Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock 'n Roll)

Album: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)

Songfacts®:

  • A throwback to music of the late '50s and early '60s when lots of songs were about dance crazes and teenage girls, this song finds Elton John singing about a 16-year-old girl who can't do "The Twist," but can outbuck a bronco.
  • This 100mph song was recorded for the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road sessions and is the 13th track on the double album, number one on Side 3. Running to just 2 minutes 42 seconds, it was written by the regular team of Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Perhaps surprisingly the use of the expletive "s--t" ("Where you really kick the shit when the sun goes down") did not cause controversy, alas, the same cannot be said for the Sex Pistols three years later when they used an even stronger expletive on a London television program before the watershed. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England
  • In an interview with Circus shortly after the album was released, Elton called this song "a cross between surfing music and Freddie Cannon records," adding, "I wanted to do something to end the 'Crocodile Rock' thing."
  • In the last chorus, Elton sings the first line as "Your sister can't surf but she can rock and roll," a nod to the Beach Boys.

Comments: 1

  • AnonymousWhat do the backing vocalists sing. Can't quite make out the nonsense syllables.
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