|Single by Elton John|
|from the album Elton John|
|Released||26 October 1970|
|Elton John singles chronology|
"Your Song" is a song composed and performed by English musician Elton John with lyrics by his longtime collaborator, Bernie Taupin. It originally appeared on John's self-titled second studio album (which was released in 1970). The song was released in the United States in October 1970 as the B-side to "Take Me to the Pilot". Both songs received airplay, but "Your Song" was preferred by disc jockeys and replaced "Take Me to the Pilot" as the A-side, eventually making it to number eight on the Billboard chart. The song also peaked at number seven on the UK Singles Chart, as well as charting in the top 10 in several other countries.
"Your Song" was first released by American rock band Three Dog Night in March 1970 on their third studio album, It Ain't Easy. John was an opening act for the band at the time and allowed them to record it. They did not release it as a single as they wanted to let John, then an upcoming artist, have a go with it.
In 1998, "Your Song" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2004 the song was placed at number 137 on Rolling Stones list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time", as well as in its 2010 list. A demo version was included in John's 1990 box set album To Be Continued. The song has been covered by a number of artists, including Ellie Goulding, whose version reached number two on the UK Singles Chart in late 2010, and Lady Gaga. The song was also covered by Ewan McGregor in the movie musical Moulin Rouge!
Taupin wrote the song's lyrics after breakfast one morning on the roof of 20 Denmark Street, London, where John worked for a music publishing firm as an office boy, hence the line "I sat on the roof and kicked off the moss".
The lyrics express the romantic thoughts of an innocent person. John sings a straightforward love-song lyric at the beginning: "It's a little bit funny this feeling inside / I'm not one of those who can easily hide / I don't have much money but boy if I did / I'd buy a big house where we both could live." At times the self-deprecating narrator stumbles to get out his feelings, which despite being a melodramatic device, AllMusic calls "effective and sweet":
"Your Song" was praised by critics upon its release and in subsequent years. Writing in the NME on its release Derek Johnson wrote, "The song itself is glowing and strangely haunting, the scoring is smooth and delicate and the performance is symptomatic of a new era in pop idols."Bill Janovitz from AllMusic described it as a "near-perfect song". In a 1975 interview with Rolling Stone, John Lennon recalled, "I remember hearing Elton John's 'Your Song', heard it in America--it was one of Elton's first big hits--and remember thinking, 'Great, that's the first new thing that's happened since we (The Beatles) happened.' It was a step forward. There was something about his vocal that was an improvement on all of the English vocals until then. I was pleased with it." John Mendelsohn from Rolling Stone called the song a "pretty McCartney-esque ballad".
"Your Song" rose to number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number seven on the UK Singles Chart. In 2002, John re-recorded the song as a duet with opera singer Alessandro Safina for the first Sport Relief charity telethon, and it reached number four in the UK. In the US it was certified Gold and Platinum on 13 December 2012 by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of over one million digital downloads. On 31 March 2017, it was certified Gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), denoting sales in excess of 400,000 digital downloads.In the US in April 2018 it was certified 2x Platinum for sales of two million digital downloads by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Version with Alessandro Safina
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||600,000|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
John has played "Your Song" at almost every live performance during his solo career, and issued several live versions, including with his band, solo on piano and with orchestra. One notable version was during his Central Park concert in 1980, when the singer was dressed as Donald Duck.
He also performed "Your Song" live with Ronan Keating at Madison Square Garden, New York, in 2000, the recording of which can be found on Keating's 2010 album Duet. On 20 October 2001, John performed the song with Billy Joel at The Concert for New York City, a tribute show to the September 11 attacks. In 2004, Daniel Bedingfield performed a cover of the song to Elton John at An Ivor Novello Tribute: Elton John. John performed "Your Song" to open the Concert for Diana on 1 July 2007. John and Lady Gaga performed a medley of "Your Song" with Gaga's song "Speechless" at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards on 31 January 2010. At the 2013 Grammy Awards, Colombian singer Juanes performed a bilingual rendition of "Your Song". Gaga recorded a cover of the song for the 2018 tribute album Revamp: Reimagining the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin.
Soul singer Billy Paul released a cover version of the song in 1972 that cracked the top 40 in the U.K., reaching #38.
In 2018, Elton John starred in the annual Christmas advert of British department store chain John Lewis & Partners, titled "The Boy & The Piano." Set to "Your Song," it featured John reminiscing about his life in reverse, culminating with him receiving a piano for Christmas as a child.
|Single by Rod Stewart|
|from the album Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin|
|Released||17 April 1992|
|Rod Stewart singles chronology|
English singer and songwriter Rod Stewart covered "Your Song" for the tribute album Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin (1991). His version was released in 1992 as a double A-side single with "Broken Arrow".
|Canada Top Singles (RPM)||25|
|Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)||23|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||60|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||41|
|US Billboard Hot 100||48|
|US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)||6|
|Single by Ellie Goulding|
|from the album Bright Lights|
|Released||12 November 2010|
|Studio||The Pool, The Square|
|Ellie Goulding singles chronology|
English singer and songwriter Ellie Goulding covered "Your Song" for the reissue of her debut studio album, titled Bright Lights. Produced by Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons, it was released digitally on 12 November 2010 as the re-release's lead single. The song was featured in the Christmas 2010 television advert for department store chain John Lewis.
Goulding performed "Your Song" at the reception party of Prince William and Catherine Middleton's wedding at Buckingham Palace on 29 April 2011, to which the couple shared their first dance. She also performed the song on Saturday Night Live on 7 May 2011, along with "Lights". Goulding's version was featured at the end of the 29 July 2011 episode of the Syfy supernatural drama series Haven, titled "Love Machine".
Nick Levine of Digital Spy gave the song four out of five stars, commenting that producer Lovett "shrouds her beautifully fluttery vocals in little but piano and strings, just adding a few harmonies towards the finish, allowing her to draw out the tenderness in Bernie Taupin's lyrics and the utter loveliness of one of Elton John's very best melodies. The result is a quiet, modest triumph, but a triumph nonetheless." Caryn Ganz of Spin magazine opined that her cover is "everything Gaga's Grammy version wasn't--a tender, vulnerable gift". Jon O'Brien critic AllMusic, in his review for Bright Lights, called it "unimaginative" and felt that it "sounds out of place alongside the rest of her rather more adventurous material."
"Your Song" debuted at number 39 on the UK Singles Chart for the week of 14 November 2010. The single jumped to number three the following week, selling 84,896 copies. In its third week, it climbed to its peak position of number two (behind The X Factor Finalists 2010's cover of David Bowie's "Heroes") on sales of 72,292 copies, becoming Goulding's highest-peaking single until 2013. It maintained its position the following week, selling 63,753 units. The song also topped the UK Singles Downloads Chart for the week ending 11 December 2010.
The single was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) on 22 July 2013, and had sold 826,000 copies in the UK by August 2013. Elsewhere, "Your Song" reached number four in Austria, number five in Ireland, number 22 in Denmark, number 25 in Sweden and number 56 in Switzerland.
The music video, directed by Ben Coughlan and Max Knight, premiered on YouTube on 14 November 2010. Shot in a home video look, it depicts Goulding's life on the road with friends. Areas from Goulding's hometown of Hereford can be seen throughout the video, including Hereford railway station.
|Norway (IFPI Norway)||Platinum||10,000*|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||826,000|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000|
*sales figures based on certification alone
American singer Lady Gaga recorded a cover of "Your Song" for the 2018 tribute album Revamp: Reimagining the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin. It was released digitally as a promotional single on March 30, 2018. Gaga performed the song at The Recording Academy's tribute concert, titled "Elton John: I'm Still Standing - A Grammy Salute", which aired on CBS on April 10, 2018. In April, during the release of Revamp in Japan (there re-titled Your Song: Elton John Best Hits Cover), Lady Gaga's cover of "Your Song" was widely promoted on the country's radio stations, becoming the most played song on Japanese radio in mid-April. The song reached the top thirty in Hungary, Japan, Mexico, the digital downloads chart of Spain and in the US Pop Digital Songs chart.
|France Downloads (SNEP)||31|
|Hungary (Single Top 40)||18|
|Japan (Japan Hot 100)||27|
|Japan Hot Overseas (Billboard)||3|
|Mexico Ingles Airplay (Billboard)||30|
|Scotland (Official Charts Company)||79|
|Spain Downloads (PROMUSICAE)||12|
|US Pop Digital Songs (Billboard)||21|