Eaton Jones

“Who’s Eaton Jones?” my Grandma Jenny asked as she looked me up and down.  I sat down at her kitchen table and told her I had no idea.  “Well you outta know.  You got his name on your tee shirt.”

I realized that I was wearing a vintage iron-on Elton John tee shirt.  It was the mid-1970’s, so actually it wasn’t vintage at the time.  It was brand new.  On my shirt was the cover art from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Elton was standing at his piano.  The type clearly read Elton John.

“Eaton Jones?”  I responded with the level of disgust that only a know-it-all 14-year-old could.  “My shirt says Elton John.  How could you not know Elton John, Grandma Jenny?  He’s the biggest rock star on the planet.  “Island Girl” is the number one song in the country right now.”

"I thought Kenny Rogers and Dolly Pardon sang that."

"That's "Islands in the stream."

“Oh, right, well, I've never heard of Eaton,” Grandma Jenny said as she continued making breakfast.

"It's Elton.  Elton John."   

I couldn’t believe that my Grandma didn’t know who Elton John was.  God, I couldn’t wait ‘til I was old enough to drive so I wouldn’t have to hang out with these people who only listened to country music.

Last week as I was driving home from work, "Island Girl" came on the radio.  I thought about Grandma Jenny.  And then I sang along at the top of my lungs:

Island girl, what you wanna with your wife Dan’s world

Island girl, like I want you in this island world.

I want to take you from the Record Bar,

He wants to stake you but the call is lost

Island girl, island girl, island girl

Tell me what you want and witchy why mans whirl.

As I drove through the Charlotte evening, I thought to myself that those were some pretty weird lyrics.  When I got home I decided to Google them.  Here’s what I found:

Island girl, what are you wantin’ with the white man’s world?

Island girl, black boy wants you in his island world.

He wants to take you from the racket boss

He wants to save you but the cause is lost

Island girl, island girl, island girl

Tell me what you’re wanting with the white man’s world?

Wow, I’ll bet Grandma Jenny is smiling down from heaven right now, saying “I might not have known who Elton John was, but that little shitass has been singing his song wrong for 35 years.”

4 responses
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