Daniel (Elton John song)
|Single by Elton John|
|from the album Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player|
Château d'Hérouville, France
|Elton John singles chronology|
"Daniel" is a song and ballad performed by Elton John. It appeared on the 1973 album Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player. It was written by John and his lyricist Bernie Taupin. In the United Kingdom, the song reached No. 4 in the official chart. In the United States, the song reached No. 2 on the pop charts (only held from number one by "My Love" by Paul McCartney & Wings) and No. 1 on the adult contemporary charts for two weeks in the spring of 1973.
In the US, it was certified gold in September 1995 and platinum in May 2018 by the RIAA. In Canada, it became his second No. 1 single, following "Crocodile Rock" earlier in the year, holding the position for two weeks in the RPM 100 national singles chart. John and Taupin received the 1973 Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.
Bernie Taupin wrote the lyrics after reading an article in either Time or Newsweek about a Vietnam War veteran who had been wounded, and wanted to get away from the attention he was receiving when he came back home. The last verse in the original draft was cut from the final version, which has led to some speculation on the contents.
"'Daniel' had been the most misinterpreted song that we'd ever written," explained Taupin, in the Two Rooms tribute project. "The story was about a guy that went back to a small town in Texas, returning from the Vietnam War. They'd lauded him when he came home and treated him like a hero. But he just wanted to go home, go back to the farm, and try to get back to the life that he'd led before. I wanted to write something that was sympathetic to the people that came home."
- Elton John – Vocals, Fender Rhodes electric piano, Mellotron (flute parts)
- Davey Johnstone – acoustic guitar, banjo
- Dee Murray – bass
- Nigel Olsson – drums, maracas
- Ken Scott – ARP synthesizer
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||200,000|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000|
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.
- Grammy Awards
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|1974||"Daniel"||Best Pop Vocal Performance – Male||Nominated|
"Daniel" was covered on the 1991 album Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin by Wilson Phillips. It reached number seven on the US and Canadian Adult Contemporary charts as an album cut. The song also reached number 26 on the Canadian pop chart.
Sam Smith covered the song for the 2018 tribute album Revamp: Reimagining the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin.
- List of RPM number-one singles of 1973 (Canada)
- List of number-one adult contemporary singles of 1973 (U.S.)
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