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"Hymn 2000"
Song by Elton John

from the album Empty Sky

Released June 3, 1969 (UK)
January 13, 1975 (USA)
Recorded DJM Studios, 1969
Genre Folk, pop, alternative
Length 4:29
Label DJM Records
MCA Records (US/Canada-1975)
Writer Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Producer Steve Brown
Empty Sky track listing
"Western Ford Gateway"
(3)
"Hymn 2000"
(4)
"Lady What's Tomorrow"
(5)

"Hymn 2000" is a song by Elton John with lyrics by Bernie Taupin. It is the fourth and closing track of side one on his first album, Empty Sky.

Musical structure

The song opens with something as unusual as a flute-riff accompagnied by piano chords. An acoustic guitar is also present. The song has no drums at all, instead a tambourine is carrying the rhythm. The song is very alternative for the Elton John that got famous. The flute played lasts throughout the song, giving it a folk-essence. The lyric is very obscure and whimsical. The title has nothing to do with the lyrics, but Elton's melodical approach could easily be a hymn, something he did with many other early compositions.

Lyrical meaning

One of John/Taupin's biggest inspirations was Bob Dylan. It is clear that he has been the biggest influence on this particular tune, since the vocal is sung in a style that easily could remind of his earlier folk-days. The lyric seems to be inspired by his later years, with nonsencial settings, such as the opening line: "She chose the soft centre and took it to bed with her mother". Similar settings run throughout the song. The chorus then goes:

"And I don't want to be
The son of any freak
Who for a chocolate centre
Can take you off the street

For soon they'll plough the desert
And God knows where I'll be
Collecting submarine numbers
On the main street of the sea"

It has never been performed live in any form.

In a 2008 interview with Elvis Costello John revealed that he tried to sound like Leonard Cohen in the singing style. This is one of the few times John mentions and quotes an album track from this particular album.

Personnel

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