"Bitter Fingers" as written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin....
I'm going on the circuit, I'm doing all the clubs
And I really need a song boys to stir those workers up
And get their wives to sing it with me just like in the pubs
When I worked the good old pubs in Stepney

Oh could you knock a line or two together for a friend
Sentimental tear inducing with a happy end
And we need a tune to open our season at Southend
Can you help us

It's hard to write a song with bitter fingers
So much to prove, so few to tell you why
Those old die-hards in Denmark Street start laughing
At the keyboard player's hollow haunted eyes
It seems to me a change is really needed
I'm sick of tra-la-las and la-de-das
No more long days hacking hunks of garbage
Bitter fingers never swung on swinging stars, swinging stars

I like the warm blue flame, the hazy heat it brings
It loosens up the muscles and forces you to sing
You know it's just another hit and run from the tin pan alley twins

And there's a chance that one day you might write a standard lads
So churn them out quick and fast and we'll still pat your backs
`Cause we need what we can get to launch another dozen acts
Are you working

It's hard to write a song with bitter fingers
So much to prove, so few to tell you why
Those old die-hards in Denmark Street start laughing
At the keyboard player's hollow haunted eyes
It seems to me a change is really needed
I'm sick of tra-la-las and la-de-das
No more long days hacking hunks of garbage
Bitter fingers never swung on swinging stars, swinging stars

It's hard to write a song with bitter fingers
So much to prove, so few to tell you why
Those old die-hards in Denmark Street start laughing
At the keyboard player's hollow haunted eyes
It seems to me a change is really needed
I'm sick of tra-la-las and la-de-das
No more long days hacking hunks of garbage
Bitter fingers never swung on swinging stars, swinging stars

La-de-das, swing stars, swinging stars
It's hard to write a song with bitter fingers
So much to prove, so few to tell you why
Those old die-hards in Denmark Street start laughing


Lyrics submitted by Arial

"Bitter Fingers" as written by Elton John Bernie Taupin

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Bitter Fingers song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • 0
    General Commentanother one of my favorites...
    i think its a song about writers block and the pressure to write when someoen is forcing you.
    well that what i get out of it.
    mlfm256on February 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionThis song encapulates the frustration of having to write songs for other people, as Elton and Bernie had to do...before they marketed their own demos and achieved success in America, then Britain. e.g. 'So churn them out thick and fast and we'll still pat your backs' refers to the stuffy and traditional attitude of those writers and publishers who didn't see eye to eye with what Bernie and Elton were working towards...
    Jonnyspeckyon May 31, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI like Johnny's comments, and I think the song plays to a larger scale as well - I think it tells the frustration of the music industry and the generic approach the industry takes to music. The line "It seems to me a change is really needed/
    I'm sick of tra-la-las and la-de-das" suggests to me that Elton was sick of the industry pressuring musicians to sound a certain way just to sell records.

    "Cause we need what we can get to launch another dozen acts / Are you working" suggests (again, to me) that the industry was riding Elton's success so that they could turn profit and sign more bands, hence putting out more records and making more money. The industry itself made Elton bitter, hence "bitter fingers" and how "bitter fingers never swung on swinging stars" because these stars enjoyed what they were doing for the love of it, not the money or the industry.

    Just what I thought after listening to the album. Could be incorrect, but I think this is immensely frustrating today as well.
    theT0URISTon February 15, 2013   Link

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