Song Lyric Sunday | “The Last Song” – 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  Dad/Father/Barbecue.

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My first selection always causes me to tear up not only because of it’s haunting melody and moving lyrics, but because I lost my baby brother to AIDS in 1993 at the age of 29.

The Last Song is the second single from Elton John’s 1992 album, The One. It was composed by John, with lyrics provided by Bernie Taupin. The Last Song marked the first of John’s American singles to benefit his AIDS foundation. Taupin faxed the lyrics to him in Paris, shortly after Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury died the previous year. “I was crying all the time as I wrote the music”, John told The Advocate, “and it was very hard for me to sing it”.

The song is about a boy who is dying of AIDS with his father by his side. Elton’s lyricist, Bernie Taupin, explained: “We didn’t go for the obvious. I tried to do something lyrically that would thaw the intolerance of not understanding. That’s why I used the idea of a father coming to terms with his son’s status in life and his sexuality, but unfortunately understanding too late. If you can melt a little intolerance along the way, I’m happy with that.”

The Last Song reached #23 on Billboard’s Hot 100, #26 on Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40, and charted worldwide.

Fun Facts:

  • Both John and Taupin were staunch supporters of efforts to understand and eradicate AIDS. Around this time, Taupin produced a show called Commitment to Life, which raised money to fight the disease.
  • The Last Song was featured in the final scene of the movie chronicling the early days of the AIDS Epidemic, And The Band Played On (originally a book by Randy Shilts). The scene is a video collage of famous people and moments in AIDS History.
  • When The Last Song hit the Top 40 in the beginning of 1993, it gave Elton John 23 consecutive years with a chart hit, breaking Elvis Presley’s old record of 22.

I’ve posted the original video from 1992 and a live performance from 1994.

Enjoy!

See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for FeliciaDenise.com.

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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.

The Last Song

Compiled from Genius Lyrics, Google, Wikipedia, Songfacts.com, and YouTube.
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