Album: Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only The Piano Player (1973)
Charted: 4 2
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  • Daniel is traveling tonight on a plane
    I can see the red tail lights heading for Spain
    Oh and I can see Daniel waving goodbye
    God it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes

    They say Spain is pretty, though I've never been
    Well Daniel says it's the best place that he's ever seen
    Oh and he should know, he's been there enough
    Lord I miss Daniel, oh I miss him so much

    Oh oh, Daniel my brother you are older than me
    Do you still feel the pain of the scars that won't heal?
    Your eyes have died, but you see more than I
    Daniel you're a star in the face of the sky

    Oh oh, Daniel my brother you are older than me
    Do you still feel the pain of the scars that won't heal?
    Your eyes have died, but you see more than I
    Daniel you're a star in the face of the sky

    Daniel is traveling tonight on a plane
    I can see the red tail lights heading for Spain
    Oh and I can see Daniel waving goodbye
    God it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes
    Oh God it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes

Comments: 124

  • Tony from Pacific NorthwestI had always wondered about the meaning of this song. Now looking at the story, it really shouldn't surprise me that Bernie Taupin wrote lyrics that are vague and confusing. LOL.
  • Sdkrr from Australia- Melbourne The song Daniel is my favourite
    Our son was named Daniel who died from leukaemia at the of 13. ( so miss him everyday )
    I get very emotional every time it’s on

    Thank you Elton John
  • Rooney from Houston TxI thought it was about a young gay fan away from home and got tooken in by a older gay man...and in the end elton had to get away from him because he despised the gay older guy ...lol
  • BenI have always thought that this song was about a man grieving the loss of his brother who died in a plane crash on his annual trip to Spain. it is always great to hear different perspectives of what a song is. it really helps you look at it from all angles.
  • Brian from Wash DcSarah from Perth your comments cause me some pain...I am way to empathetic.
    I thought much of Elton John back in the late 70s. As spokesman for Coca-Cola he kept a residence in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, My sister was looking for bathroom furnishings for her re-modeling and it just so happened Elton John was re-modeling his gigantic suite in Atlanta. My sister and her mate (she has this in common with Elton John) met Elton and eventually were invited to his small, intimate Christmas party. Elton had Christmas gifts for all ...over 350 people.
    Kids these days do not care or even know about Elton John and I do not blame them. After 1980 or so his music got maudlin, Liberacesque and boring. Nothing worse than an old, washed up queen, In the 70s he was the music of my life, "Tiny Dancer". "your Song" ""Daniel" "Danny Bailey" "Saturday" and others had been living in a collective in DC, community organizing there and in Chicago, living with the first woman/girl I ever loved, young with only cherished responsibilities and way too much money for someone 19 years old. Call it ego, call it Devil,call it karma ...my "cher of bowlies" collapsed after 2 years and I was introduced to real life. Perhaps that has something to do with my changed outlook on Elton. If you have a brother you love ...you know that first and foremost, "Daniel" was about brother, anti-war yes but brother first.
  • Sarah from Perth My brother was named after this song. It was played at his funeral when he was only 30yrs old. God, I miss my Daniel.
  • Mia from San Diego, CaThis is the first song I ever heard from Elton John when I was a pre-teen. I immediately fell in love with this song and became one of EJ's biggest fans from that moment! In the song, Daniel goes to Spain. My family is from Spain, so this song really spoke to me and has a very different meaning for me, despite its true meaning. Years later, when I had my first child, and only son, I named him Daniel (of course!). For the verse, "Your eyes have died", I change it when I sing it. I sing, "Your eyes have diamonds". It fits my Daniel much better. My son, Daniel also grew up to be a very talented musician. It's the circle of life! ;)
  • Alex from SeattleA stab at that missing verse:

    “People say at least he came back from the war
    But if you look into his eyes - Daniel’s not there anymore
    Oh and - I hope someday we’ll find him again
    Oh I miss Daniel - I miss my brother and my friend”
  • Joan from San DiegoThis song is very personal to me. I didn't know what it was really about when it was released. I only knew what it meant to me. My brother had joined the Army and was slated to go to Viet Nam. I cried whenever I heard that song. It was the first time I was ever separated from my older brother and I missed him very much. I never heard an interpretation of the song until I came across this site tonight. Fortunately my brother came home safely. So many others weren't as fortunate.
  • Bill from Ohio, UsaTaupin is color-challenged ("You see I've forgotten if they're green or they're blue.") Airplanes don't have "red taillights"...they have a red beacon on the left wing, and a white taillight.

    Anyways...would anyone care to help me concoct the 'missing last verse'? Here's my first stab...

    Daniel got lost in a faraway land
    Then came home to a world he'll never again understand
    Oh and, Daniel I try to understand why.
    But I love you Daniel
    You are the star in my eyes.
  • Dannelle from OrmeauI had a cousin that passed away 8 years ago and when I listen to this song its like he is there with me the song played at his funeral.
  • Lori from Chicago, IlDon't Shoot Me I'm Just the Piano Player was one of the first albums I ever bought as a teenager when it came out in 1973. it has always made me cry but I could never figure out why, and I always somehow knew it was about a soldier. I finally figured out why... my life would be changed by my Daniel. My son, Danny died 3 years ago after returning from Iraq. His eyes were old when he returned... he definitely saw more than he should ever should have by the time he returned at age 20. I couldn't protect him as all parents want to do for their children. Meaningful lyrics and beautiful tune? Oh yeah. Lord I miss Daniel, I miss him so much.
  • Shannon from Folsom, Ca.Hi Kristina, I found this site because I was in pawn shop recently. I found a framed autographed picture of Elton. It said, "To Linda, thank you for Daniel." I thought Bernie Taupin wrote those lyrics so I looked it up. I was right but then I found your post. Don't know if it means anything to you but I thought I'd throw it out to you there anyway. Good luck.
  • Kristina from Eugene, OrTo finish the last bit of my last post about concert dedication to my cousin Danny, the song Daniel was loudly dedicated during one of his concerts sometime during the 80's. My cousin Danny lived in Seattle, so it may have very well taken place at a concert there, although my cousin did a lot of traveling... especially to see Elton. So, anyone that can assist me with proving this that would be great!! It is part of our family history now.
  • Kristina from Eugene, OrAlthough Daniel was written by another, for another, I have a quirky fact I would like help in proving with information off the web that I haven't come across myself yet. Ok, so my fantastically beautiful and rich co place sometime in the 80's. My cousin dated Elton John. This took place sometime in the 80's. They were so close that Elton has been to my Aunt's house in the suburbs of Seattle, WA and played on her piano. I have seen the photos myself, which our family protects and NEVER shares with others outside the family. Anyways, on one occasion Elton actually dedicated this song to my cousin Danny. I would like to know where I could find a recording or other evidence of this live concert dedication. No specific year, and no specific place.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn April 1st 1973, "Daniel" by Elton John entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #77; eight weeks later on May 27th, 1973 it would peak at #2* {for 1 week} and spent 15 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #1 {for 2 weeks} on May 6th, 1973 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
    And north of the border; on June 2nd, 1973 it also reached #1 {for 2 weeks} on the Canadian RPM 100 Singles chart...
    Elton John, born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, celebrated his 68th birthday one week ago on March 25th {2015}...
    * The week "Daniel" was at #2, the #1 record for that week was "My Love" by Paul McCartney and Wings.
  • Rick from Albuquerque, New MexicoI think it was great Elton John cut off the last part of the song here, about the brother who's a Viet Nam Vet leaving the US to go to Spain. Whatever the truth may be about this apparent missing verse may be. Sir Elton probably realized even with the truth, people would still think all kinds of thoughts which would only distort the truth. By cutting out the verse; Elton John in essence leaves out his importance, and makes the his fans thoughts number one. This marks the true genius of every super star; placing others feelings before theirs, thus giving everyone a chance to relate to the music in each person's unique individuality.
  • Kylie from Arlington, VaI have listened to this song for many years but I never really heard it until I found my bother Daniel dead in his room right after my father passed. I have tears in my eyes even as I write this. You know he was a kind soul as strong as Samson and as wise as Solomon. So ever time I hear this song I get that peace of mind that he's okay when I see him wave and smile and say "see ya" boy I sure miss Daniel my bother.
  • Lisa from Stamford, CtI think I have romanticized this song for years. Since my first visits to Spain, in the late 70s and 80s, I have always seen it as a welcoming, generous and warm country full of people who were kind to each other and who manifested a certain sense of fraternity with their fellow Spaniards and visitors. I attributed this to the bond they felt after the death (finally) of Franco. Daniel, to me, was always about an American older brother who was the wiser and the idealist, who joined the Lincoln Brigade (Americans) to help fight with the Republicanos against the Fascists in the Spanish Civil War, and he never returned.
  • Mike from Atlanta, GaThanks so much for this wonderful site! This song was very meaningful to me as I lost Daniel my brother at the age of 35. He was a travel agent so waving "Goodbye" from a plane was always especially poignant to me. Ironically my partner also had a brother named "Daniel" who died in his early 20's.
  • Lois from Baltimore , MdMy brother drowned in 1977 at the age of 17. He and I were the biggest EJ fans at the time. He had all of his(8 tracks )back then . On the way to my brothers funeral Daniel came on the car radio, and it reminded me of him ever since.
  • Tink from Red Lodge, United KingdomI Love this song! For the longest time I have been trying to figure out the story behind the lyrics. Glad to see I'm not the only one. I'm going to agree with most and say I think that this song is about a brother leaving to return to war or to get away from the the mistreatment of Vets returning from war back then. But the line" Your eyes have died, you see more than I" I think it a meaning of how after most soldiers see war first hand they've by far seen more than many have seen so they tend to see a little more in little things in life that others may not. Sort of like how when the innocence of youth is removed (i.e. loss of a close family member or friend, heartbreak, witnessing an accident or being in one) And of Course "Must be the clouds in my eye" Is just the one the many excuses us as men make up for crying. LOL
  • Jay from Sunnyvale, CaI've always loved this song. Its one of my favorites by EJ. I think somebody put this song in the movie "Alice doesn't live here anymore" as a diss in the vomit scene in the car as if the song is sickening.
  • Lora Stock from Melb, Australia"Daniel"
    - could have been written for murdered Aust. boy Daniel Morcombe (snatched from bus stop on way to buy Christmas presents.... a teary thought alone).
    particularly with the lines .... "Oh and I can see Daniel waving goodbye... God it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes; .. Do you still feel the pain of the scars that won't heal.. Your eyes have died, but you see more than I"... Lord I miss Daniel, Oh I miss him so much".
  • Mary from Santa Barbara, CaThis song brings tears to my eyes, for my older brother, Daniel, who was "lost" to mental illness quite a few years ago. No doubt that he has scars that won't heal.
  • Peter from Weymouth, Ma"Daniel" reminds me of a dear friend of mine from college, in Maine, USA. Albeit his name was Carlo Daniel... many of his friends called him Daniel or Danny. He was my first male lover...briefly before we graduated the university. I have yet to see him again since we left school. He and I were frequent travelers, jet setting to Europe and beyond. He now lives in Germany, and I am sure he has traveled to Spain. When I hear this song I think of Carlo flying over head, looking out the plane window and waving down at me. This song will always bring tears to my eyes. I apologize if this comment is TMI for some folks, but I had to post it.
  • Elsa from Bronx, NyI always loved this song. It touches my heart everytime i hear it, especially now that I lost my brother 4 yrs ago. I always thought this song had to do with maybe Elton had a brother named daniel and was a song dedicated to him, but i guess i was wrong by reading these comments.
  • Daniel from Los Angeles, CaJust saying. It would make total sense why the Vietnam Vet lyrics would be chopped. Mr. Taupin trying to protect Mr. John. But that was 38 years ago.
  • Daniel from Los Angeles, CaThere is nothing to say that Mr. John had not had any relations with a "Daniel" that happened to go to Vietnam? Is there? The lyric writer, Mr. Taupin, could have been given just the name.
  • Daniel from Los Angeles, CaI was named after this song and it has always haunted my life. Elton John's ex lover, Vietnam War Vet, Disenfranchised Seventies Radical... I have heard all the rumors and stories and all make some sort of sense (especially when you put "lover" rather than "brother") yet I still hear a poetic beautiful song that speaks to us all even still. It took a number of years, but my best bet is that the Biblical and the carnal somehow intertwined to craft this music. Daniel will always be travelling tonight on a plane, and that is the beauty of the piece. Vietnam was a second thought.
  • Aaron Lehmann from Albequeque, BhutanSometimes, folks, a cigar is just a cigar.

    I don't see any reason to believe this song is about more than a man seeing his blind (your eyes have died) elder brother flying away to Spain, and crying (clouds in my eyes) as the plane gets to far away to see except the tail lights (I can see the red tail lights/a star in the face of the sky). Since the narrator asks if Daniel can still feel the pain of the scars, I think Daniel lost his vision in an accident. The brother might feel responsible for it, but that might be reading too much into the song.
  • Pete from Louisville, Ky@Wesley, Foresthill, CA - I think "Your eyes have died" is a euphemism for "you have given up on life". Sadly, a large number of returning veterans suffer from PTSD, and those from Vietnam suffered even moreso because they lived in a time when men were supposed to just suck it up. PTSD wasn't treated in the same way it is today. To top it all off, they were the object of scorn from the public, as if it were all their fault! I can't imagine going off to fight for my country, suffering greatly in battle and returning only to be ridiculed. Even today many soldiers have a very difficult time adjusting to civilian life. It's really sad. We need to take better care of our own.
  • Wesley from Foresthill, CaIt is sad when people go away for most reasons.

    It is especially sad when they die and I am grieved with the losses of those that have commented above.

    The dumb line in the song is "your eyes have died, but you see more than I"! It makes no sense unless he thinks that a dead person sees more than a iving person which is not Biblical or logical.
  • Hope from Boston, MaThis song always reminds me of when my brother played Daniel in his school's performance of The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket. In the end Daniel dies, and although it was just a play, seeing my brother dying on-stage was terrible. This song always reminds me of that final scene.
  • James from Mesquite, TxMy older brother turns 59 today; unfortunately, we're distant in ways, but I hardly ever hear Daniel without wet eyes..... When this was a hit, our family had been going through some tough times; always more in tune with lyrics of pop songs than I , this beacme our "brothers" song, as he relayed what it meant to him, and the application to us. Of course, we each always thoughjt of the other as able to "see more than I" David, YOU'RE the star; some day I'll be able to thank you again for that special moment among the best of times you shared so deeply from a brother's heart....
  • Jesse from Covina, CaMy 20yr old son Jesse passed away during a wrestling match Sept.18, 2010 and when I hear this song it not only makes me think of him but also of my daughter. Just seeing how much she misses him and the lyrics about his all his brothers eyes have seen. The lyrics bring tears to my eyes, but knowing the beautiful life he led brings a smile to my face.
  • Kristina from Oklahoma City, Okthis song reminds me of all the people ive lost along the way, my big brother died before i was born and i never got to know him, and a friend of mine died when he was 16 when we were teens, and just last year one of my best friends left home for Chicago because he said he couldn't breathe here anymore after, i think about them every day, and this song reminds me im not alone
  • Judy from Blythe, CaMy son Daniel wasn't really named after this song, but when it came out I loved it. Mom mom helped name my only son Daniel. He was born 4/13/74. My son Daniel took his own life five weeks ago on 12/04/10. I always thought the song was about Elton's brother, going to heaven, but didn't really understand the lyrics. I know them by heart now tho!! My pain and grief is so new. My husband and I are trying to cope with the loss of our precious son. God, I miss Daniel, I miss him so much....
    Thanks, Daniel's Mom
  • Anita from La Crosse, WiIn June of 1973, my brother Daniel drown at the age of 13. I remember being in a record store and hearing this song for the first time shortly after he passed. I was sure that Elton recorded this song for my brother. Throughout the past 37 years, whenever I or one of my siblings is struggling emotionally, this song comes on the radio. We all take it as a sign from our Daniel "Chopper" that he is watching over us and is always there. Love you and miss you ever day, Chopper.
  • Carrie from Houston, TxGrrr. . .just watched an old episode of "Cold Case" where Vera refers to the missing verse and says that ASCAP has it. Bummer.
  • Danielle from El Paso, TxThis song really brought me to my knees when I heard it ... I was driving home from work sad and tired when the song came out on the radio... It really reminded me of my bestfriend... about a month a go he took his life because his first love broke his heart.... he was always a happy person with a big smile a funny guy.... he was like my brother we would always say that we where twins and that he was my gay husband... he was a very good looking guy but his boyfriend took all that and destroyed his heart..... I will always love him and remember him... I live you Danny can't wait to see you again my love.....
  • Nicole from Morgan Hill , CaWhen I was 4 years old my mom & dad (Daniel) were murdered. He had a twin brother and for whatever reason I grew up thinking that he had written this song for my dad. When I got older I realized that was not true, but 25 years later this song still brings me to tears.
  • Rebecca from Bradford, United KingdomI used to sing this song to my brother Daniel all the time when he was little. When he joined the army in 1985, I sang it to him over the phone, usually when I missed him most.
    He was in a plane crash in Afghanistan on May 17th this year, just 3 days before his 41st birthday. If his body is found I hope that I can play it at his funeral.
  • Daniel from El Paso, TxThis is a great song. My older brother who died about 18 years ago used to tell me whenever this song came on, "this is your song, it's named after you!" To this day I think of him when I hear this song and I can't help but smile and be a little sad too.
  • Marcie Lightwood from Bethlehem, PaThis was playing on the plane that carried me from my youth to my adulthood in 1973. I flew to California from the east coast to join the man who was to be my husband. I cried and cried at the song - Daniel was my little brother's name. I never really reconnected with Dan on an emotional level, and he died a few years ago.
    This song has always made me cry.
  • Don from B G, KyI wonder where the missing verse about Daniel being a disabled Viet Nam war vet can be found? Anyone know?
  • Randy from Houghton Lake, MiIt was touching reading some of the comments for this song. It means so much to people who have lost loved ones named Daniel and it seems that the song helps in the grieving process even though it makes you feel sad it's a release of emotion. This song came out just as I was graduating high school I remember it as a very happy time of my life but this song always made me feel sad. I've always loved it though
  • Joanna from Los Angeles, CaIn late 1971 Reginald Dwight met a dancer in Los Angeles and then had a son (named DANIEL, prior to the release of the song by that name in 1973) with her, born in late 1972. Once Reginald was told of the pregnancy, he left Los Angeles, and has refused to acknowledge his son, who is now 37.
  • Joanna from Columbus, GaIf there is a more beautiful love song written for anyone who has suffered the loss of anyone in any capacity, I would like to know it. My heart breaks for everyone who has posted at this site. My prayers are with you, for you and may His peace comfort you in the future as it has in the past.
  • Jude from Adelaide, AustraliaI always loved this song , when I was a teenager and always said I would use it to name my son if I had one. I did have a son and I called him Daniel. He died when he was a baby and to this day the song haunts me, yet I still love it as I feel a connection to my son when I hear it. Always takes my breath away, many years later. I always look at clouds and think I see him there and tail lights bring tears to my eyes. Thank you Bernie and Elton, for regardless of what the song is about, and judging by other posts, we all love this song for our own interpretations. I find this very comforting to know I am not alone in feeling this way. Lord, I miss Daniel x x x x x x
  • Jeanie from Chapel Hill, NcWhen "Daniel" came out I was only 12 years old, but this was the song that got me hooked on Elton. To this day, he has always been my favorite singer/songwriter. He is so good, now over 30 years later, he is still a hot and popular singer. (As are so many artists from the 70's that are still performing.) Anyway when I had my first child in 1997 I named him after this song. He now has a younger brother and when the kids were little I used to sing this song to them at bedtime.
  • Suzanne from Hayward, CaThis song was written shortly after the birth of Reginald Dwight's son, Daniel, in Dallas, Texas/ 11/19/72.
  • Rob from Maale Adumim, IsraelI believe the missing lyric can be found in Taupin's book "The One Who Writes The Words". I bought it in the late 70's, but gave it to a friend of mine at the time. Many years later I asked for it back to copy some of the pages, but she said no :(
  • Marja from Destin, FlI just played Daniel with a video at my fathers funeral 9/9/09 his name was Daniel. It was a beautiful tribute to the man I'll miss terribly. Lord, I miss Daniel.
  • Al from Houston , TxWhere can we find the deleted verse? I hope it is as good as the first one.
  • Ray from New York, NyThis is what I found in reguards to the song "Daniel". Here is an excerpt from a live radio interview with fans calling in.
    "The next caller was Mark from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He asked Elton to play Daniel, but not before asking him to explain the meaning
    of the song. As all Reg Heads know, the song is about Daniel, a blind Vietnam War veteran as sung by Daniel's sibling (the song never
    suggests that the sibling is male). Elton further explained that in their early days of writing songs together,Bernie would submit lyrics
    that were composed as a bunch of words on a page with no regard to lyrical form (verse and chorus). At times, these 'lyrics' tended to
    go beyond a reasonable length. So, Elton would editorialize to reduce the song to a standard timing (for radio play no doubt). Such was the
    fate of Daniel. The original third verse explained the meaning of the song, but Elton felt that a 6 minute version was too much to bare, so he deleted it ('I'll just take this bit out.') Thus, the meaning was lost forever to the general public. On this fine evening, however,Elton breathed new life into 'Daniel' to the point that the missing
    third verse really didn't matter that much anymore because it would
    not be 'Daniel' if it had been presented any other way."Here you'll find the lyrics to "Daniel" (the missing verse is
    irretrievably lost, since both Elton John and Bernie Taupin have said
    in interviews that they cannot remember the words):

  • Cameron from Lewiston, IdDanny was my best friend, we grew up together and he was a little older than me, I am an only son and I liked to think of him as my brother.
    He died in 2006 and I shake every thime I hear this song. Thank you Bernie and Elton.
  • Dani from High Wycombe, United Kingdomthis song was played at my partners funeral on monday it is such a fantastic song. he was not just my partner my my 2 year olds daddy. he loved listenin to this song. sleep well baby. love you
  • John from Arkansas City, KsI remember buying Elton's albums when they first come out. I just remember this being the perfect song to begin the album. The title of the album comes from a title of a movie,hence the album cover art.
  • Steven from Vermilion, OhThis song, to me, is about our youngest son, Daniel. He passed away before he had a chance to meet his brothers. I remember crying during that evening in June of '06, seeing taillights on the cars in Cleveland; we had just told Daniel's oldest brother about our loss.
    I will always cherish this song, even though it hurts.
  • Jim from Kennett Square, PaHey Cynthia -- Sir Elton and Billy Joel and indeed touring this spring and summer. It's called the "Face-2-Face Tour" and they will be coming to Philadelphia in April. Check billyjoel.com for tour dates and you can purchase tickets through the website too if you wish. Hope you getg to see them in person!
  • Lindy from San Antonio, AzMy brother committed suicide at 33. The night that the plane left to fly his body home for burial, I sat on the tarmac and watched it leave. "Daniel" was playing and I cried until there were no tears left. He was a kind person who got very sick. I never hear this song that I don't cry for my brother and it has been 25 years . . .
  • Becky from Mcconnelsville, Oh, OhThis song makes me cry because my cousin Rita loved this song (my older brother is Daniel and she said she always thought of him when she heard it). She lived with us for several months when I was a child in Michigan, and died at 17 in an auto accident in 1972. She was a beautiful, sweet "hippie" with waist-length flowing blonde hair. She had gone to Georgia to pick up some of her things to bring back to Michigan and was on her way back to us but only made it as far as the mountains of Tennessee.
  • Kate from North Kingstown, Ri"Daniel" was always one of my favorite Elton songs, and now it holds very special meaning to me, because it was one of my very close friend's favorite song. She died a year ago today in a car crash. This one's for you, Kel.
  • Bonny from Canberra, AustraliaThis is an absolutely beautiful song. It would have been interesting to be able to read the missing lyrics from the deleted verse. Although I am much younger than Elton, I not only look up to him as a musician, but am proud of him for who he is and what he has achieved. Elton John is one of the many reasons why music is important to me!
    This song will always be close to my heart!

  • Cynthia from Scranton, PaThis is my favorite Elton John song of all time!! I love Sir Elton and his music. I heard a rumor that he and Billy Joel are going to be touring together sometime soon. Can anyone verify this? Oh and Renee from Kingsburg, I wish you and your family all the best. I'm sure that your beautiful Daniel is smiling down on you right now. Peace
  • David from Glennville, Ga Yes, this song is a CLASSIC! I say "classic," not because I like it, but because it catches the EMOTION of the story, so well! And, yes, as was said, earlier, the absence of the final verse leaves the song somewhat ambiguous, leaving the listener the freedom to interpret the song as he DESIRES!
    So, in my mind, Daniel, who was, of course, blind, knew that he would soon die, (from what, I do not know) & made his "death-wish" PERFECTLY CLEAR, to his family, that he wishes to be buried in Spain. (He had apparently spent some time, in Spain, before he went blind, & LOVED it, there!).
    SO, NOW,.... Daniel has died, and, as per his request, is now "traveling on a plane." His younger brother can see the red "tail" lights, indicating that the plane is LEAVING, rather than ARRIVING,...... Daniel is LEAVING, in more ways than ONE!...... DEATH,....so PERMANENT!....
    "I can see Daniel, waving 'goodbye',"..... OF COURSE it must be the "clouds (tears) in his eyes, after all, Daniel CANNOT be "waving good-bye,"....he is DEAD, & is in a CASKET,......
    I had never imagined that this "classic" song had anything to do with the Vietnamese War; I am not disagreeing with ANY of these other comments, here.....I am simply explaining the way that I had always "imagined" the song, to be,......
    WHAT A CLASSIC, Reginald Kenneth Dwight!....AND Bernie Taupin!....THANK YOU!
  • Dwayne from Salinas, Cai heard this is originaly about daniel leaving to war... but some of the lyrics were not sang cause the song would be too long.... Is this true????
  • Monica from Dallas, TxThis song gives me chills. My older brother Daniel died in a plane crash when he was 24. He was in the Air Force-and left behind many brothers and sisters, a wife and three little boys. I heard this song for the first time one day after he passed away. It will always be "him" to me.
  • Betania from Alexandria, Vathis song talks about a person abusing substances and a loved one seing him high ro dying
  • Ben from Rochester, Afghanistanthis sonmg is dedicated to my gay bumchum daniel cherry
  • Ben from Rochester, Afghanistanomg im gay hahahahahahahahahah

    daniel grant
  • Sasha from Winston, MsWow.
    Although mine will just be one more comment added on to many, I'd like to say that this song reminds me of my friend Dan; he's not dead or dying or blind, but he's like a brother to me, and he lives thousands of miles away. I miss him an incredible amount, and wish he'd come and visit. :(
  • Gina from Oswego, NyMy brother Daniel died of cancer at age 43, I was 27 at the time. When I was 3, Dan left for college. My brother Fran would play this song and I would cry because I thought it was about him leaving for college - "Daniel my brother, you are older than me" and now the words now seem prophetic - "do you still feel the pain" his cancer. Before I read this page, I thought that "Daniel" was "seeing" from heaven. It still means that for me, that Dan is looking down on me and my family and he is at peace without any more pain. "Lord I miss Daniel, I miss him so much."
  • Ken from Auckland, New ZealandLet's write the last verse. Here's a start:

    Daniel's a hero well that's what they say -
    Blinded and broken, a soldier so brave -
    Oh but all he wants is to get him some peace -
    He's leavin' leavin', he's a star that's out of reach
  • Ken from Auckland, New ZealandLet's have some fun and write the last verse. Here's a start:
    Daniel's a hero well that's what they say -
    Blinded and broken, a soldier so brave -
    Oh but all he wants is to get him some peace -
    He's leavin' leavin', a star that's out of reach
  • Laurence from Peterborough, United KingdomThis song has a very special meaning to me after my very close friend daniel was killed in a car accident on 18th january 2008 at only 20 years old and this was played at his funeral!! The words 'Lord I miss Daniel, oh I miss him so much' makes me upset everytime!!
  • Sue from Lincoln Park, MiI have a teenage son named Daniel who had a brain tumor when he was a baby. He is now autistic, but a very strong person inside. I always get tears in my eyes when I hear this song, it reminds me of what he has been through and how bravely he has faced everything his whole life.
  • Michael from Brudgeton, NjI believe on an interview documentary, Bernie explained the truth about all the speculation of his lyric and the "creative licensure" utilized in his the lyric "Daniel." As I recall, it is about a Viet Nam vet from a small town in Texas who comes home to a surprise hero's welcome [parades, speeches, etc.]. With this he has trouble dealing as many of his comrades in arms were either killed or wounded or received medals of honors or valor. His only claim was he was the only one from this small town who was in the war and he has trouble dealing with all the "attention" for just "being there"...This I believe was the basis for the song and even Bernie admits taking "creative license" with many of his lyrics [He has stated as example, "if anyone can tell me what "Take Me to the Pilot is About" tell me!"].
  • Mike from Chicago, IlWriting music and lyrics is a form of art and art is in eye of the beholder. That is to say, all of these interpretations are correct for the individual that made them, regardless of what the song meant to Bernie. That's what makes art so great. For me, the song captures some of the emotion related to my brother's death. We were crossing the street when he was hit by a car and killed. He was 11, I was 9, and I still feel the pain of the scars that won't heal.
  • Suz from South Island, New ZealandJust wanted to say my son Daniel was still-born 5 1/2 yrs ago. We played this song at his funeral and has so much meaning for me, especially after his memorial service when he flew 1000km in a plane to his funeral service. Also wanted to say that when I studied music at school we were told that this was about elton's brother daniel who died of a drug over dose...
  • Leticia from Corpus Christi, TxI never really knew what this song was about until I looked it up on here. My perception of it was about an older brother who leaves this world and always wanted to go to Spain, so now that he has died, he was able to go to Spain so to speak. I thought the cloudiness of the eyes meant tears clouding the eyes. I couldn't help but think of my older brother who died of cancer in Feb. of 06 at the age of 44. The song brought me comfort but I still couldn't help but cry because he was gone. I picture my brother on a plane waving goodbye to us. Anyway, it's a great song which will and has stood the test of time.
  • Jeremy from Melbourne, AustraliaIt's great to hear about the many ways in which this song has touched people. Sean, your connection with 'Daniel' is especially remarkable - this really is 'your song'. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I notice that you were born in 1978 and that you're from Chicago. Although I am Australian, I was born in Chiacgo in 1978, which for me is a nice connection to you and your story.
  • Jobie from Chattanooga, TnI think that "Daniel" is one of the most powerful and poetic songs in Rock history. I think the song harkens back to the old Irish ballad "Danny Boy". Whenever I hear "Daniel", especially the last verse, I picture myself on a green Irish hillside with that mandolin playing somewhere in the distance. In the manner of all great art, it doesn't matter what the origin or "factual" background of the song is. As Mozart says in the movie "Amadeus", "It is perfect as it is."
  • Lucy from New York, United StatesI lost my older brother a few years ago to cancer, and these lyrics are now deeply poignant. He was my "star", and his eyes have always seen more than I.

    Ironically, I believe it was better to have deleted the last verse because, as these comments illustrate, the song now has a very broad context of meaning and poignacy to so many.
  • Craig from Wagga Wagga, AustraliaReally powerful song and when you see what one song can mean to so many people around the world all with different situations. it just speaks volumes of the man, EJ. I am on a campaign to find that verse.
  • Craig from Wagga Wagga, Australiathere was just something powerful about this song, and when you read what this song means to people around the world you can see why. i am now on a campaign to find that verse. Funny how one son can
  • Sean from Chicago, IlI have grown up with this song because it has always held a special place with my family. My father's name is Daniel and so was this the name of my oldest brother. He was born in 1973 and died of cancer going on five years old january 11 1978. I was in fact born march 11, 1978. My middle name is Daniel after him. Until today I had never thought to look up the release date or original meaning to this song. I was surprised to find that the release date was in the year my brother Daniel was born and that the song's original meaning was about a Vietnam veteran. This is also ironic because my father Daniel is a Vietnam veteran from 1969. Everytime anyone in my family has heard this song we always think of my older brother Daniel who would have just turned 34. I never knew my oldest brother but me and my family miss him so much. Great Song. Sorry this story is sad but I wanted to share it.
  • Deanna from Medford, OrThis song has a special place in my heart. My husband Danny died of Cancer. Although I will always have clouds in my eyes for my Daniel, when I hear this song it just makes me feel good. Listening to it has always been a good way to open my emotions towards him. He was a very fun loving person who lived life in such a short period. He was prepared for his journey when he died. I can see him flying high waving goodbye with a huge smile on his face ready to see more to come. He was just that kind of guy!
  • Mr. Booksontape from Lawrenceville, GaI have wondered for years about the meaning of "Daniel." I searched today, 4/20/07 and found this great site. I always felt Vietnam was at the heart. Good to know "the rest of the story."
  • Lynn from Auburn, AlI love this song because everytime I hear it I think of Daniel Barter, a 4 yr old little boy who has been missing since 1959 from Perdido Bay, AL. After all these yrs his family still wonders what became of him. My heart goes out to this sweet little boy. Here is more information if someone is interested in reading Danny's Story:
  • Daniel from London, EnglandMy friend fell out of love with music, and "Daniel" reunited him, which is both beautiful and ironical.

    Brothers, Vietnam, the horse, the love that dare not speak its name - it doesn't matter what its about as long as you can dance to it! This is not Elton's best though I prefer Kangol in the Wind, his urban hymn devoted to the working class of Great Britain.
  • Mike from New York, Nywhen i was 13 my friend died of a drug overdose the first time i heard this song was going home after is funeral everytime i hear this song i remember him
  • Kirill from Toronto, CanadaWhen i was leaving my family in the usa i heard this song made me really sad as if my sister saw me leaving to toronto because i would say that toronto is the best place ive ever been. at first i thought that daniel was flying to heaven.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScDidn't think about the fact that the older brother could have been blind. But blindness isn't as bad as a psychological injury. Maybe he had one of those as well. Maybe that war was oto much for him. I was born blind, so blindness in my case,is the only thing I know, but for other people who can see it can be very hard to adjust to. I know because I know people who are losing or have lost their sight.
  • Simone from Los Angeles, CaI'll never foget this haunting movie I saw on T.V. around 1973 titled "Daniel" about 2 brothers, one returning from Vietnam blind. I've often wondered if that movie and song were related somehow. Now I know. Unfortunately, now, the song really brings tears to my eyes as that movie was unforgettably sad. If I'm not mistaking, I believe the character "Daniel" kills himself in the movie.-Simone, Los Angeles, CA
  • James from Vidalia, GaThis is on the sound track of the 1974 Scorsese film "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" that was later turned into a TV series. I've always associated it with that film.
  • Ac from Victorville, CaOne of my favorite's from Elton.
  • David from Youngstown, OhI have always thought the song was about a man whose older brother returned blind from the Vietnam War, and even though the older brother's "eyes have died," his life experiences are greater than the younger brother's. The younger brother greatly admires what the older brother was, and still does even though he's sadly just a shell of himself because of the war injury. Before he went blind, the older brother tells the younger brother about how great Spain is. Like Three Dog Night, I've never been to Spain, but I kind of like the music. I've never thought of any other possible scenario for this song, with or without the missing final verse.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScNo wonder I think of Vietnam when I hear this song. I refering to the songfact about the deleted verse. I wasn't around for Vietnam, but I kn ow some about it.
  • Brent from Macon, GaGuys. The deleted verses were just that...deleted. They are not in the song; hence the cause of the brother's greif is very ambiguous. Interpretet as you will or get hung up on Taupin's comments in some interview. It's your choice.
  • Ricardo from Mexico, MexicoThis song is played by Wilson Phillips also, Don´t ask the date please I dont remember
  • Daniel from Saluda, Tnhate to break it to you guess but i think the song is about daniel going to spain to get heroin. "your eyes have died" which is what happens to addicts which is why they have to where sunglasses all the time, because they are messed up and the light hurts them or something. and "the scars that won't heel" is about the tracks or scars that shooting up heroin leave. just listen to the song and put it into perspective and i think you will agree.
  • Sum Sum from New Delhisomeone told me that this song was about elton's boyfriend named Daniel. Now I know its absolutely wrong. Its a nice song about a warrior who is going home. i love this song...i love to have a bf like Daniel..
  • Amadeus from Newport Beach, CaSongfacts' explanation of this song is not completely accurate. According to an interview with Bernie Taupin, the song was loosely based on a story which had appeared in Newsweek after the Vietnam war. The song is about this guy who goes home after the war to the small town from which he came. All he wanted to do was put the whole thing behind him and get back to the life he had before --but because it was a small town, the citizens wanted to make a war hero of him, not allowing him to forget --in fact, forcing him to constantly remember. He decides that, in order to put the war behind him for good, he must leave everything and everyone, and ends up going supposedily to Spain --as his departure is seen through his brother's eyes. No plane crashes, no blindness.
  • Djoko from Cimahi, Chinawhen i'm on air, i'd like to play this song for my listeners
  • Barry from New York, NcI think people are totally missing the point of this tune as the deleted verse puts it all in perspective. Daniel was a lover. Take it from there!!!
  • Natasha from Bethany, OkThis song hold a special meaning to me because my boyfriend's name is Daniel. When he had to move to Kansas, I gave him a mixed CD that included "Daniel" on it. The lyrics "I miss Daniel, I miss him so much" ring true now. Sometimes I can related to the lyrics "I can see Daniel waving good-bye. God, it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes". Sometimes when I see someone who looks like him, I think it is so the song is one that I can really relate to. I am glad to find a story behind what it was written about. I originally thought it was about a guy who's brother had died in a plan crash to Spain. The song was always so haunting but so beautiful at the same time. It's one of my favorite Elton John songs.
  • Sean from Pittsburgh, PaAnother amazing version of this song is an acoustic live version by the lead singer from Fuel. He puts alot of feeling into the lyrics. If you know from any other of Fuel's songs his voice is alittle raspy but nonetheless it is a unique cover of a great song.
  • Barry from New York, NcAnother Elton tune that had a deleted verse was HOLIDAY INN from the "Madman Across the Water" LP. However, there are a couple of live shows from late 1971 where you can hear the missing verse.
  • Doug from Lake Mary, FlPeople tend to smirk about Wilson Phillips, but if you haven't heard their cover of 'Daniel', you might want to check it out. Well done....very well done....
  • Robert from Trumbull, CtOne of Elton's best songs! It still moves me after more than 30 years.
  • Shirley from Amarillo, TxAlways a favorite Elton John song, but it is now especially poignant. It was also a favorite of my nephew, Danny, who suffering from depression recently committed suicide. Now when I hear the song, I believe "his eyes have died" talks of Danny's depression. "I can see Daniel waving goodbye" and know that he has gone to "the best place he's ever seen"...a place he must have gone to in his mind many times before. I love him and miss him.
    -Shirley, Amarillo, TX
  • Melissa from Brandon, CanadaHI this is one of Elton's best and my favorite is YOUR SONG cause i would definately sing this romantic song to a lover.
  • Yacov from Brooklyn, NyDaniel is great song and no other name could fit better in this highly emotional song. I dont really care about the songs intended meaning, because it's just pretty any way you slice it.
    As I grow into father hood, I do believe My son Daniel will be just as warm and loving as the song.
  • Glenn from Sydney, Paalways played by our lockel d.j every morning for keeping him up all night as a baby,back in '73,my nephew that is.
  • Roy from Doncaster, EnglandI always thought Elton was saying goodbye to Daniel, who had died, but Elton was imagining him as "going to a better place". The "missing" verse could have made this so much clearer.

    Renee, I wish you angels on your shoulders.
  • RenÃ?e from Kingsburg, CaThis song for years has chilled me. It has always made me feel like "Daniel" died tragically and this is his sibling dealing with the pain of that.
    ("God it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes... Do you still feel the pain of the scars that won't heal, Your eyes have died but you see more than I, Daniel you're a star in the face of the sky")

    My middle son's name is Daniel and it has always been heart breaking to hear, so, I avoided it. Two weeks ago my 19 year old son was a passenger in a car that crashed. My Daniel was pronounced at the scene. Badly cut from all of the glass... Now, it is all I listen to. We played it after the funeral. It kept running through my head the night we found out.
  • Sara from Sunny, CaI lived in Spain in 1995. When my plane took off from JFK, this song was playing a continuous track in my mind, along with "Leaving On a Jet Plane." The time I spent in Spain was among the most formative in my life. These two songs will always have a deep and special meaning for me.
  • Rich from Elkins, WvI've basically grown up with Elton John music on the radio..He's been around almost since the Beatles broke up..So many good tunes..He and Berney Taupin have been about as prolific as Lennon/McCartney were. Almost 35 years of hits.
  • Darrell from Dallas, TxFrom 1970 to 1979, Elton John had 3% of all record sales worldwide.
  • Edward from Miami, FlThis song woill always be close to my heart. I heard this song just after my brother called me in college telling me that he had to leave for the Persian Gulf War and just two years earlier our parents had a somewhat messy divorce that was 10 years in the making("his eyes had died, he'd seen more than I...)
  • Katt from Evansville, InWhere would find this 'deleted' verse? I'd love to see it.
  • Patty from Framingham, MaGreat song! One of my favorite Elton John Songs. "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" is tops.
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