaningful to me as I lost Daniel my brother at the age of 35. He was a travel agent so waving "Goodbye" from a plane was always especially poignant to me. Ironically my partner also had a brother named "Daniel" who died in his early 20's.
- Mike, Atlanta, GA
My brother drowned in 1977 at the age of 17. He and I were the biggest EJ fans at the time. He had all of his(8 tracks )back then . On the way to my brothers funeral Daniel came on the car radio, and it reminded me of him ever since.
- Lois, Baltimore , MD
I Love this song! For the longest time I have been trying to figure out the story behind the lyrics. Glad to see I'm not the only one. I'm going to agree with most and say I think that this song is about a brother leaving to return to war or to get away from the the mistreatment of Vets returning from war back then. But the line" Your eyes have died, you see more than I" I think it a meaning of how after most soldiers see war first hand they've by far seen more than many have seen so they tend to see a little more in little things in life that others may not. Sort of like how when the innocence of youth is removed (i.e. loss of a close family member or friend, heartbreak, witnessing an accident or being in one) And of Course "Must be the clouds in my eye" Is just the one the many excuses us as men make up for crying. LOL
- Tink, Red Lodge, United Kingdom
I've always loved this song. Its one of my favorites by EJ. I think somebody put this song in the movie "Alice doesn't live here anymore" as a diss in the vomit scene in the car as if the song is sickening.
- JAY, Sunnyvale, CA
"Daniel"
- could have been written for murdered Aust. boy Daniel Morcombe (snatched from bus stop on way to buy Christmas presents.... a teary thought alone).
particularly with the lines .... "Oh and I can see Daniel waving goodbye... God it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes; .. Do you still feel the pain of the scars that won't heal.. Your eyes have died, but you see more than I"... Lord I miss Daniel, Oh I miss him so much".
- Lora stock, melb, Australia
This song brings tears to my eyes, for my older brother, Daniel, who was "lost" to mental illness quite a few years ago. No doubt that he has scars that won't heal.
- Mary, Santa Barbara, CA
"Daniel" reminds me of a dear friend of mine from college, in Maine, USA. Albeit his name was Carlo Daniel... many of his friends called him Daniel or Danny. He was my first male lover...briefly before we graduated the university. I have yet to see him again since we left school. He and I were frequent travelers, jet setting to Europe and beyond. He now lives in Germany, and I am sure he has traveled to Spain. When I hear this song I think of Carlo flying over head, looking out the plane window and waving down at me. This song will always bring tears to my eyes. I apologize if this comment is TMI for some folks, but I had to post it.
- Peter, Weymouth, MA
I always loved this song. It touches my heart everytime i hear it, especially now that I lost my brother 4 yrs ago. I always thought this song had to do with maybe Elton had a brother named daniel and was a song dedicated to him, but i guess i was wrong by reading these comments.
- elsa, bronx, NY
Just saying. It would make total sense why the Vietnam Vet lyrics would be chopped. Mr. Taupin trying to protect Mr. John. But that was 38 years ago.
- Daniel, Los Angeles, CA
There is nothing to say that Mr. John had not had any relations with a "Daniel" that happened to go to Vietnam? Is there? The lyric writer, Mr. Taupin, could have been given just the name.
- Daniel, Los Angeles, CA
I was named after this song and it has always haunted my life. Elton John's ex lover, Vietnam War Vet, Disenfranchised Seventies Radical... I have heard all the rumors and stories and all make some sort of sense (especially when you put "lover" rather than "brother") yet I still hear a poetic beautiful song that speaks to us all even still. It took a number of years, but my best bet is that the Biblical and the carnal somehow intertwined to craft this music. Daniel will always be travelling tonight on a plane, and that is the beauty of the piece. Vietnam was a second thought.
- Daniel, Los Angeles, CA
Sometimes, folks, a cigar is just a cigar.

I don't see any reason to believe this song is about more than a man seeing his blind (your eyes have died) elder brother flying away to Spain, and crying (clouds in my eyes) as the plane gets to far away to see except the tail lights (I can see the red tail lights/a star in the face of the sky). Since the narrator asks if Daniel can still feel the pain of the scars, I think Daniel lost his vision in an accident. The brother might feel responsible for it, but that might be reading too much into the song.
- Aaron Lehmann, albequeque, Bhutan
@Wesley, Foresthill, CA - I think "Your eyes have died" is a euphemism for "you have given up on life". Sadly, a large number of returning veterans suffer from PTSD, and those from Vietnam suffered even moreso because they lived in a time when men were supposed to just suck it up. PTSD wasn't treated in the same way it is today. To top it all off, they were the object of scorn from the public, as if it were all their fault! I can't imagine going off to fight for my country, suffering greatly in battle and returning only to be ridiculed. Even today many soldiers have a very difficult time adjusting to civilian life. It's really sad. We need to take better care of our own.
- Pete, Louisville, KY
It is sad when people go away for most reasons.

It is especially sad when they die and I am grieved with the losses of those that have commented above.

The dumb line in the song is "your eyes have died, but you see more than I"! It makes no sense unless he thinks that a dead person sees more than a iving person which is not Biblical or logical.
- Wesley, Foresthill, CA
This song always reminds me of when my brother played Daniel in his school's performance of The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket. In the end Daniel dies, and although it was just a play, seeing my brother dying on-stage was terrible. This song always reminds me of that final scene.
- Hope, Boston, MA
My older brother turns 59 today; unfortunately, we're distant in ways, but I hardly ever hear Daniel without wet eyes..... When this was a hit, our family had been going through some tough times; always more in tune with lyrics of pop songs than I , this beacme our "brothers" song, as he relayed what it meant to him, and the application to us. Of course, we each always thoughjt of the other as able to "see more than I" David, YOU'RE the star; some day I'll be able to thank you again for that special moment among the best of times you shared so deeply from a brother's heart....
- James, Mesquite, TX
My 20yr old son Jesse passed away during a wrestling match Sept.18, 2010 and when I hear this song it not only makes me think of him but also of my daughter. Just seeing how much she misses him and the lyrics about his all his brothers eyes have seen. The lyrics bring tears to my eyes, but knowing the beautiful life he led brings a smile to my face.
- Jesse, Covina, CA
this song reminds me of all the people ive lost along the way, my big brother died before i was born and i never got to know him, and a friend of mine died when he was 16 when we were teens, and just last year one of my best friends left home for Chicago because he said he couldn't breathe here anymore after, i think about them every day, and this song reminds me im not alone
- Kristina, oklahoma city, OK
My son Daniel wasn't really named after this song, but when it came out I loved it. Mom mom helped name my only son Daniel. He was born 4/13/74. My son Daniel took his own life five weeks ago on 12/04/10. I always thought the song was about Elton's brother, going to heaven, but didn't really understand the lyrics. I know them by heart now tho!! My pain and grief is so new. My husband and I are trying to cope with the loss of our precious son. God, I miss Daniel, I miss him so much....
Thanks, Daniel's Mom
- Judy, Blythe, CA
In June of 1973, my brother Daniel drown at the age of 13. I remember being in a record store and hearing this song for the first time shortly after he passed. I was sure that Elton recorded this song for my brother. Throughout the past 37 years, whenever I or one of my siblings is struggling emotionally, this song comes on the radio. We all take it as a sign from our Daniel "Chopper" that he is watching over us and is always there. Love you and miss you ever day, Chopper.
- Anita, La Crosse, WI
Grrr. . .just watched an old episode of "Cold Case" where Vera refers to the missing verse and says that ASCAP has it. Bummer.
- Carrie, Houston, TX
This song really brought me to my knees when I heard it ... I was driving home from work sad and tired when the song came out on the radio... It really reminded me of my bestfriend... about a month a go he took his life because his first love broke his heart.... he was always a happy person with a big smile a funny guy.... he was like my brother we would always say that we where twins and that he was my gay husband... he was a very good looking guy but his boyfriend took all that and destroyed his heart..... I will always love him and remember him... I live you Danny can't wait to see you again my love.....
- Danielle, El Paso, TX
When I was 4 years old my mom & dad (Daniel) were murdered. He had a twin brother and for whatever reason I grew up thinking that he had written this song for my dad. When I got older I realized that was not true, but 25 years later this song still brings me to tears.
- Nicole, Morgan Hill , CA
I used to sing this song to my brother Daniel all the time when he was little. When he joined the army in 1985, I sang it to him over the phone, usually when I missed him most.
He was in a plane crash in Afghanistan on May 17th this year, just 3 days before his 41st birthday. If his body is found I hope that I can play it at his funeral.
- Rebecca, bradford, United Kingdom
This is a great song. My older brother who died about 18 years ago used to tell me whenever this song came on, "this is your song, it's named after you!" To this day I think of him when I hear this song and I can't help but smile and be a little sad too.
- Daniel, El Paso, TX
This was playing on the plane that carried me from my youth to my adulthood in 1973. I flew to California from the east coast to join the man who was to be my husband. I cried and cried at the song - Daniel was my little brother's name. I never really reconnected with Dan on an emotional level, and he died a few years ago.
This song has always made me cry.
- Marcie lightwood, Bethlehem, PA
I wonder where the missing verse about Daniel being a disabled Viet Nam war vet can be found? Anyone know?
- Don, B G, KY
It was touching reading some of the comments for this song. It means so much to people who have lost loved ones named Daniel and it seems that the song helps in the grieving process even though it makes you feel sad it's a release of emotion. This song came out just as I was graduating high school I remember it as a very happy time of my life but this song always made me feel sad. I've always loved it though
- Randy, Houghton Lake, MI
In late 1971 Reginald Dwight met a dancer in Los Angeles and then had a son (named DANIEL, prior to the release of the song by that name in 1973) with her, born in late 1972. Once Reginald was told of the pregnancy, he left Los Angeles, and has refused to acknowledge his son, who is now 37.
- Joanna, Los Angeles, CA
If there is a more beautiful love song written for anyone who has suffered the loss of anyone in any capacity, I would like to know it. My heart breaks for everyone who has posted at this site. My prayers are with you, for you and may His peace comfort you in the future as it has in the past.
- Joanna, Columbus, GA
I always loved this song , when I was a teenager and always said I would use it to name my son if I had one. I did have a son and I called him Daniel. He died when he was a baby and to this day the song haunts me, yet I still love it as I feel a connection to my son when I hear it. Always takes my breath away, many years later. I always look at clouds and think I see him there and tail lights bring tears to my eyes. Thank you Bernie and Elton, for regardless of what the song is about, and judging by other posts, we all love this song for our own interpretations. I find this very comforting to know I am not alone in feeling this way. Lord, I miss Daniel x x x x x x
- Jude, Adelaide, Australia
When "Daniel" came out I was only 12 years old, but this was the song that got me hooked on Elton. To this day, he has always been my favorite singer/songwriter. He is so good, now over 30 years later, he is still a hot and popular singer. (As are so many artists from the 70's that are still performing.) Anyway when I had my first child in 1997 I named him after this song. He now has a younger brother and when the kids were little I used to sing this song to them at bedtime.
- Jeanie, Chapel Hill, NC
This song was written shortly after the birth of Reginald Dwight's son, Daniel, in Dallas, Texas/ 11/19/72.
- Suzanne, Hayward, CA
I believe the missing lyric can be found in Taupin's book "The One Who Writes The Words". I bought it in the late 70's, but gave it to a friend of mine at the time. Many years later I asked for it back to copy some of the pages, but she said no :(
- rob, Maale Adumim, Israel
I just played Daniel with a video at my fathers funeral 9/9/09 his name was Daniel. It was a beautiful tribute to the man I'll miss terribly. Lord, I miss Daniel.
- Marja, Destin, FL
Where can we find the deleted verse? I hope it is as good as the first one.
- Al, Houston , TX
This is what I found in reguards to the song "Daniel". Here is an excerpt from a live radio interview with fans calling in.
"The next caller was Mark from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He asked Elton to play Daniel, but not before asking him to explain the meaning
of the song. As all Reg Heads know, the song is about Daniel, a blind Vietnam War veteran as sung by Daniel's sibling (the song never
suggests that the sibling is male). Elton further explained that in their early days of writing songs together,Bernie would submit lyrics
that were composed as a bunch of words on a page with no regard to lyrical form (verse and chorus). At times, these 'lyrics' tended to
go beyond a reasonable length. So, Elton would editorialize to reduce the song to a standard timing (for radio play no doubt). Such was the
fate of Daniel. The original third verse explained the meaning of the song, but Elton felt that a 6 minute version was too much to bare, so he deleted it ('I'll just take this bit out.') Thus, the meaning was lost forever to the general public. On this fine evening, however,Elton breathed new life into 'Daniel' to the point that the missing
third verse really didn't matter that much anymore because it would
not be 'Daniel' if it had been presented any other way."Here you'll find the lyrics to "Daniel" (the missing verse is
irretrievably lost, since both Elton John and Bernie Taupin have said
in interviews that they cannot remember the words):
- Ray, New York, NY
Danny was my best friend, we grew up together and he was a little older than me, I am an only son and I liked to think of him as my brother.
He died in 2006 and I shake every thime I hear this song. Thank you Bernie and Elton.
- Cameron, Lewiston, ID
this song was played at my partners funeral on monday it is such a fantastic song. he was not just my partner my my 2 year olds daddy. he loved listenin to this song. sleep well baby. love you
- dani, high wycombe, United Kingdom
I remember buying Elton's albums when they first come out. I just remember this being the perfect song to begin the album. The title of the album comes from a title of a movie,hence the album cover art.
- John, Arkansas City, KS
This song, to me, is about our youngest son, Daniel. He passed away before he had a chance to meet his brothers. I remember crying during that evening in June of '06, seeing taillights on the cars in Cleveland; we had just told Daniel's oldest brother about our loss.
I will always cherish this song, even though it hurts.
- Steven, Vermilion, OH
Hey Cynthia -- Sir Elton and Billy Joel and indeed touring this spring and summer. It's called the "Face-2-Face Tour" and they will be coming to Philadelphia in April. Check billyjoel.com for tour dates and you can purchase tickets through the website too if you wish. Hope you getg to see them in person!
- Jim, Kennett Square, PA
My brother committed suicide at 33. The night that the plane left to fly his body home for burial, I sat on the tarmac and watched it leave. "Daniel" was playing and I cried until there were no tears left. He was a kind person who got very sick. I never hear this song that I don't cry for my brother and it has been 25 years . . .
- Lindy, San Antonio, AZ
This song makes me cry because my cousin Rita loved this song (my older brother is Daniel and she said she always thought of him when she heard it). She lived with us for several months when I was a child in Michigan, and died at 17 in an auto accident in 1972. She was a beautiful, sweet "hippie" with waist-length flowing blonde hair. She had gone to Georgia to pick up some of her things to bring back to Michigan and was on her way back to us but only made it as far as the mountains of Tennessee.
- Becky, McConnelsville, OH, OH
"Daniel" was always one of my favorite Elton songs, and now it holds very special meaning to me, because it was one of my very close friend's favorite song. She died a year ago today in a car crash. This one's for you, Kel.
- kate, North Kingstown, RI
This is an absolutely beautiful song. It would have been interesting to be able to read the missing lyrics from the deleted verse. Although I am much younger than Elton, I not only look up to him as a musician, but am proud of him for who he is and what he has achieved. Elton John is one of the many reasons why music is important to me!
This song will always be close to my heart!

I HEART YOU SIR ELTON JOHN!
- Bonny, Canberra, Australia
This is my favorite Elton John song of all time!! I love Sir Elton and his music. I heard a rumor that he and Billy Joel are going to be touring together sometime soon. Can anyone verify this? Oh and Renee from Kingsburg, I wish you and your family all the best. I'm sure that your beautiful Daniel is smiling down on you right now. Peace
- cynthia, scranton, PA
Yes, this song is a CLASSIC! I say "classic," not because I like it, but because it catches the EMOTION of the story, so well! And, yes, as was said, earlier, the absence of the final verse leaves the song somewhat ambiguous, leaving the listener the freedom to interpret the song as he DESIRES!
So, in my mind, Daniel, who was, of course, blind, knew that he would soon die, (from what, I do not know) & made his "death-wish" PERFECTLY CLEAR, to his family, that he wishes to be buried in Spain. (He had apparently spent some time, in Spain, before he went blind, & LOVED it, there!).
SO, NOW,.... Daniel has died, and, as per his request, is now "traveling on a plane." His younger brother can see the red "tail" lights, indicating that the plane is LEAVING, rather than ARRIVING,...... Daniel is LEAVING, in more ways than ONE!...... DEATH,....so PERMANENT!....
"I can see Daniel, waving 'goodbye',"..... OF COURSE it must be the "clouds (tears) in his eyes, after all, Daniel CANNOT be "waving good-bye,"....he is DEAD, & is in a CASKET,......
I had never imagined that this "classic" song had anything to do with the Vietnamese War; I am not disagreeing with ANY of these other comments, here.....I am simply explaining the way that I had always "imagined" the song, to be,......
WHAT A CLASSIC, Reginald Kenneth Dwight!....AND Bernie Taupin!....THANK YOU!
- David, Glennville, GA
i heard this is originaly about daniel leaving to war... but some of the lyrics were not sang cause the song would be too long.... Is this true????
- dwayne, salinas, CA
This song gives me chills. My older brother Daniel died in a plane crash when he was 24. He was in the Air Force-and left behind many brothers and sisters, a wife and three little boys. I heard this song for the first time one day after he passed away. It will always be "him" to me.
- Monica, Dallas, TX
this song talks about a person abusing substances and a loved one seing him high ro dying
- Betania, Alexandria, VA
this sonmg is dedicated to my gay bumchum daniel cherry
- Ben, Rochester, Afghanistan
omg im gay hahahahahahahahahah


daniel grant
- Ben, Rochester, Afghanistan
Wow.
Although mine will just be one more comment added on to many, I'd like to say that this song reminds me of my friend Dan; he's not dead or dying or blind, but he's like a brother to me, and he lives thousands of miles away. I miss him an incredible amount, and wish he'd come and visit. :(
- Sasha, Winston, MS
My brother Daniel died of cancer at age 43, I was 27 at the time. When I was 3, Dan left for college. My brother Fran would play this song and I would cry because I thought it was about him leaving for college - "Daniel my brother, you are older than me" and now the words now seem prophetic - "do you still feel the pain" his cancer. Before I read this page, I thought that "Daniel" was "seeing" from heaven. It still means that for me, that Dan is looking down on me and my family and he is at peace without any more pain. "Lord I miss Daniel, I miss him so much."
- Gina, Oswego, NY
Let's write the last verse. Here's a start:

Daniel's a hero well that's what they say -
Blinded and broken, a soldier so brave -
Oh but all he wants is to get him some peace -
He's leavin' leavin', he's a star that's out of reach
- ken, auckland, New Zealand
Let's have some fun and write the last verse. Here's a start:
Daniel's a hero well that's what they say -
Blinded and broken, a soldier so brave -
Oh but all he wants is to get him some peace -
He's leavin' leavin', a star that's out of reach
- ken, auckland, New Zealand
This song has a very special meaning to me after my very close friend daniel was killed in a car accident on 18th january 2008 at only 20 years old and this was played at his funeral!! The words 'Lord I miss Daniel, oh I miss him so much' makes me upset everytime!!
- laurence, peterborough, United Kingdom
I have a teenage son named Daniel who had a brain tumor when he was a baby. He is now autistic, but a very strong person inside. I always get tears in my eyes when I hear this song, it reminds me of what he has been through and how bravely he has faced everything his whole life.
- Sue, Lincoln park, MI
I believe on an interview documentary, Bernie explained the truth about all the speculation of his lyric and the "creative licensure" utilized in his the lyric "Daniel." As I recall, it is about a Viet Nam vet from a small town in Texas who comes home to a surprise hero's welcome [parades, speeches, etc.]. With this he has trouble dealing as many of his comrades in arms were either killed or wounded or received medals of honors or valor. His only claim was he was the only one from this small town who was in the war and he has trouble dealing with all the "attention" for just "being there"...This I believe was the basis for the song and even Bernie admits taking "creative license" with many of his lyrics [He has stated as example, "if anyone can tell me what "Take Me to the Pilot is About" tell me!"].
- Michael, Brudgeton, NJ
Writing music and lyrics is a form of art and art is in eye of the beholder. That is to say, all of these interpretations are correct for the individual that made them, regardless of what the song meant to Bernie. That's what makes art so great. For me, the song captures some of the emotion related to my brother's death. We were crossing the street when he was hit by a car and killed. He was 11, I was 9, and I still feel the pain of the scars that won't heal.
- Mike, Chicago, IL
Just wanted to say my son Daniel was still-born 5 1/2 yrs ago. We played this song at his funeral and has so much meaning for me, especially after his memorial service when he flew 1000km in a plane to his funeral service. Also wanted to say that when I studied music at school we were told that this was about elton's brother daniel who died of a drug over dose...
- suz, SOUTH ISLAND, New Zealand
I never really knew what this song was about until I looked it up on here. My perception of it was about an older brother who leaves this world and always wanted to go to Spain, so now that he has died, he was able to go to Spain so to speak. I thought the cloudiness of the eyes meant tears clouding the eyes. I couldn't help but think of my older brother who died of cancer in Feb. of 06 at the age of 44. The song brought me comfort but I still couldn't help but cry because he was gone. I picture my brother on a plane waving goodbye to us. Anyway, it's a great song which will and has stood the test of time.
- Leticia, Corpus Christi, TX
It's great to hear about the many ways in which this song has touched people. Sean, your connection with 'Daniel' is especially remarkable - this really is 'your song'. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I notice that you were born in 1978 and that you're from Chicago. Although I am Australian, I was born in Chiacgo in 1978, which for me is a nice connection to you and your story.
- Jeremy, Melbourne, Australia
I think that "Daniel" is one of the most powerful and poetic songs in Rock history. I think the song harkens back to the old Irish ballad "Danny Boy". Whenever I hear "Daniel", especially the last verse, I picture myself on a green Irish hillside with that mandolin playing somewhere in the distance. In the manner of all great art, it doesn't matter what the origin or "factual" background of the song is. As Mozart says in the movie "Amadeus", "It is perfect as it is."
- Jobie, Chattanooga, TN
I lost my older brother a few years ago to cancer, and these lyrics are now deeply poignant. He was my "star", and his eyes have always seen more than I.

Ironically, I believe it was better to have deleted the last verse because, as these comments illustrate, the song now has a very broad context of meaning and poignacy to so many.
- Lucy, New York, United States
Really powerful song and when you see what one song can mean to so many people around the world all with different situations. it just speaks volumes of the man, EJ. I am on a campaign to find that verse.
- Craig, Wagga Wagga, Australia
there was just something powerful about this song, and when you read what this song means to people around the world you can see why. i am now on a campaign to find that verse. Funny how one son can
- Craig, Wagga Wagga, Australia
I have grown up with this song because it has always held a special place with my family. My father's name is Daniel and so was this the name of my oldest brother. He was born in 1973 and died of cancer going on five years old january 11 1978. I was in fact born march 11, 1978. My middle name is Daniel after him. Until today I had never thought to look up the release date or original meaning to this song. I was surprised to find that the release date was in the year my brother Daniel was born and that the song's original meaning was about a Vietnam veteran. This is also ironic because my father Daniel is a Vietnam veteran from 1969. Everytime anyone in my family has heard this song we always think of my older brother Daniel who would have just turned 34. I never knew my oldest brother but me and my family miss him so much. Great Song. Sorry this story is sad but I wanted to share it.
- Sean, Chicago, IL
This song has a special place in my heart. My husband Danny died of Cancer. Although I will always have clouds in my eyes for my Daniel, when I hear this song it just makes me feel good. Listening to it has always been a good way to open my emotions towards him. He was a very fun loving person who lived life in such a short period. He was prepared for his journey when he died. I can see him flying high waving goodbye with a huge smile on his face ready to see more to come. He was just that kind of guy!
- deanna, Medford, OR
I have wondered for years about the meaning of "Daniel." I searched today, 4/20/07 and found this great site. I always felt Vietnam was at the heart. Good to know "the rest of the story."
- Mr. BooksOnTape, Lawrenceville, GA
I love this song because everytime I hear it I think of Daniel Barter, a 4 yr old little boy who has been missing since 1959 from Perdido Bay, AL. After all these yrs his family still wonders what became of him. My heart goes out to this sweet little boy. Here is more information if someone is interested in reading Danny's Story:
http://littleboylost-dannybarter.1colony.com/
- Lynn, Auburn, AL
My friend fell out of love with music, and "Daniel" reunited him, which is both beautiful and ironical.

Brothers, Vietnam, the horse, the love that dare not speak its name - it doesn't matter what its about as long as you can dance to it! This is not Elton's best though I prefer Kangol in the Wind, his urban hymn devoted to the working class of Great Britain.
- Daniel, London, England
when i was 13 my friend died of a drug overdose the first time i heard this song was going home after is funeral everytime i hear this song i remember him
- mike, new york, NY
When i was leaving my family in the usa i heard this song made me really sad as if my sister saw me leaving to toronto because i would say that toronto is the best place ive ever been. at first i thought that daniel was flying to heaven.
- Kirill, toronto, Canada
Didn't think about the fact that the older brother could have been blind. But blindness isn't as bad as a psychological injury. Maybe he had one of those as well. Maybe that war was oto much for him. I was born blind, so blindness in my case,is the only thing I know, but for other people who can see it can be very hard to adjust to. I know because I know people who are losing or have lost their sight.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
I'll never foget this haunting movie I saw on T.V. around 1973 titled "Daniel" about 2 brothers, one returning from Vietnam blind. I've often wondered if that movie and song were related somehow. Now I know. Unfortunately, now, the song really brings tears to my eyes as that movie was unforgettably sad. If I'm not mistaking, I believe the character "Daniel" kills himself in the movie.-Simone, Los Angeles, CA
- Simone, Los Angeles, CA
This is on the sound track of the 1974 Scorsese film "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" that was later turned into a TV series. I've always associated it with that film.
- James, Vidalia, GA
One of my favorite's from Elton.
- AC, Victorville, CA
I have always thought the song was about a man whose older brother returned blind from the Vietnam War, and even though the older brother's "eyes have died," his life experiences are greater than the younger brother's. The younger brother greatly admires what the older brother was, and still does even though he's sadly just a shell of himself because of the war injury. Before he went blind, the older brother tells the younger brother about how great Spain is. Like Three Dog Night, I've never been to Spain, but I kind of like the music. I've never thought of any other possible scenario for this song, with or without the missing final verse.
- David, Youngstown, OH
No wonder I think of Vietnam when I hear this song. I refering to the songfact about the deleted verse. I wasn't around for Vietnam, but I kn ow some about it.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
Guys. The deleted verses were just that...deleted. They are not in the song; hence the cause of the brother's greif is very ambiguous. Interpretet as you will or get hung up on Taupin's comments in some interview. It's your choice.
- Brent, Macon, GA
This song is played by Wilson Phillips also, Don´t ask the date please I dont remember
- Ricardo, Mexico, Mexico
hate to break it to you guess but i think the song is about daniel going to spain to get heroin. "your eyes have died" which is what happens to addicts which is why they have to where sunglasses all the time, because they are messed up and the light hurts them or something. and "the scars that won't heel" is about the tracks or scars that shooting up heroin leave. just listen to the song and put it into perspective and i think you will agree.
- daniel, Saluda, TN
someone told me that this song was about elton's boyfriend named Daniel. Now I know its absolutely wrong. Its a nice song about a warrior who is going home. i love this song...i love to have a bf like Daniel..
- sum sum, New Delhi
Songfacts' explanation of this song is not completely accurate. According to an interview with Bernie Taupin, the song was loosely based on a story which had appeared in Newsweek after the Vietnam war. The song is about this guy who goes home after the war to the small town from which he came. All he wanted to do was put the whole thing behind him and get back to the life he had before --but because it was a small town, the citizens wanted to make a war hero of him, not allowing him to forget --in fact, forcing him to constantly remember. He decides that, in order to put the war behind him for good, he must leave everything and everyone, and ends up going supposedily to Spain --as his departure is seen through his brother's eyes. No plane crashes, no blindness.
- amadeus, Newport Beach, CA
when i'm on air, i'd like to play this song for my listeners
- djoko, cimahi, China
I think people are totally missing the point of this tune as the deleted verse puts it all in perspective. Daniel was a lover. Take it from there!!!
- Barry, New York, NC
This song hold a special meaning to me because my boyfriend's name is Daniel. When he had to move to Kansas, I gave him a mixed CD that included "Daniel" on it. The lyrics "I miss Daniel, I miss him so much" ring true now. Sometimes I can related to the lyrics "I can see Daniel waving good-bye. God, it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes". Sometimes when I see someone who looks like him, I think it is so the song is one that I can really relate to. I am glad to find a story behind what it was written about. I originally thought it was about a guy who's brother had died in a plan crash to Spain. The song was always so haunting but so beautiful at the same time. It's one of my favorite Elton John songs.
- Natasha, Bethany, OK
Another amazing version of this song is an acoustic live version by the lead singer from Fuel. He puts alot of feeling into the lyrics. If you know from any other of Fuel's songs his voice is alittle raspy but nonetheless it is a unique cover of a great song.
- Sean, Pittsburgh, PA
Another Elton tune that had a deleted verse was HOLIDAY INN from the "Madman Across the Water" LP. However, there are a couple of live shows from late 1971 where you can hear the missing verse.
- Barry, New York, NC
People tend to smirk about Wilson Phillips, but if you haven't heard their cover of 'Daniel', you might want to check it out. Well done....very well done....
- Doug, Lake Mary, FL
One of Elton's best songs! It still moves me after more than 30 years.
- Robert, Trumbull, CT
Always a favorite Elton John song, but it is now especially poignant. It was also a favorite of my nephew, Danny, who suffering from depression recently committed suicide. Now when I hear the song, I believe "his eyes have died" talks of Danny's depression. "I can see Daniel waving goodbye" and know that he has gone to "the best place he's ever seen"...a place he must have gone to in his mind many times before. I love him and miss him.
-Shirley, Amarillo, TX
- SHIRLEY, AMARILLO, TX
HI this is one of Elton's best and my favorite is YOUR SONG cause i would definately sing this romantic song to a lover.
- melissa, Brandon, Canada
Daniel is great song and no other name could fit better in this highly emotional song. I dont really care about the songs intended meaning, because it's just pretty any way you slice it.
As I grow into father hood, I do believe My son Daniel will be just as warm and loving as the song.
- yacov, brooklyn, NY
always played by our lockel d.j every morning for keeping him up all night as a baby,back in '73,my nephew that is.
- glenn, sydney, PA
I always thought Elton was saying goodbye to Daniel, who had died, but Elton was imagining him as "going to a better place". The "missing" verse could have made this so much clearer.

Renee, I wish you angels on your shoulders.
- Roy, Doncaster, England
This song for years has chilled me. It has always made me feel like "Daniel" died tragically and this is his sibling dealing with the pain of that.
("God it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes... Do you still feel the pain of the scars that won't heal, Your eyes have died but you see more than I, Daniel you're a star in the face of the sky")

My middle son's name is Daniel and it has always been heart breaking to hear, so, I avoided it. Two weeks ago my 19 year old son was a passenger in a car that crashed. My Daniel was pronounced at the scene. Badly cut from all of the glass... Now, it is all I listen to. We played it after the funeral. It kept running through my head the night we found out.
- RenÃ?e, Kingsburg, CA
I lived in Spain in 1995. When my plane took off from JFK, this song was playing a continuous track in my mind, along with "Leaving On a Jet Plane." The time I spent in Spain was among the most formative in my life. These two songs will always have a deep and special meaning for me.
- Sara, Sunny, CA
I've basically grown up with Elton John music on the radio..He's been around almost since the Beatles broke up..So many good tunes..He and Berney Taupin have been about as prolific as Lennon/McCartney were. Almost 35 years of hits.
- rich, elkins, WV
From 1970 to 1979, Elton John had 3% of all record sales worldwide.
- Darrell, Dallas, TX
This song woill always be close to my heart. I heard this song just after my brother called me in college telling me that he had to leave for the Persian Gulf War and just two years earlier our parents had a somewhat messy divorce that was 10 years in the making("his eyes had died, he'd seen more than I...)
- Edward, Miami, FL
Where would find this 'deleted' verse? I'd love to see it.
- Katt, Evansville, IN
Great song! One of my favorite Elton John Songs. "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" is tops.
- Patty, Framingham, MA
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