Elton John

Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

Song Review by

Never released as a single, "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" is nonetheless a longtime fan favorite; less saccharine than many similar Elton John and Bernie Taupin ballads (such as "Daniel," the hit single from this album), Taupin's lyric avoids overt emotional manipulation and overblown language in favor of a somewhat uncharacteristic emotional directness. "I thank the Lord for the people I have found" is the song's repeated climax, which John sings with such understated urgency that the power of the words sneaks up on rather than bludgeoning the listener. John's melody has some of the country elements of the previous year's Tumbleweed Connection, strengthened in the song's second half when Davey Johnstone's overdubbed mandolins enter the arrangement, and features a simply lovely, aching chorus that's among the best on the album. Although the showy "Tiny Dancer" scene got all the attention in Cameron Crowe's semi-autobiographical movie Almost Famous, a later, quieter scene between Patrick Fugit and Kate Hudson uses "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" to devastating effect.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Honky Château 1972 Universal Distribution / Island 5:01
To Be Continued... 1990 MCA 4:58
Dream Ticket 2004 WAB
5 Classic Albums (1970-1973) 2012 Island / Mercury 5:00
Classic Elton John Polygram
No Image Rock