This was Elton John’s first platinum single. It was his first giant it. In fact, it was his first single that was a hit at all.
But it wasn’t his first single.
“Your Song” was Elton’s seventh single. Five of the previous six didn’t chart at all. Anywhere. “Border Song” cracked the top forty in Canada, and just barely broke the top 100 in the U.S.
For those who don’t know, songs used to be released as singles with an A-side and a B-side. The A-side was supposed to be the hit, the song the artist and the label were promoting. The B-side was just another song, frequently released as an afterthought.
In this case, Elton’s song “Take Me To The Pilot” was supposed to be the hit. But radio preferred the song on the other side of the record. And it went on to sell a million copies.
Elton has had some 11 more platinum singles, a total of 57 top 40 hits in the U.S. and 71 top 40 hits in the U.K. So far.
Just on the basis of that info, the song and its story are about perseverance. About believing in yourself, even when things aren’t going the way you want, or you just seem to be failing, time and time again.
To me, it’s a lot more than that.
It’s a love song. And it’s personal.
Many of the song’s lyrics were things I have said to the wonderful woman who is now my wife. Not verbatim, of course, but I conveyed similar messages.
I’ve never had much money. I haven’t been able to shower her with riches, and I certainly didn’t win her heart in the first place with trinkets, baubles, jewelry, etc.
All I had, and all I really still have, is who I am.
I try to be good and kind. I don’t always succeed. I work too much. I don’t take very good care of myself (most of the time). In fact, I have a pretty good list of short-comings.
But I love her. With all my heart and all my soul and all that I am.
I would do anything I could to make her happy. I don’t always succeed at that, either, but I do try. And then I try again.
In the big picture, whatever it is I try to do or to be or to achieve, is ultimately, for her and for us. That may not always be in the forefront of my mind, but it’s still the end result.
And the truly wonderful thing is that she does the same for me.
I think we live in a time where many are afraid to allow themselves to be that vulnerable. Scars from previous relationships can make us wary of exposing too much of our hearts, of giving too much. We don’t want to be hurt. Again.
But that can also keep us from being loved.
We all have our own song that we can share. Sometimes it takes some work to find it. And sometimes, we’re nervous, or even scared, about sharing it. But sharing yourself, your truth, your song, that makes all the difference.
Lisa and I got married nine years ago this week. We don’t like all the same movies or TV shows or music or food. I love the city; she loves the country. She’s an amazing singer; I can’t carry a tune in a bucket with a handle on it.
Our lives aren’t perfect. Our rescue cat is still hiding under the couch. Our dishwasher is kaput. We worry about our kids. We never have enough time for what we want to do, or just for each other.
But whatever we do have, we freely give to each other.
And I think that’s really the secret.
It’s not about flowers and cards and rings and houses and cars. It’s about who you are, who you really are, and your willingness to share that.
For Lisa, my Love, happy anniversary!
I know it’s not much, but it’s the best I can do. My gift is my song. And this one’s for you.