Song for Guy
|"Song for Guy"|
|Single by Elton John|
|from the album A Single Man|
|Released||28 November 1978 (UK)
March, 1979 (U.S.)
8:29 (2003 remix)
The Rocket Record Company
|Elton John singles chronology|
Elton said this in the sleeve notes of the 7" single:
- "...As I was writing this song one Sunday, I imagined myself floating into space and looking down at my own body. I was imagining myself dying. Morbidly obsessed with these thoughts, I wrote this song about death. The next day I was told that Guy (Burchett), our 17 year-old messenger boy, had been tragically killed on his motorcycle the day before. Guy died on the day I wrote this song."
The song opens with an octaved solo piano. Shortly after the intro, a percussion section comes in, with additional wind chimes and synthesizers layered in as the melody repeats. The song is instrumental until the end, in which the line ' "Life isn't everything" 'is repeated over the primary melody line of the song.
It stands as one of the few songs written by John alone.
This song has been a live staple in Europe where it is well-known. In 1992, Elton played it together with Your Song to close some concerts. It was also one of his most successful singles in his homeland, peaking at #4 in January 1979, and remaining on the chart for ten weeks. It wasn't released in the U.S. until March 1979 where it barely made the charts, peaking at #110. It was a modest success, though, on the American adult contemporary charts, where it peaked at #37 in the spring of 1979.
The single version cut one and a half minutes from the song. On The Very Best of Elton John, this is mistaken as the duration when it is actually the album version that appears.
- Elton John - piano, Mellotron, Polymoog, other synthesizers, lyrics
- Ray Cooper - wind chimes, shakers
- Clive Franks - bass