Elton John Favorites: Volume 2 Songbook

The Elton John Favorites: Volume 2 collection features ten piano solo arrangements for intermediates and up by Jennifer Eklund. Includes favorites like, "Border Song," "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," "Your Song," and "I'm Still Standing."

This post is part three of the Elton John Favorites Songbook Series.
Elton John Favorites: Volume 2 Songbook

🎹 About Elton John

Elton John, born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on March 25, 1947, is a legendary English singer, songwriter, and pianist who has left an indelible mark on the world of music. With a career spanning several decades, he has become one of the most successful and influential artists in pop music history. John’s extraordinary talent lies in his ability to blend various musical genres, including rock, pop, and ballads, into a unique and captivating sound. His songwriting partnership with lyricist Bernie Taupin is particularly iconic, producing numerous hit songs that have become cultural touchstones.

John’s flamboyant stage presence and distinctive fashion sense have made him a true rock and pop icon. His live performances are celebrated for their energy, charisma, and the way he effortlessly connects with his audience. Notably, his piano skills and powerful voice contribute to his captivating stage persona. With hits like “Rocket Man,” “Your Song,” “Candle in the Wind,” and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” Elton John has garnered over 300 million record sales globally, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. Beyond his music, he is also renowned for his philanthropic efforts, particularly in the fight against HIV/AIDS. In recognition of his exceptional contributions to music and charity work, Elton John was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998, officially becoming Sir Elton John.

🎶 Elton John Favorites: Volume 2 Songbook

The following songs are included in the Elton John Favorites: Volume 2 songbook. These are all available as separate singles, but you get the most value by purchasing the whole collection. All of these arrangements are appropriate for intermediates and up.

  1. Border Song
  2. Daniel
  3. Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me
  4. I’m Still Standing
  5. Little Jeannie
  6. No Valentines
  7. Philadelphia Freedom
  8. Someone Saved My Life Tonight
  9. The One
  10. Your Song

🎹 Watch a performance of the entire volume:

Let’s dive deeper with some more details about a few of my personal favorites from Elton Favorites: Volume 2!

“I’m Still Standing” (1983)

“I’m Still Standing” is a song written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, featured on John’s 1983 album “Too Low for Zero.” Serving as the second single in the UK and the first single in the United States from the album, the song’s success was significantly boosted by its accompanying music video, which played on MTV. The song’s upbeat and optimistic message of resilience resonated with audiences, helping it achieve chart success.

With the help of the music video, “I’m Still Standing” became a major hit on both sides of the Atlantic. It reached No. 1 in Canada and Switzerland, No. 4 in the UK, and No. 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100. While the song is often interpreted as an anthem of John’s personal strength and determination, Taupin revealed that the lyrics were initially written as a sort of “kiss off” to an old girlfriend.

The music video, directed by Russell Mulcahy, was shot in Cannes and Nice, France. It features vivid colors reminiscent of the French flag and showcases lively choreography. The video’s director initially planned for John to be more involved in the choreography, but that idea was adjusted due to his dancing skills. The shoot had some humorous and party-filled moments, including an encounter with the band Duran Duran. The video was remastered in 2019, and a new version, incorporating scenes from the original video, served as the ending for the biographical film “Rocketman,” starring Taron Egerton as Elton John.

“Border Song” (1970)

“Border Song” is a song by Elton John with music by John and lyrics by Bernie Taupin. It was first featured on Elton John’s 1970 self-titled album and was subsequently released as the album’s first single in the spring of 1970. The song initially didn’t achieve much success in the UK but gained traction in North America, marking Elton John’s first appearance on the charts anywhere.

In Canada, “Border Song” reached No. 34, becoming his first chart appearance in any country. In the United States, it reached No. 92 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 69 in the Cash Box Top 100. A cover of the song by soul icon Aretha Franklin, titled “Border Song (Holy Moses),” achieved higher chart positions, reaching No. 37 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 23 on the Cash Box Top 100. Aretha Franklin’s version was also included as the closing track on her 1972 album “Young, Gifted and Black.”

The song’s melody has spiritual qualities and is accompanied by a choir during an instrumental break led by Elton John’s piano. The song’s structure was expanded by John, who added the final verse himself. Bernie Taupin mentioned that the song’s sentiments didn’t hold particular meaning, and he found it to be two distinct songs. Despite this, “Border Song” received positive reviews from critics, who praised its musical depth and John’s vocal performance. Its blend of simplicity and meaningful lyrics garnered recognition, with comparisons made to the style of Randy Newman.

“Someone Saved My Life Tonight” (1975)

Live performance from Old Grey Whistle Test in 1982:

“Someone Saved My Life Tonight” is a song by Elton John with lyrics by Bernie Taupin, featured on John’s 1975 album “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.” Released as a single in 1975, it stands as the album’s sole single release. This autobiographical track delves into a significant period in John’s life when he contemplated suicide. It’s a poignant reflection on his struggles and how he was saved from making a tragic decision by a friend’s intervention.

Despite its length of 6 minutes and 45 seconds, John refused to have the song edited for a more typical single length due to the deeply personal nature of the lyrics. The song became a notable success, peaking at No. 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and reaching No. 2 on the RPM Top Singles chart in Canada. It marked John’s first single to feature his original band lineup before firing some members after recording the album.

The song’s backstory involves John’s engagement to his girlfriend Linda Woodrow and his subsequent turmoil and desperation within the relationship. Feeling trapped, he considered suicide but was persuaded by his friend Long John Baldry to break off the engagement and continue pursuing his musical career. Taupin wrote the song to express his gratitude for Baldry’s intervention, and the lyric “Someone saved my life tonight” refers to Baldry.

“Someone Saved My Life Tonight” received positive reviews for its musicality and poignant lyrics. It’s often noted for its connection to another John/Taupin composition, “Skyline Pigeon,” both songs using the metaphor of a creature flying free to symbolize escape from confinement. The song’s deep emotional impact led to John’s refusal to edit it down for radio, and it remains one of his longest and most powerful tracks.

“The One” (1992)

IMO 1990s Elton John deserves way more attention:

“The One” serves as both the title track and the inaugural single from Elton John’s 1992 album of the same name. During bonus footage for his “Live in Barcelona” concert DVD release, John expressed a deep resonance with Bernie Taupin’s lyrical composition, particularly the line “for each man in his time is Cain until he walks along the beach,” due to its relevance to his personal circumstances around the album’s creation.

Upon release, “The One” achieved considerable success, landing at No. 9 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, securing the No. 1 position on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, and securing a No. 10 spot on the UK Singles Chart. In Canada, the song reached the zenith of the RPM 100 chart for two weeks and maintained the top position on the RPM Adult Contemporary chart for five weeks. The song also performed well in Europe, securing the top spot on the Portuguese chart and making it to the top 10 in seven other countries. Its excellence was acknowledged with a nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 1993 Grammy Awards.

The accompanying music video, directed by Russell Mulcahy, showcases John singing amidst a backdrop of reflectors, mirrors, and flags, evoking visual intrigue. Over the years, “The One” retained its significance in John’s live performances. He included the song in his concert tours during the 1990s, and it remained a staple in his solo performances, though it was last performed with his band in the year 2000.

🤔 Looking for more Elton John sheet music? We’ve got you covered!

👋 Do you have a favorite Elton John tune? We’d love to hear about it!

Jennifer Eklund
Written by Jennifer Eklund
Jennifer Eklund holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in music from California State University, Long Beach. She is an avid arranger, composer, and author of the Piano Pronto® method books series as well as a wide variety of supplemental songbooks. She is also a Signature Artist with Musicnotes.com with a large catalog of popular music titles for musicians of all levels.


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