Lyrically Evocative (17)

I have had a mixed history where Elton John is concerned. Ever since I first heard ‘Border Song’, and bought the first album he released, I have had to put him in the category of ‘Good to listen to, not so good to watch’. I freely admit that I don’t like to look at him when he is performing. I am not saying that all performers have to be good looking, just that there is something about Elton that I don’t like. Sorry Elton, and sorry to anyone who does like to look at him.

But he is a great singer and musician, and his long-term collaborator Bernie Taupin came up with some amazing lyrics. Between them, they have released some of the most wonderful and iconic pop songs in history, that’s undeniable. For me, one of the most enduring is the ballad, ‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word’. No matter how many times I hear the song, and irrespective of who is actually singing it, it gets me every time. In a few short verses, Taupin got across the essence of a failed relationship, and Elton’s music and vocals expressed those words just perfectly.

Here are the lyrics.

What have I got to do to make you love me
What have I got to do to make you care
What do I do when lightning strikes me
And I wake to find that you’re not there?
What have I got to do to make you want me
What have I got to do to be heard
What do I say when it’s all over?
And sorry seems to be the hardest word
It’s sad, so sad (so sad)
It’s a sad, sad situation
And it’s getting more and more absurd
It’s sad, so sad (so sad)
Why can’t we talk it over?
Oh it seems to me
That sorry seems to be the hardest word
It’s sad, so sad (so sad)
It’s a sad, sad situation
And it’s getting more and more absurd
It’s sad, so sad (so sad)
Why can’t we talk it over?
Oh it seems to me
That sorry seems to be the hardest word
What have I do to make you love me, oh
What have I got to do to be heard
What do I do when lightning strikes me
What have I got to do?
What have I got to do?
When sorry seems to be the hardest word

Songwriters: Bernie Taupin / Elton John
Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

And here is the talented Reginald Kenneth Dwight, singing them.

24 thoughts on “Lyrically Evocative (17)

  1. Elton John has had two long-term residencies at the Colosseum here at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and will return for a couple of shows next September. I liked his early music a lot, and remember the first song I ever heard him sing was “Crocodile Rock.” But, like you, I’ve never cared to watch him perform.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, David. I do find him a little creepy, and also rather embarrassing, for strange reasons I am not 100% sure of. It’s as if he looks like a nerdy office worker, acting like a handsome rock star.
      That never worked for me. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love this song. I don’t have a problem watching Elton perform (never seen him live) but I understand your phobia. I have it with Dustin Hoffman – can’t stand to watch him, yet millions of people love him.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. He had a cameo in The Kingsmen movie sequel where he does a fab karate kick in full performance regalia, funny as anything! Yellow Brick Road for me, especially Sweet Painted Lady. ALso my all time fave of his is Tiny Dancer. The Sorry ballad is nice but a bit maudlin for me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pete, I have been a big fan of Elton John’s for decades…from his early music to his massively popular 70’s years and beyond…while his music output has certainly slowed down, his ability to entertain an audience never has…was sorry to hear he is retiring from music, but I guess after a year+ “farewell” tour, anyone would be tired…here is a story I posted about his most successful years – and outrageous outfits, if anyone is interested – the clip of “Pinball Wizard” alone is worth the price of admission –
    https://johnrieber.com/2016/09/15/elton-johns-70s-musical-madness-brilliant-creativity-outrageous-outfits-biggest-selling-song-of-all-time/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, John. I agree that he has cemented his place in anyone’s musical hall of fame. I still love to listen to tracks like ‘Border Song’, ‘Daniel’, and this one too. I just have a weird phobia about watching him, and no idea where that came from. 🙂
      I appreciate the link to your post too.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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