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"Come Down in Time" comprised the second track on Elton John's third album, Tumbleweed Connection, released in 1970. The lyrics are by Bernie Taupin, Elton's long time writing partner. The song is of average length, a bit over three minutes, and utilizes the harp as primary musical accompaniment--this, surprisingly, is charateristic of many of Elton's early works, including "Sixty Years On" and "The Greatest Discovery" both released on his second album, Elton John. Each of these songs was played alongside the Sydney Orchestra in a 1986 live performance.


The song was covered by Al Kooper on his 1971 album, New York City (You're a Woman), then later covered by Sting on the 1991 album Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin. Norwegian jazz singer Radka Toneff also recorded the song for her 1982 album Fairy Tales, which features herself and Steve Dobrogosz (piano).

Meaning and melody

Though originally utilizing a harp as the primary instrumental accompaniment, John in his later sets primarily replaced it with the piano. Though rarely played live, it was a part of the artist's set in 1970 and 1971.

The song maintains a steady, even tempo throughout, containing little of John's signature crescendos. The song itself outlines the conversation between a man and his lover, she urging him to come with her and he doubting whether or not her request is truly genuine. John has recently added this track back on his live sets sporadically, though only rarely, since he has begun targeting a wider audience through a focus on his greatest hits.

The striking thing about Taupin's lyric is that the protaganist has a pronounced stutter -- clearly designed to depict his awkwardness around women and his insecurity -- throughout the verses, so that the last word of each melodic phrase is often repeated as the first word of the next melodic phrase. This affectation isn't in the chorus, indicating the confidence he receives from her proposal to meet.


  • John, Sir Elton and Taupin, Bernie. "Come Down in Time." Tumbleweed Connection. Mercury Records; 1970.


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