"Rocket Man" is a song composed by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, and originally performed by John. The song echoes the theme of David Bowie's 1969 song "Space Oddity" (both recordings were produced by Gus Dudgeon), but, according to an account in Elizabeth Rosenthal's book, His Song: The Musical Journey of Elton John, the song was inspired by Taupin's sighting of either a shooting star or distant airplane. The account goes on to relate that the notion of astronauts no longer being perceived as heroes, but in fact as an "everyday occupation" led him to the song's opening lines, "She packed my bags last night, pre-flight. Zero hour: 9 a.m. And I'm gonna be high as a kite by then."
The song first appeared on John's 1972 album Honky Château and became a hit single, rising to #2 in the UK and #6 in the U.S. It's also used by U2 as an ending during their 360º Tour.
The lyrics in the song, inspired by a short story of the same title written by Ray Bradbury, and written by John's longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin, describe a Mars-bound astronaut's mixed feelings at leaving his family in order to do his job. Musically, the song is a highly arranged pop ballad anchored by John's piano,...