I’ve at all times puzzled in regards to the which means of the music Levon, as carried out by Elton John, with lyrics written by Bernie Taupin. After some research, that is what I’ve been capable of finding out in regards to the which means of Levon.
Elton John on Levon’s which means
The very best info I’ve discovered comes from the songfacts web site. There, one contributor states the next:
In Susan Black’s e-book, Elton John in His Personal Phrases, Elton says of Levon: “It’s a few man who simply will get bored doing the identical factor. It’s simply any person who will get uninterested in blowing up balloons and he simply needs to get away from it however he can’t as a result of it’s the household ritual.” (thanks, Alexander – London, England)
Two notes about that quote:
Bernie Taupin on Levon’s which means
Since Bernie Taupin wrote the music, I assumed he could be a greater supply of details about the which means of Levon. On that very same web page another person added this:
When Rolling Stone requested Taupin in regards to the music in 2013, he insisted that he has no thought what he supposed because the which means. “It was a free-form writing,” he stated. “It was simply traces that got here out that had been attention-grabbing.”
The names “Levon” and “Alvin Tostig”
The Wikipedia entry for Levon provides:
In keeping with Gus Dudgeon, Bernie Taupin, who wrote the lyrics for Levon, was impressed by The Band’s co-founder, drummer, and singer Levon Helm to call the title character after him. The Band was apparently John’s and Taupin’s favourite group in these days. Nonetheless, in 2013, Bernie Taupin stated that the music is unrelated to Levon Helm.
In addition they state this:
The “Alvin Tostig” talked about within the music (Levon’s father) is, in line with Taupin, merely fictional.
An Elton John fan web site provides some hypothesis relating to the title “Alvin Tostig”:
Tracing the title “Alvin Tostig” is pretty simple, however with a little bit of a twist. Taupin has stated the title was fictitious. There was a historic “Tostig,” who was the Earl of Wessex again within the 1040s, maybe Taupin pulled the title out of historical past with out realizing it. Additionally, some have speculated that Levon comprises veiled references to a well-liked e-book of the time, “Future Shock,” by Alvin Toffler.
(Notice that a few of this textual content could also be copied verbatim from straightdope.com, or vice-versa.)
Personally, if you wish to speculate on the title “Tostig,” I’d add that it’s shut sufficient to “Taupin” that you just may speculate that Taupin was probably writing about himself.