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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, folk
Length 4:12
Label DJM Records
MCA Records (US/Canada-1975)
Writer Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Producer Steve Brown
Empty Sky track listing
"Empty Sky"
"Western Ford Gateway"

"Val-Hala" is a song by Elton John with lyrics by Bernie Taupin. It is the second track off his first album, Empty Sky.


Musical structure

The song is mid-tempo, and the vocal is mellow. The music is however a bit startling at first, with a very loud harpsichord playing the main riff. In the bridge, a hammond organ plays the chords, equivalent for its time of recording. The vocal is somewhat echoed. An acoustic guitar is also featured, and had it not been for the harpsichord, it could've been a simple folk-rock song. The instrument also ends the song in a coda for itself.

Lyrical meaning

The song's title is only spelled as "Val-Hala" on the original 1969 release and the CD reissue. On the American LP release it was spelled correctly, as "Valhalla". It is basically just about Valhalla and about vikings and warriors who fight bravely to get there. It is to date the only John/Taupin-song that carries use of Norse mythology.


It was performed in radio broadcasts as early as 1968. Since the album went forgotten in John's mainstream years the song didn't gain further notice and has never been played live in concert.



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