"Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" as written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin....
i can't light no more of your darkness
All my pictures seem to fade to black and white
I'm growing tired and time stands still before me
Frozen here on the ladder of my life

It's much too late to save myself from falling
I took a chance and changed your way of life
But you misread my meaning when i met you
Closed the door and left me blinded by the light

Don't let the sun go down on me
Although i search myself, it's always someone else i see
I'd just allow a fragment of your life to wander free
But losing everything is like the sun going down on me

Ladies and gentlemen Mr. Elton John
I can't find
Oh, the right romantic line
But see me once and see the way feel
Don't discard me baby don't
Just because you think i mean you harm
Just because you think i mean you harm, oh
But these cuts i have, cuts i have
They need love
They need love, they need love to help them heal

Oh, don't let the sun go down on me
Although i search myself, it's always someone else i see
I'd just allow a fragment of your life to wander free
Cause' losing everything is like the sun going down on me

Don't let the sun go down on me
Although i search myself, it's always someone else i that see, yeah
I'd just allow a fragment of your life to wander free baby, oh
Cause' losing everything is like the sun going down on me


Lyrics submitted by kevin, edited by rashelton2002

"Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" as written by Elton John, Bernie Taupin

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me song meanings
Add your thoughts

35 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +5
    General CommentSometimes the best relationships are the most complicated.

    "I can't light no more of your darkness
    All my pictures seem to fade to black and white
    I'm growing tired and time stands still before me
    Frozen here on the ladder of my life"
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    I can't make you happy, you must deal with your own pain and find a way out of it. Our love has lost it's vibrant colors we once had...your pain is too taxing on me and our love cannot continue to grow, therefore I'm stuck in this nowhere place and can't go forward and refuse to go back. I don't want to give you up, so where am I suppose to go now? Great metaphor. Can you imagine yourself stuck on a ladder at 45 feet in the center and be forced to remain there? Elton is a genius for using this as a metaphor because he puts you on that ladder and makes you feel what it would be like. It's not only a terribly lonely place, but also frightening--just as love lost.


    "Too late to save myself from falling
    I took a chance and changed your way of life
    But you misread my meaning when I met you
    Closed the door and left me blinded by the light"
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    I'm already there and no going back from the pain I feel from losing you--falling off the ladder. I changed you for being in your life as you have changed me. We all get something out of it and relationships make us changed, whether it's good or bad, they make us evolve because we always take something away and leave something behind with that person. Misread meanings --that's tricky because it's individual, but sometimes we all will hold back when we are in an exciting relationship and may not share our true intentions for whatever the reason. You may pretend to be someone you are not to hold onto that person, then if you fall in love, you realize you should have just been yourself and avoided the entire situation. But not knowing how the other person may feel--your still lost. Kicked out the door and reality is the light--hits you in the face like a headlights on a speeding bus. You don't expect it and feel as though you've been run over anyway.

    "Don't let the sun go down on me
    Although I search myself, it's always someone else I see
    I'd just allow a fragment of your life to wander free
    But losing everything is like the sun going down on me"
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Letting the sun go down on me is putting me in darkness, an empty void--black hole. Searching onesself, but seeing someone else--self deception--someone you really don't want to be--or rather be. Fragment of your life to wander free--I think this is one of the most beautiful lines because it is telling the person that they are willing to let them be who they are, regardless--whatever their "dark side" is, they will accept it, but only a fragment, because too much of it would bring them too much pain since the love it deep.

    "I can't find, oh the right romantic line
    But see me once and see the way I feel
    Don't discard me just because you think I mean you harm
    But these cuts I have they need love to help them heal"
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    I'll never find the words to tell you what you mean to me to bring you back, but all you have to do is look at my face and see the love and pain. Don't mistreat me because you don't want my advice you refuse to accept. Last line is amazing and so perfect as a finale--you need to love me because I'm in pain too, from past relationships and my cuts need healing too, as yours so don't be so freakin' selfish. Love is about all of it--joy, pain, passion, rejection, anger, lust, raw wounds that can't be mended and searching for that soul mate. If you find them it's never easy, but you learn that no matter what--you will make it last throughout all of it. I think that's Elton's message...anyway, just my take on it..
    coolgreycaton July 31, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commentflawless songwriting. words and music and singing all perfectly support one another. personally i dont like delving too much into the lyrics. especially on songs with themes like these, just listen and feel. most of the time i find myself associating passed moments encapsulated by certain songs.

    this song is one of them.
    heart of darknesson April 02, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI didn't know Bernie Taupin was gay, musicbabe

    :grrr:
    DJacques75on April 23, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMoonAngel's interpretation sounds right. I had actually misheard that line about '.....a fragment of your life'. For me it evokes a breakup and rejection. I rediscovered the song lately - what a classic.
    Sunnyhillon August 29, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think that the song means what is happening to you at that moment: I feel I'm saying these words to my boyfriend who is really driving me crazy "I can't light no more of your darkness" means ... I can't go on cheering you up and standing you in a bad mood and so on..."I'm growing tired and time stands still before me
    Frozen here on the ladder of my life" means.. I'm too young to waste my time and It seems to me this relationship is going nowhere , I'm paralysed..."I'd just allow a fragment of your life to wander free" I won't give you so much time and energy as I used to...
    "But losing everything is like the sun going down on me" but giving you everything I have means the sun going down on me... "But see me once and see the way I feel
    Don't discard me just because you think I mean you harm
    But these cuts I have they need love to help them heal " means, that I don't say this because I don't love you but because you are hurting me and I also need some attention and love , don't be so selfish :) well hope you enjoy my interpretation , bye!
    Gigoon September 10, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentToday, as I was driving home from work, I heard this song on the radio. It immediately reminded me of my brother who died unexpectedly, tragically, and way before his time. I almost felt that he was speaking to me through this song. He can't see my darkness anymore. And, though it has been almost 3 years since his death---his pictures do almost seem black and white. When he died, it was almost as if he was "frozen on the ladder" of his life. He still had a great deal of living left to do. And there are times like today--when I feel that I wasn't there for him---that I let the sun go down on him--as he lay dying in his apartment all alone with no one there, except a few friends, who just let him die. Elton John may well have been talking about a lost lover, but for me this song---speaks of losing a little brother to death long before his time---and my powerlessness in stopping the sun from going down on him......
    keebeeon October 16, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI do not believe this is a break up at all. I believe it is a man (or woman) who has been a friend. However, this person is getting older and has come to a point where they no longer want to be just friends (I can't light no more of your darkness), they are getting older (pictures fading) and they are at a point in their life where a decision has to be made to move forward and let the other person no how they feel.

    HOWEVER, this person has been hurt so many times before, this is why it has taken so long to say something, and instead of saying it, he manipulates a situation and the love interest is offended "misread my meaning when I met you, closed the door and left me blinded by the light" and walks out, the blinding light is him realizing how wrong he was for pulling something stupid and not trusting her and telling her straight out.

    He then begs, for her not to walk out on him and confesses that though he tries to be himself when he's with her he finds it very hard to open up(although I search myself its always someone else I see0. But if I were you "I'd allow of fragment of your life to wander free" - he is asking her to maybe just let her heart go and trust him because if he loses his friend as well as what he wanted because he took this chance, the sun would go down on him.

    Finally he confesses that he does not know how to approach her "the right romantic line", but he just wants her to truly see him and understand that he has been really hurt before and it was very difficult for him to take this step (frozen here on the ladder of my life)...and he justs wants her to give him a chance, understand why he didn't feel he could come straight out and tell her and maybe take a chance in loving him....or her it is a very unisex song which is awesome.
    RomanceLadyon May 04, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentUm, once you realize that both Elton John and his co songwriter are gay, the meaning becomes clear. The singer helped someone, because he was making progress in the "ladder of his life", and he financially could. But this person (a man) rejected his later sexual advances, either because he was not gay, or just wasn't interested. And yes, the singer wants to remain friends, because his love of this person defies a simple friend/lover definition. As far as subtle, hidden meanings? Um. This song isn't THAT complicated. There's no trajectory where "I like cats" means "I am a closeted homosexual and I can't deal with it anymore." Really. The black and white pictures? It means he can't give any more helping this person with his problems. He's given enough. You can take what you want from this song, and many of the versions on here are respectable and are based on the same sentiment. But the meaning of this song is not hidden in morse code. Especially when you consider it was written by WEALTHY GAY MEN in the '70s. Focus on that, listen to that, and you'll get it. Thank you.
    lookatmeindcon July 20, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationJust my interpretation, everybody is going to see it differently, that is the beauty of lyrics and poetry. They evoke feelings.

    Well I was a fragment of someone's life. I was a fragment, this person was probably the most major thing that ever happened to me.

    It was short but powerful, for me, not the other person. I was discarded. More than two decades later, I took a chance, and contacted said person. Because I had a deep drive to do so that just never seemed to go away. Did not expect anything, just to say hello, see how this person was, and say "you really meant a lot to me." This person misread this somewhat, and it turned into an affair that lasted many years. I either could not or did not want to stop it.

    But I finally grew tired, did not feel like I was lighting any more darkness. Don't want to let go completely, but feel somehow I must. Because it really is one way, and I need real love, not just the receipt for my sopped up worship.

    So I took a chance, and changed said person's way of life. Which all relationships do.

    I let a fragment of this person's life free. Changed it. I am the fragment.

    Never meant to harm.

    And now, it is like the sun gong down on me.
    AngelCakeon September 10, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is about ending a romantic relationship, but not being able to handle losing the friendship aspect of it. "I'd just allow a fragment of your life (the romantic aspect) to wander free, but losing everything (the friendship) is like the sun going down on me" It seems as though the other party is breaking up with the lyricist, and he can't handle losing everything all at once. He needs to hold on to some part of the person
    MoonAngel481on June 04, 2003   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain