I have a new favourite song. I'm not sure what the old one was, but the new one is Levon by Elton John. I've been listening to it over and over again in a way I haven't obsessed over a song since I was a young teenager. I've been humming it day. I can't get it out of my head. I only wish I knew what on earth it means.
He was born a father to a pawn
on a Christmas day
when the New York Times said God is dead
and the war's begun
Alvin Tostig has a son today
And he shall be Levon
and he shall be a good man...
(No copyright infringement intended: I don't own these lyrics, I didn't write them, but I only wish I had because then I might understand them...)
The thing is, I don't think Levon is a good man, and maybe that's the point. To begin with, he's a greedy little so and so who likes his money and spends his days counting it. His son, Jesus (yes, Jesus), wishes that he could get far, far away from Levon, so far away he hopes to end up on Venus. Poor little Jesus is just a pawn in something that is never explained. The more I think about it, the more I get tangled up in a web of interpretations, none of which make complete sense. Themes of fatherly expectations, religion and the superficial nature of modern society are all getting a bit jumbled. Quite frankly, it makes my head hurt.
The question that raises itself is this: is there only one valid interpretation of these words? Does Bernie Taupin have the monopoly on their meaning? If there is more than one possible meaning is there also more than one actual meaning? Or is the author's intention all that matters? If it is, I don't half wish he'd tell us what it was.
Jesus blows up balloons all day, sits on the porch swing watching them fly...