What does Tiny Dancer mean?

Elton John: Tiny Dancer Meaning

Album cover for Tiny Dancer album cover

Song Released: 1972

Covered By: Ben Folds (2002)

Tiny Dancer Lyrics

Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band
Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you'll marry a music man
Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
And now she's in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand

Jesus freaks out in the...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Dec 27th 2006 !⃝

    The lyrics were written by Bernie Taupin, John's writing partner. They were inspired by Taupin's first trip to America. John and Taupin are from England, and this was the first album they wrote after spending time in the US.
    The "Blue jean baby, LA Lady, seamstress for the band" is Maxine Feibelmann, Bernie Taupin's girlfriend. She traveled with the band on their early tours, often sewing together the costumes and fixing their clothes. She and Taupin married in 1971.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Jun 8th 2009 !⃝

    This song is not at all about maxine (bernie's ex-wife) although it was dedicated to her on the album mad man across the water and claimed by elton to be about maxine in earlier interviews. On Bernie Taupins website www.berniejtaupin.com he explains several of his song meanings


    #3 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Jan 15th 2013 !⃝

    I interpreted it as a bobble head hula girl on the dashboard (counting the headlights on the highway)of a car driven by a lonely man who fancies her his human companion taking her where ever he went.

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 29th 2019 !⃝

    This song was out in the 1970’s a very long time before diana’s tragedy! are you really that daft?

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 5th 2019 !⃝

    I’m only 12 but I now the exact meaning of the song. I watched a early 70s documentary of Elton John as he sat at the piano creating the song of tiny dancer. It was still on the sheet of paper that Bernie tupian(don’t think I spelled that right) had wrote it on. As he made music for the song he said himself that “it was about Bernie’s girlfriend” and that he thought he would appreciate him choosing that song to add music to. It even showed video of Bernie and his girlfriend. He also explained that she sewed up their costumes while they were on tour. Hints,seamstress for the band.

  6. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 14th 2019 !⃝

    He's talking about the tiny dancer in a music box.

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 13th 2019 !⃝

    I think the song is for princess Diana after the car crash. in the song it says "only you, you can here me" also "lay me down on sheets of linen", and "count the headlights on the highway" meaning when the car crash happened. and only her can here what he is saying. plus he was knighted a year before her death. also "lying here no one near". meaning here at her grave all alone.

    RIP Princess Diana. :(

  8. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 24th 2019 !⃝

    I love how everyone has there own idea about what it means lol.. they did a good job making a some that keeps being talked about and listened to didnt they. Maybe that's what the song was about to keep us guessing and talking about it for ever and ever lol

  9. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 10th 2018 !⃝

    too many theories on song interpretations have to do with sex or drugs, it's a bit tired. But I will say , if not for drugs I don't think we ever would have gotten such great, deep, profound, moving, thought-provoking song lyrics in the last 5+ decades. For some, I lower the volume and kind of drift away, for others, I blast it because it is my heart and soul screaming. And that is the ONLY "good" thing I can ever say about drugs! Additionally, I would tend to agree that if a song writer can evoke a double meaning, then why not...and gain a larger audience. My 2$ worth!

  10. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 14th 2018 !⃝

    The song is about a guy masterbating.

  11. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 21st 2018 !⃝

    Jesus freaks is reference to the Hare Krishna's who ran in bunches up and down Hollywood Boulevard handing out religious tracts (tickets for God)

  12. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Feb 2nd 2018 !⃝

    Could she be a street walker? My wife Theresa L M suggested this theory

    Blue jean baby, LA Lady (Hooker)
    Seamstress for the band ( she has sex with them )
    Pretty eyed, Pirate smile, you'll marry a music Man ( she wishes to marry a rock star)
    (Stripper?) ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand.
    Jesus freaks out in the streets (taking to hookers )
    Handing tickets out for God ( talking about salvation )
    Turning back she just laughs ( at the Christians )
    The boulevard is not bad. ( for the working girls )

    The piano man makes his stand in the Auditorium ( the Band plays a show)
    Looking on she sings the songs ( from being with the band so much )
    The words she knows, the tune she hums
    ( she is into the music and the band)

    But oh how it feels so real ( it's not a real relationship )
    Lying here with no one near ( hookers sleep alone )
    Only you and you can hear me ( her inner self to herself when she is alone )
    when I say softly, Slowly

    Hold me closer tiny dancer ( when she is with herJohn )
    Count the headlights on the highway ( cars going by her corner where she works )
    Lay me down in sheets of linen ( not in the car again)
    You had a busy day today ( she has enough money for a hotel room)

    The tiny dancer could be a street walker hoping for better things.

  13. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 30th 2018 !⃝

    This is my interpretation. I agree that it is about maxine feibelman, but when the song gets to the part..."Jesus freaks out in the street, handing tickets out for God"...MY interpretation is she was confused and realized that she made a mistake in marrying Bernie Taupin and was confused about her religious viewpoints..and perhaps she decided that having a life with a musician is not for her so she decided to turn toward God...Bernie still loves her till this day and he trys to distract himself for thinking about her so he counts the headlights on the highway.

  14. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 4th 2017 !⃝

    this is southern california man.Only a native southern californian and donald trump would understand it

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  15. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 4th 2017 !⃝

    While playing a show in L.A., the band notices a diminutive woman dancing in the crowd. She gets to meet the piano player later on after the show and he is taken by her. She has dreams of being a ballerina. She stays with the band as their seamstress - fixing their costumes for a while, but after marrying the music man, makes a life for them back home in L.A. She gives her man a little music box of a ballerina dancer and when he is away from home on tour, he will play the music box when he's trying to get to sleep and watch the 'tiny dancer' because it reminds him of his wife.

  16. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 25th 2017 !⃝

    Thought for years the song was Tony Danzer ..

  17. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 19th 2016 !⃝

    No the song is about bernie taupin's girlfriend and his first trip to the united states.

  18. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 9th 2015 !⃝

    The song is about a touring musician daydreaming about a woman (implied to be a groupie maybe- depending on how much you like the Movie "Almost Famous") while he's on the road. "Count the headlights on the highway" is about being on the road... "Now she's in me, always with me"- basically he can't stop thinking about her, even when he's away on the road. "Oh how it feels so real, lying here with no one near" - ok- some people interpret this as a metaphor for "self-love" - which in weird creepy way, fits this concept- but it could be taken more at face value- he imagines her lying next to him... "Lay me down in sheets of linen, had a busy day today" - if we go with the "musician on the road" theme- this part of the daydream is him imaining himself coming home from a busy work day (a concert) getting in bed (sheets of linen) and telling her he had a busy day, like a normal person would do coming home late after an extra long day at the office.

    "Seamstress for the band" could be a clever drug reference, or it could be face value- naming the groupie/girlfriend/whatever the band's seamstress as a pretense to take her on tour.

    Having the lyrics open to multiple interpretations is part of the genius of it. I think the main story of it is found closer to the surface, with the other more veiled connotations there as an extra layer of color/depth.

‹ prev 1234

More Elton John songs »


Latest Articles


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]

Just Posted

Reach anonymous
The Final Countdown anonymous
Fight Song anonymous
Am I Wrong anonymous
Hey, Soul Sister anonymous
Agora Hills anonymous
From a Distance anonymous
22 anonymous
Cradles anonymous
It's My Life anonymous
Been to Canaan anonymous
1994 anonymous
Meeting Across the River anonymous
Monkey Wrench anonymous
She Talks To Angels anonymous

(We won't give out your email)