A Self-Reflective Song: “Your Song” by Elton John and Bernie Taupin

Songwriters love to write songs about songs, meditating on the meaning and power of music. You can listen to my playlist Metamusic: Songs about Songs on RDIO as you read about “Your Song,” lyrics by Bernie Taupin and music by Elton John, the first of a series of posts on metamusic.

The song begins “It’s a little bit funny this feeling inside.” The feeling, of course, is love. “I don’t have much money,” John sings, “but boy if I did / I’d buy a big house where we both could live.” The songwriters, longtime collaborators, may not have had much money when they wrote the song, but it became their first pop hit and is now worth a fortune, enough to buy two or three houses.

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Metamusic

A few self-referential songs:

The Music Goes Round and Round

The Music Goes Round and Round,” sung by Betty Boop, aka Helen Kane. Originally featured in the film “The Music Goes Round” (1936), played by Riley-Farley & the Onyx Club Boys. (I am more familiar with Louis Prima’s version of the song, but couldn’t find a copy to share with you.)

The lyrics give you simple instructions on how to play a trumpet:

I blow through here
The music goes ’round and around
Whoa-ho-ho-ho-ho
And it comes out here.
I push the first valve down
The music goes down and around
Whoa-ho-ho-ho-ho
And it comes out here.

The following verses describe pushing “the middle valve down” and then “the other valve.” And just like that you can play the trumpet!

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