First Episode At Hienton – Video 14 – Album “Elton John”

30 12 2009

Whew, finally vlog post number 14.  Why does it seem like each year the Christmas season gets busier and busier; or maybe it just passes faster and faster as we grow older.  Regardless, I’ve gotten quite bogged down in the rush of the season and have been neglecting the blog.  However, as we approach the new year, thing should be slowing down again, hence allowing more time for new, fun and exciting Elton John piano covers. 

Todays posting is the fifth song and the last song on side A of the Elton John album, First Episode At Hienton.  This song has always been one of my absolute favorites from the Elton John album.  I have always loved the songs that seem to meander through a descriptive tale and musically emote what the subject is feeling.  First Episode At Hienton is a perfect example of one of Elton’s more emotive pieces with its highs and lows throughout the loosely structured lyric.

The lyric is about a man and woman, named Valerie, who have had some kind of love affair and later grew apart.  Valerie has grown up and moved on from the affair, but it seems the subject is struggling with letting go.  This song, along with many others of Bernie’s, showcases his great ability to paint a picture with words that gives us something akin to a five-minute movie. 

Musically, similar to several other recordings on the Elton John album, Elton wraps his piano in a vast string arrangement provided by Paul Buckmaster.  The song starts very quietly with only piano and moves through gradually gaining momentum.  The peaks and valleys of the song reflect the subjects emotions and comes to a close quietly again with only piano.  I am quite proud of the recording I have put together for First Episode At Hienton.  I elected to dub in a track of strings that I arranged and played after recording the piano line.  In the video you will see me only playing the piano part, but you can hear the strings that I laid in subsequently.  If you have the ability, listen to this one with headphones, I think it really enhances the mix.     

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I hope you all have slowed down to listen to some music.  It has the power to calm and soothe like nothing else.  I want to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season, and I give nothing but my best for the new year.  As always, thank you for the support.  The vlog captured about 120 views through the month of November, but has drastically shot up to more than 350 views in the month of December.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support and I promise to continue creating to the best of my ability in the new year.  Enjoy!

I was one as you were one
And we were two so much in love forever
I loved the white socks that you wore
But you don’t wear white socks no more, now you’re a woman

I joked about your turned-up nose
And criticized your school girl clothes
But would I then have paced these roads to love you

For seasons come and seasons go
Bring forth the rain the sun and snow
Make Valerie a woman
And Valerie is lonely

No more to roam on the snow hills of Hienton
Undecided with the guardians of the older generation
A doormat was a sign of welcome
In the winter months to come
And in the summer laughing
Through the castle ruins we’d run

For the quadrangle sang to the sun
And the grace of our feeling
And the candle burned low as we talked of the future
Underneath the ceiling

There were tears in the sky
And the clouds in your eyes were just cover
For your thighs were the cushions
Of my love and yours for each other

The songs still are sung
It was fun to be young
But please don’t be sad where e’er you are

I am who I am
You are who you are
Now Valerie’s a woman
Now Valerie’s a woman
Now Valerie’s a woman

© 1968 Dick James Music, Inc.




2 responses

15 12 2010

oh my! I love that song, I just bought a new piano and I would like to play it. Do you have a pdf of the score? What is this book you use?? Thank u!!!

8 02 2011
Ans Bouter

Great! So glad I found your vlog with Elton John songs. Beautifully played on the piano! Now I can easily sing along the song in Dutch. I’ve put a link to your vlog on my website with translations of famous English songs. Thanks a lot and, please, do continue with more Elton John songs, especially the ones on his Elton John album.

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