Harmony

Elton John released his seventh studio album, the double-record Goodbye Yellow Brick Road in 1973. That was a year of musical significance for me, as it was the year I saw David Bowie at the tail end of his Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars tour at the Liverpool Empire Theatre while on holiday in England and Paris, France, with my parents.

Bowie was big in my childhood home, after an older brother introduced us to his music. I think it may have been my sister who brought home Elton John’s music. Anyway, we all enjoyed him and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road played many times on our living room stereo.

I also remember, when driving in my car, I would occasionally play the opening medley “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” far too loudly on the cassette tape player.

“Harmony” is the closing track on the album, a short (2:46) but beautiful piece. The whole album is magnificent; many different song styles but consistently excellent writing, musicianship and production. I find the sound of the drums to be so full, crisp and clear, the bass line deep with a slight hollowness to it, and the distortion of the electric guitar to be just right. Then, of course, there is all of John’s outstanding keyboard work and vocals.

Hello, baby hello
Haven’t seen your face for a while
Have you quit doing time for me
Or are you still the same spoiled child

Hello, I said hello
Is this the only place you thought to go
Am I the only man you ever had
Or am I just the last surviving friend that you know

Harmony and me
We’re pretty good company
Looking for an island
In our boat upon the sea
Harmony, gee I really love you
And I want to love you forever
And dream of the never, never, never leaving harmony

Hello, baby hello
Open up your heart and let your feelings flow
You’re not unlucky knowing me
Keeping the speed real slow
In any case I set my own pace
By stealing the show, say hello, hello

(“Harmony,” by Elton John, Bernie Taupin. Unofficial lyrics are courtesy of AZLyrics.com.)

I feel like the song might be the singer telling about his relationship with himself, getting through struggles and learning to care for himself and live in harmony with the world around him. John had challenges in his life with drugs and an eating disorder which lasted a few years beyond the time of the album’s release but publicly stated in 2019 that he had been clean and sober for 29 years.

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the video for the song from Elton John’s official YouTube channel:

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