Five For Friday: Elton John & Bernie Taupin

I’ve decided that this will be the last of the Songwriting Teams series on Five For Friday, for now, anyway. I have no idea what will take its place; I’l be focusing on my duties as a host for the A to Z Challenge, so it might just be free-form for a while.

In 1967, Liberty Records put an ad in the New Music Express in the UK for songwriters. Two applicants for the positions were Reg Dwight (aka Elton John) and Bernie Taupin. They were brought together by Liberty, and have been working together ever since, writing hundreds of songs together. Well, not really "together": both men work separately, where Taupin writes the lyrics and sends them on to Elton, who composes the music. Hey, it works for them…

Here are five of my favorite Elton John/Bernie Taupin songs.

Rocket Man (I Think It’s Gonna Be A Long, Long Time)

Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting


Philadelphia Freedom

Someone Saved My Life Tonight

Elton John & Bernie Taupin, Your Five For Friday, March 31, 2023.

Song of the Day: Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, “Mexican Shuffle”

Happy 88th birthday to trumpeter, bandleader, and record executive Herb Alpert. As leader of the Tijuana Brass and as a solo act, Herb has made numerous hit records, and as co-founder with Jerry Moss of A&M Records, has made many more for artist such as Joe Cocker and Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66. Herb’s wife, singer Lani Hall, was a singer with Brasil ’66. "Mexican Shuffle" was issued as a single from Herb’s 1964 album South of the Border, and it reached #19 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It was later used by the D. L. Clark Company to advertise its Teaberry gum.

Writers Workshop: “Honey”

You might already know the theory that I have about Bobby Russell’s song "Honey," Bobby Goldsboro’s #1 hit from 1968.

It’s sappy and overly sentimental, but I kind of liked it when I was 12. It was kind of a guilty pleasure (though I’ve always said that there’s no such thing). I had the music in a songbook that I played from on occasion (did the vocal and everything). I just always thought it was just a nice, sweet tune about a young woman who was maybe a little immature, but was a sweet girl, the kind a guy might like to marry.

Since I’ve been doing this blog, I’ve done recreations of radio station surveys, playing the Top Ten records from a random radio station in the United states, Canada, or elsewhere for a date close to the day’s date. Tuesday, for example, I recreated the Top Ten from WKOZ in Kosciusko, Mississippi from March 29, 1979. Anyway, a few years ago, I chose a survey from 1968, and "Honey" was in the Top Ten.

I listened to the song, and suddenly something didn’t sound right. Maybe it was the line "It would sure embarrass her when I’d come home from working late, ’cause I would know/That she’d been sitting there and crying over some sad and silly late late show." Or the line toward the end "I came home unexpectedly and caught her crying needlessly in the middle of the day/And it was in the early spring, when flowers bloom and robins sing, she went away."

Like a lot of people, I’ve dealt with depression. I’ve taken Welbutrin for a number of years now. Knowing what depression is like, I realized that Honey was likely suffering from it. Then, in the last verse, it says "One day when I was not at home, when she was there and all alone, the angels came."

Now, maybe I’m being crazy and a little overdramatic and my mind is working too hard, but that sounds to me like she committed suicide.

It’s still a lovely song, and the singer who’s telling the story is no doubt sad ("Now all I have is memories of Honey, and I wake up nights and call her name… Now my life’s an empty stage, where Honey lived and Honey played, and love grew up"). But, darn it, I wish I hadn’t realized that…

The prompt: Tell us about a song that you loved as a kid that hits different as an adult now that you can fully process the lyrics.

#FPQ 207: Bloggin’ My Life Away

How many hours a day would you estimate you spent on your blog, including writing, reading, and commenting? If you didn’t blog, what would you do with the time you currently spend on your blog?

All told, I spend about five hours a day blogging, reading blogs, commenting on blogs, watching videos, and sleeping while watching videos. If I didn’t blog, I’d spend more of the time writing for myself, watching videos, and sleeping.

That was easy…