Song 116: Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

Before I learned how to play rocket man or Benny and the jets, I was learning how to play captain fantastic and the brown dirt cowboy on guitar. My dad had that album in his record collection and I was always intrigued by the album cover with its whimsical and imaginative illustrations.

The words and music are a beautiful example of Bernie Taupin's gift of lyrics and Elton John's ability to find the accompanying music. The song is very autobiographical as it depicts the both of them in their early struggles in their music career.

When I was thinking of ideas for the artwork on my first full length album, "Characters," I was inspired by this Elton John record because I wanted to try to give hints of my songs within the artwork and I wanted to cover to tell a story about the characters in my songs.

Even after discovering Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy after all these years, I still think it might be my favourite Elton John song. There is such a cool contrast from the rootsy down home feel of the verses which transcends into a passionate pop rock feel for the chorus that sounds like a superhero them song.