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Jun 12, 2019

Elton John and his lyricist Bernie Taupin wrote so many great songs over the years that it was impossible to pick a single one for Strong Songs. So, why not do two?

Kirk dives into a pair of classics by the storied songwriting duo, talking about Elton's chameleon-like voice, his love of pedal tones and embrace of the circle of fourths, the fascinating relationship between lyricist and songwriter, and what it means for a song to sound "piano-y." 

Both songs by: Elton John with lyrics by Bernie Taupin

Album 1: Madman Across the Water, 1971

Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify

Album 2: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973

Listen/Buy: Apple Music | Amazon | Spotify



"I'm Still Standing," "Your Song," and "Grey Seal," all by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. "I Want Love" by John/Taupin, as performed in the 2019 movie Rocketman.


Strong Songs has a new theme song! It'll evolve a bit over the next few episodes as Kirk adds a couple more musicians to the mix, so that should be fun. Hope you dig it.


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The new theme music was a result of the Strong Songs Patreon hitting its first goal of 150 backers. It's juuuuust about to break the next goal of 200, too. At 250, Kirk will do a bonus interview episode with an interesting musician or educator.

Find out how you can support the creation of this show over at the Strong Songs Patreon:

A huge thank you to all of the show's backers this first month, in particular those who've signed up for the Half- and Whole-Note tiers.


Caleb Rotach
Chad Barnard
Dan Apczynski
Dave Florey
Sara Walsh


Andre Bremer
Andrew Lee
Arjun Sharma
Chas Lednicky
Earl Lozada
Emily Williams
Forrest Chang
Jaehoon Jeong
James Johnson
Jasmine Fellows
Jeff Dixon
John and Sharon Stenglein
Jon O’Keefe
Justin Liew
Justin McElroy
Kevin Morrell
Kevin Pennyfeather
Kyle Simons
Max Schechter
Michael Blackwell
Shane DeLeon
Tom Lauer

Thanks, everyone. You're making it possible to put in the extra time and work to make episodes like this one shine.