"Ballad of the Boy in the Red Shoes" as written by Elton John and Bernard J.p. Taupin....
I'm stoned in the twilight
Screaming on the inside
Give me your water, help me survive
Gonna miss the sunlight
When I lose my eyesight

Give me my red shoes, I want to dance
They search for an answer
But that old man wouldn't listen
Back then I was handsome
Back then he was ignorant

And shave off the years now, it's all inside my head
The boy in the red shoes is dancing by my bed
Put them in a box somewhere, put them in a drawer
Take my red shoes, I can't wear them anymore

Had garlands in the wings back then
All the pretty little things back then
Calling out my name, oh what fame brings
After curtain calls and bows
I can't see the front row now
Hand me my red shoes just one more time

They pushed aside our presence
They refused to go the distance
Back then I was Sigmund
Back then he wouldn't listen

Lyrics submitted by LesMisFan

"Ballad of the Boy in the Red Shoes" as written by Bernie Taupin Bernard J.p. Taupin

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Ballad of the Boy in the Red Shoes song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentThe song is such a great song! He compares himself in the present to himself as a young boy. "That Old Man" and the constant reference to "back then." It is great song of the statement "just one more time before I move one!"
    DocStills1on April 13, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI recently attended an Elton John concert. Before playing this song, Elton explained how "Ballad of the Boy in the Red Shoes" is about a dancer who contracted AIDS around the time when the disease first boomed. Elton said it is also reflective of the government's lack of care and help to those with AIDS.

    Props to Elton, another great song.
    knowthyselfon April 28, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"The Ballad of the Boy in the Red Shoes" is not about Elton's remembering his youth. Rather, it is, as previously stated, a song about an American dancer with AIDS. The song describes the life of this man and the only joy in his life is the memory of his youth, specifically his dancing career.
    james_israelon October 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have not understood thism song at all until very recently. I just listened to it and suddenly had an idea and the whole lyrics brightened up to me. I think these red shoes could be used as a metaphor for pretty much everything. The things that make you happy and things you have abandoned for some reason. I've been through such a period in my life and that's why I connected it with my own feelings.
    rumion June 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah the song is about an American dancer who had AIDs and his country was doing nothing about AIDs. The lyrcis are self explanatory when you know that i feel. Elton explained this at Christenhof Castle on his solo leg of his tour in 2003.
    tomposon June 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about how the US ignored the AIDS crisis. "That old man wouldn't listen" is a reference to Ronald Regan and his ignorance of the disease in it's early stages.
    BrianM245on September 07, 2009   Link

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