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"Daniel"
Single by Elton John
from the album Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player
B-side "Skyline Pigeon"
Released 26 March 1973 (1973-03-26)
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded June 1972
Genre Pop
Length 5:32 (album version)
3:53 (single version)
Label MCA (US/Canada)
DJM Records
Writer(s) Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Producer Gus Dudgeon
Elton John singles chronology
"Crocodile Rock"
(1972)
Daniel
(1973)
"Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting"
(1973)

"Daniel" was a major hit song by Elton John. It appeared on the 1973 album Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player. It was written by John and his lyricist Bernie Taupin. In the United States the song reached #2 on the pop charts and #1 on the adult contemporary charts[1] for two weeks in the spring of 1973. In the UK it made the top 5.[2]

Contents

The song

Bernie Taupin wrote "Daniel" while inspired by the events of the Vietnam War. The lyrics (including a verse in the original draft that was cut from the final version) describe a fictional veteran who was blinded as a result of the war ("your eyes have died"/"but you see more than I") and travels to Spain to escape those around him back home ("do you still feel the pain"/"of the scars that won't heal?"), including his brother, from whose point of view the story is told.[3]

""Daniel" had been the most misinterpreted song that we'd ever written," explained Bernie, in the "Two Rooms" tribute project. "The story was about a guy that went back to a small town in Texas, returning from the Vietnam War. They'd lauded him when he came home and treated him like a hero. But, he just wanted to go home, go back to the farm, and try to get back to the life that he'd led before. I wanted to write something that was sympathetic to the people that came home."

Melodically and instrumentally, the song closely resembles John's 1980 hit, "Little Jeannie."

Elton stated on the night of Saturday, October 21, 2000 that this song is one of his all time favorite songs, and it's definitely in the top 3.[citation needed]

Chart performance

Chart (1973) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart[2] 4
Dutch Top 40[4] 14
GfK Dutch Charts Singles Top 100t[5] 15
German Singles Chart[6] 27
Irish Singles Chart[7] 4
Norwegian Singles Chart[8] 8
Swiss Singles Chart[9] 5
US Billboard Pop Singles[1] 2
US Billboard Adult Contemporary[1] 1

Covers

"Daniel" was covered on the 1991 album Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin by Wilson Phillips. It reached #7 on the US Adult Contemporary chart as an album cut.[10]

"Daniel" was covered on the 2005 album The Brave and the Bold by Bonnie 'Prince' Billy & Tortoise.

The American alternative rock band Fuel has also covered the song on their album Something Like Human.

The Japanese ukulele rock duo Petty Booka covered "Daniel" on their album Blue Lagoon of Petty Booka.

The Puerto Rican - American singer, virtuoso guitarist and composer, Jose Feliciano.

References








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