Elton John’s “Curtains” Lyrics Meaning

Elton John’s “Curtains” is very symbolic and even cryptic in its nature. But we will try to deconstruct its meaning based on the information that is readily available.

In the first line Elton John references an “old scarecrow”. This is actually an allusion to the first song he ever wrote alongside Bernie Taupin. FYI, Taupin is an individual who, via his lyrical skills, helped define Sir John’s unparalleled career. Basically, he co-wrote most of John’s hits, and as a result in many ways Taupin is a celebrity himslef. And once again, the first song they penned as a unit was entitled “Scarecrow”.

A Tribute to John and Taupin?

And we also know that the album “Curtains” is featured on, “Captain Fantastic and the Dirt Brown Cowboy”, serves as an ode to Elton and Bernie’s prosperous professional relationship. So with that in mind the first verse, at least to some extent, would be symbolic of celebrating “Scarecrow” as the start of something great.

Taupin’s Childhood?

This song also uses a lot of what can be called farm-related metaphors. It has been postulated that these mentions are actually allusions to Bernie Taupin’s childhood, as he did in fact grow up on a farm. And such may actually be the case.

However, it seems the idea these bars are really meant to point to is that one must toil before realizing success in life. Or put differently, everyone has their “once upon a time”, as in aspirations and visions of what they perceive as a fairytale life. And Elton is putting forth that one must “always seek to find”, as in apply continuous effort towards making these dreams come true.  And it should be noted that scarecrows are actually found on farms. In other words John’s use of this the word not only fits into the motif of the song but simultaneously, as mentioned earlier, symbolizes the true beginning of his success. 

And basically, going a bit out on a limb here, he is presenting his and Bernie’s story as living proof that if a person follows his advice, they will likewise emerge victorious.

“Curtains” is a Poetic Tune

But again this song is very poetic in its approach, and information concerning its actual meaning is for the most part nonexistent (even though Elton reportedly expressed a disdain for it). But all things considered, it can very much be a celebration to Elton’s beginnings or perhaps more specifically the perseverance that had led to he an Bernie being amongst the leaders in their field.

Lyrics of "Curtains"

Where does the song’s title “Curtains” come in?

The above being said, the title of the song does not fit into this narrative. Nor is it actually mentioned in the lyrics. But one plausible explanation for it could be that it alludes to the fact that “Curtains” is the final song on the album (i.e. the curtains are closing).

Writing Credits for “Curtains”

“Curtains” was written by John and Taupin. It was then produced by another artist who worked with them regularly, Gus Dudgeon.

Release Date of “Curtains”

“Captain Fantastic and the Dirt Brown Cowboy” is an Elton John album which MCA and DJM Records released on 19 May 1975. And the final song on its playlist is “Curtains”.

Scarecrow from the Song

The “scarecrow” mentioned is considered to be a reference to a song of the same name by Elton John which was recorded circa 1968. And as aforementioned, it was the first the he and Bernie Taupin actually penned together. However, it was never actually released to the public.

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