Song Lyric Sunday | “Rocket Man” – Elton John

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is  “School/Books/Learning.”

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Week two for Elton John! 🙂
  • The first stanza of Rocket Man was thought of by Bernie Taupin whilst he was on the motorway heading to his parents’ home; he had to “repeat it to himself for two hours,” which was “unfortunate”, but in later interviews he said that since it gave him a hit, it was all worthwhile.
  • Among numerous other performances, John played Rocket Man at the launch site of Space Shuttle Discovery in 1998.
  • The song includes the line, “”And I’m gonna be high as a kite by then”. The website Schmoop commented, “The phrase “high as a kite” is a common idiom almost always used to refer to drug use. There’s nothing to suggest that lyricist Bernie Taupin really intended the double entendre, but the song did come out at the peak of stoner ’70s culture. The usual meaning of the expression, which Taupin would have been familiar with, is highly intoxicated.
  • The most commonly misheard lyric in this song is “Rocket Man, burning out his fuse up here alone.” This was the centerpiece of a 2011 commercial for the Volkswagen Passat, where folks came up with all kinds of interpretations of the last few words: telephone, cheap cologne, motor home, provolone. A couple in a Passat can correctly interpret the words thanks to the car’s premium sound system, and all is well. This wasn’t the first time the song was used in a commercial; it was also featured in ads for AT&T.

The video is from a live performance in Madison Square Garden in 2000.

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.

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Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.
 RocKet Man (I Think it’s going to be a long, long time)
by Elton John
Songwriters: Elton John & Bernie Taupin

 

[Verse 1]
She packed my bags last night, pre-flight
Zero hour: 9:00 a.m
And I’m gonna be high as a kite by then
I miss the Earth so much, I miss my wife
It’s lonely out in space
On such a timeless flight

[Chorus]
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
‘Til touchdown brings me ’round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home
Oh no, no, no
I’m a rocket man
Rocket man
Burning out his fuse up here alone
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
‘Til touchdown brings me ’round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home
Oh no, no, no
I’m a rocket man
Rocket man
Burning out his fuse up here alone

[Verse 2]
Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids
In fact, it’s cold as hell
And there’s no one there to raise them if you did
And all this science I don’t understand
It’s just my job five days a week
A rocket man
A rocket man

[Chorus]
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
‘Til touchdown brings me ’round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home
Oh no, no, no
I’m a rocket man
Rocket man
Burning out his fuse up here alone
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
‘Til touchdown brings me ’round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home
Oh no, no, no
I’m a rocket man
Rocket man
Burning out his fuse up here alone

[Outro]
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time

8 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday | “Rocket Man” – Elton John

  1. Okay, you got me. EJ is one of my all-time favorite storytellers – okay, one of four (Neil Diamond, Harry Chapin, and Billy Joel are the others). This one is a classic. Thanks for sharing it. Now “I think it’s gonna be a long long time” is going to resonate in my head until next week’s round of songs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary, you are right. I saw him twice. Once alone and once with Billy Joel. It is sad that this is his last tour; however, I think it is great that he wants to spend more time with his family.

      Like

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