What does Rocketman mean?

Elton John: Rocketman Meaning

Album cover for Rocketman album cover

Song Released: 1972

Rocketman Lyrics

She packed my bags last night pre-flight
Zero hour nine a.m.
And I'm gonna be high as a kite by then
I miss the earth so much I miss my wife
It's lonely out in space
On such a timeless flight

And I think it's gonna be a long long...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Jun 13th 2008 !⃝

    Bernie Taupin wrote the majority of Elton's lyrics, and rarely (except on Captain Fantastic) wrote as if from Elton's point of view. Hence while Rocket Man may well be an allegory of the loneliness and other-worldliness of fame, it is Bernie's experience rather than (or at least as well as) Elton's that is being represented.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Apr 9th 2011 !⃝

    In my opinion, it's about a state of mind also expressed in the short story "Rocket man" by Ray Bradbury in the book "An illustrated man", which also happens to be the inspiration to the song. Both the song and the short story is about a man going out to space, leaving his family at home. Hardly, this is all they are about.

    It's about a man having two sort of magnets, that pull him in its direction. When he is at home, he longs for the sky, thinking about what it is like up there. But then, when he is in space, all he can think about is he's family and how they are doing. So he can never be happy. I quote: " (...) Till touch down brings me 'round again to find, I'm not the man they think I am at home, Oh, no, no, no. I'm a rocket man."

    In the second verse it goes mars ain't the kinda place to raise you kids, which gives the impression that the two "magnets" clash.

    What I mean when I say that it is about a state of mind is that it describes perfectly how things can be sometimes. Of course this isn't only when you are a astronaut, which gives the song some sort of allegorical touch.

    Sorry for my bad formulations, and poor language. I don't write in English that often. :)


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Aug 6th 2009 !⃝

    This is a song about a short story by Ray Bradbury written in 1951-- Rocket Man. It is in a collection of short stories in the science fiction book "The Illustrated Man".
    Read this story then listen to the song. It's practically identical...The astronaut wanted his wife and wanted his space travel...he couldn't have both--it's actually quite sad.

  4. anonymous
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    Nov 17th 2022 !⃝

    I think the song is about addiction and also him struggling with being bisexuality. "I'm not the man they think I am at home" meaning I love my wife but there is also something or SOMEONE I love as well. but he longs for balance and acceptance yet the only way to escape it is to get high as a kite....

  5. anonymous
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    Jan 29th 2018 !⃝

    Double meaning. The astronaut thing and addiction. Brilliant!

  6. anonymous
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    Jan 29th 2018 !⃝

    Double meaning.the astronaut thing and a metaphor for addiction.it's brilliant!

  7. anonymous
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    Sep 19th 2017 !⃝

    I would like to believe it was about the Appolo space mission and Elton John was giving a shout out to them ! There can only be one Rocket man & it's not Trumps North Korean Buddy !

  8. anonymous
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    Sep 19th 2017 !⃝

    I agree with the people that put in the shortest theory's. Others are putting too much thought into this. It's about addiction and constantly being on the road and never home. Artists themselves rarely give their own take on their song because it could mean something totally different and meaningful to the person who listens to it. It's kind of like Bob Seger's "Turn the page "or Metallica's " Nothing else matters" Just enjoy it and don't dissect it.

  9. anonymous
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    Aug 31st 2017 !⃝

    it's about heroin addiction. Street slang for an OD is the last rocket.

  10. anonymous
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    Apr 23rd 2017 !⃝


  11. anonymous
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    Mar 27th 2017 !⃝

    I suppose the meaning of the song can be different to different people. It is unmistakably about isolation and loneliness. The Story of course is about an astronaut in space, and yet there are indisputable overtones of addiction and the loneliness and deceit and pitfalls that come with it. However one may interpret the song, almost everyone can agree it is a masterful work of art that has endured the test of time.

  12. anonymous
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    Sep 7th 2016 !⃝

    Those of us who are devoted to whatever we do find that it can take us away from our personal relationships into an orbit we experience alone. This commitment to your pursuit creates an alter-identity that is nothing like how you are normally seen as someone's spouse, parent, next door neighbor. While it's lonely and you miss your loved ones, your work is something you must do. The fact that your spouse "packs your bags preflight" acknowledges the acceptance of this duty as a routine.

  13. kooljohn176
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    Jan 17th 2016 !⃝

    ROCKETMAN is one great uplifting song by ELTON JOHN for the imagination that came out during the exciting times of the APOLLO Programmed moon flight missions that fueled and made space travel a hot topic to get high and talk about in the cold of night dreaming within ''SPACE ODDITY'',being in the mindset of a COSMONAUT to get high and imagining going on a spaceflight to Mars alone, who loves and misses his wife and would've been a lonely place to raise his kids there that were left back on Earth, from the ''timeless flight'' in the outta space mission. Thinking it's going to be a long long, long long time before he splashes back to Earth one day.

  14. anonymous
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    Jul 25th 2014 !⃝

    Will people stop bashing him because he is Bisexual? If you guys knew anything about Elton John you would know that he at one time was married to a woman.

    I think the song is not about addiction or his sexual identity. I think the song is more about what Erikskarb said. Think of the song like an intersection. He turns right (earth) and he wants to go left (outer space). He changes his mind and goes left (outer space) once he goes that way he realises he misses right or earth. He is torn between the two ways and he can't escape it.

    I'm sorry if my explanation made no sense to you. I am even more sorry if you think Elton John is a dirty, gay, druggy, pig. But that's your problem. Elton John is an amazing artist that will inspire people for ages.

    -Your very own 12 year old Hippie.

  15. anonymous
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    May 3rd 2014 !⃝

    It must be quite a song to elicit so many different interpretations. I love it.

  16. laura.harrissepich
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    Feb 11th 2013 !⃝

    This song is most definitely about addiction. Very sad

  17. anonymous
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    Jan 13th 2013 !⃝

    It's obviously a metaphor for drugs and life in general. No duh ?

  18. anonymous
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    Nov 22nd 2012 !⃝

    The fourth one from the top is so obviously right

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