Tuesday, 6 January 2015

I guess that's why they call it the blues . . .

Being a huge fan of Sir Elton John has reminded me that I haven't written many blog posts about him.  I have referred to him in passing when talking about other artists who he might have influenced or who they sound like; I have only mentioned him in relation to That's what friends are for that he recorded with Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight.  I love singers who play the piano and like the Piano Man himself, Billy Joel, Sir Elton John writes his own songs, specifically his own music, as he works in partnership with lyricist Bernie Taupin when creating songs.

Don't wish it away
Don't look at it like it's forever
Between you and me I could honestly say
That things can only get better

And while I'm away 
Dust out the demons inside
And it won't be long before you and me run
To the place in our hearts where we hide

I love the bluesy tone of the piano, the background vocals that provide some texture in the 2nd verse.
These verses speak to me about being lost together with someone in your own world.  There will be times in your relationships where you will spend more time apart and that can make us sad, possibly even ache to be reunited.  I think if you communicate more openly about the hidden places in your hearts, it doesn't matter where you are physically, as long as you know that you will both be there together.

Just stare into space
Picture my face in your hands
Live for each second without hesitation
And never forget I'm your man

Wait on me girl
Cry in the night if it helps
But more than ever
I simply love you
More than I love life itself

Elton harmonises the third line in the 2nd verse of this section, much like the previous section.  When I listen to music I hear patterns and can unpack how things fit together, like I'm taking apart my own jigsaw puzzle just to look at how the different shapes fit together to make the overall picture.  This is probably much the same approach that one can take to life - taking things apart to see how they work, even to the point of deconstructing yourself, analysing your own behaviour, your actions, your words to determine the underlying reasons for why you do the things you do - and more importantly, how you impact on others.

And I guess that's why they call it the blues
Time on my hands could be time spent with you
Laughing like children, living like lovers
Rolling like thunder under the covers
And I guess that's why they call it the blues

The harmonica solo adds that extra bluesiness accompanied by background vocals before the refrain hits again.  The drums help to build the climax towards the final chorus.  The instrument that sticks out for me is the bass guitar that dances along in the chorus playing in different octaves to show its range. I hope that you spend time with your partner, laughing like children, living like lovers, before you let the blues and the heavy set components of your love together bog you down.  That emphatic triplet figure that plays on time on my hands just hints to me that we don't have control over time.  We can't hold time in our hands, it's impossible to measure so we need to continue to live with that sense of urgency, that sense of excitement before our time comes to an end . . .