"Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)" as written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin....
What happened here
As the New York sunset disappeared
I found an empty garden among the flagstones there
Who lived here
He must have been a gardener that cared a lot
Who weeded out the tears and grew a good crop
And now it all looks strange
It's funny how one insect can damage so much grain

And what's it for
This little empty garden by the brownstone door
And in the cracks along the sidewalk nothing grows no more
Who lived here
He must have been a gardener that cared a lot
Who weeded out the tears and grew a good crop
And we are so amazed we're crippled and we're dazed
A gardener like that one no one can replace

And I've been knocking but no one answers
And I've been knocking most all the day
Oh and I've been calling oh hey hey Johnny
Can't you come out to play

And through their tears
Some say he farmed his best in younger years
But he'd have said that roots grow stronger if only he could hear
Who lived there
He must have been a gardener that cared a lot
Who weeded out the tears and grew a good crop
Now we pray for rain, and with every drop that falls
We hear, we hear your name

Johnny can't you come out to play in your empty garden


Lyrics submitted by honeypants

"Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)" as written by Elton John, Bernie Taupin

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny) song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentSuch a beautiful song. I think it's so sweet at the end where he is asking Johnny to "come out to play" in such a innocent childlike way and he sort of can't understand what has happened.
    blueladyon August 21, 2011   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationAs the song begins we are coming upon the Dakota where John Lennon lived
    in N.Y. city. The garden (John's that he told Elton he wanted to start but never did)
    is nonexistent, only the flagstones or walkway.
    - Who lived here? (We are asked to contemplate who John was.)
    -He must have been a gardener who cared a lot.
    -Who Weeded out the tares (not tears) or weeds into a good crop. (Yes John was a person who cared a lot about mankind.)
    -And now it all looks strange
    -Its funny how one insect can damage so much grain (His murderer)

    -And whats it for
    -The little empty garden by the brownstone door
    -And in the cracks along the sidewalk nothing grows no more (The Dakota)
    - we're crippled and we're dazed (after John was shot)
    - a gardener like that one no one can replace (Lennon, irreplaceable)

    -Ive been knockin but no one answers
    (Elton visited John at the Dakota many times in happier days)

    -and through their tears
    -some say he farmed his best in younger years
    (John's work with the Beatles)
    -but he'd say the roots grow stronger
    (ones abilities during their lifetime - possibly)
    - if only he could hear

    -now we pray for rain and with every drop that falls
    - we hear his name
    (gotta leave something open for interpretation)
    (OK, after the farmer's work is done all he can do is pray for rain)
    (we as the one become the many)
    VolumePlseon August 17, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is such a touching tribute to John Lennon. Whatever will we do when Elton John is no longer around to memorialize our cultural icons? Such a pretty song.
    PhoebeQon February 09, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentElton's has many great contributions to music, but this is by far his best....Just a phenomenal and beautiful song....
    Twinnon June 06, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with bluelady that the ending is both beautiful and sweet, and I never tire of hearing that part of this song. But to me, the line that grips me shall forever be "we're crippled and we're dazed". Every song about the loss of someone dear to us is filled with sadness and fond memories, but this powerful line underscores just how tragic this murder was, and how grevious a loss it was for all of us.
    rvidilon December 16, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBeautiful song, I totally agree with PhoebeQ.
    dugan31on August 03, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBeautiful song, I totally agree with PhoebeQ.
    dugan31on August 03, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSome trivia Elton John rarely plays this at his concerts since the emotions behind it are so intense. However, he performed this at a sold-out Madison Square Garden show in August 1982, and was joined onstage by Lennon's wife Yoko Ono and his son Sean Lennon.
    kfe2on January 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlso the Garden being refered to is Madison Square Garden
    kfe2on January 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlso, Elton John is actually Sean Lennon's godfather.
    lipstickon February 18, 2007   Link

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