In 1998, ‘Your Song’ was inducted into the ‘Grammy Hall of Fame’. In 2004 the song was placed at Number 137 on Rolling Stone's list of ‘The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time’, as well as in its 2010 list. The song has been covered by several artists, including Ellie Goulding, whose version reached Number 2 on the ‘UK Singles Chart’ in late 2010, and Lady Gaga. The song was also covered by Ewan McGregor in the movie musical ‘Moulin Rouge’.
When asked about the song’s inspiration and composition Taupin said, "I scribbled the lyric down on a lined notepad at the kitchen table of Elton’s mother’s apartment in the London suburb of Northwood Hills, breakfast time sometime in 1969. That’s it. Plain and simple."[
Bill Janovitz from ‘All Music’ described the song as a ’near perfect song’. John re-recorded the song as a duet with opera singer Alessandro Safina for the first ‘Sport Relief Charity Telethon’, and it reached Number 4 in the UK. In the US it was certified ‘Gold’ and ‘Platinum’ on 13 December 2012 by the ‘Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of over one million digital downloads. On 31 March 2017, it was certified ‘Gold’ by the ‘British Phonographic Industry’ (BPI), denoting sales in excess of 400,000 digital downloads. In the US in April 2018 it was certified 2x Platinum for sales of two million digital downloads by the ‘Recording Industry Association of America’.
Since I have been engaged in daily singing practice over the past year, the singing has not only helped to improve my lung and oxygenation in my blood from borderline COPD levels to that of 95% average readings but singing has helped me to maintain a happy and positive disposition, especially as I have undergone another four operations; three of them for cancer and one to replace a severely dislocated shoulder.
I recall as a child my mother singing as she did her daily housework. Although she wasn’t the greatest of singers and often sang out of tune, it never seemed to matter too much to her when she didn’t hit the right musical note or got the melody a bit wrong. I once berated mum by telling her ‘that she couldn’t sing for toffee’. I will never forget her reply:
“Tell me, Billy Forde, who said or where is it written down that only good singers have the right to sing out loud? Everyone has the God-given right to sing, Boyo!”
Then mum asked me a question. ”You know that birds sing, Billy, but do you know why?”
I mumbled some rubbish in reply, to which my mother told me, “The birds sing their song for no other reason than they have a song to sing. And that is why I sing!”
I was an adult before I understood the full meaning of my mother’s wise words. She was in effect telling me that her thoughts, her feelings, her attitudes, her mannerisms, her beliefs, the way she did things and the reason behind all her actions represented her ‘song of life’ that she sang daily. I realised as I grew into adulthood that I had made my mother’s song, my song. And likewise, through my singing, each day, attached to the few personal words informing my listeners and readers what my 'Song for Today' means to me and my life, I am effectively providing you with the opportunity of making 'My Song', ‘Your Song’.
Love and peace Bill xxx