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"Song for Guy"
Single by Elton John
from the album A Single Man
B-side "Lovesick"
Released November 28, 1978 (UK)
March, 1979 (U.S.)
Genre Classical music
Easy listening
Length 5:02 (single)
6:34 (album)
Label MCA (US/Canada)
Rocket Records
Writer(s) Elton John
Elton John singles chronology
"Part-Time Love"
"Song for Guy"
"Are You Ready for Love"
A Single Man (1998 reissue) track listing
"Song for Guy"

"Song for Guy" is an instrumental piece of music by Elton John. It is the closing track off his 1978 album, A Single Man and is the best known song from that album.

Musical structure

Elton said this in the sleeve notes of the 7" single:

"...As I was writing this song one Sunday, I imagined myself floating into space and looking down at my own body. I was imagining myself dying. Morbidly obsessed with these thoughts, I wrote this song about death. The next day I was told that Guy (Burchett), our 17 year-old messenger boy, had been tragically killed on his motorcycle the day before. Guy died on the day I wrote this song."

The song opens with solo piano. Shortly after the intro, a percussion section comes in, with additional wind chimes and synthesizers layered in as the melody repeats. The song is instrumental until the end, in which the line "Life, isn't everything" is repeated over the primary melody line of the song.


This song has been a live staple in Europe where it is well-known. In 1992, Elton played it together with Your Song to close some concerts. It was also one of his most successful singles in his homeland, peaking at #4 in December, 1978, and remaining on the chart for ten weeks. It wasn't released in the U.S. until March, 1979 where it barely made the charts (It peaked at #110).

The single version cut one and a half minutes from the song. On The Very Best of Elton John, this is mistaken as the duration when it is actually the album version that appears.




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