- Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
"Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" is a song from the Elton John album Honky Château. It reflects Bernie Taupin's take on New York City after hearing a gun go off near his hotel window during his first visit to the city. The song's lyrics were partly inspired by Ben E. King's "Spanish Harlem", in which he sings "There is a rose in Spanish Harlem." In response to this, Taupin writes, "Now I know Spanish Harlem are not just pretty words to say / I thought I knew, but now I know that rose trees never grow in New York City." A more upbeat sequel to the song called "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters (Part Two)" was recorded about 15 years later for Elton's later album Reg Strikes Back.
“ "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" shows how much John can really do in the space of a single cut. Using minimal instrumentation and singing one of Taupin's most direct lyrics, John effortlessly reveals the myth beneath the myth of "... a rose in Spanish Harlem." He expresses his involvement with the city, his need for its people, and his final desire to be alone through one of his best tunes, simplest arrangements, and most natural vocal performances. ”
Elton himself has called the song "one of my all-time favourites," upon introducing it at his 60th-birthday concert in New York's Madison Square Garden. John also delivered a heartfelt rendition at "The Concert for New York City" at Madison Square Garden on October 20, 2001. The concert was meant primarily as a tribute for family members and fellow workers of New York's Fire and Police Departments, as well as EMT workers, who had been participating in the ongoing recovery efforts at the demolished World Trade Center complex following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. John dedicated the song to the emergency workers and their families, as well as to New York City.
The song was used in the finale of the American version of Life on Mars. It was also used for the bridal dance in the final episode of the TV series Brothers and Sisters entitled "Walker Down the Aisle".
- Sherie Rene Scott on her album Men I've Had.
- Indigo Girls on the Rarities album
- Mandy Moore on her Coverage album. Mandy Moore reported being pleasantly surprised to learn that Elton John "heard my version ... and he liked it!"
- Buckshot LeFonque on their 1994 album Buckshot LeFonque
- Heart on the 2003 album Alive in Seattle
- Ryan Adams (duet with Elton John) in 2002 on the television show CMT Crossroads
- Jason Hart on the 2005 album If I Were You
- Dear Abbeys on the album "Abbeys Road"
- Matthew Morrison sings this song in duet with Elton John himself On his album "Matthew Morrison" in 2011
- ^ Jon Landau (1972-08-17). "Honky Château". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/90365/review/6068350.
- ^ Nate Chinen (2007-03-27). "Elton John Celebrates 60, Lavishly, in His Garden". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/27/arts/music/27elto.html.
- ^ Corey Moss (2003-10-24). "Mandy Moore Scores Elton John's Approval, Finally Gets Her Title". MTV.com. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1479929/20031024/moore_mandy.jhtml?headlines=true.
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