What does Tiny Dancer mean?

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Elton John: Tiny Dancer Meaning

Song Released: 1972


Covered By: Ben Folds (2002)


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Tiny Dancer Lyrics

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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. 1TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Nov 12th, 2010 11:04pm report


    although the song was dedicated to bernie taupins first wife maxine in 1971 on the album madman across the water its a common misconception that it was actually written about her, seeing as there is a very high probability that he wrote it before he was dating her. it was written however after elton and bernies first trip to california and attempts to describe the mood of that part of america through the eyes of two british tourists. every line is written as though bernie is an observer, people watching, and does not have a personal attatchment to the characters being described other than sharing the fact they they are both human beings. this concept is stressed when bernie describes that he is alone, and possibly lonely, when he writes "But oh how it feels so real Lying here with no one near" bernie gives the impression that he wishes that he had a "tiny dancer" of his own, to hold in his hand, to pass the time with, even if its just "counting headlights on the highway". this idea is given more credence seeing as how he soon after rushed into a marriage with a woman whom he never truly loved, and divorced after just under 5 years.
    its the concept of the perfect woman and the dream of companionship that bernie vows to keep with him forever, his "ballerina in the sand". hopefully he finally found her with his 4th wife and mother of his children.



  2. 2TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Dec 27th, 2006 12:59pm report


    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.



  3. 3TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Sep 22nd, 2009 9:40pm report


    this song like a poem its mystery is what makes it beautiful...interpret it whatever way you want my favourite song of all time



  4.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 29th, 8:33pm report


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



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 5th, 8:59pm report


    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
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    Apr 14th, 2019 4:27pm report


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



  7.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 13th, 2019 3:38pm report


    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
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    Jan 24th, 2019 1:56pm report


    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
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    Jul 10th, 2018 7:36pm report


    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
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    Apr 14th, 2018 4:59pm report


    The song is about a guy masterbating.



  11.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 21st, 2018 2:41pm report


    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
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    Feb 2nd, 2018 2:05am report


    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
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    Jan 30th, 2018 1:48pm report


    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
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    Dec 4th, 2017 12:50pm report


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



  15.  

    anonymous
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    May 4th, 2017 5:18pm report


    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
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    Mar 25th, 2017 3:32pm report


    Thought for years the song was Tony Danzer ..



  17.  

    anonymous
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    Sep 19th, 2016 9:14pm report


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



  18.  

    anonymous
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    Jul 9th, 2015 7:20am report


    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.



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