Elton John Lyrics
Elton John lyrics span five decades and over 250 million record sales. When one thinks of Elton John lyrics, one naturally has to think of lyricist partner Bernie Taupin, who provided most of the lyrics to Elton John’s songs.
Though Bernie Taupin provided most of the Elton John lyrics, Sir Elton Hercules John, did work with a few other lyricists as well. Gary Osborne, Tom Robinson and Jude Tzuke were also lyricists that provided the words to Elton John songs. Taupin also worked with other musicians, writing hit songs for Jefferson Starship and Heart.
Elton John and Bernie Taupin engaged in an unconventional songwriting dynamic whereby Taupin would write the lyrics alone and then hand them to John, who would develop the music. The two would never be in the same room at the same time, working on the music and lyrics together.
This partnership developed in 1966 when Elton John, then known as Reginald Kenneth Dwight, would answer an advertisement in the New Musical Express. The A&R manager for Liberty Records, Ray Williams handed John a stack of lyrics written by Taupin and asked him to put music to the words. Thus, the disengaged, yet engaged writing collaboration would develop.
The imagery for the lyrics of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” come from the movie Wizard of Oz where Dorothy and friends travel down the yellow brick road to meet to Wizard and find out that they have inside themselves what they’d been searching for all along. The song itself seems to be about not wanting to live the life of a trophy wife / husband / partner and finding that the brass ring is not in high society but rather attached to a plough on the farm.
In the song, “Someone Saved My Life Tonight”, the lyrics refer to John’s and Taupin’s friendship as well as the time John almost got married to a woman. At the time of the song’s release, Taupin and a few friends had talked John out of marriage and later John would come to terms with the fact that he was gay. The lyrics also incorporate some anti-high society views similar to those in “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”
“Your Song” was one of the first songs Bernie Taupin wrote for Elton John. Taupin wrote the song in 1967 when he was just 17-years-old. John wrote the music for the song in about 20 minutes, which was common for the early days in the collaboration between these two.