The meaning behind the song “Rocket Man” by Elton John

The meaning behind the song "Rocket Man" by Elton John songs

Songs are well-known for portraying significant meaning. This can be about a singer’s life or someone close to them. The same goes for Elton John’s song Rocket Man from the 1972s Honky Chateau. The song was about drug abuse, as demonstrated by the lyrics within the content that included space as well as being high like a kite. However, songs also portray a deeper universal meaning once you take a more straightforward interpretation.

The song has a lot of theories about its meaning; well, this piece will cover some of its main meanings. Now let’s pick them apart. But first, let’s go through the history of the song.

When was Rocket Man Song Released?

Rocket Man was released as a single track on March 3rd, 1972. it also appeared in Elton’s fifth album, known as the Honky Chateau, which was released on May 19th, 1972. Due to its popularity, the song peaked at the number two position in the charts for some weeks.

Is Rocket Man a Drug Reference?

There are lots of speculations that riddled the song as an evil drug reference. This is attributed to the song’s lyrics, “I’m gonna be high as a kite by then.” However, the lyric’s meaning was realized three years after man first walked on the moon in July 1969.

What does the song “Rocket Man” Mean?

In 2016, both Elton John and Bernie Taupin spoke openly about the song’s inspiration as part of the ongoing campaign for The Cut series. In the video, John says the song was relatively easy to write, as it’s all about space. However, contrary to popular belief, Taupin wasn’t referring to David Bowie’s Space Oddity, which was from his self-titled 1969 record that explores a similar theme. Instead, author Ray Bradbury’s “The Rocket Man” short story in his 1951 collection of “The Illustrated Man” was simply about how in the future, astronauts will become an everyday job – and according to Taupin, he just borrowed this idea.

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The Story Behind Rocket Man

In the middle of 1971, while visiting his parents, Taupin made his way to Lincolnshire, England. During this period, the song’s lyrics started springing through his mind. Little did he realize that this was the beginning of something that blossomed into a piece of iconic pop music.

The song tells a story of a young man called Dough. Dough’s father was an astronaut who was sent on frequent long-term journeys into space. However, despite Dough missing his father, he wishes to become a Rocket Man. Soon the father finds out that his work is ruining his entire life, but the star’s draw is too great to resist. He acknowledges that despite numerous attempts to restrain himself from returning to space, he still finds himself in space once again.

The astronaut commits to one last job that ends up having a tragic consequence.

Therefore, the songs depict astronauts’ lives for 20 years to come. This includes the loneliness they endure while working far away from their loved ones. Something that is being experienced in the current society where space mission has become a thing.

Behind Rocket Man may not have begun as a deep and personal to Taupin and John, but know that it’s the soundtrack of their careers; it’s a mark on both of them, the fans, and even on the pop culture.

Facts About Rocket Man

The song’s popularity led to Elton John being nicknamed Rocket Man, which he appreciated and embraced. In 1973, John started his own record company known as Rocket Records and went on to release different songs, including Neil Sedaka’s comeback song. In 2019, there was a biopic release where Taron Egerton’s character was that of Elton John. The biopic was known as Rocketman.

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Rocket Man was one of Elton’s biggest hits even to this point. The song out-charted even his top 10 entry song known as Young Song. The song, therefore, had a significant impact on his life as it gave him with the confidence to know that he could easily sustain his musical career. He even got the chance to perform in the Soviet Union in 1979.

The song attracted lots of attention and was even featured in the famous Family Guy show, where Stewie performs a spoken version of Rocket Man.

Rocket Man was also used in a 2017 commercial advertisement for a Samsung gear VR where an ostrich can fly after utilizing a flight simulator on this device.

While speaking at the United Nations meeting in 2017, Donald Trump, who was president then, excoriated president Kim Jong Un by referring to him as the Rocket Man due to his missile programs.

What is “Rocket Man” about 

Rocket Man was, therefore, a story of an astronaut who longed to be close to his family on earth and at the same time missed his space work when he was on the planet, and eventually, he became someone that belonged nowhere.

Rocket Man Lyrics

She packed my bags last night pre-flightZero hour 9:00 a.m.And I’m gonna be highAs a kite by then
I miss the Earth so much I miss my wifeIt’s lonely out in spaceOn such a timeless flight
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time‘Til touchdown brings me ’round again to findI’m not the man they think I am at homeOh, no, no, noI’m a rocket manRocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time‘Til touchdown brings me ’round again to findI’m not the man they think I am at homeOh, no, no, noI’m a rocket manRocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone
Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kidsIn fact it’s cold as hellAnd there’s no one there to raise themIf you did
And all this scienceI don’t understandIt’s just my job five days a weekA rocket manA rocket man
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time‘Til touchdown brings me ’round again to findI’m not the man they think I am at homeOh, no, no, noI’m a rocket manRocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long time‘Til touchdown brings me ’round again to findI’m not the man they think I am at homeOh, no, no, noI’m a rocket manRocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long timeAnd I think it’s gonna be a long, long timeAnd I think it’s gonna be a long, long timeAnd I think it’s gonna be a long, long timeAnd I think it’s gonna be a long, long time
And I think it’s gonna be a long, long timeAnd I think it’s gonna be a long, long timeAnd I think it’s gonna be a long, long timeAnd I think it’s gonna be a-

 

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