Monday, January 7, 2008

Shoulder Holster

With a stop-and-start, horn-driven intro (by slick super-sessioneers the Brecker Brothers) and an arrangement that reminds me of no less than early 70's inspiration the Band's "Up on Cripple Creek", we get a bemused account of young Dolly Summers, a young newlywed whose husband just ups and leaves her for a "downtown blackjack hustler by the name of Candy Floss". Not being the sort which takes this kind of thing lightly, she puts her pistol in the titular (no pun intended) accessory and sets out after him, to bring him back at any cost.

Of course, as these things sometimes do, the outcome of this quest is quite different from the one Dolly, and we the listeners, envision- she learns a lesson, and Bernie takes the opportunity to lecture a little about the problems inherent with blind love and foolish rage. Don't wanna spoil, but if you'd like to find out the resolution, here are the lyrics.

One little gaffe Taupin makes, and I'm sure it was in the name of keeping the rhyming scheme intact, was that he writes

She put a pistol in her shoulder holster
She took her car up from Santa Fe

just after he wrote

Dolly slipped behind the wheel of her Mustang
With a piece between her breast

...which would seem to be two different places. If he had merely substituted "beside" for "between", all would have been well. Not that important in the scheme of things, especially given the circumstances surrounding this record.

Given the glum mood of the album, it's a bit refreshing to see this mostly lighthearted track placed in with the rest, and even more gratifying to see Elton once more referencing the Band, an early influence.

This was the B-side for Elton's initial single release, "Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word".

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