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"Tiny Dancer"
Single by Elton John
from the album Madman Across the Water
B-side "Razor Face"
Released February 7, 1972
Format Vinyl record (7")
Recorded Trident Studios
August 1971
Genre Rock
Length 3:38 (Single) 6:12 (Album)
Label Uni (US/Canada)
DJM Records
Writer(s) Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Producer Gus Dudgeon
Elton John singles chronology
"Tiny Dancer"
"Rocket Man"

"Tiny Dancer" is a 1971 song by Elton John with lyrics by Bernie Taupin. It appears on John's fourth album, Madman Across the Water and was released as a single in 1972.

The song was written about Taupin's then-girlfriend Maxine Feibelman, a dancer who had accompanied John and Taupin on their first tour of America in 1970 and been a "seamstress for the band." She would become Taupin's wife the following year.[1]



The song features a piano-based melody during verses, Taupin lyrics during the chorus, and an arrangement that at the start features pedal steel guitar and light percussion but, transitioning subtly halfway through one of the choruses, by the end is driven by Paul Buckmaster's dynamic strings, along with a barely heard backing choir. Clocking at 6:12, it was one of the longer radio singles of the period.

While "Tiny Dancer" was initially a non-starter as a single – reaching only #41 on the U.S. pop chart and not even released in the UK – the song slowly became one of John's most popular songs. A fixture on adult contemporary and rock radio stations, the song grew in popularity.

It was ranked #387 on the 2004 List of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Ben Folds cover

"Tiny Dancer"
Single by Ben Folds
from the album Ben Folds Live
Released 2002
Genre Piano Rock
Length 3:16 (Single) 5:23 (Album)
Label Epic Records
Writer(s) Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Ben Folds singles chronology
"Still Fighting It"
"Tiny Dancer"

In 2002, Ben Folds covered "Tiny Dancer" for his live album, Ben Folds Live. The song was later released as a promo single.

Track listing

  1. "Tiny Dancer (Radio Edit)" - 3:16
  2. "Not the Same" - 4:31
  3. "Fred Jones Pt. 2" - 4:39
  4. "Brick" - 4:45



  • Producers: Mark Chevalier, Ben Folds
  • Engineer: Marc Chevalier
  • Mixing: Marc Chevalier
  • Mastering: Ted Jensen

Tim McGraw version

"Tiny Dancer"
Single by Tim McGraw
from the album Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors
Format CD single
Genre Country
Length 5:09
Label Curb
Writer(s) Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Producer Byron Gallimore, Darran Smith, Tim McGraw
Tim McGraw singles chronology
"Red Ragtop"
"Tiny Dancer"
"She's My Kind of Rain"

Country music artist Tim McGraw covered the song on his 2002 album Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors. McGraw's rendition was released as a single only to the adult contemporary format, where it peaked at #13. The song also received unsolicited airplay at country radio, peaking at #49 there alongside his then-current single "She's My Kind of Rain". McGraw also performed the song at the American Music Awards.

Other versions

  • "Tiny Dancer" has been covered by Lani Hall in the 1970s, by the Red Hot Chili Peppers with John Frusciante on vocals since the early 1990s, by Dave Grohl on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn.
  • A sample of the "Tiny Dancer" chorus is featured in a mash-up by Girl Talk called "Smash Your Head" (from the 2006 album Night Ripper).
  • In 2008, a version was released by Italian DJ Marco Demark and singer Casey Barnes. It was later remixed by Deadmau5 and became a hit.
  • In 2009, DJ Ironik and Chipmunk created a remix of the song that features John singing the chorus which peaked at #3 in the UK Singles Chart.
  • The song featured in "The Americanization of Ivan" episode of WKRP in Cincinatti. References to the song were made through out the show and the song was featured during the closing credits.
  • In one of the film's most memorable scenes, the cast of Almost Famous (2000), sing along to the song while riding in the tour bus.


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