Your Song

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This article is about the Elton John song. For other uses, see Your Song (disambiguation).
"Your Song"
Single by Elton John
from the album Elton John
Released October 1970 (1970-10)
Format 7" single
Recorded January 1970; Trident Studios
(London, England)
Genre Pop[1]
Length 4:04
Label
Writer(s)
Producer(s) Gus Dudgeon
Elton John singles chronology
"Take Me to the Pilot"
(1970)
"Your Song"
(1970)
"Friends"
(1971)

"Your Song" is a ballad composed and performed by English musician Elton John with lyrics by his longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin. It originally appeared on John's self-titled second album (1970).

The song was released in the United States in October 1970 as the B-side to "Take Me to the Pilot". Both received airplay, but "Your Song" was preferred by disc jockeys and replaced "Take Me to the Pilot" as the A-side, eventually making the top ten on both the UK and US charts.

In 1998, "Your Song" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[2] In 2004 the song was placed at number 137 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".

A demo version was included on John's 1990 box set album To Be Continued.[3] The song has been covered by a number of artists, including Ellie Goulding, whose version reached number two on the UK Singles Chart in late 2010. The refrain from the song, "and you can tell everybody", was sampled in the 2013 song by Aloe Blacc, The Man.

Composition and inspiration[edit]

The instrumental focus is on John's Leon Russell-influenced piano work, along with acoustic guitar, Paul Buckmaster's string accompaniment, and a shuffling rhythm section.

The lyrics express the romantic thoughts of an innocent. Taupin offers a straightforward love-song lyric at the beginning: "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." At times the self-deprecating narrator stumbles to get out his feelings, which despite being a melodramatic device, AllMusic calls "effective and sweet":[4] "So excuse me forgetting but these things I do / You see I've forgotten if they're green or they're blue / Anyway the thing is what I really mean / Yours are the sweetest eyes I've ever seen / And you can tell everybody this is your song / It may be quite simple but now that it's done / I hope you don't mind, I hope you don't mind / That I wrote down in words / How wonderful life is / While you're in the world..."

The song was part of a stockpile of songs John and Taupin wrote while living together. John pinpoints his composition of the music to 27 October 1969. It took him only ten minutes. Taupin had penned the lyrics earlier that day over breakfast. John cites the song as one of his favorites, and plays it at most of his concerts.[citation needed]

"Your Song" was itself the inspiration for the song "We All Fall in Love Sometimes" on John's 1975 album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.[5] The original framed handwritten lyric, complete with egg and coffee stains from breakfast, can be seen in the lyrics booklet that is included with various editions of Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.

John had said in an interview with the Actors Studio that he had only taken thirty minutes to compose the entire song.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

"Your Song" was praised by critics upon its release and in subsequent years. Bill Janovitz from AllMusic described it as a "near-perfect song".[4] In a 1975 interview with Rolling Stone, John Lennon recalled, "I remember hearing Elton John's 'Your Song,' heard it in America—it was one of Elton's first big hits—and remember thinking, 'Great, that's the first new thing that's happened since we (The Beatles) happened.' It was a step forward. There was something about his vocal that was an improvement on all of the English vocals until then. I was pleased with it." John Mendelsohn from Rolling Stone called the song a "pretty McCartney-esque ballad".[6]

Commercial performance and impact[edit]

The song was John's first pop hit. It rose to number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, and peaked at number seven on the UK Singles Chart. In 2002, John re-recorded the song as a duet with opera singer Alessandro Safina for the first Sport Relief charity telethon, and it reached number four in the UK. In the US it was certified Gold and Platinum on December 13, 2012 by the RIAA.

Track listings[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Elton John.[7]

Charts[edit]

Performances and renditions[edit]

On 20 October 2001, John performed "Your Song" with Billy Joel at The Concert for New York City, a tribute show to the September 11 attacks. In 2004, Daniel Bedingfield performed a cover of the song to Elton John at An Ivor Novello Tribute: Elton John. John performed the song at the Concert for Diana on 1 July 2007. John and Lady Gaga performed a medley of "Your Song" with Gaga's song "Speechless" at the 2010 Grammy Awards on 31 January.[18] At the 2013 Grammy Awards, Colombian singer Juanes performed a bilingual rendition of "Your Song".[19]

Other artists who have covered the song include:

Rod Stewart version[edit]

"Your Song"
Single by Rod Stewart
from the album Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin
B-side "Broken Arrow"
Released 17 April 1992 (1992-04-17)
Format
Recorded 1991
Genre Rock
Length 4:49
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s)
Producer(s) Trevor Horn
Rod Stewart singles chronology
"People Get Ready"
(1992)
"Your Song"
(1992)
"Broken Arrow"
(1992)

English singer-songwriter Rod Stewart covered "Your Song" for the tribute album Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin (1991). His version was released in 1992 as a double A-side single with "Broken Arrow".

Track listings[edit]

  • European CD maxi single and UK 12" single
  1. "Your Song" – 4:47
  2. "Broken Arrow" – 4:11
  3. "Mandolin Wind" – 5:27
  4. "The First Cut Is the Deepest" – 3:52
  • UK and French 7" single
A. "Your Song" – 4:47
AA. "Broken Arrow" – 4:11

Charts[edit]

Chart (1992) Peak
position
France (SNEP)[25] 38
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[26] 60
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[27] 41
US Billboard Hot 100[28] 48

Ellie Goulding version[edit]

"Your Song"
Single by Ellie Goulding
from the album Bright Lights
Released 12 November 2010 (2010-11-12)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2010; The Pool, The Square (London, England)
Genre
Length 3:10
Label Polydor
Writer(s)
Producer(s) Ben Lovett
Ellie Goulding singles chronology
"The Writer"
(2010)
"Your Song"
(2010)
"Wonderman"
(2011)

English recording artist Ellie Goulding covered "Your Song" for inclusion on the re-release of her debut album, titled Bright Lights. Produced by Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons, it was released digitally on 12 November 2010 as the re-release's lead single.[29] The song was featured in the Christmas 2010 television advert for department store chain John Lewis.[30]

Goulding performed "Your Song" at the reception party of Prince William and Catherine Middleton's wedding at Buckingham Palace on 29 April 2011, to which the newly married Royal Couple shared their first dance.[31] She also performed the song on Saturday Night Live on 7 May 2011.[32] Goulding's version was featured at the end of the 29 July 2011 episode of the Syfy supernatural drama series Haven, titled "Love Machine".[33]

Critical reception[edit]

Nick Levine of Digital Spy gave the song four out of five stars, commenting that producer Lovett "shrouds her beautifully fluttery vocals in little but piano and strings, just adding a few harmonies towards the finish, allowing her to draw out the tenderness in Bernie Taupin's lyrics and the utter loveliness of one of Elton John's very best melodies. The result is a quiet, modest triumph, but a triumph nonetheless."[34] Caryn Ganz of Spin magazine opined that her cover is "everything Gaga's Grammy version wasn't—a tender, vulnerable gift".[35] Jon O'Brien critic AllMusic, in his review for Bright Lights, called it "unimaginative" and felt that it "sounds out of place alongside the rest of her rather more adventurous material."[36]

Commercial performance[edit]

"Your Song" debuted at number thirty-nine on the UK Singles Chart for the week of 14 November 2010. The single jumped to number three the following week, selling 84,896 copies.[37] In its third week, it climbed to its peak position of number two (behind The X Factor Finalists 2010's cover of David Bowie's "Heroes") on sales of 72,292 copies,[38] becoming Goulding's highest-peaking single after the 2013 chart-topper "Burn".[39] It maintained its position the following week, selling 63,753 units.[40] The song also topped the UK Official Download Chart for the week ending 11 December 2010.[41]

The single was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) on 22 July 2013,[42] and had sold 755,326 copies in the UK by August 2013.[43] Elsewhere, "Your Song" reached number four in Austria,[44] number five in Ireland,[45] number twenty-two in Denmark,[46] number twenty-five in Sweden[47] and number fifty-six in Switzerland.[48]

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Ben Coughlan and Max Knight,[49] premiered on YouTube on 14 November 2010. Shot in a home video look, it depicts Goulding's life on the road with friends. Areas from Goulding's hometown of Hereford can be seen throughout the video, including Hereford railway station.[50]

Track listing[edit]

  • Digital single[29]
  1. "Your Song" – 3:10

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Bright Lights.[51]

  • Ellie Goulding – vocals
  • Matt Lawrence – engineering, mixing
  • Ben Lovett – backing vocals, kick drum, piano, production
  • Ruth de Turberville – backing vocals, cello
  • Matt Wiggins – timpani

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wigney, Allan (July 16, 2006). "Elton John's enduring appeal". jam.canoe.ca (Sun Media). Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "Grammy Hall of Fame Award". Grammy.org Retrieved 16 December 2012
  3. ^ "To Be Continued: Elton John". Amazon.com. Retrieved 27 September 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Janovitz, Bill. "Your Song". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 July 2006. 
  5. ^ We All Fall In Love Sometimes, Iconic Songs with Glenn A. Baker, Afternoons with Tim Webster, Radio 2UE, 20 November 2008
  6. ^ Mendelsohn, John. "Elton John". Rolling Stone. Super Seventies RockSite!. Retrieved 16 July 2006. 
  7. ^ Elton John (LP liner notes). Elton John. Polydor Records. 1970. DJLPS 406. 
  8. ^ "Ultratop.be – Elton John – Your Song" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 10, 1971" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 20 November 201.
  10. ^ a b "Elton John" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Elton John | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 November 2010. 
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  16. ^ "European Top 20 Charts – Week Commencing 6th December 2010". Billboard. Pandora Archive. p. 27. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  17. ^ "Dance Club Songs : Mar 01, 2003". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  18. ^ Smith, Lizzie (1 February 2010). "Elton John gets dirty with Lady Gaga as they duet at the Grammys". Daily Mail. Mail Online. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  19. ^ "Juanes Performance At The Grammy Awards 2013: Colombian Star Adds Some Latino Flavor To A Spectacular Night (PHOTOS)". The Huffington Post. 10 February 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  20. ^ "You Tube: Geri Reischl (Fake Jan) - Your Song". Retrieved June 6, 2014. 
  21. ^ "amazon.com: 1200 Riverside". Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  22. ^ "You Tube: Your Song (2011 Version) Geri Reischl". Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Heroes – David Benoit". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 July 2010. 
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  27. ^ "Rod Stewart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  28. ^ "Rod Stewart Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Rod Stewart. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  29. ^ a b "Your Song – Single by Ellie Goulding". iTunes Store UK. Apple. Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  30. ^ "First the advert, now the album: John Lewis vies for chart dominance". The Daily Telegraph. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  31. ^ "Ellie Goulding covers The Killers, Stevie Wonder at Royal Wedding reception". NME. IPC Media. 1 May 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  32. ^ "Watch Ellie on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE this weekend". Interscope Records. 4 May 2011. Archived from the original on 29 September 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  33. ^ "Love Machine". Haven. Season 2. Episode 3. 29 July 2011. Syfy.
  34. ^ Levine, Nick. "Ellie Goulding: 'Your Song'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  35. ^ Ganz, Caryn. "Ellie Goulding, 'Lights'". Spin. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  36. ^ O'Brien, Jon. "Bright Lights – Ellie Goulding". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  37. ^ Jones, Alan (22 November 2010). "Boy bands rule the charts". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  38. ^ Jones, Alan (29 November 2010). "Boy bands and X Factor dominate charts". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  39. ^ a b "Ellie Goulding" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  40. ^ Jones, Alan (7 December 2010). "X Factor's Heroes frozen at top of singles chart". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  41. ^ "2010 Top 40 UK Single Downloads Archive". Official Charts Company. 11 December 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  42. ^ "Certified Awards". British Phonographic Industry. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  43. ^ Jones, Alan (19 August 2013). "Official Charts Analysis: Richard & Adam need just 19k sales to hold on at No.1". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 20 August 2013.  (subscription required)
  44. ^ a b "Ellie Goulding – Your Song – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  45. ^ a b "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  46. ^ a b "Danishcharts.com – Ellie Goulding – Your Song". Tracklisten. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  47. ^ a b "Swedishcharts.com – Ellie Goulding – Your Song". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  48. ^ a b "Ellie Goulding – Your Song – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  49. ^ Knight, David (18 November 2010). "Ellie Goulding's Your Song by Ben Coughlan/Max Knight". Promo News. Retrieved 20 November 2010. 
  50. ^ "Lyonshall singer to serenade royal couple with "Your Song"". Hereford Times. Newsquest. 28 April 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  51. ^ Bright Lights (CD liner notes). Ellie Goulding. Polydor Records. 2010. 2758676. 
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  53. ^ "Ellie Goulding Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Euro Digital Songs for Ellie Goulding. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  54. ^ "Lescharts.com – Ellie Goulding – Your Song" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
  55. ^ "Archive Chart". Scottish Singles Top 40. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
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External links[edit]