Levon is a song most will relate to because of the context of getting bored doing something you do not value nor appreciate, but we become victims of circumstance by doing it because it’s a family ritual. The song is about a guy who is fatigued from doing the same thing over and over, but because it’s a family tradition, he can’t escape the situations he is in, which is blowing up balloons.
Recorded on the 27th of February in the year 1971, released in the Madman Across the Water, John’s 1971 album. Elton John performed it though he wrote the song with Bernie Taupin. Its genre is Symphonic Rocks, with its album version playing for five minutes and twenty-two seconds while its single version plays for four minutes and forty-four minutes. Its orchestra was directed by Paul Buckmaster, who also wrote the orchestral arrangements. Tony Burrows provided the backup vocals for this song. Its B-side is “Goodbye.”
In accordance with Gus Dudgeon, Taupin was inclined to name the song after the co-founder, drummer, and singer of the Band, Levon Helm. However, in 2013, Taupin discreetly said Helm is unrelated to the music. After that, Robbie Robertson, a fellow band member, reportedly said that following that, Helm disliked the song in the first place, saying that Englishmen shouldn’t ‘fuck’ with Americans.
What is the meaning behind the song “Levon” by Elton John
Odd occurrences in the song describe three different generations. One generation consists of Alvin Tostig, the father of Levon. Levon is the second generation, while Jesus, Levon’s son, is the third generation. Though the contemplation that the song is because of Helm is false, during Taupin’s days, he developed a liking for the name. He emphasizes that there is no hidden meaning in the name’s title. He describes his writing as a free form of writing made up of interesting lines.
The song is proof that Taupin’s unique and stylistic way of writing derives a lot of interpretations. The balloons being talked about in the song that Levon is popping may be imaginative and visionary, thus, his thoughts were consciously oriented. The duo that is Taupin and Elton, complemented each other. This is because how Elton could characterize the characters in the song with much simplicity giving them values and, most notably, life, and they could easily be relatable to the people in the world. Though he didn’t know what the foundation of the lyrics was and when asked mostly, he would refer to Bernie to explain it.
The album cover art is hand decorated, which makes the kind of art used for that scarce in this era of digital design. Since the artistical pronunciations come with where the artists are from, it takes time if you are not used to the British accents and pronunciations and even the meanings of certain words, more so if you are American. You may give it a few listens before you truly understand what Levo is truly about.
In the song, Levon likes his money because he makes a lot often and mostly spends his precious tie counting the money in a garage by the motorway. In his words, Elton says the song does not reference any real person or event. This may be true as he describes Levon calling his child Jesus because he likes the name. He sends his son to the finest school in town because why not? He has the money, and he definitely likes his money.
John portrays Levon to be as a veteran of an unknown war who got rich and thus enjoys being wealthy. His flourishing family empire involved in the sales of “cartoon balloons” in the park does not seem at all to spark any interest in his son Jesus. This, therefore, puts Jesus in an uncomfortable situation of doing what he does not only like but also longs to leave behind with his father, Levon. Jesus is very much restrained by tradition, yet he is part of a new generation that values freedom.
The listener takes apart the song to internalize and absorb its mood for the appropriate message, Tupin’s paint of the music sounded incredible. There might also be some spiritual references to the song on why Levon called his son Jesus since he was born a pauper to a pawn on Christmas Day, which incites some Christ-like beginnings. Based on fictional characters. Getting the characters in the song lively with their own characterizations is much better than giving them personalities that are not in the music.
Some songs have literally no background or details as to why they were composed, and probably Levon By John Eton might be one of a million songs that still depicts some aspects of society in it, but there is no relation between it and the society.
Lyrics “Levon” by Elton John
Levon wears his war wound like a crownHe calls his child Jesus ‘Cause he likes the name And he sends him to the finest school in townLevon, Levon likes his moneyHe makes a lot, they say Spends his days counting In a garage by the motorwayHe was born a pauper to a pawn on a Christmas DayWhen the New York Times said, “God is dead And the war’s begun” Oh, Alvin Tostig has a son todayAnd he shall be LevonAnd he shall be a good man And he shall be Levon In tradition with the family plan And he shall be Levon And he shall be a good man He shall be LevonLevon sells cartoon balloons in townHis family business thrives Jesus blows up balloons all day Sits on the porch swing watching them flyAnd Jesus, he wants to go to VenusLeave Levon far behind Take a balloon and go sailing While Levon, Levon slowly diesHe was born a pauper to a pawn on a Christmas DayWhen the New York Times said, “God is dead And the war’s begun” Oh, Alvin Tostig has a son todayAnd he shall be LevonAnd he shall be a good man And he shall be Levon In tradition with the family plan, woo And he shall be Levon And he shall be a good man He shall be LevonAnd he shall be LevonAnd he shall be a good man And he shall be Levon In tradition with the family plan, woo And he shall be Levon And he shall be a good man He shall be Levon