Daniel (song)

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For the Bat for Lashes single, see Daniel (Bat for Lashes song).
Elton John Daniel(2).jpg
Single by Elton John
from the album Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player
B-side "Skyline Pigeon"
Released 26 March 1973 (1973-03-26)
Format Vinyl record (7")
Recorded June 1972,
Château d'Hérouville, France
Genre Soft rock
Length 3:54
Label MCA (US)
Writer(s) Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Producer(s) Gus Dudgeon
Elton John singles chronology
"Crocodile Rock"
"Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting"

"Daniel" is a song and ballad 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.[1] In the US 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[2] for two weeks in the spring of 1973. In the United States, it was certified Gold on 13 September 1995 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.[3] Writers John and Taupin received the 1973 Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.[4]

Donatella Versace named her son after this song.[5]


"Daniel" is the story of two visually impaired brothers. The narrator is already missing his brother Daniel, who is leaving town for his favorite place, Spain. The narrator thinks he has seen Daniel on the plane, but it is actually "the clouds in (his) eyes". According to the song, of all of Daniel's scars that won't heal, he has literally lost his sight, but spiritually sees more than his narrator/brother. The narrator still looks up having "faith of the sky" in Daniel.


Bernie Taupin wrote "Daniel" 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 went back home.[6] A verse in the original draft was cut from the final version, which has led to some speculation on the contents.[7]

"'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."


Chart performance[edit]


Grammy Awards
Year Nominee/work Award Result
1974 "Daniel" Best Pop Vocal Performance – Male[22] Nominated

Notable covers[edit]

"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 Adult Contemporary chart as an album cut.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Chart Stats - Elton John - Daniel". Retrieved 28 January 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c "allmusic - Elton John - Billboard singles". Retrieved 28 January 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 12 February 2012. 
  4. ^ Lister, David, Pop ballads bite back in lyrical fashion, The Independent (London), 28 May 1994
  5. ^ "Donatella Versace Daniel Versace - Donatella Versace Net Worth". Getnetworth.com. 1955-05-02. Retrieved 2016-10-08. 
  6. ^ Joseph J. Foy (5 February 2015). American Politics Through Popular Culture. University Press of Kentucky. p. 203. 
  7. ^ "Bernie Taupin Interview". Billboard: 14. 4 October 1997. 
  8. ^ "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 9, 1973". Archived from the original on 20 February 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2009. 
  9. ^ "dutchcharts.nl - Elton John - Daniel". Archived from the original on 12 October 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2009. 
  10. ^ "charts-surfer.de search results". Retrieved 28 January 2009. 
  11. ^ "irishcharts.ie search results". Archived from the original on 1 February 2010. Retrieved 28 January 2009. 
  12. ^ "Flavour of New Zealand - search listener". flavourofnz.co.nz. 
  13. ^ "norwegiancharts.com - Elton John - Daniel". Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2009. 
  14. ^ ""Daniel" on the South African Singles Chart". Springbok Radio. Retrieved 25 September 2010. 
  15. ^ "Elton John - Daniel - hitparade.ch". Archived from the original on 10 November 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2009. 
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 June 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-01. 
  17. ^ * Zimbabwe. Kimberley, C. Zimbabwe: singles chart book. Harare: C. Kimberley, 2000
  18. ^ Steffen Hung. "Forum - Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts - 1980s (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 2016-10-08. 
  19. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-08. 
  20. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1973/Top 100 Songs of 1973". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-08. 
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 January 2015. Retrieved 2016-06-25. 
  22. ^ "Grammy Awards: Best Pop Vocal Performance - Male". rockonthenet.com. Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  23. ^ "allmusic - Wilson Phillips - Billboard singles". Retrieved 28 January 2009. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Little Willy" by The Sweet
Canadian RPM 100 number-one single
2 June – 9 June 1973
Succeeded by
"Frankenstein" by Edgar Winter
Preceded by
"You Are the Sunshine of My Life" by Stevie Wonder
Adult Contemporary chart number-one single
12 May – 19 May 1973
Succeeded by
"And I Love You So" by Perry Como