Grey Seal

Album: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)
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Songfacts®:

  • Elton John's lyricist, Bernie Taupin, stumped a lot of listeners with this song. While Taupin has sensible explanations for the "Tiny Dancer" and "Levon," the wise Grey Seal is a bit of a mystery, even to him. Taupin has said that it's one of the songs he wrote with lyrics he never really understood, but somehow work. As for Elton, the song is one of his favorites, as he loves the way the music matches up to the lyrics. In the tradition of "A Whiter Shade Of Pale," the lyrics form a series of images that are open to translation. Elton called it "Procol Harum-ish absurd, like a Dali painting."
  • This song dates back to 1970, when it was recorded for Elton John's second (self-titled) album. It didn't make the cut, but was revived for the double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. The original can be heard on the compilation Rare Masters, released in 1992.

Comments: 6

  • Rob Mcgowan from San DiegoLife is often cloudy. Yet, the grey seal sees what is real. He is peaceful, happy, wise. Non-duality. Artists create visions of non-dualistic love without knowing.
  • Pat from Saint Paul, MnI heard this song on the radio today. What I really like about the song is Elton's piano playing, especially in the final verse. It is top notch! I can picture his hands gliding across the keyboard.
  • Jz from BeatWhat he said, the author.
  • Mcwillie from HamptonsGrey Seal was written in response to Elton John finding out that the 5'8" round faced brown eyed James Paul McCartney was replaced by 5'11" green eyed long faced William Shepherd as the Beatles bass player after Revolver.
  • Tim Burton from UkGrey Seal - Walrus - I am the walrus? It’s a piss take of John Lennon and his pontificating: perhaps.
  • Clint from 18510I think it alludes to a dystopian future not unlike Rush's 2112 where in the character finds that he has been told lies by the priests and there is a whole beautiful world and rich past out there that he knows nothing about the character in Grey seal has been sheltered all his life and told lies by the Grey seal who ever and whatever that may be
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