Roy Rogers

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

  • Roy Rogers, the famous singing cowboy (the King of the Cowboys) was a big-name Hollywood actor who was idolized by millions, and a star not only of films but of radio and TV. Although his film career finished in the early '50s and his TV career in the late '50s, he was instantly recognizable and his name was still known throughout the world up until his death in 1998. When Elton and his collaborator Bernie Taupin wrote this, Rogers was still very much alive. It is not only a song about Roy Rogers but a hymn for everyone who lives a boring, humdrum life and yearns to escape. Although it was born out of Taupin's love of the Old West, the duo had a consensus.
  • In a 1977 appearance at Empire Pool Wembley, Elton played a few solo numbers before the band joined him on-stage. Introducing this song he said it was about one of his childhood heroes. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander - London, England, for above 2
  • Kacey Musgraves covered this for the 2018 tribute album, Restoration: Reimagining the Songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin. The country star met Elton in 2017 at the Royal Albert Hall where they both performed. She explained why she chose to record this particular Elton tune: "I'm the dime store cowgirl; he's a brown dirt cowboy. This couldn't be a better fit."

Comments: 5

  • Max Meadows from Fort MyersI've always believed that the song's protagonist is an unemployed middle-aged family man who has retreated into the fantasy world after having no luck finding another job. Roy Rogers just happened to be the show he's glommed onto; millions have done the same with Star Trek, Star Wars, The Matrix, to name a few.
  • Mitch Bettinger from Englewood OhioEver since getting the Yellow Brick Road album for Christmas when it first came out and I was yet a very young man I have loved the song Roy Rogers. It immediately captures every aspect of my being throughout the entire song. Even today a half century later it still pops into my head every now and then and I catch myself singing it to myself until it escapes my mind again. Great song and metaphor.
  • Scotty from Cheyenne, WyLove this song...the image of quiet solace at the end of the day just causes me to take a deep breath and relax...any time. Thanks, Elton, Bernie.
  • Mike from Houston, TxFor those of us....(no matter what age or place of birth) who "love" the old westerns (meaning the kind where there is an obvious good guy..etc)...The images evoked in this song....are images of our own life. We might come home from a hard day...or not....but when we tune in Roy and Trigger...we are in for ..solace?.....rejuvination?.....The outside world which mostly stinks.....is for about an hour ....relegated to a back seat. We see how a good man....who lives with his own code of honor...a code his own, yet instantly recognizable to anyone...lives and deals with this old world...full of evil....But with his trusty friends.....his trusty horse...and his gal....comes out shining at the end of the story. Exactly what so many of us...would aspire to. The lyric images of setting the scene in our own space....for watching the story unfold....is ....accurate?....It feels right. And as the scenes float by in front our eyes....we get a transfusion......the dirty in us....is decreased while our goodness is replenished.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyBernie Taupin was, indeed, a big fan of American Western movies and TV shows as a kid. His family called him "The brown dirt cowboy". The nickname stuck, and Elton included it on one of his album titles ("Captain Fantastic and The Brown Dirt Cowboy").
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