Daniel is traveling tonight on a plane
I can see the red tail lights heading for Spain
And I can see Daniel waving goodbye
Oh it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes
It takes a while to grow up. I am still yet to master it. The real Daniel which Bernie Taupin wrote about just wanted to get home after the War and live the simple life on his farm. Like Daniel in the song I have also want to get home, thanks to the great upbringing I had (kudos Mum and Dad), but it’s not going to happen. Daniel by Elton remains a landmark track and to this day I consider a classic of contemporary music.
Elton’s song composition prowess through Bernie’s superior lyrical writing were indeed a match made in heaven as far as commercial success was concerned. It’s also said from songfacts when Elton wrote the music for this song, he chopped off the last verse because he thought the song was already too long. The deleted verse explained that “Daniel” was a Vietnam vet. With the last verse chopped off, it became a fairly vague story of two brothers who parted ways, although Bernie Taupin maintained that losing the verse wasn’t a big deal.
The song was an overwhelming success in the US, Australia and Europe. It was instrumental in launching Elton to international stardom. Allegedly the record company didn’t want to release Daniel as a single because they thought it was too long and sombre to be a hit. Elton had other ideas, and insisted they release it as a single before the album came out. The record company did, but with very little promotion. It became a hit anyway.