Song of the Day #1,939: ‘Gone to Shiloh’ – Elton John & Leon Russell

the_union_elton_johnI had planned to finish out this week with a cut from Elton John’s newest album, The Diving Board, produced by T Bone Burnett and described as a return to John’s piano-bass-and-drums sound of the 70s.

But I can’t find a clip of ‘My Quicksand,’ the track John singles out in Rolling Stone, on YouTube. I did stumble upon a fan covering the track with his best Elton John impersonation, but it’s not quite the same.

Instead I’m featuring a cut from The Union, John’s 2010 collaboration with Leon Russell. This is a solid album that I haven’t listened to nearly enough.

John says the partnership with Russell came on the heels of a disappointing experience releasing his previous album and kept him going despite his disillusionment.

“If it hadn’t been for Leon Russell,” John told Cameron Crowe, “I wouldn’t have gone back into the studio — a chance to call to Leon, just to see how he was doing and to thank him for all he did for me as a young artist, turned into one of the greatest experiences of my life. ‘Gone to Shiloh’ is a song that feels like a movie — it was a pivotal moment for the record I did with Leon… and a pivotal moment for us as writers.”

Luther left us first light Friday morning
Little Dan and Becky waved goodbye
They’re gonna have to share the weight together
Idle hands will see a good farm slowly die

chorus:
Gone to Shiloh for the Union
Shoulder to shoulder, side by side
Gone to Shiloh, hope springs eternal
When flags and bullets start to fly

April’s come and the air smells fresh with rain
They watched his shadow fade around the bend
He’s headed for a different kind of thunder
And the stunned surprise in the eyes of dying men

chorus:
Gone to Shiloh for the Union
Shoulder to shoulder, side by side
Gone to Shiloh, time passes slowly
When flags and bullets start to fly

The old black rooster sang him down that dirt road
His step seemed bold, his manner fancy-free
I pray we see him alive and well in the fall here
Than that God-forsaken place in Tennessee

chorus:
Gone to Shiloh for the Union
Shoulder to shoulder, side by side
Gone to Shiloh, men stand united
When flags and bullets start to fly

After all of this
If we should prevail
Heaven help the South
When Sherman comes their way

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,939: ‘Gone to Shiloh’ – Elton John & Leon Russell

  1. Dana says:

    I too need to listen to this album more as it really is very good, Sounds like I also need to get his new album if it truly is a return to Elton’s vintage sound.

  2. Andrea Katz says:

    Very nice., almost as good as the first album.

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