"Sixty Years On" as written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin....
Who'll walk me down to church when I'm sixty years of age
When the ragged dog they gave me has been ten years in the grave
And senorita play guitar, play it just for you
My rosary has broken and my beads have all slipped through

You've hung up your great coat and you've laid down your gun
You know the war you fought in wasn't too much fun
And the future you're giving me holds nothing for a gun
I've no wish to be living sixty years on

Yes I'll sit with you and talk let your eyes relive again
I know my vintage prayers would be very much the same
And Magdelena plays the organ, plays it just for you
Your choral lamp that burns so low when you are passing through

And the future you're giving me holds nothing for a gun
I've no wish to be living sixty years on

Lyrics submitted by Nava

"Sixty Years On" as written by Elton John Bernie Taupin

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Sixty Years On song meanings
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  • +2
    My InterpretationWhile all interpretations are subjective, and unique to the reactionary; I see this song as a sort of "Rage against the dying of the Light" as viewed through the eyes of a son. Not so much as a rage, as a whimper.

    The constant references to church and faith I am still working out in my mind, but to an aging man of action, what future does the encroachment of age and infirmity hold? Perhaps the Christian Ideals that he once held dear and taught to his son hold no credence in the fact of a life of a soldier.

    However the rosaries and Magdalene sing to the sound of a different tenet. The (lack of oil in the) choral lamp may refer to the loss of the joy of life that unity brings. More of a recounting of the feats? The son has lost all faith. Very sad. VERY sad.
    Ellynlvxon August 22, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationBernie Taupin wrote the lyrics for the album, Elton John, which was released in the U.S in 1970, John's first U.S. release, and from which Your Song charted well (#8 on Billboard's top 100). John Lennon is quoted as saying [That is the first new thing to happen since us]. The U.S. was mired down in the Vietnam War, and there was much social unrest and protest by the young regarding the conflict, no doubt because the Korean War had abruptly ended with no clear victory for the U.S., with North Korea, a totalitarian state, resulting.

    Sixty Years On definitely has an anti-war edge to it. The song has an instrumental introduction of strings playing a dissonant chord, which builds to a fevered pitch, then fades to a sound like a hive of bees, before John's piano fades in for the beginning of the lyrics.

    Also of note, in British literary history, the novels 1984 and Brave New World were widely read in the States at this time (1970s). Taupin was only 20 twenty years old, and he is the voice of the protagonist of the song, perhaps the same age. If this is correct, the young man will be at the start of his 80s in 60 years' time, and also facing the dystopian society about which Huxley and Orwell sounded the alarm in the 1930s and late 40s. The protagonist is pessimistic he does not want to be alive in that future. He states that even by the time he's 60 he will be old and dependent, needing an arm to lean on as he walks to church. Sixty years is old to someone 20 years of age, and 80 certainly is.
    kenxon October 14, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI like this song quite a bit actually and i'm a huge Elton John fan. But I don't have a clue what it means.
    I just couldn't tell you. great sonhg. I love it! especially live it's awesome!
    Maddy999on August 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI'm not entirely sure but it seems like the subject is reflecting on his age and being taken over by a younger generation who's ideas he can't make sense of, is afraid that he will be forgotten and neglected.
    I beleive that the lyrics in the line "You've hung up your great coat and you've laid down your gun" are actually "You've hung up your RED coat..." Which would make more sense if Elton was comparing the younger generation to the brittish mercenaries/soldiers, who were ordered to take foreign land ruthlessly and impose their own culture where it was not needed.
    Perhaps he is even getting at the fact that despide their generational differences, they're one and the same. "Yes I'll sit with you and talk let your eyes relive again/ I know my vintage prayers would be very much the same"

    Just my interpretation.
    Wikisauruson February 03, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf the narrator will be sixty years of age in sixty years' time, how old does that make him? The idea that this is the bitter prophecy of an infant's soul is strange and haunting.
    NellieWhiskeyon June 30, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My Opinionread kenx's comment please! i agree with it one hundred %!
    dadautube1on May 16, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFor me, Elton and Bernie are so successful because they paint visually with both the lyrics and music. One powerful example:

    “Yes i’ll sit with you and talk, and let your eyes relive again.”

    A foreshadowing of what will certainly be us one day - in our older years, perhaps visiting with a dear friend from our youth, and looking back on life. The concept of letting your eyes “relive again” infers sifting through memories until arriving at a place where our minds can zoom in and focus clearly on a given time earlier in life. Someday, It may be hard to do. This song frames it quite well, like none i’ve Ever heard. I often quote the lyrics to my 16 year old son, and share with him that this will be his Dad one day. But I hope to live way past 60.
    Keithstevenson October 04, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a magnificent composition, too bad Elton didn't pursue this style.
    CharMarRuleson April 29, 2019   Link

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