Elton John: Levon Meaning
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Song Released: 1971
anonymous Sep 14th, 9:18pm report
Levon is a war veteran. Slightly demented, perhaps, and adopts a child named Jesus. Levon is a selfish man and uses his "son" to boost their family business of selling "cartoon balloons".
Jesus knows he is being utilized or used to increase his father's business and wants to do more. He wants to take a balloon and fly away - thereby leaving his father and his life far behind.
I think that both Levon and Jesus are perhaps slow or challenged in my interpretation of this song.
Levon follows the common occult/Wiccan practice of esconcing meanings by "backmasking", or spelling/saying things backwards.
Simply put, the message is that the Bible is a NOVEL (inversion - LEVON), meaning it should be regarded as fiction.
The repeated references to Jesus, as being born "on Christmas Day", coupled with the author's recognition of the book as the world's all time best-seller (Levon loves his fortune, loves his money, he calls his child Jesus) confirm this interpretation.
Most striking is the choral denial of Jesus' divinity. Those who reject this belief tend to hold one of two views:
1. That Jesus never lived, or;
2. That Jesus was a "good man" who was later mischeviously diefied by his friends and followers.
The author never chooses, the song's chorus alternating between these two views:
"This child is a Levon
This child is a good man."
The "good man" designation is very offensive to those who believe in His divinity. It is construed to imply "ONLY a good man" and that offense may have been intended.
anonymous Apr 13th, 2013 4:14pm report
Levon is about a man who is bisexual and wants to be a Christian but because of the way he was raised he didn't believe he could be both. So he goes from being a heroin dealer to being a heroin user and develops the drug induced feeling of being like Jesus. He doesn't realize that he can kick the habit and find God when he simply accepts who he really is. In essence he has to change his conception of Jesus and accept himself in order to change rather than change himself in order to find Jesus.
1. heroin is sold in balloons and dealers are referred to as balloons.
2. Venus is often a symbol of women and sex.
3. Two songs by 'the Band' - 'Up on Cripple Creek' and 'the Weight' - are rife with allusions to heroin use and alternative sex (in my opinion)and Levon Helm is the lead singer for both those songs. Also 'the Weight' was partially based on Levon's life growing up in the American south where there were very narrow ideas about God and sin.
4. Robbie Robertson wrote the lyrics for 'the Band.' He broke up the band because of the widespread use of heroin and alcohol amongst the band members. There is no proof that Levon Helm himself abused heroin or alcohol but he died of cancer that was initially throat cancer - something that is often a by-product of alcoholism. There is also no proof that he was bisexual but I think there was some anecdotal evidence of it in the lyrics of the songs that relate to him.
5. Bernie Taupin admired Robbie Robertson's lyrics because he felt they had layered meanings. He and his partner Elton John chose 'the Weight' as their tribute song to Levon Helm after his death.
anonymous Oct 28th, 2012 10:59am report
In the chorus, when he says "He shall be Levon," it sounds like "He shall believe on." It could just be a coincidence, I have no clue
I know that Bernie Taupin named the title character of this song after Levon Helm, the drummer-vocaist of The Band.
Beyond that, I think "Levon" is a portrait of a typical middle-aged man from Englan'ds "Greatest Generation." That is, Levon was one of the young blokes who fought heroically for England in World War 2, and then came home, got married, started a family, and started building a business and making money.
Levon's son Jesus hates Levon and his life. He dreams of leaving Levon far behind. Levon thinks he's going to leave behind a thriving business for his so nto take over, but his son wants no part of his life, and wants nothing to do with his father.
Well, in real life, there were countless men like Levon! They spent their lives making money and trying to give their families the best of everything (just as Levon gives his son Jesus the best of everything). And what happened? In the Sixties and early Seventies, many of their children joined the counterculture, became hippies, and completely rejected their parents' values!
Levon, like millions of men of his generation, is a good man who has always done exactly what society told him to do... and now, he's going tobe left alone, wondering what he did wrong and why his child hates him.
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