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"Return to Paradise"
Song by Elton John

from the album A Single Man

Released October 16, 1978
Recorded January-September 1978
Genre Pop, Caribbean music
Length 4:16
Label MCA (US/Canada)
Rocket Records
Writer Elton John, Gary Osborne
Producer Clive Franks, Elton John
A Single Man track listing
"Shine on Through"
"Return to Paradise"
"I Don't Care"

"Return to Paradise" is a song by Elton John with lyrics by Gary Osborne. It is the second track off his 1978 album, A Single Man.


Musical structure

The musical structure of the song is a bit odd compared to other works of John. It is inspired by the sounds of the Caribbean at the same time as it has music similar to that of a Mexican Mariachi band. It features a prominent marimba played by John's long-time percussionist, Ray Cooper.

Lyrical meaning

The song tells the story of a man who has to leave to his homeland, and that he will soon return to the love he has found at the place. The lyrics describe that "it's paradise here where the sun meets the sea", indicating it could be both the Caribbean, Spain or even California. It could also be based on real actions, as Elton's fame in America had begun to cease, and that he could go home to Britain without being missed.

Some critics called it a rewrite of "Island Girl", one of his #1 hits from 1975. It bares a certain resemblance, but it is not considered a direct "rip-off".


It was included in his sparse performances of 1978. The next year he embarked on a solo tour with percussionist Ray Cooper and it was not a part of the set there. It is now just considered an album-track and is not a popular pick.

Along with "Song for Guy", the song appeared in the 1980 Chevy Chase movie, Oh Heavenly Dog. It was also released in the Netherlands as a single in February 1979 where it failed to chart.




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