What does Levon mean?

Elton John: Levon Meaning

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Album cover for Levon album cover

Song Released: 1971

Levon Lyrics

Levon wears his war wound like a crown
He calls his child Jesus
'Cause he likes the name
And he sends him to the finest school in town

Levon, Levon likes his money
He makes a lot they say
Spends his days counting
In a garage by the...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Apr 2nd 2012 !⃝

    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.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    May 4th 2013 !⃝

    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.

  3. anonymous
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    Feb 12th 2021 !⃝

    They are talking about Levon being a heroin dealer. That is why they blow up balloons all day aka heroin balloons. His son was born on xmas day when the war began " aka the war on drugs " he wears his war wound like a crown possibly being an addict himself. He spends his days in garage pretty shady and likes to count his money. It says he sits on the porch watching them fly ; watching them get high and he himself wants to get high and go to venus and I think he is jealous and wants to kill his dad and take over the business , and jesus he wants to go to venus leave levon far behind take off on a balloon and go sailing while Levon slowly dies.

  4. anonymous
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    Nov 11th 2019 !⃝

    Levon is a miser who is devoid of love. His son Jesus wants to get far away from him (Venus?), and while this happens "Levon slowly dies".

  5. anonymous
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    Oct 27th 2017 !⃝

    I believe that that Jesus doesn't want to be the messiah, he sees it as a way to bring fame and fortune to his earthly father Joseph/Levon. If he truly the son of God, he knows of the suffer to come, he wants no earthly father to profit from this,gaining fame and fortune. He chooses to leave Levon behind, sailing away, to live in peace and contemplate his true Father's wishes,and save mankind complete, not grant an earthly father ego and need to be honored by all for his riches reaped through his Son.

  6. anonymous
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    Sep 17th 2017 !⃝

    As someone who was a teen in the late'60s-early'70s, I have to say that Astorian's interpretation makes the most sense of any I've heard. This is what happened in the US as well during that period.

  7. Tattiio
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    Apr 26th 2017 !⃝

    One final point, Elton John sings the word Garage very uniquely, as if he is referring to Carriage. Carriage means wealth in the Old Testament and The word"garage" is mentioned in the New Testament more than once. It may not mean Mel' car garage!

  8. Tattiio
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    Apr 26th 2017 !⃝

    I believe the true meaning is a mix of friends and Christianity. Levon is actually Joseph. He says Jesus wants to go sailing to Venus. Christ wanted to leave it behind and not be the messiah. Most people fail to acknowledge the restlessness Christ had about being the messiah. Joseph also ran his family business, which Jesus did not want to do. The word Levon also can be pronounced two ways, one the Christian holy word, and another just a name. Bernie is famous for his Hemmingway like meanings in his lyrics. Also look at the play of words, " he will be Levon", misinterpreted as he will believe on. Joseph was forced to believe on, even though he was not convinced his wife to be was a virgin. Joseph wanted Jesus to stay at home and herd goats, just like Levon wanted Jesus to stay home and sell balloons. How many people make a lot of money selling ballons? In the song they say Levon does well, give me a break, selling ballons. Levon is actually Joseph in the 1960's America

  9. kooljohn176
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    Jan 21st 2016 !⃝

    ELTON JOHN sang this song that to me inspired the faith in the name of JESUS that I believed in without the rigid religion and fear behind it to travel and get high in The Way to ''leave on'' JESUS in faith to guide the believer. The imagination used in this song could have taken place in the time when the intellectuals influenced the thinking of people in the Christian faith to defend itself when hearing and reading the likes of NEITZSCHE's ''god is dead''philosophy sayings. The people then on the most part did't know what to do with his understanding of the term that freed some people to be destructive instead, that pushed their thinking ego's towards physical war to be like a Superman over others in like what happened during World War I and II. Around this time Alvin Tosing {as God, the father figure} comes forward from the past and has a son named LEVON raised to be a good righteous man in the town. LEVON as a good man worked hard and saved his money religiously to help raise and send his son to the finest schools named JESUS 'cause he liked the name to be resurrected as a crown of faith to pass on to his son in hope that would help the family business and humanity to thrive together in a Christian faith from the damage that was done by the wars of the past, where similar mentality followed to take more of the faith away and keep The ''god is dead movement'' alive in the mid 60's that was promoted on The Time magazine also. Where Jesus with all of this hearing about the madness of war now that was in Vietnam up until the early 70's along with the lack of faith in people to see god's goodness, Jesus did't want to ''cruise'' like a madman across the water and stay in the same ballon business his father was involved in to keep the tradition alive. JESUS just wanted to get high like he has seened his ballons rise as a boy and go to Venus as he got older to keep him warm and us hot in him to shine on us down here to keep the faith of his love to rise for us while LEVON is slowly dying for him to always ''Rise In Peace''.

  10. anonymous
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    Sep 14th 2013 !⃝

    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.

  11. anonymous
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    Apr 13th 2013 !⃝

    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.
    The background:
    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.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  12. anonymous
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    Oct 28th 2012 !⃝

    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

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