The concert hall is full; tickets have been sold out for months. As Sir Elton John sings the last words, he opens his arms, points to the audience and says “Your song!”
We respond with a huge cheer.
Back in Mozambique – 1973 I think – my brother Chico one day came to me with a new record. It was by a singer called Elton John and the title of the main song was “Daniel“. As soon as I heard it I absolutely loved it and I still do – it’s one of my favourite songs ever.
From then on Elton John’s songs have accompanied me throughout my life. How could I forget “Don’t go breaking my heart“, a duo with Kiki Dee, that I heard so much during my first year in Lisbon? Or, later, the unforgettable Long Playing record “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” full of incredible songs. Not only the one that gave the LP its title, but “Candle in the wind” and others less well know but great songs, such as “Sweet Painted Lady “ that I listened to countless times, again and again, in my teens.
Most of all I love his ballads. Many of them remind me of very special moments in my life, of very special persons, such as “Daniel” and “Your song“, but then every time I hear “Blue eyes” I think of my son Afonso, his “blue eyes laughing in the sun”, or the beautiful sound track of ” The Lion king” that I used to watch with my boys and sing along with them when they were small.
And how could I forget Nikita and the striking video clip about a forbidden love story in the times of the iron curtain – how it now seems in another lifetime – that I watched at a time when my life was on the verge of major changes and I had to take difficult decisions. And then I did, for better or for worse, and Nikita will always inevitably take me back to those magical and decisive moments of my life.
As I looked at Sir Elton John sitting at his piano I could not help remembering him in “Tommy“, a musical back in the seventies where he wore his usually outrageous dark glasses but also the most incredible platform boots! The soundtrack was amazing and so was his performance! He was somewhat eccentric but always with good taste. His songs and his voice are unparalleled.
Last Sunday he sang almost all of his most famous songs: he opened the concert with ” Funeral for a friend“, a song that deeply touches me as it reminds me of my last goodbye to my father; followed by “Love lies bleeding”, of course; then others like ” Bennie and the Jets”; “Daniel”; Don’t let the sun go down on me”; “Your song; “Rocket man”….and so on. He sang some songs of his new album too and I particularly loved “A good heart” that he dedicated to all the lovers in the concert hall. But when he began” Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” we all went crazy, and thousands of lights made a show of appearance while we all sang along as of course everyone knows the lyrics by heart!
He finished the concert with his best known rock songs: “Saturday night is alright for fighting” and the inevitable “Crocodile Rock” and by this time everyone was dancing; then he went away only to come back for an encore and sing the much loved “Candle in the wind“.
As Nuno and I came out I was feeling happy. So many memories of a full life had been brought back by this music that has always been there, for more than forty years. It is part of my life; I have lived so many things to the sound of these songs.
And I think
“How wonderful life is
When you’re in the world”.
Sir Elton John’s songs have certainly made my world a better one. How wonderful to have such a brilliant singer and his amazing songs in our lives. He is a musical genius and will go down in history as such, no doubt.
I went to his concert in Lisbon back in 92 and loved it. What a privilege to see and hear him again after more than 20 years, during which my life changed so much but my admiration for him changed nothing. After almost three hours of incredible bliss while listening to him, I can only say thank you Sir Elton John, for bringing such magic into our lives with your music. Thank you for being unique, for writing songs that come straight to our hearts, for creating unforgettable melodies; for making us dream of romantic, happy endings; for dancing to the sound of your songs and never wanting them to end; for crying our hearts out when we hear a special one or feeling happy just because they put on one of your songs on the radio when we are in a traffic jam.
So thank you, thank you very very much. Not for “your song”, not just for one, but for all the songs you have given us. Your songs, that have become our very own.