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Elton John’s birthday gift to fans: his first-ever collaboration with Bernie Taupin

Elton John is marking his 74th birthday today by giving his fans some musical gifts.

The music legend has released six songs from his 2020 compilation Jewel Box to digital and streaming services for the first time, including “Scarecrow,” the very first song that featured Elton’s music and Bernie Taupin‘s lyrics. The song was written before they even met: The lyrics were part of a bundle that Elton was given by his music publisher, with the suggestion that he try setting them to music.

Bernie referred to the song in the lyrics of “Curtains,” from Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy: “I used to know this old scarecrow/he was my song, my joy and sorrow.”

In a statement, Elton says, “‘Scarecrow’ will always have a very special place in my heart, and I know that Bernie feels the same way too. It’s the song that started it all.”

“This last year in lockdown has given us all time to look back and reflect,” Elton adds. “Finding this song again when I put together the Jewel Box and thinking of everything that has happened in our careers and friendships that has sprouted from this one point is just remarkable.”

“Jewel Box contains the embryos of something special, and ‘Scarecrow’ goes right to the heart of that, naive compositions of a time and place that went on to become something very special indeed,” Elton concludes. “What a wild ride it’s been so far, and how lucky we are to have found each other.”

The other five songs released today are “Scarecrow,” “Holiday Inn,” “Keep It a Mystery,” “Smokestack Children,” “Two of a Kind,” and “Conquer the Sun.” That means the entirety of the Jewel Box package — all 148 songs — is now available digitally for the first time.

By Andrea Dresdale
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