“Philadelphia Freedom” by Elton John

On “Philadelphia Freedom”, Elton John sings about his love for a life of freedom as well as that of the place that gave him the strength and opportunity to become better.

Elton begins by mentioning that he used to join a lot of protests and movements and was devoted to people. However, things have changed now and he is now fully committed to the team. He further states that he’s highly supportive of the Philadelphia Freedom because it has given him the privilege to reach higher heights. Furthermore, it has given him a peace of mind he has never experienced. 

The narrator also gives an idea of the numerous freedom options in living on his own while stressing on his love for Philadelphia Freedom.

Billie Jean King

Bernie Taupin and Elton John wrote this song for Elton’s friend, tennis player Billie Jean King when she was part of the Philadelphia Freedoms professional tennis team.

Lyrics of "Philadelphia Freedom"

Song’s Title

The song’s title was inspired by the Philadelphia Freedoms, a professional-tennis team led by the legendary athlete Billie J. King. Indeed the track was originally intended to be a tribute to Miss King.

King and Elton, having first met in 1973, are in fact homeys and have, in partnership, raised tons of money in the name of philanthropy.

In addition to dedicating this song to King, Elton also gave an official shoutout to “the Soulful Sounds of Philadelphia”, i.e. the city itself.

Release Date of “Philadelphia Freedom”

MCA Records along with DJM Records released “Philadelphia Freedom” as a standalone single on 24 February 1975. On its B-side was Elton’s live rendition of the Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There” (1963) featuring John Lennon himself.

However, the song has been featured on a number of the artist’s compilation and live albums since then.

Philadelphians love this Song!

Philadelphians have logically taken a liking to this song. For instance, it is regularly played at the Tuttleman IMAX Theatre at the Franklin Institute in Philly. Moreover the lyrics are inscribed on the wall of Philadelphia’s branch of the Hard Rock Cafe.

Writing Credits

“Philadelphia Freedom” was written by the reliable duo of Elton and Taupin.  It marked their first conscientious effort to come up with a single. And their work paid off, as this song managed to top Canada’s RPM Top Singles, as well as the U.S.-based Billboard Hot 100 (where it held the number-one position for multiple weeks). The track also placed within the top five of music charts in Australia and New Zealand.

And in Elton John’s homeland of the United Kingdom, “Philadelphia Freedom” peaked at number 12.

“Philadelphia Freedom” on Soul Train

Elton John was notably one of the first Caucasian artists invited onto the influential 1970’s African-American music-variety show “Soul Train”. This occurred on 17 May 1975. And “Philadelphia Freedom” is one of the two songs that he performed (the other being “Bennie and the Jets“).

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