Rocket Man

Album: Honky Chateau (1972)
Charted: 2 6
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  • She packed my bags last night pre-flight
    Zero hour nine AM
    And I'm gonna be high as a kite by then
    I miss the earth so much I miss my wife
    It's lonely out in space
    On such a timeless flight

    And I think it's gonna be a long long time
    'Till touch down brings me round again to find
    I'm not the man they think I am at home
    Oh no no no I'm a rocket man
    Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone

    And I think it's gonna be a long long time
    'Till touch down brings me round again to find
    I'm not the man they think I am at home
    Oh no no no I'm a rocket man
    Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone

    Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids
    In fact it's cold as hell
    And there's no one there to raise them if you did
    And all this science I don't understand
    It's just my job five days a week
    A rocket man, a rocket man

    And I think it's gonna be a long long time
    'Till touch down brings me round again to find
    I'm not the man they think I am at home
    Oh no no no I'm a rocket man
    Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone

    And I think it's gonna be a long long time
    'Till touch down brings me round again to find
    I'm not the man they think I am at home
    Oh no no no I'm a rocket man
    Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone

    And I think it's gonna be a long long time
    And I think it's gonna be a long long time
    And I think it's gonna be a long long time
    And I think it's gonna be a long long time
    And I think it's gonna be a long long time
    And I think it's gonna be a long long time
    And I think it's gonna be a long long time
    And I think it's gonna be a long long time Writer/s: Bernie Taupin, Elton John
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 94

  • MikeI think a lot of you have completely missed the point here. Bernie Taupin has said he was a big fan of Ray Bradbury, and if you read The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man or The Golden Apples of the Sun, all anthologies of his short stories, you will find many themes in common with this song, like loneliness and ennui. Also Bowie's A Space Oddity and Country Joe's Space Patrol explore the same ideas.
  • George from Vancouver, CanadaIn Big Bang Theory, episode ss05e15 (The Friendship Contraction), Howard tries to get he nickname "Rocketman"; Raj suggests making it his ringtone then Raj would call him during his Skype conversation with a fellow astronaut. Instead, Howard's mother asks him(at voice volume 11) if he wants some Froot Loops -- that's the moniker that stuck, much to Howard's chagrin.
  • JonasI think its about a difficult relationship where people lives in separate worlds. Maybe one of them is an artist or musician and another is a "normal" person. It's a kind of obvious
  • Margie Mckenna from El Paso. TxI think Rocket Man is a lament about stardom. It's lonely out in "space" at the top of pop culture, but everything in your life looks spectacular. "Mars" could refer to the music business or Hollywood as "no place to raise your kids" being "cold as hell" without real love. It's quite sad thinking it will be a long long time until he returns to himself. Beautiful music masks the sad lyrics. Both songwriters are genius.
  • Bob Zilla Devore from ChicagoThis is a great in-depth article about a great song. I wanted to add something to what Kawa from Tokyo says below here. The first two chords of Rocketman--a Gm7 to a C9, with the upper part of the chord staying basically the same, while the bass moving from G to C changes the chord--is the exact same chord movement used in Pink Floyd's "Breathe" from Dark Side of the Moon. It's a gorgeous cadence. DSotM uses it again in "The Great Gig in the Sky".
    Elton John became such a prolific hit-making artist that many rockers of the time sort of dismissed him as a pop star, and not a real rocker, but his way of playing the piano influenced all the piano players who came after him, including Richard Wright of Pink Floyd.
    And me.
    Thank you for a great article, and for understanding what this great song is really about.
  • Kawa from Tokyo, JapanHi Music lovers,

    The US sent the men on the moon for the first time in 1969 that was a groudbreaking event of the human history. I think that this remarkable thing made people surprised including musicians a lot ! Pink Floyd was one of them so Roger, the leader of the band, was so interested in this and got the idea form this, I think. Because everyone in the world knew about this and the band, Pink Floyd, was not known in the US. So Roger had spent enough time to plan to target the listeners in the country and produed the album called The Dark Side Of The Moon in 1973. It's a Mega hit all over the world. I think David Bowie' hit, Star Man and Elton John's Rocket Man, were big influence to Roger and The Dark Side Of The Moon.
  • Lynn from UsaRocket man is about science destroying religion. The mars reference in the song is referring to arrius piso. Mars was a roman god. Pisos and friends created Judaism. Then they created another mashiak to end Judaism. This then accidentally created Christianity. When getting to Mars being cold as hell, lyrics are saying pisos were cold hearted. They created a messiah, mashiak, to end the Jewish squabble. Levi means EL VI. That's Sumerian polytheistic god El with Pythagorean number 6, which is called the perfect number. The piso used Pythagoran number six as their code in biblical writings. Most Elton John songs are about religion.
  • Kawa from Tokyo, JapanHi Music lovers,

    I think that the first idea of the lyrics of the song, Rocket Man, came from the song, called Star Man, written and sung by David Bowie in early 1972 as same as released Rocket Man sung by Elton John early 1972. According to Wiki, Elton started recording the album, including this song, Jan. 1972 but David started recording from 1971. I think that Elton heard David sing Star Man somewhere else or that both Elton and David got the inspiration from the book, that was mentioned above, which I'm not sure. Another possibility was that there was a big event happening in the US. That was three human landing on the moon for the first time in man's history. That was in 1969. This revolutionary event made all the people around the world including musicians surprised and everyone talked about it a lot since then. I think that this background must had influenced them more or less.

    To be continued,
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaAlways thought it was about space travel and those who did it as well. And there is a ROCKET MAN in NASCAR as well.
  • Qrt from NorwayI'm not into the drug theory. It might as well describe a state of mind or inner, mental problems. He's not the man they think he is. Not a hero, not a strong man, but scared to face the world, hiding behind a brave face just waiting to break down when the fuse is burnt up. Feeling all alone in the world. Of course it could be straight forward, an astronaut feeling not up to his tasks, missing his wife, but I like to play with the thought of a man not being as though as he pretended to be, almost at the breaking point. :)
  • Kramo from Toronto, CanadaIdiotic comments on every page about drugs. Says more about the posters than the songs. Oh...Rocket Man is about a guy who likes getting blasted right through his "o" ring.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyHere's some obscure trivia:
    On March 16th 1926, the first liquid-fuel rocket was successfully launched by its creator,builder, physicist & inventor; Robert H. Goddard...
    Just over forty six years and six weeks later on April 30th, 1972 Elton John's "Rocket Man" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at #80; ten weeks later on July 9th it would peak at #6 {for 1 week} and it spent 15 weeks on the Top 100...
    It was track five of side one on his fifth studio album, 'Honky Chateau', the album reached #1 {for 5 weeks} on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart, it was also the first of six straight #1 albums by him on the Top 200 Albums chart...
    One other track from the album also made the Top 10 chart, "Honky Cat" peaked at #8 {for 1 week} on September 7th, 1972...
    Sir Elton, born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, will celebrate his 69th birthday in nine days on March 25th, 2016}.
  • Ken from San Mateo, Cafor "The Rocket Man"- Roger Clemens!!!
  • Steve from Toronto, OnI think the fact that people can see so many meanings to this song, or relate to it in different ways - is the key to its success. There's something in there for everyone. That's the sign of a masterpiece.
  • Tmoney from Boise, IdLove this song. I am not one of those that believe that a song's meaning begins and ends at the artist. I think that an artist inherently writes for the more fundamental human experience, although he may start by modeling his work after one particularly bright experience. Start at subjectivity, sure, but its a waste not to try to touch a more transcendent meaning if one could be found. Cheap drug and sex metaphors be damned!

    That said, and as others have hit on here, I believe believe this song is about the alienation of a man who has a romantic, "rockstar"-type job that takes him away from his family, reality. While he is still in love with the job, he has become disillusioned, experiences bouts of estrangement and isolation. For example, my husband is a smokejumper, jumping out of planes, fighting wildfires like Jeremiah Johnson would have, gone most of the summer with the "bros." While he'd have difficultly giving up such a romantic, exciting job, he's torn by leaving each summer and every season he comes back he's maybe a little bit sadder. But every time he flies back out at the beginning of the season, it doesn't keep him from having that same look in his eye, a "rocket man," secretly glad that he has that part of him that his family will never understand. Kind of a painful freedom.

    Anyhow, I would think this would cover Elton John, Taupin, anyone's parent who flies away regularly for business and loves what they do.... whoever leaves to do something romantic, while nonetheless becoming more and more disenchanted with it. Love those heroic paradoxes.
  • Angela from San Diego, CaElton's melodies, especially from ELTON JOHN to GBYR, work so brilliantly with the words; the choice of a falsetto at the word "high" is so memorable, as is the drifting lilt of the song's subtitle on the outro. But listen to him sing "rolling through hay" or "the rain falls down" on "Amoreena," or the "pines will be falling every where" or "the old fat goose is 'flying'" on "Country Comfort"; the match of melody and word on his best creative peak songs is outstanding, exemplary. "Shake it loose together" on "Bennie"; phrasing in "Candle in the Wind"'s chorus, breathless as though the candle's blown out; he really got me thinking about interpretative singing. I do think the story inside the song---whatever your preferred metaphor---works great just as it is, and those stories inside the songs are a hallmark of his most memorable tunes.
  • Kimberly from Landing, Njtouchdown takes time as if the rockets send time to space as in missing the heat you get cold in the form 5 days.
  • Kat from Adelaide, AustraliaI think that this is just a really, really clever lyric that has a triple meaning. There's the obvious drug metaphor, there's the rockstar/success metaphor and there's the sex/rocket=penis metaphor. That's all underneath the literal "Rocket man" term, which was so topical at the time with US and USSR space programs.
    Great song!
  • Sarx from Tucson, AzIt's not about sex. It's not about drugs (well, maybe a little).

    It's about the ennui when an adventure becomes a job.

    Have you ever gotten you dream job, maybe astronaut, maybe rock star, and everything about it excited you? After a few years it turns into the same thing every day. "It's just my job, five days a week." But you are locked in, maybe not literally like an astronaut on his way to Mars, but by people counting on you. You figure out the exact day the student loans,the credit cards, the car, the house will be paid off, the college fund and the retirement fully funded; the day you don't HAVE to come to work any more, the day of your financial independence, your splashdown date. And I think it's gonna be a long, long time.

    While you are burning out your fuse up here alone, you are missing what really makes your life worthwhile, your family.

    So you cowboy up, you soldier on, you're a trooper and put on another show. And if you are really unlucky, you have that morning when you realize "I am not making it to work today without something stronger than coffee!"

    It's about isolation, alienation, but most of all it's about getting what you wanted, only it's not what you thought it would be.

    By the way, am I the only one bothered by the line "And there's no one there to raise them if you did?" Always seems to me to be trying to force a rhyme between "kid" and "did," which makes no sense as the lyrics don't have a rhyme scheme anyway, and just doesn't fit the meter. Seems like a clunker to me, anyone else?
  • Ryan from Abingdon, VaI always thought this song was about drug abuse.
  • Kimberly from Landing, NjYes ROCKETS destroy. Rocket Man is there to help us cont life. if we didnt have Him or Her, We Wound be here today. sad to say but true.
  • Kimberly from Landing, Nji also c the 5th in emotion as we all need to realize. As we all see rockets we all see war. so why destroy man kind. ? may god bless us all.
  • Rickinator from Beaverton, OrWikipedia: According to an account in Elizabeth Rosenthal's book, His Song: The Musical Journey of Elton John, the song was inspired by Taupin's sighting of either a shooting star or a distant airplane. The account goes on to relate that the notion of astronauts no longer being perceived as heroes, but in fact as an "everyday occupation" led him to the song's opening lines, "She packed my bags last night, pre-flight. Zero hour: 9 a.m. And I'm gonna be high as a kite by then."
    The lyrics in the song, inspired by a short story of the same title written by Ray Bradbury, and written by John's longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin, describe a Mars-bound astronaut's mixed feelings at leaving his family in order to do his job.
    Ray Bradbury's "The Rocket Man" — Astronauts of this story are few in number, so work as they desire for high pay. One such astronaut goes off into space for three months at a time, only returning to earth for three consecutive days to spend time with his wife and son.
  • Kimberly from Landing, NjI miss my wife the timeless flight, is the our journey of love without knowing the rockets of our soul. never new mars, the science is still unknown.

    History repeats itself all for good reason.

    Rocket Man never see the difference, so long time exist.

    Keep memory as 4 we all do everyday.

    Keep learning. the best we can do.*

    ty, E.J *
  • Kathy from Katy, TxI have always assumed this song was about a family man secretly addicted to drugs. I never heard another person say it until I found this website. It was bothering me so much, that I googled "the meaning of song lyrics". I'm glad I am not the only person. The rock star theory is interesting, and so is the Gay theory. I reject the Gay theory since I doubt a Gay in the closet would "miss my wife", since he probably savors time away from her. As far as the burned up rock star star theory,
  • Cheyenne from Oxford Hills, MeI think that this song could either seriously be about space exploration or it could be about drugs n' stuff
  • Megan from Stevenson, AlI love this song so much! xD I was super happy when Paul McDonald sang this on American Idol! Him being from Huntsville, Alabama and all...Thought it was mighty smart of him!
  • Justin from Tulsa, OkThis song is absolute genius because of its simplicity which feeds complexity. The meaning of the words to this song on a page would read like an experience of a famous astronaut...simple. And this was most likely due to the popularity of the worlds space programs, not to mention the average persons ability to have watched recent launches and whatnot on television. So for upstanding middle class parents, this song poses no threat; and it shouldn't. But, for an adult who has experienced most of the gifts/burdens life on earth brings, you may find a meaning that has significance to your experiences in life. There is nothing wrong with making a song have deeper meaning than the words themselves have.
    Any genius artist who wants to sell records would never tell their audience how to perceive their music, they know its a personal journey.
  • Jamie from Adelaide, Australiathis song is simply and plainly a metaphore for the challenges elton john was facing at the time. Take the line for instance

    "And I’m gonna be high as a kite by then
    I miss the earth so much I miss my wife
    It’s lonely out in space
    On such a timeless flight"

    this is clearly a metaphor for the use of cocaine and drugs, him feeling alone because he is off his head, the reference of out in space, being that of flying high, not knowing when the feeling will wear off, hence timeless flight

    "Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids
    In fact it’s cold as hell
    And there’s no one there to raise them if you did"

    this is referring to him not being able to raise his kids in the mindset he is in, hence mars, off his head, out in space, and he is saying even if he tries there is noone there anyways, because he is high, hence justifying why he is not.

    the song is indeed referring to space and mars and travelling alone, but only as a metaphor for people to understand the mindset of an abuser, feeling the way he did at the time. Keep in mind that song writers write what the singer wants to sing about, and Elton John is known for his metaphors concerning family, life struggles and drug use to tackle these problems, a very arguable song!
  • James from Pineville, MoDrugs? gay? doubt it. You see what you want to, and some people can never get past the history of the SINGER. Many singers don't write the lyrics, that would be the SONGWRITER.

    The song is about working away from family. The line "it's just my job five days a week" ties it to a normal workweek.

    A trip to mars would take nearly a year, round trip. A little more than 5 days a week.

    Note that this is only 3 years after the first man on the moon. It just wouldn't make sense to be relating astronauts to drug users so quickly. Space Oddity is about an astronaut dieing in space, this one is about the family sacrifices an astronaut would have to bear.
  • Jason from Parma, OhSorry all, this is about drugs, rock and roll.

    Just watch some of the videos of this song that elton john does, defiantly the later ones when they have big screen's on stage. Flowers, trippy shapes and colors are the norm.

  • Kenneth William from Nashville , TnBernie Taupin WAS the ROCKET MAN to ELTON JOHN !!
  • Caleb Vogel from Van Nuys , CaRocket = penis
  • Colin from Chelmsford, United Kingdomlet's get this straight. This is a drugs song as addmitted by Taupin. This has nothing to do with anything else. Its a drugs song
  • Derek from Shrewsbury, Mathis is definatly about being high to escape the real world "she packed my bags preflight" his girlfriend is kicking him out and im gonna be high as a kite by then hes geting high to get away from reallity the refrence to mars is that alot of people use the expresion lets go to mars to meen lets get so high wer on a different planet
  • Stephanie from Huntsville, AlI love when Stewie sings this song on Family Guy!
  • Melanie from Memphis, TnThis song seems to scream a story about drug addiction, but very few people seem to have the same interpretation. As someone who spent a long period of time on narcotics after a massive injury, these lyrics just fall into place for me. Thoughts?
  • Musicmama from New York, NyIt's interesting that David Bowie's "Space Oddity," which was released three years before "Rocket Man," became popular in the US at the same time as "Rocket Man."

    In both songs, space travel is used as a metaphor. But, to me, the real subjects of both songs are displacement and alienation. You hear it in lines like "It's just my job five days a week" in "RM" and "Planet Earth is blue and there's nothing I can do" in "SO". I could cite other examples, but you get the idea: People are just going through the motions; the enthusiasm and giddiness of youth have turned into the hangover of being a middle-aged functionary.

    These themes of displacement and alienation are also found in another song that became wildly popular around that time: Don McLean's "American Pie." That song's narrator is just as out of place and feels just as isolated in the post-Elvis world as David Bowie's and Elton John's personae feel in outer space.

    They're all great songs. RM has the prettiest melody. AP has the greatest emotional depth. Musically, I think SO is the most complex and interesting. I love them all.
  • Austin from Smallsville, New EnglandIn the music video, "Where It's At" (Beck,circa 1996), there is a scene where beck is doing a spoken word part, in the style of William Shatner's performance of Rocket Man
  • Cole from Austin, TxThis song was used in the pilot episode of "Greatest American Hero" as the theme song until it was changed to "Believe It Or Not"
  • Matt from Coralville, IaIn 2009, Oklahoma state senator Tom Coburn lost a bet to Florida state senator Bill Nelson over the BCS National championship game. Since Oklahoma lost, Tom had to sing "Rocket Man" to honor his flight aboard the Shuttle Comlumbia In 1986. You can see the video of it at:,134502

    or its on youtube, im sure ya'll can find it
  • Alexander Southgate from Chelmsford, United KingdomI think it could be about a Father who has split up with his wife and now only sees the kids at the weekends. Therefore he is 'out in space' for '5 days a week'. The getting 'high as a kite' is a reference to the night they split up and bassically he gets drunk or whatever. She has 'packed his bags' 'pre flight'. i.e. he moves out the next day. He misses 'the earth' this could just be a metaphor for his home. When he has the kids at the weekend, because its just him , he sees it as a 'cold' place (mars). 'And theres noone there to raise them' in other words he's single!
    Just listen to the song with this in mind and it kind of makes sense. ! 'I think it's gonna be a long long time' i.e. the kids will take a long time to grow up then they will know the man he really is......etc. If this wasn't the intended meaning of the song, then it definitely fits well just as a coincidence!
  • Skipster from Orion Twp, MiTo everyone who thinks that all of the lyrics to Elton's songs are "gay". He didn't write any of the lyrics, Bernie Taupin did! And the last I checked, Bernie was straight... Elton only wrote the music to the songs...
  • Nicole from Chicago, IlI love this song, it has an awesome chorus! Very pretty melody. At Gin Blossoms concerts, the lead singer will sometimes sing this solo with acoustic guitar.
    I also LOVE the Family Guy version!!! So good...
  • Jason from Thousand Oaks, CaThe meaning of "And I'm gonna be high as a kite by then" refers to where the astronaught would physically be prior to launch or "zero hour 9AM". The Apollo program in 72' used the Saturn V vehicle to reach orbit, and that rocket stood over 300' on the launchpad. The capsule the astronaught would be strapped into is located at the top of the rocket, and he would literally be high as a kite prior to launch. It's a metaphor about where the astronaught is prior to flight, not cocaine or drug use.
  • Toni from Plains, MtWhen I play Rocket Man, the counter reaches 24 and there is a wrong note played on the piano interlude right after "high as a kite by then", listen for it.
  • Jay from Rochester, MnAccording to Taupin, he was out driving & saw a shooting star or something in the sky which inspired him to write 'Rocket Man.' It's about an astronaut, becoming melancholy and disillusioned with the science & politics of the Space program, which he sees now as just a job; calmly frustrated & lonely when in space that he even misses his nagging wife. It's one of Elton's/Bernie's best. Anyone who thinks this is about drugs is ON drugs.......
  • Patrick from Portland, MeI really love how Stewie does this song when he thinks he knows what it's like to be cool :-).
  • Steven from Oxnard, CaInterviews - how many times do writers put words in other people's mouths to push their own agenda? Couldn't "high as a kite" be a metaphor too. Like alot of people said, great writers don't just come out and say what they mean. Why would they use such an obvious phrase? Maybe there was some deeper meaning. And when do cocaine users only do it for 5 days a week? Come on! I don't know. Maybe high as a kite means the awesome feeling of weightlessness that you only feel in space. Maybe he's talking about the pure oxygen he's breathing. Just a thought. I really like this song and the first time I heard it was about drugs made me feel sad. But after thinking about it, I had to come to the conclusion that it doesn't represent drug use to me. I don't feel sad when I hear it. I feel energized. I think of all the people that are great parents and good husbands or wives. But when they leave home they are something else. They are the geniuses that everyone searches for when they need answers that no one else can give them. The geeky scientists that are constantly finding cures for disease. At first glance, you would not think very much of them, but in their world, they are kings. "High as a kite" means the feeling when they are in their element. Where they are important. That's what this song means to me but ,hey, I could be wrong. And I don't care.
  • Paul from Levy, ArIt's a song about an astronaut--it's that simple. No, it's not about drugs. No, it's not about a business guy away from home. It's a simple, clear, straightforward song about a spaceman. Why is that so hard for you people to get? Why read crap into it that isn't there? Not everything is a metaphor; I blame crappy English teachers making students overanalyze everything.

    Taupin has said it was inspired by a song of the same name by another group, which was itself somewhat inspired by a Ray Bradbury story ("The Rocket Man").

    Try listening (or reading) the lyrics with one thought in mind: it's being sung by a lonely astronaut on a trip to Mars. Nothing to read into it, folks.
  • Kevin from Syracuse, UtI've long had a lingering suspicion this might be Bernie Taupin's SciFi lyric counterpoint to Jimmy Webb's "Wichita Lineman." Pure speculation on my part.
  • Andrew from Denver, Codoes anyone else think its about drugs?
  • Kris from Wichita, KsWhy is it everyone thinks that all of Elton john's songs are symbols of his sexual preferences? The song sounds alot like getting high to me and not about being gay
  • Big Moe from Miami, FlThis is a song about a working stiff who hardly sees his family because he is traveling on business all the time. ("She packed my bags pre-flight"). He is in the throes of professional burnout, hence he is the rocket man. Mars represents the alienation and desolation he feels with respect to his family and how it is not a good way to raise his kids. He is on an airline jet reflecting on how this is all not really worth it. It is a comment on how our industrialized societies cause us to be separated from the things we really love. That is all.
  • Billy from Albany, Nywhat does a rocket have to do with being gay??
  • Marc from Sydney, Australiahey, here's a good one...

    "I?m not the man they think I am at home"--- sexuality

    "I miss the earth so much I miss my wife
    It?s lonely out in space" -- why would you leave earth, and why would you leave your wife.. unless?

    "Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone"

    Rocket man? i mean come on, this guy was as gay as they come.. he left his wife in 88 to 'come-out' and announce his bi-sexuality... now he's marrying a man... rockets... rocketman... put 2 and 2 together...

    oh, and dont forget the cocaine
  • Billy from Albany, NyI THINK ITS CATCHY!
  • Joe from Madison, WiPeople keep thinking this is such a drug song, but I think that's kinda stupid. I mean there are clearly references to drugs, but Its not really the main focus.
  • Cody from Hagerstown, MdOne Hell Of a MasterPiece
  • Gabriela from São Paulo, MiI liked Rodrigos´s interpretation a lot! I myself, I think this song actually really is about an astronaut who leaves his home, wife and kids to work in outer space. The song first describes the travel preparations ? the wife packs the suitcase, and he is mentally getting ready to leave (she packed my bags... and I´m gonna be high, i.e., far away from home).

    Then the song describes a phase when the astronaut misses his family and feels lost away from home.

    But then he overcomes this phase and he starts to enjoy the new situation and the possibility it offers - the different life style, the possibility of being on one´s own, free, without having to look after the family. The freedom of being just a man and not a father and a husband.

    Rocket man really is about an astronaut, but the situation it describes can be experienced not only by astronauts, but any business traveller.
  • Rodrigo from Bal. Camboriú, BrazilOnly the artist that created a piece is qualified to impose a certain interpretation of it, and if he abstains, then that means that the song is intended to speak to each person according to their own vision. And, even though Rocket Man can be interpreted in the light of it?s creators lives, it doesn?t necessarily have to be so. In my opinion, this song is essentially about the inherent loneliness to the human condition. The proposition is that as unique individuals, with unique lives, experiences, ideas, feelings, aspirations, desires, traumas and points of views, we are forever doomed to be utterly alone existence-wise. In other words, there is only one me, therefore, being in the company of others is kind of the same thing as being in the company of a tree. They are there, but they are different and could never really understand us. We are all somewhat schizophrenic, in the sense that there are two aspects to our personality : one is the person that we let ourselves be perceived to be in order to be able to navigate in society and the other is the private person, with all our defects and guilty or forbidden pleasures (sex, gay, violence, laziness, drugs, perversions, vices, secret desires.) This is what ?space? and ?Mars? represents in the song. Some people overindulge in their private worlds where they are alone (cold as hell) and are unwilling or unable to share (I miss my wife, Mars ain?t the kind of place to raise your kids and there?s no one there). This loneliness of existence can be overbearing (burning out his fuse up here alone).
  • Michael Mar from Tucson, AzMost of the comments posted here about this song are correct. Bernie Taupin wrote it. Taupin used scientific words as a vehicle to describe Elton John's rock and roll drug induced experience. Using drug language to describe a drug users life wouldn't have the powerful poetic effect as these lyrics do. That is the way Rappers write lyrics (boring sentences) today. All great literature usually has a deeper or hidden message that implants an idea to the listener at that precise moment in time. 'Buy' the way Sir Elton John spent over 50 million dollars on drugs. How would William Shatner put it? Snort me up Snotty?
  • Ugo from Los Angeles, CaIts very clear this song is about drugs, which one, I'm not sure. However, from the very first line, where being HIGH is greatly emphasized in John's voice, to saying I'm not the man they think I am at home...clearly, this is about a man hooked on drugs, yet no one knows it. The space theory is way too simple and frankly, quite ridiculous. Yes, not every song is about drugs...however, this one is.

    Anyone who's been hooked on drugs can easily see the meaning of this.
  • Ripley from Brownsville, TxI don't begrudge anyone their interpretation of a work of art, but this song is clearly an expression of a soul in the midst of a cocaine "depressive episode". 1) 9 am is a common time for a person who's been up all night on coke to reevaluate what has happened over the last 12 hours, then nose-dive into another fresh pile of newly-delivered drugs. Only people who've never used cocaine would disagree (not that this commentary encourages drug use---DO NOT USE DRUGS). 2) "I miss the earth, I miss my wife" and other repetitive claims to this effect are commonly used to express that use must be kept secret, and consequently, must prevent interaction with either in order to avoid "discovery", as emphasized with the stanzas: "it's lonely out in space" and "I'm not the man they think I am at home". Not to mention that 3) cocaine renders reality a "timeless flight". The most regretful aspect, and also the most moving, is the sequence in which elton laments: 4)"Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids/In fact it's cold as hell/And there's no one there/To raise them if you did" because it describes the guilt that an addict has in the removal of the ability to "attend to reality", which is absolutely necessary in order to provide the love necessary to such a vulnerable entity such as a child. This song is not only a beautiful, mournful serenade to the strange pain of mortal pleasure, but an inspirational call to break free of the binds the pleasure can impose on the lost soul that otherwise has no other recourse but self-destruction...
    and the stewie thing was cool, too. remember theough, that brian did have a serious coke problem when he worked for Customs....
  • Jay from Atlanta, GaNo, it's not about drugs. That's too easy. Every song could be translated with drug references. The space program was in full force at that time and musicians were capitalizing on the popularity. "I'm not the man they think I am at home" - He's not the scientist they think he is. He's just a worker - "It's just my job 5 days a week".
  • Ricardo from Mexico, MexicoYou must to see K PAX picture, in some point, you can listen to this master peace.... A mysterious and extraordinary mental patient, named Prot, convinces both staff and fellow patients that he comes from a utopian planet called K-PAX. While his psychiatrist, Dr. Mark Powell, is baffled by this cheerfully confident man, Prot's description of life on a planet 1000 light years away awakens a sense of possibility among the other patients. The doctor gradually begins to witness this so-called alien having a remarkable effect on the mental health of the hospital's other patients. When Prot says he's going back before the summer ends, all the patients in the ward vie to go with him. As the days before Prot's announced departure from earth race by, Dr. Powell struggles with questions of science. Determined to prove the stranger is nothing more than a tragic victim of multiple personality disorder, the doctor soon finds himself doubting his own diagnosis.
  • Noreen from Santa Rosa, CaThe writing of this song began with just a line that popped into Bernie Taupin's head, on a night when he, Elton, and Long John Baldry were sharing a night out at the pub. He said that when it came to him, he just knew that he had to write it down and go somewhere with it. He kept repeating the line to himself and running it over through his head the whole way home until he could write them down and get to writing the rest of the song.
  • Randy from Lexington, KyI heard that he was writing this song while he was building a rocket in his basement.....i dunno that's just what I heard.He wanted to be an astronaut but since he was from england, NASA wouldn't let him. You also have to have 20/20 vision and as we all know, elton didn't.
  • Krista from Sioux Narrows, CanadaI believe this song is about Heroin ummm because well a needle looks like a Rocket....and then the rest just fits about the drug i guess in a way they could have wrote the song so many people could relate to it...Drug users...Astronauts...sometimes artists write a song that can have multiple meanings...its a sad song though cause i think alot of people could relate to how the person in the song is feeling
  • Mark from Dundee, ScotlandThe BBC have just finished showing an excellent TV series called "Rocket Man", in which a man was building a rocket to send his wife's ashes into space.

    The lyrics fitted the series very well:

    "I miss the earth so much
    I miss my wife
    It's lonely out in space
    On such a time-less flight"
  • Roger from Los Angeles, CaElton did not write the lyrics to this song (as he doesnt write lyrics to any of his songs!) so he didnt write it about being gay or using drugs! Bernie Taupin wrote it simply about a man who is an astronaut and his relationship with his family!
  • Derby from Orlando, FlI Agree with Jack, from Knoxville, TN
    When Elton wrote this song he was in the mists of a massive coke binge. He was literaly the Rocket Man. Away from everything thats holy. It was a very long time to touch down for Mr Elton John.
    Dirty Derb, FL
  • Jordan from WvFamily guy rocks! Shatner sucks
  • Nate from Bristol, CtI don't believe the song is about drugs. Actually, there is a short story by Ray Bradbury called "The Rocket Man," which is about a father's fading relationship with his wife and son due to his job of piloting rockets for months at a time. I think the song, like Bradbury's story is about distant fathers and a conflict between love of a job and love of family. If you love this song, you really owe it to yourself to read the story. There are *many* striking similarities.
  • Frank from Syracuse, NyI have a completely different interpretation of this song, having nothing to do with being gay or cocaine or any of that. I think it's about a jet set working stiff who's away from his wife all the time. She wants to have kids, but he's not sure he up to being a father or that his marriage is strong enough to support it and he's afraid to tell her that. He thinks he wasting his life - "burning up his fuse" on jets - "rockets" but he almost prefers it to having to disappoint his wife by telling her he doesn't want kids "I'm not the man they think I am at home" Just my thoughts
  • Brandon from Phoenix, AzElton's lyricist Bernie Taupin has said that "Rocket Man" was inspired by a song of the
    same name by a group called Pearls Before Swine. Tom Rapp, the main force
    behind Pearls Before Swine, said the Pearls Before Swine song was based on
    a story called "The Rocket Man" by Ray Bradbury in Bradbury's book, "The
    Illustrated Man."
  • Mike from Chicago, IlAt the time this song came out, it was not a known fact that Elton John was gay. The line "I'm not the man they think I am at home" was foreshadowing this fact.
  • Ross from Independence, MoThis song is #242 on Rolling Stone's list of 500 greatest songs.
  • Liz from Rochester, NyElton John has a Sexy Voice..... Rocket man is one of the songs where it shows!!
  • Jamie from Bethesda, MdI think the song is about a Rocket Man...Living up in Space and He misses his family. Don't ge me wrong...I find Metaphors in thousands of songs...I just think this was a song that Bernie wrote during the hubabloo of space travel in that era and it popped into his head. I find it ammusing when people think the Lyrics are about anything to do with Elton John when Elton did not write any of the Lyrics.
  • Courtney from Van Nuys, CaA friend of mine told me that this song was really about Elton John's feelings about being gay.. that this is the true meaning of the song. Makes so much sense, don't you think?
  • Pete from Nowra, AustraliaWilliam Hung from American Idol did a beautiful version of this song....absolutely breathtaking
  • Ace from Thousand Oaks, CaNote to the above, Stewie's ("Family Guy") version of this is a copy of the William Shatner version, almost inflection for inflection.
  • Antonio from Brugge, BelgiumIn the middle of the "Bowie at the Beeb" version of Space Oddity, Bowie says 'Mr. Rocket man'
  • Charlotte from Seattle, WaI agree, it's about drugs, and the comment about Mars is what made that most clear to me. Mars is something you'll hear mentioned in a lot of places/songs. Being on Mars or taking a trip to Mars is another way of talking about being in a very strange and high place. And it's definitely not "a place to raise your kids," and if you did, "no one would be there to raise them." I used to really like this song as a little kid, now it has such a sadder meaning to it than the meaning I used to know!
  • Anthony from Merritt, CanadaI think its about a drug user, who is becoming excluded from everything that means anything to him. Being in space is the metaphor for being away from what is important.
  • Geo from Eugene, OrThanks, I looked up this site because I couldn't figure out the line, ...burning out his fuse
  • Jack from Knoxville, Tn"this song was about a cocaine user, not a spaceman. Read the lyrics, especially "...burning out his fuse up here alone.""
    Ya seriously. "...and I'm gonna be high as a kite by then..."
  • Brian from Grand Forks, NdI'm not one of those who thinks every song is about Drugs or Sex...

    But, I also read that Taupin wrote the song is about a cocaine user and if you read the lyrics... It may be one of the first times that you can kind of understand what Taupin was writing about it...
  • Timothy Liao from Laguna Hills, CaI believe Scott might be right. I can imagine Elton John and Bernie Taupin would right a song called Rocket Man with such obvious connections to space travel. I tend to believe that all brilliant song writers write songs like Rocket Man as a metaphor for a much deeper meaning
  • Caitlin from Sailsbury, Nci love elton john
  • Scott from Savannah, GaI read an interview several years ago, in which Bernie Taupin revealed that this song was about a cocaine user, not a spaceman. Read the lyrics, especially "...burning out his fuse up here alone."
  • Jason from Wylie, Txwilliam shatner did a spoken word version of this song
  • Dc from Hilo, HiThe first song that featured the memorable backup vocals of band members Dee Murray, Davey Johstone and Nigel Olssen. Once Elton John finished an album, he'd turn it over to them to arrage and add the backup vocals. They featured prominetly on songs like "Harmony", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Sad Songs (Say so much)".
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