Here is a rare case where Bernie Taupin's lyrics compliment perfectly an exceptional Elton John melody -- not just remaining innocuously out of the way, and not outrightly fouling up a beautiful composition, but actually reaching the same level of sophisticated pop songcraft. And it may just be for the basic reason that Taupin keeps it simple, not allowing his ambition to exceed his ability or to weigh down a simple pop song with pretense and forced verbiage.
The result -- from John's eponymous second LP -- is a near-perfect song, with an aching melody, sentiment, and performance. The music is the sort of blend that John often pulls off: a little bit of country, soul, folk, and jazz, with the R&B hook of the chorus: "I hope you don't mind/I hope you don't mind/That I put down in the words/How wonderful life is while you're in the world." The instrumental focus is on John's nimble Leon Russell-influenced piano work, with acoustic guitar, Paul Buckmaster's string accompaniment, and a shuffling rhythm section. Taupin offers an innocent love-song lyric: "It's a little bit funny this feeling inside/I'm not one of those who can easily hide/I don't have much money but boy if I did/I'd buy a big house where we both could live." At times the self-deprecating narrator stumbles to get out his feelings, a melodramatic device, to be sure, but effective and sweet nonetheless: "So excuse me forgetting but these things I do/You see I've forgotten if they're green or they're blue/Anyway the thing is what I really mean/Yours are the sweetest eyes I've ever seen/And you can tell everybody this is your song/It may be quite simple but now that it's done." This is the other hook: "Your Song"'s self-consciousness as a song written as a gift for a loved one. It has been a self-fulfilling legacy, going into the Top Ten in 1971 and remaining a staple on radio for decades. In 2001, it was included in the musical film Moulin Rouge, sung by actor Ewan McGregor with a far more intentionally melodramatic flair that -- out of the context of the film -- just seems over the top.