|Single by Elton John|
|from the album Elton John|
|Recorded||January 1970; Trident Studios
|Writer(s)||Elton John, Bernie Taupin|
|Elton John singles chronology|
"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 in 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.
A demo version was included on John's 1990 box set album To Be Continued. The song has been covered by a number of artists, including Al Jarreau and Ellie Goulding, whose version reached number two on the UK Singles Chart in late 2010.
- 1 Composition and inspiration
- 2 Reception
- 3 Music video
- 4 Commercial performance and impact
- 5 Track listings
- 6 Charts
- 7 Performances and renditions
- 8 Ellie Goulding version
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Composition and inspiration
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": "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.
"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. 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.
Elton John had said in an interview with The Actor's Studio that he had only taken 30 minutes to compose the entire song.
"Your Song" was praised by critics upon its release and in subsequent years. Bill Janovitz from Allmusic described it as a "near-perfect song". 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".
A music video was produced to promote the single.
Commercial performance and impact
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 13th 2012 by the RIAA.
|Dutch Top 40||10|
|UK Singles Chart||7|
|US Billboard Hot 100||8|
|US Hot Dance Club Play||5|
|Norwegian Singles Chart||10|
Version with Alessandro Safina
|Canadian Singles Chart||8|
|Dutch Single Top 100||88|
|UK Singles Chart||4|
Performances and renditions
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. At the 2013 Grammy Awards, Colombian singer Juanes performed a bilingual rendition of "Your Song".
Other artists who have covered the song include:
Ellie Goulding version
|Single by Ellie Goulding|
|from the album Bright Lights|
|Released||12 November 2010|
|Recorded||2010; The Pool, The Square
|Genre||Indie pop, indie folk|
|Writer(s)||Elton John, Bernie Taupin|
|Ellie Goulding singles chronology|
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 in the United Kingdom on 12 November 2010 as the re-release's lead single. The song was featured in the Christmas 2010 TV advert for the department store chain John Lewis.
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. She also performed the song on Saturday Night Live on 7 May 2011. Goulding's version was featured at the end of the Haven episode "Love Machine" in 2011.
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." Caryn Ganz of Spin magazine opined that her cover is "everything Gaga's Grammy version wasn't—a tender, vulnerable gift". 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."
"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. 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, becoming Goulding's highest-peaking single at the time. It maintained its position the following week, selling 63,753 units. The song also topped the UK Official Download Chart on 5 December 2010. Elsewhere, "Your Song" reached number five in Ireland, number twenty-two in Denmark, number twenty-five in Sweden and number fifty-six in Switzerland.
As of August 2013, Ellie Goulding's version has sold 755,326 copies in the UK.
The music video, directed by Ben Coughlan and Max Knight, 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.
- Digital single
- "Your Song" – 3:10
Credits adapted from Bright Lights liner notes.
- Ellie Goulding – vocals
- Matt Lawrence – engineer, mixing
- Ben Lovett – backing vocals, kick drum, piano, producer
- Ruth de Turberville – backing vocals, cello
- Matt Wiggins – timpani
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- We All Fall In Love Sometimes, Iconic Songs with Glenn A. Baker, Afternoons with Tim Webster, Radio 2UE, 20 November 2008
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- "Elton John & Alessandro Safina – Your Song" (in Dutch). dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
- 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.
- "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.
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- "Watch Ellie on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE this weekend". Interscope Records. 4 May 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
- Levine, Nick. "Ellie Goulding: 'Your Song'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
- Ganz, Caryn. "Ellie Goulding, 'Lights'". Spin. Buzz Media. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
- O'Brien, Jon. "Bright Lights – Ellie Goulding". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
- Jones, Alan (22 November 2010). "Boy bands rule the charts". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
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- "2010 Top 40 UK Single Downloads Archive". Official Charts Company. 11 December 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
- "Top 50 Singles, Week Ending 9 December 2010". Irish Recorded Music Association. Chart-Track. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
- "Ellie Goulding – Your Song". danishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
- "Ellie Goulding – Your Song". swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
- "Ellie Goulding – Your Song". swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- 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.
- Knight, David (18 November 2010). "Ellie Goulding's Your Song by Ben Coughlan/Max Knight". Promo News. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
- "Lyonshall singer to serenade royal couple with "Your Song"". Hereford Times. Newsquest. 28 April 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
- Bright Lights (CD liner notes). Ellie Goulding. Polydor Records. 2010. 2758676.
- "Ellie Goulding – Your Song" (in German). austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- "RADIO TOP100 Oficiální: GOULDING ELLIE – Your Song" (in Czech). IFPI Czech Republic. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
- "Ellie Goulding – Your Song" (in French). lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
- "2010 Top 40 Scottish Singles Archive". Official Charts Company. 4 December 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- "Top 40 UK Singles of 2010". BBC Radio 1. Retrieved 8 October 2011.