Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Someone saved my life tonight - Elton John

"And Butterflies are free to fly.."

In 1991 there was a documentary and accompanying album called "Two Rooms".

The documentary was about Elton John and his lyricist Bernie Taupin.
It was called "Two Rooms" because Elton and Bernie have never been in the same room to write a song.

Bernie writes the poetry and gives it to Elton.
Elton then works on a melody and often cuts and changes Bernie's lyrics to make it fit.
This is why there are some Elton John songs which don't entirely make sense like "Daniel".
Elton cut out an entire section of "Daniel" which explained that he was a Vietnam vet returning back to his home town.
He was going to be made into a town hero and didn't want to be a hero.

In Two Rooms Bernie brings up the type of lyrics that Elton came up with himself prior to their collaboration.

An example is a song called "The Witches House"

"I go to the witches house,
I go whenever I can
Me and Molly Dickinson
In my delivery van.."

Elton obviously needed lyrical help.

This brings me to today's selection and the story behind it.
Elton was obviously going through a bit of confusion because he was going to get married and was having second thoughts about tying the knot.
He decides it is all too much for him so he tries to kill himself with the gas oven in the kitchen.

Bernie describes the rest of the story:
"I walk in and see Elton and what I should have thought was oh my God he has tried to kill himself.
But he was laying on the kitchen floor with a little satin pillow, the gas oven on and all the windows are open."

Elton was convinced not to go ahead with the marriage (well duh he's gay..if only someone told Renata) and focus on his musical career.

Bernie writes the lyrics to "Someone saved my life tonight" to commemorate this event:

"And someone saved my life tonight sugar bear
You almost had your hooks in me didn't you dear
You nearly had me roped and tied
Altar-bound, hypnotised
Sweet freedom whispered in my ear
You're a butterfly
And butterflies are free to fly
Fly away, high away, bye bye"

I have chosen this version sung live in concert near the time it was released because Elton (after his vocal surgery) can't hit the high notes any more.
He also plays it in a different key to accommodate it.

It is a truly amazing song which I love.

Just remember people butterflies are free to fly....

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