"Elton's Song" is a song written by Elton John (music) and Tom Robinson (lyrics). It first appeared on the 1981 album The Fox, though it had been recorded two years prior, in 1979. It was previewed in concerts from that period.
A mournful ballad in form, the lyrics deal frankly with a gay teenage boy's crush on another boy. Themes of heartbreak and shame permeate. The music is comparatively stark, yet it subtly employs John's classical training (as well as a classical mood) in its occasional use of conflicting parallel major and minor keys. This plus the syncopation in the chorus helps to convey the wounded mood of the song. The spare arrangement consists entirely of John's piano and voice and "string" synthesizers programmed and played by James Newton Howard.
A video was shot for this song in a school and was included on a video album accompanying The Fox. It was never shown on television. According to Tom Robinson, the plot was based on a subplot from the Lindsay Anderson movie if..... The theme of gay love caused a controversy, inspiring such tabloid headlines as "Elton's gay video shocker". The video was directed by Russell Mulcahy and written by Keith Williams and was not based on If, but an idea supplied by Elton John himself who wanted a mini-movie made from the song without him necessarily having to appear/perform in it - a radical step in 1981 music videos.
- "His song" by Elizabeth Rosenthal
- THE FOX album and liner notes.