Postcards From Richard Nixon

Album: The Captain & the Kid (2006)

Songfacts®:

  • Running to 5 minutes 14 seconds, "Postcards From Richard Nixon" is the opening track on The Captain & the Kid. Like all the tracks thereon, it was co-written by Elton and his original lyricist Bernie Taupin. The two men were interviewed at length in a video to promote the concept album, wherein Bernie said it kicks off with Elton's ascension, which he identified as Los Angeles, 1970. The man himself confirmed this, adding that this was where they'd always wanted to be, a sentiment that has been shared by most British artistes down the years if only in view of the potential of the enormous American market.
  • Richard Millhouse Nixon (1913-94) was the 37th President of the United States. Although he left office in disgrace following the Watergate scandal, future historians will unquestionably judge him more kindly than his contemporaries, especially in view of America's disastrous foreign policy in the wake of September 11.

    Having said all that, this is not really a song about Richard Nixon, tribute or otherwise, but about two young Englishmen on the cusp of super-stardom and their vision of the Promised Land.
  • Written in 4/4 time, "Postcards From Richard Nixon" is similar in content to the Al Stewart song "A Child's View Of The Eisenhower Years" fifteen years down the line, but while a California-based Al was writing about his boyhood vision of American society, Bernie Taupin was looking back three decades and more.
  • The song ends with Nixon's resignation, "I've gotta go but you can stay." Although it is most unlikely the President of the United States would have sent a postcard to a then relatively obscure singer-songwriter from across the Pond, stranger things have happened since. Twenty-seven years later, Elton would perform at the funeral of a personal friend who was not a president but an even more exotic creature, a princess. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for all above

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