is one of the greatest love song
s of all time. It is in many respects the seminal Elton John
song. It was after all, his first major release as a solo artist and was somewhat of a sensation on its release in 1970
. John Lennon
heaped praise on Elton John after hearing Your Song. Needless to say, Elton was rather overwhelmed with such praise from one of his musical idols. Your Song is a fine example of Bernie Taupin
's fine lyrical work, and indeed, Elton John's ability to find a perfect way to express those lyrics
The introduction to Your Song is one of the most recognisable bits of music ever created, despite being based on a cliched chord progression (a I-IV-V-IV progression; Eb, Ab/Eb, Bb/Eb, Ab/Eb in this key). Elton John is one of the greatest ever "introduction composers". All of his songs tend to have an instantly recognisable introduction.
Your Song is now about 34 years old and, like all great songs, it does not feel dated. The song still inspires feelings of love in those who hear it. At Elton John concerts it remains a huge favourite. I remember seeing Elton John myself in June 2003 (at the KC Stadium, Hull, England) and he opened the show with Your Song. He simply walked on stage, waved to the crowd, sat down at his piano, and lauched into the song to rapturous applause. The song spoke for itself, and there could have been no better way to start the show.
Your Song came at a time dominated by guitar-based songs, and the fresh sound Elton John created catapulted him to superstardom. This is partly due to the fact it is a piano based composition, and in addition, used a different key and chords than were generally being used by guitarists.
Although the song has a fantastic melody and is musically very pleasing, it is the lyrics that are probably the most beautiful part:
"It's a little bit funny this feeling inside,
I'm not one of those who can easily hide,
I don't have much money, but boy if I did,
I'd buy a big house where we both could live.
If I was a sculptor, but then again no,
Or a man who makes potions in a travelling show,
I know it's not much, but it's the best I can do,
My gift is my song and this one's for you."
This is a song that can mean so much to just about anyone. After all, it is rather vaguely called "Your" Song, as oppose to something like "Betty's Song" and so forth, which means an individual can apply it to their own particular situation.
Besides, I don't know of anyone who claims to dislike this song, and I think that is important. Your Song is the product of a genius lyricist and a genius musician, and as a consequence, will live on for as long as there is music.