Ticking

Album: Caribou (1974)
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  • The Elton John/Bernie Taupin composition "Ticking" was inspired by the Texas Clock Tower Massacre of August 1966 which was perpetrated by Charles Whitman. There have been many similar mass shootings since.

Comments: 11

  • Gerry Hofman from Vancouver, WaOne of his best serious songs.
  • Denise ArroyoHis solo version is incredible. It’s an emotional song. Some may find it disturbing and hard to listen to. However, it tells the haunting truth of what is happening in America. And Elton’s piano playing is unbelievable.
  • Jeff Chastain from Mesquite, NvThis song is missing from the online versions of the album. One of my favorites, I was disappointed that it was no long on Caribou. Perhaps the subject has just become too raw and Sir Elton decided to pull it.
  • Jon from AtlantaWow, I am really surprised. Maybe because I was a child of the 70s. This song was to me always a true story about a bar shooting in New York in 72 or 73. They had banned the song from the radio for quite a while because the police were afraid of copycat killings. I thought even that was the correct name of the bar...The Kicking Mule......I just asked my wife and messaged my brother, both kids of the 70s and both thought the same as me.
  • Scotty from Apache Junction, ArizonaI was going to post the "rifle shells" fact Jim from Pleasant Hill, Ca until I had seen his. I've personally sung this songs hundreds of times since 1974. When the "rifle shells" lyrics are sung, I substitute them with..."rifle bullets."
  • Adam from WisconsinIn an interview with Keyboard Magazine Sir Elton revealed that when he recorded the song the basic track (the piano and vocals you hear on the Lp) they were done live (um...in the studio, that is). The only overdubs are his background vocals and the synthesizer. He said the song was too difficult to the parts separately!
  • Colin from London, United KingdomI have a very clear image about how this song should be performed. Elton at the piano, no-one else on stage. As the song begins, a giant screen descends, and images appear from Columbine, Newtown, the Gabby Giffords incident. As Elton sings the line "His parents never thought of him as their troubled son", the image of Alex Jones in rant mode appears. For the rest of the song, images of the massacres are interspersed with stills of Wayne LaPierre and Conservative pundits like O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter. As the final chord reaches a crescendo, images of guns fill he screen, getting bigger and bigger...
  • Robin from Milford, NjVery, very few have even come close to the musical and lyrical GENIUS of Elton and Bernie! This song, proudly, another example.
  • Jim from Pleasant Hill, CaThe lyrics contain a technical error in that the police couldn't have pumped him full of rifle "shells" (bullet casings vs. actual bullets).
  • Jim from Long Beach, CaThis is haunting,yet powerful...
  • J.b. from San Jose, CaI was 12 (and, studying classical piano) when this song was released in 1975; I wore it OUT on the old vinyl L.P. "Caribou" (Yes, kiddies, music was played on a vinyl! platter....ha ha.
    Learning this song was tricky; the left hand keeps a "ticking" syncapated rythm. Great song, great songwriting!!! Best lyric in the song comes at the end: "Crazy boy, you'll only wind up with strange notions in your head, hearing, hearing, ticking, ticking..." Who writes lyrics that that, nowadays, and, uses such descriptive words???? Bernie and Elton did...
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