New York—On November 19, Bonhams Rock and Roll Memorabilia Sale will offer the Original Handwritten Lyrics written by Bernie Taupin for Elton John’s “Your Song”, the iconic song that catapulted Elton John’s career to stardom. Estimate on request.
This is the original, first and only draft of the lyrics to "Your Song", the crown jewel of the Elton John and Bernie Taupin songbook. The world-famous song was created one morning on the roof of 20 Denmark Street, in Tin Pan Alley, the epicentre of London’s music industry in the seventies, and where Elton was working as an office boy for a music publishing firm. The lyricist Bernie Taupin was waiting there for Elton, which is how the line "I sat on the roof and kicked off the moss" materialised. After being handed the lyrics, Elton took all of 10 minutes to come up with the haunting melody that accompanies Taupin's paean to young love.
“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”
"Your Song" was first released in America in October 1970 as the B-side of "Take Me to the Pilot", before its popularity provoked the record company to switch it to the A-side. Critics fell at the feet of Elton and Taupin’s hit record. At the time of its release, Derek Johnson from NME 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."
John Lennon compared Elton and Taupin’s talent with The Beatles, proclaiming “that's the first new thing that's happened since we (The Beatles) happened.”
“Your Song” is Elton’s and Bernie’s first classic hit and timeless piece of piano-based pop songwriting. It remains one of the most identifiable and best-loved songs that the long-term collaborators worked on and holds an immortal position in the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Catherine Williamson, Director of Books and Manuscripts at Bonhams comments: ““Your Song” played a pivotal role in projecting both Elton John and Bernie Taupin into the limelight. It is a remarkable song that has stood the test of time and this original script highlights that its longevity is due to the mastery of the two artists.”