Meaning of Daniel by Elton John


Elton John

When Elton John‘s “Daniel” hit the airwaves in 1973, it carried with it a narrative that moved beyond the confines of melody and rhythm. The song, part of the album “Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player”, unfolds a story that resonates with the echoes of a period marked by war and the subsequent reverberations felt by those who lived through it【20†source】.

The lyrical essence of “Daniel” was birthed from the creative partnership between Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Inspired by a piece in Time magazine about Vietnam War veterans, Taupin crafted a narrative exploring the internal and external battles faced by a war veteran named Daniel. The song, as interpreted through its lyrics, paints the story of Daniel, who seeks solace away from the attention he receives upon his return home, indicative of the struggle for normalcy that many veterans faced【19†source】.

According to Bernie Taupin, “Daniel” is about a man who comes back to a small Texas town after the Vietnam War and is praised as a hero, but he longs for the simplicity and peace of his old life [23]. Coming back from war is hard for everyone, and this story of a veteran told through the eyes of his younger brother shows how those problems are mixed with social expectations.

Interestingly, “Daniel” has been misunderstood a few times over the years, which may be a sign of the complex meanings hidden in its words. The real story, as the lyricist meant it to be, is still a moving reflection of the time it was written in and a tribute to the silent fights that were fought long after the war was over (Source 21).

“Daniel” is beautiful not only because of its beautiful melody, but also because it takes the listener back to a time when they were young and innocent, contrasting with the harsh facts of life after the war. It’s not just a song; it’s a story that still speaks to people today, making them feel nostalgic, empathetic, and more knowledgeable about the human condition.

As long as the chords of “Daniel” play on the radio, they will carry a message of understanding, compassion, and the unspoken ties of brotherhood that stand the test of time and hardship. Each note and word in this timeless classic makes you want to dig deeper into the story, to find the untold stories that lie beneath the surface, and to feel all the different feelings that make up its core.


  1. Wikipedia – Daniel (Elton John song)
  2. Songmeaningsandfacts – Meaning of “Daniel” by Elton John
  3. Storyofsong – Elton John – Daniel | Beyond The Lyrics
  4. Americansongwriter – Behind the Song Lyrics: “Daniel” by Elton John and Bernie Taupin
  5. Songfacts – Daniel by Elton John


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