Song Lyric Sunday — Goodbye

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt Jim Adams theme is all about parting ways by saying things like arrivederci, bon-voyage, ciao, farewell, goodbye, hasta la vista, sayonara, or shalom. I chose goodbye, and in particular, Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”

“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” was a song performed by musician Elton John and it was the title track on his 1973 album of the same name. The song’s music was composed by John, while the lyrics were written by Bernie Taupin. It was the album’s second single and made it to the Top Ten in both the U.S. and the U.K. It was one of Elton John’s biggest hits.

Taupin wrote the lyrics to this song, and this appears to be more about him, rather than about Elton. The lyrics revolve around giving up a life of opulence for one of simplicity in a rural setting. Elton enjoyed a very extravagant lifestyle, while Taupin preferred to keep it low key.

The Yellow Brick Road in the song was a bit of an homage to the movie “The Wizard of Oz,” where Dorothy and her friends follow the yellow brick road in search of the magical Wizard of Oz, only to find they had what they were looking for all along.

What made this song stand out was the poignant way it pined for a simpler, grounded time at the very moment that Elton John was soaring to the dizzying heights of superstardom.

Taupin said, “There was a period when I was going through that whole ‘got to get back to my roots’ thing, which spawned a lot of like-minded songs in the early days, this being one of them. I don’t believe I was ever turning my back on success or saying I didn’t want it. I just don’t believe I was ever that naïve. I think I was just hoping that maybe there was a happy medium way to exist successfully in a more tranquil setting. My only naiveté, I guess, was believing I could do it so early on. I had to travel a long road and visit the school of hard knocks before I could come even close to achieving that goal. So, thank God I can say quite categorically that I am home.”

Here are the lyrics to the song.

When are you gonna come down?
When are you going to land?
I should have stayed on the farm
I should have listened to my old man

You know you can’t hold me forever
I didn’t sign up with you
I’m not a present for your friends to open
This boy’s too young to be singing, the blues

So goodbye yellow brick road
Where the dogs of society howl
You can’t plant me in your penthouse
I’m going back to my plough

Back to the howling old owl in the woods
Hunting the horny back toad
Oh I’ve finally decided my future lies
Beyond the yellow brick road

What do you think you’ll do then?
I bet that’ll shoot down your plane
It’ll take you a couple of vodka and tonics
To set you on your feet again

Maybe you’ll get a replacement
There’s plenty like me to be found
Mongrels who ain’t got a penny
Sniffing for tidbits like you on the ground

So goodbye yellow brick road
Where the dogs of society howl
You can’t plant me in your penthouse
I’m going back to my plough

Back to the howling old owl in the woods
Hunting the horny back toad
Oh I’ve finally decided my future lies
Beyond the yellow brick road

16 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Goodbye

  1. The Abject Muse April 25, 2021 / 3:43 am

    Somehow I didn’t even think of this one! Good choice. Lots of memories attached to this song. Best of times; worst of times…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mister Bump UK April 25, 2021 / 4:31 am

    My reader sees Oz as “ounce” so it kinda spoiled the effect 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  3. newepicauthor April 25, 2021 / 6:33 am

    Taupin was a farmer’s son and he was living with his parents when he met Elton and he admits to being a country bumpkin compared to the sophisticated Elton.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Melanie B Cee April 25, 2021 / 7:10 am

    Oh my. This takes me back and is one of my favorite Elton tunes! Thanks, Fandango for bringing back some great memories!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango April 25, 2021 / 10:43 am

      My pleasure, Melanie.

      Like

  5. Maggie April 25, 2021 / 7:36 am

    Such a great classic song. Very apropos for these times.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. aisasami May 2, 2021 / 6:14 am

    This song never gets old, such a classic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 2, 2021 / 9:13 am

      It is, isn’t it?

      Like

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