Friday, January 7, 2011

Elton John -- "Where To Now, St. Peter?" (1970)

I understand I'm on the road
Where all that was is gone
So where to now, St. Peter?
Show me which road I'm on

Back in September of last year, I began a series of posts featuring songs from albums that were popular when I was in college. 

To date that series has included over 20 posts -- I've covered King Crimson, It's A Beautiful Day, Black Sabbath, Rod Stewart, Led Zeppelin, James Gang, Traffic, Janis Joplin, Jerry Garcia, Carole King, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, Leon Russell, Derek and the Dominoes, Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Jethro Tull, Grand Funk Railroad, etc., etc., etc

I could easily double this number without trying that hard.  But I'm beginning to feel a need to move on.  And I know you want to hear about the records I listened to in law school.  So while this won't be the last of my posts about college-era records, I am preparing to move on. 

Elton John circa 1970
But I can't really wind that series up without doing a post on an Elton John song -- he was simply too big a deal back then.

I've never been a big Elton John fan.  I was OK with some of his early albums -- including the album this song is on, Tumbleweed Connection, which was released in the fall of my freshman year of college -- but I was never really passionate about his music.  It's a little girly for me.  (And no, that's not some sort of backhanded gay reference -- Rod Stewart's music is pretty girly, too, and he seems to be almost pathologically hetero.)

Like Elton John cares what I think.  Sir Elton's not going to lose any sleep if I go to see Cirque du Soleil the next time I'm in Vegas instead of dropping $100-$250 (not including tax) to catch him at Caesar's Palace.  

Sir Elton today
After all, the guy has released more than 30 albums and sold 250 million records.    "Candle in the Wind" is the biggest-selling single in history (33 million copies sold).  

I have always liked this song a lot.  Most people think it's about a dead soldier who is about to find out whether his ultimate destination is going to be heaven or hell.  (Tumbleweed Connection has sort of a "Wild West" theme, and lyricit Bernie Taupin may have had the Civil War in mind when he wrote this song -- or maybe not.)

But I never really thought about what the lyrics meant.  I just liked the sound of some of the of the lines -- especially the first and last line, "I took myself a blue canoe." 

That line makes no sense if taken literally.  So what?

Here's "Where To Now, St. Peter?":

Here's a link to use to buy the song from iTunes:

Where to Now St. Peter? - Tumbleweed Connection (Remastered)

Here's a link to use if you prefer Amazon:

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