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Your Song

by

Elton John



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

This was Elton's first single to chart. Before he hit it big, he worked as a songwriter and studio musician, and for a time was the warm-up act for Three Dog Night, who recorded this song on their 1970 album It Ain't Easy (they had previously recorded Elton's "Lady Samantha"). When it looked like Elton might finally make it in the States with his own version of "Your Song," Three Dog Night chose not to release it as a single in an effort to give this young upstart a chance to make it on his own.

Elton's version was released on his second album, but the single did not come out until 7 months later, when it was released to promote his tour. Elton released his third album, Tumbleweed Connection, before the single came out, and by this time he was established enough to have his own hit. (Thanks to Kent Kotal at the Forgotten Hits newsletter.)
This was one of the first songs John wrote with Bernie Taupin. They met after a record company gave John some of Taupin's lyrics to work with. Eventually, they both moved into John's parents' house, where they started working together.
The song was written in 1967, when Bernie Taupin was 17 ("hence the extraordinarily virginal sentiments," he has said). Elton has said that this song is not about anyone in particular, so Taupin has refused to reveal the identity of the person - if such person exists - who inspired this song. He explained in a 1989 interview with Music Connection: "It's like the perennial ballad 'Your Song,' which has got to be one of the most naïve and childish lyrics in the entire repertoire of music, but I think the reason it still stands up is because it was real at the time. That was exactly what I was feeling. I was 17 years old and it was coming from someone whose outlook on love or experience with love was totally new and naïve.

Now I could never write that song again or emulate it because the songs I write now that talk about love coming from people my age usually deal with broken marriages and where the children go. You have to write from where you are at a particular point in time, and 'Your Song' is exactly where I was coming from back then."
Bernie Taupin wrote the words for this song over breakfast at Elton's parents' house, where he was staying. The original lyrics have coffee stains on them.

"The original lyric was written very rapidly on the kitchen table of Elton's mother's apartment in Northwood Hills in the suburbs of London, if I recall, on a particularly grubby piece of exercise paper," said Taupin.
Elton wrote the music in about 20 minutes, as he often did with Taupin's lyrics in their early days.
This helped alter the music landscape in the early '70s. After it came out, singer/songwriters like James Taylor and Carole King had a lot of success with heartfelt songs featuring a prominent vocal and a soft piano or guitar.
Regarding the place of this song in the Taupin/John canon, Bernie Taupin said: "This one is the one I recall like it was yesterday. The rest of them I'm a little shaky on. In retrospect, and I've said it on several occasions, I see this song as a bookend and its counterpart would be a song like 'Sacrifice.' 'Your Song' being a song about absolute naiveté in love while 'Sacrifice' is the complete opposite, the story of someone who's seen and done it all, as far as love's concerned, and come out the other end scarred but realistic about certain aspects of the real world."
This attracted the attention of some heavy hitters in the music industry. Arranger Paul Buckmaster and producer Gus Dudgeon both signed on to work with Elton after hearing this. They played a big part in crafting his songs over the next several years.
Elton appeared on US TV for the first time performing this on The Andy Williams Show. He was shy and dressed very plain, which changed a few years later when he became known for his outrageous costumes and flamboyant personality.
Elton's 1975 song "We All Fall In Love Sometimes" is about the writing of this song.
After hearing this, John Lennon said Elton was "The first new thing that's happened since we (The Beatles) happened." They ended up becoming good friends.
Both Elton John and Bernie Taupin agree that this is one of their best efforts. Said Taupin: "I think 'Your Song' is a gem. Our classic, I'm not sure. I'll let others decide that. But it's like an old friend, it means so many things on equally as many levels. It's certainly proved its worth, and I've heard it sung a million times. It's like a good dog, it's always there."

Elton performs this at all his concerts. He once said of this song: "I don't think I've written a love song as good since." He has called it "A perfect song," and says that the older he gets, the more the lyrics resonate with him.
This was originally released as the B-side of "Take Me To The Pilot."
In 1987, John released a live version as a single from his album Live In Australia. It didn't chart, but the next single from the album, "Candle In The Wind," did.
Billy Joel performed this with Elton at the 2001 "Concert For New York" to benefit victims of the World Trade Center attacks. It was not included on the CD of the show.
This was used in the movie Welcome Home, and also in a commercial for Rimmel Cosmetics.
This played a major role in the 2001 movie Moulin Rouge. It is sung by Ewan McGregor when he presents it as a poem to Nicole Kidman.
This was featured in an episode of The Simpsons when Apu gave his wife a present every day of the week leading up to Valentine's Day. This made Homer and the other men of Springfield very upset, and when they heard that Elton John was coming to town, they kidnapped him, thinking he (Elton) was there for Apu. Elton performed this song at the end of the episode with the lyric "This one's from Apu" in place of "This one's for you." (thanks, Patrick - Tallapoosa, GA)
Elton performed this at the "Concert For Diana" on July 1, 2007. It was the first song in the program. (thanks, Donovan Berry - El Dorado, AR)
Elton re-recorded the song with Italian tenor Alessandro Safina for the Sports Relief charity in 2002. This new version reached #4 in the UK singles chart, out-peaking its original chart position of #7.
Elton claims that he doesn't ask Bernie Taupin what his lyrics are about. He told Rolling Stone: "I always thought 'Your Song' was written about one of his girlfriends, and when I asked him that, he just said, 'No it wasn't!' He gets fairly defensive."
Elton John had played keyboards on several of the Hollies' tracks, including their hit song "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother," and the English band had hoped to record this song themselves. "We knew Reg because he was a staff writer with a music publisher we used. He was writing songs well before he became famous," recalled their guitarist/vocalist Tony Hicks to The Daily Mail June 15, 2013. "One was 'Your Song.' I thought it would be a good one for the Hollies, and asked the publisher for permission to record it. He told me Elton had recorded it himself and it was due to be released in the US. He said, 'But it probably won't happen for him, so wait until it's all over.'"

At that time Elton had yet to break into the charts. "Well, it did happen - 'Your Song' became Elton's first big hit," added Hicks, "and one that's unfailingly identified with him. But it so easily could have been Our Song."
Elton John
Elton John Artistfacts
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Comments (48):

Green and blue are the words, as are faith. Very nice, thank you Elton.
- Kimberly, Landing, NJ
This song always reminds me of the film Breaking the Waves, which in itself is such a haunting portrait of innocent/naive love. I've never cared for covers of this song. they just seem to take away from the purity of it. Wonderful.
- Julie, Plano, TX
Having been born around the time that this song was written, I can literally say that Elton John's Your Song has been around all of my life. I have vivid childhood memories where the music of the likes of Elton John and Chicago serve as the backdrop. Much of this music I took for granted through my teen years and my 20's. As I have gotten older, I can't help but notice how much I really appreciate the music that accompanies those childhood memories. I feel truly blessed a song like 'Your Song' by Bernie Taupin and Elton John has been with me all of my life.

It is my intent to pass the greatness of this music to my daughter as she grows. Lets just say that I don't sing nearly as well as Elton but my Elizabeth gets to hear me singing Your Song and others on a daily basis. Meaningful lyrics including, "...how wonderful life is while you're in the world" and "...yours are the sweetest eyes I've ever seen" will never fade with time.
- Keith, Bear, DE
This song is for my wonderful brother. just has learned he has stage 4 cancer. life is wonderful because he's in this world. Thanks for a great song. Love and Peace.
- Nancy, Merle168@Insightbb.com, KY
I've seen Sir Elton in concert twice (once with Billy Joel). He performed this song both times. It's lovely. I enjoy doing it on Karaoke.
- Bob, Bismarck, ND
To correct the first poster, Dan, Garth Brooks' "Your Song" is an entirely different song- I believe it was written for his mother.

Anyway, on topic, I remember my dad telling me when I was a teenager that this was one of my mother's favorite songs but that he found it kind of cheesy (he also would say the same thing about "Lady" by Styx). Now in my twenties, this song has reminded me of my mother ever since she passed away almost 3 1/2 years ago. Perhaps it really is her song. :)
- Erin, Fargo, ND
Elton John's vocals sound a bit too high because the recording was mastered at a slightly faster speed. This error is apparent on the entire ELTON JOHN album.
- Barry, New York, NC
brings tears to my eyes
- audra, columbus, FL
My husband and I named this "our song". A simple, sweet love song. One of the few, if not the only one, I've ever heard.
- Stephanie, Dallas, TX
Diane, GA----------I may be mistaken, but i DID read somewhere that Elton in fact wrote this song for his father---who kept telling him he was wasting his time with the piano and should get a proper job. if that's true, it really is a nice tribute to his Dad, i think. Great song.
- Harold, San Bernadino, CA
A plain and simple love song. The greatest thing anyone can do is be inlove with someone else and tell them exactly how they feel. The world could always do with more romance, and that is what this song is. It absolutely made my night when i heard a busker singing it just as i walked past with a friend whom i share this song with (we heard it on moulin rouge and it became our song).
- Hannah, Adelaide, Australia
@ John from Clymer, you cant remember the song your wife chose for your wedding???? You better remember b4 she asks. Good choice for a wedding song.
- Brad, Long Island, NY
Elton John performed this in Venice, Italy on July 10th in St. Marks Square. It was his opening song. He has a house right off the grand canal.
- Kristen, Scottsdale, AZ
Correction. I think the string arrangement was by Paul Buckmaster, and that Gus Dudgeon produced the track.
- Colin, London, United Kingdom
Further to Noreen's remarks, the Captain Fantastic album included a booklet with photos of Elton's past. One photo is of the lyrics to Your Song in a frame. This sheet is handwritten, and also shows where Elton tweaked them to suit the music (eg repeating "I hope you don't mind").

Of all Bernie Taupin's lyrics, these are in my view the most poetic, although you probably need to read them out loud without thinking of the music to get my point.

The song is a stuttering attempt to express love. Put the lyrics with the low key arrangement by Gus Dudgeon and Elton's very shy vocals, and you have a very beautiful song. I have never heard any version which compares with the original recording.
- Colin, London, United Kingdom
My Michelle by Guns N' Roses was inspired by this song. Axl Rose and his friend Michelle were on a way to a show when this song came on the radio. Michelle said she'd always wanted a song wrote about her so that's what made Axl write it
- Fredrik, Stockholm, Sweden
To me this is a pure, simple love song. My favorite love song of all during my angst-filled teenage years.
- Ron, Tyler, TX
This is my favorite song of all time. I attended a EJ concert here in NY back in 71 and cried through the entire thing esp. when this song was sung. I bought the 45 and took it to every single dance I ever went to back then, asking the DJ to play it (and providing it for him if he didn't have it in his record stash!).

Not meaning to, but as a result of my love for this song, I ended up dancing to it with every guy I was serious about inc. my now-husband! :)
- Marie, Ithaca, NY
Can anyone idenify the theme or sybolism in this song? I need it by tonight please...
- Aubby, Cleveland, TN
this song is like reaaaaaaallly cool :D
- billy, Albany, NY
This is one of my favorite songs!
I will play it at my wedding!!
- Cara, Santa Barbara, CA
DOUHT!! - Sorry about the spelling errors, STEREO! Long day at the office and a proud product of Publik Skoole.
- Chuck, Houston, TX
This song was also used in the made for t.v. movie (Alex-The life of a Child) which was based on the novel and true story of famed (and retired) sports writer, Frank Deford's daughter who died of CF in 1980 at the tender age of 8. The song appears tward the end when Alex, played by Genie James is on her death bed and her father plays the song on her stero claming it was "her faviort song in the whole world" however, no mention of this song was found in the novel which pre-dates the movie and by about five years leaving very little proof that it's true and may have just been used in the movie for dramtic effect. But a good choice none the less.
- Chuck, Houston, TX
This song was playing on the radio in the delivery room when my son was born the day before valentines day 2000,the strange thing is I had already written the words to it in my girlfriends valentines card!
- brad, rochester, England
This song i love it reminds me of my baby brother being born when he has his wedding in the future all so karaoke to this song dedicate it to him. even tho
his ears well most likely be plugged the whole time.
- danielle, palm coast, FL
This is a transcending love song. It can be for lovers, a parent to child, a child to a grandparent, thankful friends. That's what makes this song perfect and Elton John's best.
- Lalah, Wasilla, AK
This is without doubt the best song ever.
- Nick, 's Hertogenbosch, United States
My favorite song of all time
- Quin, Alpine, UT
I thank God for making me fall asleep in the beginning of "Mouling Rouge", the movie, before McGregor & Kidman´s singing could make me begin to hate a song I´d always loved till then.
Some cover versions should never been brought to light ...
- Dalmo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
I heard someone griping about how disjointed the lyrics are at parts. To me, that's part of the appeal. How many times have we been newly in love, and can't figure out what exactly to say around the object of our passion?
- Tom, Norman, OK
The lyrics to this song were written by Bernie Taupin at the breakfast table of Elton's house, where he and Bernie lived with Elton's mom in the early days of their writing partnership. Elton's mom had made breakfast for Bernie one morning, which he ate while penning the lyrics for "Your Song". After finishing them, he read them to Elton, who had called from a pay phone. Elton, upon hearing the lyrics, began humming back the melody he was forming for them in his head. This later was worked into the completed version of "Your Song". ...The paper that Taupin originally scribbled the lyrics on is still around and has coffee and grease stains on it. :)
- Noreen, Santa Rosa, CA
Absolutely love this song. My wife and I each chose a song to dance to at our wedding. I can't remember what she chose, but this was my selection.
- John, Clymer, PA
This is one of the greatest songs of all time
- Joe, Lexington, KY
Elton talked about this song on "Inside the Actor's Studio." The host was talking about Elton's ability to write a great "hook" for a song. In the case of "Your Song," the hook is the repetition of "I hope you don't mind." It was Elton's, not Bernie Taupin's, idea to repeat that line.
- Andy, Arlington, VA
This is basically the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. When Elton played this at the Peachtree Road Tour Concert at The Palace of Auburn Hills, I was crying so hard. Tears were literally pouring down my face! I NEVER cry becasue of songs! This song just really got to me.
- Jimmy, Birmingham, MI
the lyrics are actually about elton john, 'this is your song' kind of a play on words because bernie writes the song for him, but its eltons song coz he co-worte it...confusing
- natasha bragg, lake district, England
The comment about the meeting of Elton John and Bernie Taupin puzzled me. My closest girlfriend (an underaged but would-be Elton groupie then) kept every scrap of data available on him. I was left to believe that Elton and Bernie met through Elton answering an ad for a lyricist left by Taupin in a newspaper. True or False? -leah2saints, College Park, Maryland, USA
- Leah, College Park, MD
I heard an interview with EJ once where he said he is still embarassed by his lame piano playing on the studio version of this song that we all know by heart. Listening to it, it is very "pedestrian" at best. I guess it didn't matter!
- Dave, Denver, CO
Elton: "I don't think I've written a love song as good since."

Has ANYONE?
- Brett, Edmonton, Canada
beautiful song1 one of my favorites by him! heard the rod Stuart version and didn't like it as much, but i've never beena huge stuart fan.
- Stefanie magura, Rock Hill, SC
sang this loud and clear on a too long flight back 2 the U.S.from sweden upon landing (it was the song playing over the intercom thing) and the swedes were weirded out...lol, Great song!
- Natasha, Chico, CA
I saw one of Elton's concerts on television, and he said that the song was about his mother.
- Zach, Horn Lake, MS
I heard on the radio once on Father's Day that Elton was singing this song to his dad. Can anyone verify this?
- Dianne, Ft. Bening, GA
this is one of my favorites cause im a songwriter so i can relate to what its about. love and music is hard to live without, so why not mix em together?
- craig, chester, VA
The Canadian Idols sang this song all together on one of the revealing shows. Unfortinatly, the lack of talent butchered the song.
- Sarah, Toronto, Canada
Elton John performed this on The Simpsons. Apu had asked him to serenade his wife, Manjula. The lyrics 'for you' were replaced with 'from Apu'.
- tom, Trowbridge, England
Three Dog Night also covered this tune- very well I might add. I heard their version on the album "It Ain't Easy" before hearing the original.
- Charles, Charlotte, NC
It is one of the most covered songs by many artists including Rod Stewart, Roy Orbison, Al Jarreau, Garth Brooks or Boyzone to name just a few.

It is included in the Elephant Medley sung by Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman in the succesful movie Moulin Rouge.

Elton John launched a new version of "Your Song" in a 2002 duet with the opera singer Alessandro Safina.
- Dan, Bucharest, Romania
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