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Sails (song): Wikis


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Song by Elton John

from the album Empty Sky

Released June 3, 1969 (UK)
January 13, 1975 (USA)
Recorded DJM Studios, 1969
Genre Rock, pop, psychedelic rock
Length 3:45
Label DJM Records
MCA Records (US/Canada-1975)
Writer Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Producer Steve Brown
Empty Sky track listing
"Lady What's Tomorrow"
"The Scaffold"

"Sails" is a song by Elton John with lyrics by Bernie Taupin. It is the sixth track off his first album, Empty Sky.


Musical structure

The songs open with an electric guitar feedback accompagnied by piano chords. The song then kicks off to a rather psychedelic feel with Wah-wah pedal-oriented guitars and a distorted electric piano, carrying an R&B-sound. Overall, the song could be described as "Psychedelic pop", due to the vocal. But the heavy drumming and syncopated bass and guitar overshadow the "pop" feel.

Lyrical meaning

The lyrics are very complex. It is relatively a short lyric, but the cryptic lyrics make it a song that seems long. But basically, it is just two people meeting by the waterside watching the horizon. The chorus goes:

"While the seagulls were screaming
Lucy was eating
Then we hauled up our colors
The way that mother had told us
And together we just watched the sails"


It was never played in concert. It was however played in various radio shows John did after the release of the album.



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