Elton John's Song 'Ticking'

Decent Essays
“Ticking” is one of Elton John’s most powerful and under-rated songs. Bernie Taupin, Elton’s song writer, wrote the words why Elton wrote the music, and together they created a song that presents a strong statement. It is a story about a fictional young man who is seemingly normal, but in the end, he snaps and unleashes his carnage. For a song released in 1974, years before mass shootings like Columbine, Aroura, and Orlando, it is eerie that it can relate to so many mass shooting that have happened in the past few years. Elton and Bernie are giving a warning in this song that, as a society, we should focus on trying to reduce gun violence and focus more on mental health.
Looking at the title, “Ticking” may not immediately mean anything, but once you dig into the lyrics of the song it becomes clear. It refers to a young man who is seemingly normal and very quiet, however in the end he snaps. “Ticking” is being used as a metaphor to represent the young man who appears normal but is slowly getting closer to the breaking point.
The first stanza begins in a calm tone like the
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The tone here is a combination between the authoritative tone of his mother and the more care free nature of the onomatopoeia. “’Now you’ll never get to Heaven’ Mama said,” is the voice of his mother in his head that he remembers and in it is followed by “Ticking, ticking” in the next line shows that his mother’s comments are driving him closer to the breaking point (Lines 9-11). His mother’s voice in his head then says, “Grow up straight and true blue/run along to bed,” this introduces the possibility that the young man may be homosexual and that his mother, and possibly his father, showed her disapproval (12-13). The idiom “true blue” means to be loyal to someone’s ideas or cause which could reference to religious ideology (Lines 12-13). Perhaps this is the reason he asks for forgiveness every Sunday is because he is struggling with
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